Friday, July 30, 2010

Italian Pizza & Kebaps!

For two weeks Italy indulged my craving for the real Pizza, not the faux pizza that we spend huge money for here in India. There, the Pizza were baked in wood fired ovens and literally doused in cheese. Infact I think it was in Rome that I shamelessly indulged in a big slice of pizza smothered in four varieties of cheeses!The only trouble was one of them tasted like the famous 'blue' which I detest!

You could just walk into a pizzeria and poke your finger through the glass at the slice you wanted and he would chop off the size you indicated. Then it was slopped onto a weighing scale, so he knew what to charge you and then heated in the oven. The enormous slice was then slapped onto grease proof paper and you happily ate it as you walked along the roads of Milan, Venice, Florence and of course Rome.My slices never went beyond 3 Euro at the most.

If you are in Italy you just cannot and should not, go away without indulging in Gelatos as well. I am diabetic so cannot enjoy sweet stuff, but it was on my last night in Rome that I decided to binge and bought a two scoop 1.5 Euro Gelato with organic Cantaloupe flavour. It was to die for, every slurp and chomp was delicious and I tried to make the experience last for longer than normal in the warm Italian weather!

Eating in Italy is cheap in comparison to elsewhere in Europe, but its eat on the go thats reasonalbe. If you go to enjoy a sit down meal, then be prepared to pay for everything including the ambience!

The Church of the Shroud -- Torino

So, I finally got to see the Church of the Shroud in Turin. I can't imagine why I thought I would see the actual Shroud because obviously it was the height of summer in July when we were there and the exposition was over.
However I was able to visit the church and actually look at the shrine where it is kept in a temperature controlled box.

For years as a young girl and then a young woman and now at this point of my life, seeing the Shroud had been a dream which I needed to fulfill. I had followed the stories about it,about the tests undertaken by scientists and that they had come out clear and crisp, that the shroud was indeed human blood and the date too was right. Graphic stories in the National Geographic had pictures which I had pored over and the image stayed fresh in my mind. Theimage of a man thrashed and crucified to death and that image seemed burned by his blood on the Shroud.

Funnily enough there were other journos in my group who dreamed of doing exactly the very same thing. So, even though the church was shut when we arrived, we walked around the Egyptian museum and then walked back to the Church of the Shroud no matter how tired we were.

For me it was a pilgrimage of sorts. I am glad I went, even though I never saw the actual Shroud, but I was lucky to be in its presence and was happy to be able to ask for very special favours that I know will be granted.

It's all about faith and what you believe. I believe and I saw others believe and if religion brings peace and happiness to us, thats all that is necessary.I am just grateful I got a chance to go.