The 1,000 years-old Sacra di San Michele sits atop a mountain outside Turin – once a Benedictine Abbey, but after centuries of neglect, in 1836, Pope Gregory XVI appointed the Rosminian Fathers administrators of the Sacra, and they are still responsible today. The Sacra is the symbol of the whole Piemonte region where we have been for the past week.
My heart leaps when I pull the curtains back in my hotel room in Turin this morning and see the wonderful snowcapped mountain ranges, sunshine and blue sky looking so wonderfully fresh after last night’s rain. It’s as though God has pulled the curtains back on a new stage-set of blue.
Less than an hour out of Turin, after driving round the mountain, Libyan friend Naser spots the Sacra on a far hill. Where are the snow-covered alps? A couple more bends in the road and there they are!
I would never have thought drums could accentuate organ music and a choir . . . but it was simply great at the Sunday sung Mass in this space atop the Sacra today. Pity I didn’t have the iPhone at the ready for the’Amen’ conclusion of the ‘Gloria in Excelsis’.Sound whirled around the cavernous roof. Elevating!
I thought it had a South American sound- catchy; Naser lent more towards Black Africa with the clapping; and Edmundo felt it sinply trashed tradition.
Coming down the mountain on the other side, we stop for lunch in a local ristorante – full of local families enjoying the porcini mushrooms in as many ways as you can imagine. Of course, we joined in the ‘feast’ with these creamy wonderful funghi.