Thursday, August 17, 2017

Executive Hotel: an art gallery

In 2017 Turin Epicurean Capital has grown up, we needed a new partner hotel to host our guests, this is how we got to collaborate with Best Western Plus Executive Hotel and Suites in Via Nizza 28.
As always we like to rely on hotels with very high standards that are also conveniently located downtown so that our guests can just walk everywhere, because this is the most immediate way to get to know Turin.

the Executive Hotel internal hall is an informal meeting space

Having accepted Chiara Ferrua's invitation for a cappuccino, we took a peek and heard about the hotel she directs with her husband, Alessandro Garelli. Little we knew that the Executive Hotel is basically an art gallery with bedrooms!

Chiara offering us a savoiardo
As we arrived, Chiara led us to the patio and shared her story: she was born in Turin to parents who came from other northern Italian regions; she studied abroad in Spain while completing her university degree in business and then she moved to Milan for eleven long years!
Chiara is actually a corporate woman and worked for many big international companies like Pepsi, Bolton, Star and even Lavazza!
It is actually thanks to Lavazza that Chiara made it back to Turin where she got married to Alessandro whose father - among the many things - built the Executive Hotel!

Even though the Executive Hotel is today part of the Best Western chain, it is still managed and directed as a very personable family hotel where the guests are more like family friends visiting and staying at Chiara and Alessandro's. 
How is it possible? Because they strive with the customer care and their constant effort to provide the ultimate Turin experience!

Alessandro bought the giant wine bottle at Artissima the Turin art and design fair 
To start, the decor is rather unique and perfectly blends the locality with art pieces and bold colors: a giant bottle of wine by local artist Fontana welcomes you in the hall, a tandem bike is available for the guests who wish to ride to the Valentino Park, contemporary Italian design furniture hum that Turin is the Italian capital of design (no kidding) and ... the family travel souvenirs!
In fact, Alessandro's father also founded a tour operator specialized in Asia and all the statues, decor pieces and the pictures you see in the hotel andin the rooms, are actually the souvenirs and pictures taken over the many family trips.

Following the Asian philosophies, this hotel is in constant transformation to steadily enhance the guests' experience, like the newly completed the rooftop deck with a tub where the guests can subathe and dip in the water or rent it for a party. Surprisingly, even though we were right in the pulsing Turin's heart, and near a train station, it felt like being miles away!
In the winter, guests can reserve and enjoy the brand new wellness center without having to share it with strangers. What a luxury!!

the wellness center also has a nice gym and you can request the trainer

As Chiara put it, at the Executive Hotel they like to spoil their guests starting from the breakfast.
Alessandro and his father shop everyday for the local and seasonal products (fruit, dairy, meats); they bake on a daily basis cakes and sweets, they try to offer a nice mix of options for all dietary restrictions (sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, organic, fat-reduced, omnivores, you name it!), luxury foods like traditional savoiardi cookies and Moscato (yes, bubbles at breakfast!), they also have a juicer and of course a giant pot of Nutella!

All the bedrooms radiate peacefulness and calm: Chiara explained to us that they have invested in real wood floors and had carpenters realize all the furniture to provide their guests with the ultimate sense of being welcome but also because wood is allergy free!
Moreover they all come with a Lavazza coffee maker, local products (Barbera wine) and you should see the waterfall showerheads!! 

waterfall showerhead!

More than a hotel, the Executive is actually a large very stylish home where you can drive to and forget about your car in their underground garage, being located between the Porta Nuova station and the Valentino Park, in an area when you can walk, jog or get the subway. At lunch or dinner you have plenty of choices, like for example: Scannabue and I Saletta where the traditional decor contrasts with the presentation of our local dishes and flavors.

Inside the Hotel a large map of Turin decorates the walls so you always now where you are and in case, you can ask and the reception will provide you with itineraries!

natural light comes through the ceiling in this side of the hall near the giant wine bottle

As you plan your travel to Turin, follow this hotel on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Bubbles at breakfast, spa deck and showers, customized wood furniture, famous design decor and many art pieces served with a friendly and genuinely caring service make up the Best Western Plus Executive Hotel in Turin!  

Thank you, Chiara for the our!


Friday, August 4, 2017

our belly is our brain

After following his Instagram account for so many years, we finally went to meet Behrang Danesh Eshraghi to understand how Turin and yoga can go hand in hand and when it all started.

