Saturday, 4 January 2014

10 reasons to love Turin (part 2)

[--> read here the first part]

[6] If you love food...
Local traditional cuisine is rich and energetic, mainly based on meat and ideal to be enjoyed during coldest months.
Roast meats, such as Brasato al Barolo (cooked with the local delicious Barolo red wine), or boiled ones (Bollito misto, which includes many different boiled meats served with different sauces) are probably the most famous traditional dishes.
But there are also some seasoned and strong-flavoured cheeses, such as Castelmagno, Raschera and Toma.
And another famous main course is Fritto misto, which includes many different fried foods, like steaks, veggies, cookies, snails and offals.
But since we are in Italy after all, the tradition also includes some pasta dishes, such as agnolotti, pasta stuffed with meat that is usually served with butter and sage, or tajarin, a tiny version of tagliatelle.
Traditional starters include Vitello Tonnato (veal with tuna + mayo sauce), Acciughe al Verde (anchovies with parsley and garlic) and Tomini al Verde/Elettrici (fresh goat cheese topped with parsley+anchovies or spicy peppers sauce).
But if you are brave enough and don't have many problems about garlic, don't miss the most peculiar of the Piedmontese traditional dishes: Bagna Cauda, a deadly but delicious hot sauce made with garlic (LOTS of it), cream and anchovies and served with raw and boiled veggies.
Among my favourite places where to taste these traditional dishes there are the Tre Galline restaurant (via Bellezia, Quadrilatero area) and the Antiche Sere Osteria.

But Turin has also been the cradle of 2 quite important gastronomical inventions:
--> tramezzino (Italian sandwich), which was invented in 1925 at the Mulassano café (piazza Castello). They still do them the traditional way, with very soft white bread and traditional ingredients: maybe an anchovies + butter sandwich might sound weird, but dare to try it, because it's absolutely delicious!
The café is very tiny but also very beautiful, with its golden moldings liberty style. 

--> pinguino (ice cream on a stick covered with chocolate), which was invented in 1939 at the Pepino Gelateria (piazza Carignano). You can also find their ice creams in some other cafés, but their place is an historical one and is very pretty and elegant. Ice cream is of a good quality and they do also "pinguini" in some different flavours, besides the classi vanilla one: try violet or gianduja.

[7] If you like green...
Turin has quite many green areas, which are also pretty much better kept than the average Italian standard for public parks.
The most famous one is the Valentino park alongside the river Po, where you can spot a sober but elegant Castle in French style, which used to be one of the many Savoy residences and that nowadays hosts the Architecture Faculty, and the Medioeval Borough.
This one is actually a fake, as it's been built in 1884 for the International Esposition - but it's a faithful reproduction and I always enjoy walking around it, I love the atmosphere. 

borgo medioevale

A small but cosy park a bit far away from the city center is the Tesoriera one (corso Francia 186, near Monte Grappa underground stop). The villa inside the park hosts a music library and the atmosphere is always very quiet and relaxed.

[8] If you like misteries...
Turin is considered one of the "Cities of Magic" - but with an interesting ambivalence. It's part of both the White Magic Triangle (together with Lyon and Prague) for "good" magic, and of the Black Magic Triangle (together with London and San Francisco) for the dark side of it.


Those can feel it (and believe it) say that there are many energies flowing here. There's a theory saying there is a very powerful energetic pole here - which should be the reason why so many new things born/start here but then have to go developing somewhere else (talk about the cinema, the TV and the quite many important companies that have moved away).
There are also plenty of legends, and not only about ghosts and miracles like many other places. Some tells about the gates of hell being here. Some others suggest that the Holy Grail may be hidden somewhere in the city. And there might also be a hidden esoterical city in the underground.


Just legends, of course, but personalities like Nostradamus, Paracelsus, Cagliostro and Gustavo Rol have tied their names to Turin.
I must admit I'm utterly bewitched by this topic (you know, I'm a black cat, after all) - so stay tuned, because more posts will come along.

[9] If you are religious...
Turin is not only connected with magic, it's also the Italian city that count the highest number of saints.
And it's the city that hosts the Holy Shroud.
The sacred linen is a controversial relic and many historians doubt it actually wrapped Jesus's body, but believing is a choice and, real or not, it's an object that surely has an important history.

[10] If you like Architecture...
You will find Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classical and Art Nouveau. Some Romanic too.
You will find airy piazzas, regal palazzi and lovely corners.
You will also find art galleries and a modern art museum.
Just walk around, keep your eyes open and be ready to enjoy the beauty!


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