Two words about my home town, Turin or Torino

I came to terms with the fact that when I say to anyone in Ireland: ‘I am from Turin’, they answer: ‘ah, Fiat’ and sometimes they also say: ‘Juventus!’. Thankfully, this is not what Turin is about and those who went there can confirm it. In fact, although Turin is a big and industrial city, it is beautiful and has many historical and artistic treasures to offer to its visitors. Thus, in order to give a chance to shed a bit of light on these treasures, I have started to show a short presentation on my home town during my 2,5 hour lessons at the College of Commerce. I am delighted to see that all of my students are suitably impressed by the view of majestic royal castles, neoclassic and baroque churches, beautiful gardens, Roman city walls, enchanting old cafes and so on. One of my students could not believe that it was possible to have a coffee and read a book in one of those bars, such as Caffe Torino or Gelateria Fiorio. Do not worry about the price of the coffee, it is the same as other bars, we are not in Piazza Marconi in Venice!

Not many people know that Turin was the first capital of Italy and that the royal family lived there until 1946, when Italy became a republic. This is why we have so many beautiful royal residences and castles. Turin also hosted the first Italian parliament in Palazzo Carignano, a beautiful baroque residence which nowadays hosts the library of the University of Turin, the museum of Risorgimento and Carignano Theatre.

Let not forget that Turin is also the home of the Holy Shroud, the mystery

 

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Differences between the North and South of Italy

There are many differences between the North and  South of Italy which are not only about  environment and climate, but also about the people and the way they think and behave. This is due to historical and geographical reasons which are very interesting and unique in their own way. There are many interesting books and movies on this subject and I recommend the book ‘Cristo si e’ fermato ad Eboli’ written by Carlo Levi in 1945. It gives a good insight into the situation in the South of Italy during Fascism and it sheds some light on why life is so different from the North. The movie, made in 1970, highlights these features effectively and it is definitely easier to digest. In fact, it must be said that the book is quite demanding, not only for an Italian student, but also for an Italian native speaker.

On the same subject, during our classes, we recently watched parts of the comedy ‘Benvenuti al sud’. Although, it is not as insightful and rich in meanings as ‘Cristo si e’ fermato ad Eboli’, it is a funny guideline on all the prejudices held by many people in the North about the South. Probably, you are aware of the existence of the political party Lega Nord inItalyand, through this movie, you will see some of the ideas on which it is founded. Besides, the movie offers a great view on many features which are so different between the North and South, such as foods, habits, environments, accents and even on the use of the Italian language (did you know that in many parts of the South they use the Voi instead of Lei in order to be formal, exactly as the French do!). It is very funny and enjoyable and not too demanding, especially if you have subtitles.

That is everything for today; I hope you will enjoy the movies and maybe the book.

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