Friday, May 24, 2019

More from Turin, Italy: May 20-23, 2019


We visited the super informative but overwhelming Egyptian Museum with its huge collection of Egyptian artifacts. They had human mummies, animal mummies, sculptures, pots, and some painted scenes I've never seen.

The painted decorations on wooden coffins of Egypt's Old Kingdom had the eyes of Horus (the falcon god) painted on the left side. The dearly departed was placed in the coffin on his/her left side to allow the body a view outside the coffin.

Eyes on the side of an Egyptian coffin
I've always liked the story of Nut (pronounced Newt) the Egyptian Goddess of the Sky. Nut gives birth to the sun-god daily and he passes over her body until he reaches her mouth at sunset where she swallows the Sun. The Sun journeys through her body and Nut gives birth to the Sun the next morning. The painted sarcophagus of Butehamun, a scribe and builder of tombs at the Valley of Kings in Thebes, had two scenes representing the Earth (Geb), Sky (Nut), and Sun/Air (Shu).

Geb and Nut were siblings. Nut as Sky was always on top of Geb (often shown in a fully erect state). Their father, Shu (Air/Sun), separated the two siblings but not before Nut became pregnant by Geb. Shu has to keep them apart so that there is a space between for us humans to live.

Nut, goddess of the Sky, separated from Geb, god of the Earth,
by Shu the god of Air 
Conceiving the Sun through the union of Geb, god of the Earth
 and Nut, goddess of the sky
Coffin Lid of Butehamun
Scribe of Deir el-Medina
As we were about to leave the Egyptian Museum at closing time, I could hear thunder outside. It was a nice day when we went into the museum, but pouring when it was time to go. A line of black Africans with umbrellas for sale were outside the exit doors like sharks waiting for guppies. I applaud their ingenuity. We slipped through their line without being caught. Turin has many, many pedestrian arcades that give shelter from sun and rain and we didn't have too far to go.

We went to the nearby Palazzo Madama Museum and saw a great Steve McCurry Photography Exhibition. One of his main themes was reading and many of the photos showed people from all walks of life all over the world reading books, newspapers, notes.

The Palazzo Madama had a great exhibition of medieval Religious art as well. I especially loved humor and creativity on a couple of the 15th-century wooden choir pieces.




With all its pedestrian streets and boulevards, Turin is a great city for walking, and we walked all over. We stayed in an Airbnb apartment that was on the edge of the historic center and conveniently just a few blocks from the South Turin Train Station. It was just a 10-15 minute walk to most of the sights. Turin was an easy city to navigate.

View of Turin from Mount of Capuchin
Church and Convent of Saint Mary on the Mount of Capuchin
above the River Po




Three nights was too short of a time to explore Turin. Suddenly, it was time to go home. The day we left, it was so clear, we had a final look at the Alps from above as we left Italy.

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