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Finding Spiritual Solace

This is the third installment of four blogs, that recounts my recent travel experiences, following in my mother’s footsteps around her home town of Torino (Turin) in Northern Italy. Travel around Italy would be incomplete without a visit to a church. Churches, priests and their congregation, passionately celebrate religion and all that it symbolises i.e. a sense of belonging, the belief that there is a greater being to whom we can turn to in times of strife or, whom we can thank for our good fortune. Therefore, the architecture and most Italian Church fittings, whether internal or external, are grandiose and ornate.


Despite having vacationed in Italy on several occasions whilst growing up, I hadn't remembered visiting what my mother termed as, the small Church where she was married. As per the account towards the end of the award-winning book, GOODBYE TO Italia, after the wedding, my mother had a quiet moment by herself, at the grotto of the Virgin Mary. She said a prayer and laid her bouquet at the foot of the statue; an age-old practice symbolising laying aside one's virginity before the wedding night.

My visit to La Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata-the Church of the Most Holy Annunciation, located on Via Po in Torino, was a surprisingly emotional and enlightening experience. The two images do not do justice to the beautiful light and the sense of peace one feels in such a place, or the awe that overcame me. One photo depicts my daughter and I, in front of the main alter where my parents were married. The other is the grotto mentioned above … well, even those without a religious inclination must surely be impressed by the beauty and spirituality of such a scene?!

Marisa Parker - Author


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