TORINO

a night owl's encounter with sunrise

Morning people think they're morally superior to us night owls. They're not, of course. However, if that's what they have to tell themselves to get through another day at work, I'm magnanimous enough to turn a blind eye to their arrogance.

I can afford to be magnanimous. I spent three months in Europe last year. The first city I visited was Torino. The jetlag hit me hard. I remember it was about 5:00, and I couldn't sleep. So, I got up, made myself a caffè, got dressed, and decided to take a walk.

Eventually, the dawn came. It flattered Piazza Vittorio and the Neoclassical Gran Madre.

I stood on the bridge for a long time, just looking at the reflections in the Po River.

Since there are so many hills and mountains around the city, the sunrise could get very dramatic.

I remember checking my watch. I wanted to be at the top of Monte dei Cappuccini at the official hour of sunrise. I wanted to see the symbol of the city.

The Mole Antonelliana at dawn

As the sun continued its trip over the hills, the outline of the great basilica on Superga Hill came into view. I took a student there once. We were supposed to look at the frescoes, but we spent the most time at the memorial for il Grande Torino.

Truth be told, I was enjoying being a morning person. So, instead of returning to my apartment, I walked up the foreboding steps of Gran Madre. In my heart, I knew Roman temples had never really been this orderly or severe. That didn't stop the ascent from feeling sacred.

I sat on the steps and watched the Torinese go to work. Torino is a beautiful city, full of elegant residents. Even their traffic seemed to follow aesthetic rules: it seemed like almost all the vehicles were silver, black, white, or red. Sometimes blue and yellow appeared as accents.

I crossed back over the Po. The reflections were still magnificent and the Alps were now in view.

I still didn't want to go back. I went down to the path right by the river. I played with thoughts in my head as I ambled. Other people were exercising and walking their dogs. Not bad for a Tuesday.

Eventually I found myself starting back at the Monte, where I had watched the sun rise.

I decided to walk in the area around the university. Students and researchers were going about their business. There were political signs, advertisements for concerts and art exhibitions, and other good things. Civilization is beautiful.

The last thing I did was confront the Mole up close. A wonderful, Neptunian building! It changes moods depending on the time of year and the weather.

I learned a lesson that day. I don't hate mornings. I hate the lack of freedom that I have been taught to associate with mornings. But a morning freely chosen cam be a magnificent thing.

#stelleritalia #stellerstories #torino #italy #italia #travel My instagram: @lexie_hoerl

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