i went to the castello di rivoli. it was incredible, incredible. pipilotti!! she is so good to see in a castle. and mauricio cattelan's hanging horse. really breathtaking. so much more moving than i was prepared for. really well selected contemporary art in a swooningly beautiful castle is a very good idea. i walked around the town for a long time after the museum, and had gelato and a peach for lunch. it was a great day. i took the bus to the metro to the train back to torino with time to spare and bought mascara and socks and chocolate at a street market. unfortunately, a deluge in the mountains delayed my return from torino to ivrea by five hours or so. waiting in the thunderstorm on the platform with teeming screaming italians for three and a half of those hours while inscrutable announcements came over a loudspeaker... whoah.
when i finally got back to ivrea, buses had stopped running to chiaverano. i didn't know this. i also didn't know that the bus stop in front of the train station is no longer used, so i waited there with my little dress and my little pink umbrella. i was mistaken for a prostitute twice in ten minutes. literally, two separate men stopped and tried to pick me up. it was awful. what i found out later is that a little dress and an umbrella at a bus stop is code for prostitutes in this part of the country. when marguerite arrived to pick me up. she also told me that prostitutes have to stay out in cornfields during the day, and then at night they come in to try and get work around the train stations. not such a good end to the day. sometimes being a girl is a real drag.
sunday i went with marguerite to pick up her friend kianga in santhia. kianga had a friend with her (and because of my name, they were expecting me to be the hot new boy assistant, and i think they were a bit disappointed, but too bad) and we had a great time drinking wine in the enoteca at castello di roppolo. after drinking, we went down into the dungeon, which is now a wine cellar, and all selected a couple of bottles...discount wine in a former dungeon is still pretty good wine! afterward, we ate delicious pizza by a lake. with the alps doing their best to drive me wild in the background, someone on the opposite shore lit paper bags on fire like fireflies and let them go over the lake. it looked like slowly moving constellations in the darkening sky.
as we drove through deep countryside on the way back to the station, we saw one of the ladies of the night in the middle of a cornfield, propped in a lawn chair, holding a bright umbrella up to shade her from the sun. it was heart breaking and surreal. i can't get her out of my mind.