Pharaohs in Turin?

This is apparently the finest collection of Egyptian material outside Cairo

I was really taken aback by a recent excursion. Bill and I were holidaying in Italy, on a trip that that had been postponed three times because of you know what. (We travelled with Voyage Jules Verne on their wonderfully named ‘Peaks, Ports and Palazzi’ tour.)

We arrived in Turin very late after a much-delayed flight. I think all 12 in the group were a bit grumpy as we fell into bed at 1am. The next day all was forgotten in the bright sunshine under a perfect blue sky. Our guide, the lovely Monica Gnocci (yes, really), made this trip so interesting and was such fun that we soon forgot our ghastly journey. We had a city walk in the morning and we were very grateful for the lovely galleried streets – it was so hot, and the shelter was welcome. Turin is a lovely city with beautiful architecture, steeped in the history of the Savoy family power and intrigues – and not very touristy.

I cannot say that I was keen to wander the Egyptian Museum whilst all the shops were open and the bars and cafes buzzing, but I was simply amazed when we toured the building. This is apparently the finest collection of Egyptian material outside Cairo, and I am reliably informed that the museum displays, and the arrangements of the artifacts are vastly superior in Turin.

I know I do go on about linen and the fact that it is such a wonderful fabric to use for embroidery, to wear and to use as furnishings but the linen pieces and costume on show amazed even me. I have quoted the fact that “they found linens in the Pharaohs tombs” several times, but until this visit, I had no idea just a how remarkable this is. Do visit if you ever get the chance.

Whilst we were staying in our Turin hotel, I spotted my husband up to no good at the  hotel conciege and asked them what was afoot. It turned out that Bill had booked tickets for the opera that evening in the private square of a palazzi. We were off to see Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni that evening with the sun setting and an almost full moon to complete the romance! With the beautiful music and the swallows careering around above, it was just perfect. He is an old softie… 

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