Turin is literally Behrang's home

Originally from Teheran, Iran, like many international students, Behrang moved to Turin in 2008 to pursue his studies. A former swimmer, he started coaching swimming part-time, then worked in different gyms and finally, his private students grew so much he had to open a studio in Via Albergian 20, at a 5 minutes subway ride from the very central area of Piazza Statuto/Porta Susa train station.

a self-sustainable and environmentally-friendly building puts you in good mood to yoga

After trying yoga once he got hooked and from then on, he started completing professional certifications every year in as many disciplines as he wishes to practice and teach. At the moment, he has more than 32 and his education is a work in progress.

After this picture was taken, this "Egyptian tourist" got up and did some asanas with Behrang

As yoga practitioners, we couldn't help and tested his teaching skills for you: by the time we left his studio we were just blissful 👌. No matter the advanced positions he guided us in and out of, or how he applied his weight to keep us balanced and aligned, by the time we left, our energy was just flowing through our nadis free and happy. No pains, just an overall sense of inner peace, and we walked back home glowing.
No wonder his students are always happily smiling, and yet those don't even take his yoga classes!!

the dragons of this building needed to quiet their minds
In fact, in town, very few people are aware that Behrang is a real Instagram phenomenon with his almost 40k followers and an average of 165k visualisations a month. So what's his secret?

"Everything starts in your belly" he told us. As somebody who has made of his body his own business and promotes an active and healthy lifestyle, it didn't take us by surprise when he added "our belly is our brain because that's where everything starts. To prevent and sometimes, cure some diseases, disorders and conditions, food is always key".

Clearly after almost a decade in Turin, Behrang has become a true Turinese!
He shops daily, both at his neighborhood market and in the grocery store to stuck up on local, seasonal and organic leafy greens, especially cruciferous aka the whole cabbage family, rich in many vitamins and famous detox and anti-cancer nutrients.
Eggs, cheeses, fish, beetroots, potatoes, yogurt, nuts, seeds and sometimes beer and red wine are in his shopping list. Sugars, milk, refined carbs and a lot of meat are not.
He closely listens to his body and eats consequently to get all the nutrients he needs; and in order to preserve all the minerals and vitamins, he has his veggies raw.

Turin's Parisian bridges

As he's teaching everyday except on Sunday. he has a very structured and busy schedule that starts at 7am with an infusion of fresh leaves and goes on till night.

In his little free time, Behrang lives Turin like his mansion, hanging out with friends in the different city's hipster areas where the residents enjoy art events and their social life, like: Vanchiglia (near where the TurinEpi17 cooking class and mindful eating aperitif were), Santa Giulia, San Salvario, in short the beating heart of Turin with many bars and restaurants where you can enjoy both local and ethnic cuisine.

contemporary architecture: one of our new churches

No doubt Behrang is a very dedicated professional that explains why many of his followers flock over to have class with him from all over Europe and beyond!

A very humble person, empathetic and compassionate teacher, give your body and soul a present before his classes are full. 
In or out of the water, in Turin's beautiful parks, in his studio, in Turin's train stations or on the street, Behrang will show you the way to your well-being.
Moreover, he's fluent in English too so you really have no excuse 🙌

Piazza Statuto

Hop over to Turin and to fully live our vida royal, have one of the many classes Behrang offers 😉
In the meantime, follow and get in touch with him on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube 

Berhang makes of Turin a peaceful city and you love it even more!

Photo courtesy of Behrang Danesh Eshraghi


Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Watchful cook at TurinEpi17

Our dear friend Jan Egan aka The Watchful Cook is sharing her experience as Turin Epicurean Capital guest. If you wonder about the insider's perspective, Jan is shading some light!
Grazie mille, Jan!

Photo by Lucia Hannau

Friday, July 14, 2017

Turin: an Italian discreet gem

Here's a second guest post by our dear friend Patty Boner of Foodie Sneak Peeks.

Patty Boner enjoying the aperitivo rite at "La Farmacia"

A guest of Turin Epicurean Capital 2017, she was very happy to make it back to Turin and try new foods and visit places!
Here below enjoy her second guest post about her Turinepi17 adventure 😎

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Turinepi17 thanks

This very successful fourth edition of Turin Epicurean Capital was made possible thanks to the priceless collaboration of many people. Today, we are taking the time to thank all those who made turinepi17 possible and smoothly organized:

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

walking tour and parade

The Turin Epicurean Capital 2017 activities finished with a walking tour offered by the GIA Tour Guide Association. Our tour was led by Laura Sgarlazzetta who strived to keep us cool, engaged and in the shade despite the exceptionally hot and humid weather.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

talk show 3

The third talk show of Turin Epicurean Capital 2017 closed the fourth edition at the peak of an exceptionally hot and humid heat wave.
Carolina Stupino aka Tastes of Carolina hosted the talk show with Patty Boner or Foodie Sneak Peeks and Amanda Courtney of Amanda's Wine Adventures.