Talking in Torino, Italy – Presentation Goes Well


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | February 28, 2012      
Visual food humor, crosses the language barrier.

Visual food humor, crosses the language barrier. Yeah, that's me.

When you do public speaking on lighter subjects, you’re supposed to keep as much humor flowing as possible. I’m not as good at that as some of the raconteurs of the ski world (Andrew McLean comes to mind), but I always get a few laughs. That is, when the audience understands English. Luckily, most of the folks at my Italian venue got enough of what I was saying to understand the gist, if not even a laugh now and then. Nonetheless, a few times I whipped off one of my humorous stories only to be met with the wall of silence. Talk about humbling.

Ironic thing is that I’ve been trying to become a better public talker and not put so much emphasis on the visuals, yet when go up against a language challenge you need to fall back to your visuals. Seems a new task is always around the corner. At least I’ll not claim my life is boring.

At any rate, my Italian hosts (the Turin ski touring school of the Italian Alpine Club) were incredibly gracious and helpful. Especially Elena Cottini, who went the extra nine yards to help arrange a few ski tours.

And yes, Italians talk. I’m pretty sure the introductions lasted longer than my presentation. Thanks to translator Laura Sgarlanzetta I got the first part since I was sitting in the audience with her and she could translate next to me. For the second part (or was it the third part?) of the intro I sat up front with journalist Linda Cottino with no translator so I just had assume she said good things, even if she did probably exaggerate a bit. Like I say, if nothing else “keep the myth alive!”

Torino introduction in Torino at Monte de Cappuccini

Linda Cottino introduces me to the Torino ski touring crowd at Monte de Cappuccini, which I was assured is NOT a coffee shop on the mountain, though the resturant does of course serve caffee.

Monte, Torino Turin Italy

The venue for my presentation was easily the most exotic I've ever been privileged to be hosted by. Monte dei Cappuccini is an ancient monastery and church (1656) that still provides home to a group of Franciscan monks. Much of the building is taken by the Italian Alpine Club's Museum and Library, while a nice restaurant exists as well as numerous meeting rooms and offices.

Another view of the Monte, this one a bit more sublime.

I shot this travel brochure style shot during a walk around the city. Another view of the Monte dei Cappuccini, this one a bit more sublime. River is the Po, which defines the 'Po Valley


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Comments

8 Responses to “Talking in Torino, Italy – Presentation Goes Well”

  1. Mark W February 28th, 2012 10:51 am

    What a fantastic venue indeed. Never heard of such disparate groups sharing an edifice.

  2. Andy February 28th, 2012 11:22 am

    Lou, Congrats on this! What a great honor!

  3. Lou February 28th, 2012 12:39 pm

    Mark, don’t be so sure, I think I know a few backcountry skier guys who are monks.

  4. Carl Pelletier February 28th, 2012 8:14 pm

    I’m going to guess……OREO…..is the dessert. Finally, I got one!

    Nice Lou. Considering the history of skiing over in Europe and specifically, Italy….you are in good company and to be chosen to speak….quite an honor. Congrats Lou. Safe travels back across “the pond”.

  5. Silas Wild February 28th, 2012 11:18 pm

    How about some views of the mountains from the Monestary / Alpine Museum? Looks like the weather was good, when we visited it was pouring rain and dumping new snow in the hills. A little over an hour drive from Aosta. That building and the museum are beautiful and informative.

    The ultimate alpinist monk in my opinion is Padre Alberto de Agostini, pretty much the guy who put Patagonian peaks in the minds of Europeans (and later North Americans) with his Andes Patagonicos published in 1945. Padre de Agostini was a Salesian (sp?) based in Punta Arenas, an explorer in the spirit of the Duke of the Abruzzi and a photographer in the spirit of Vittorio Sella.

    Torino meat and vegetable open air market is awesome, too. The city is a great day diversion from the mountains in bad weather.

  6. dmr February 29th, 2012 12:15 am

    Congrats, Lou. Glad the presentation went well.

    Torino is well located, with lots of options depending on the snow/weather conditions.

    Silas,
    My dad told me that the greatest alpinist monk was Father Guido Sarducci, my guess is that he was mistaken.

    On a serious note, one of the main reasons most Italian summits – both major and minor – have crosses is that once upon a time, priests / reverends / etc. would take the youth (mostly boys I would guess) out into the mountains with one of the missions being to, well, put a cross on the summit.

  7. Ali E February 29th, 2012 2:15 pm

    Mark, what Lou said. A number of the monks at the St Bernard Hospice are IFMGA guides.

  8. Julian March 2nd, 2012 3:21 pm

    Lou, it was a real pleasure to meet you in Turin. Your talk was really inspiring for the audience, as your passion for the sport we are all so dedicated to beamed across the room! The Maira Valley is waiting for you and your family, come back next winter 🙂

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