Posts Tagged ‘Turin’

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L’Avvocato

September 8, 2009

classicaOne of the things that always comes to mind when I think of my home city is the Agnelli family. They are engrained in the fabric of the city, their influence visible in every FIAT crowding the streets, in the  factories on the outside of town, in the massive worker population, and in the social rankings of the city– those associated with the clan are immediately accorded a superior status. Agnelli owned the elementary school I went to. Agnelli’s bodyguards dangerously crowded the narrow roads I rode up on my Vespa on my way home from town. The sound of his helicopter overhead interrupted lazy afternoons in the garden. I caught glimpses of him on his way to church, his ancient, almost reptilian profile staring serenely forward, complacent in the knowledge that he had made this city, that his company was synonymous with it.

When he died, the city was thrown into disarray, uncertain what to do without its symbol. Somehow, all of Torino’s other glories became irrelevant — its history as the first capital of united Italy, its beautiful architecture, its truly amazing food– all this became secondary to its new identity as the car city, presided over by the industrialist Agnelli.

I wasn’t crazy about him, or his hold over the city, but I have to admit that he was a pretty fascinating figure. He took his family car business and revolutionised it. He dated Rita Hayworth and Anita Ekberg, and was a friend of the Kennedys and Kruschev. Kruschev once famously brushed aside Italian politicians in order to greet him, saying that Agnelli would be the one to stay in power in Italy. He was famous for his
style. In my head, he embodies what I think of when I think of male Italian fashion– the elegance, confidence and oft-quoted sprezzatura. Pictures below.

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As a boy in his family’s Bugatti.

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As a youth.

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With his grandfather.

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Military

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Wedding  to Marella Agnelli.

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With his family

with jfk in newport

With the Kennedys in Newport. (He was rumoured to have had an affair with Jackie! !!! !!!)

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Older, with his son.

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primo amore

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Painted by Warhol

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[via 1, 2, 3

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La casa dov’e’?

July 8, 2009

I’m a bit biased in favour of these pictures, because they were all taken in the bustling metropolis of Turin, Italy, from whence I hail. Isn’t a particularly exciting city, but clearly it is home to unexpected beauties.

See for yourselves:

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Man, am I ever homesick. Isn’t that last little old lady a strong contender for the title of cutest thing on earth? In the summertime, when all the Bright Young Things desert the city for the beach, the old people come out and take over the city. The men wear black knee socks pulled up over their knobby old legs and dark Bermuda shorts, and the little old ladies wear beautiful flowered housedresses and clogs. They sit in the piazzas and gossip, or slowly hobble through the narrow, narrow streets. It’s one of my favourite sight of the year.

All photos come from Konrad’s flicker photostream. I highly urge further perusal. He has so many wonderful shots that I had to restrain myself to the Turin pictures simply to avoid having a hundred-item post!

And, in fine, I would prove myself a slatternly blogmistress were I not to provide readers with a cheesy Italian rap song about home to finish this post off:

Jovanotti – Questa è la mia casa

(I actually do Jovanotti a great disservice by referring to him as cheesy. He’s awesome. I saw him perform here in New York this March and danced my butt off, in a room full of ecstatic Italians. I highly urge you to check out more of his music, if you can deal with furrin languages.)