Thursday, May 17, 2018

Turin's tarots

Magic and Turin go hand in hand because of many reasons, we have already seen how occult symbols are spread all around town in this post by Mari Biella who took part to TurinEpi16.

As a general rule, Italians are very much drawn to magic, according to statistics there is one self-declared and practicing psychic every five Italians. On top of that, if we go into angels and Satanic sects, Turin scores number one in the Italian cities for highest number of people who have seen an angel and number of Satanist groups.

la Porta del Diavolo = Gates of Hell in Via XX Settembre 40, Turin

So what a better place to visit if you are into wicca, magic, occult, spiritism, shamanism, esotericism, paranormal activities, the general beyond and related fields?
Once again Turin is soo your destination there is even a night guided tour called Torino Magica!

In a way though, living in Italy means you get used to many practices; to a certain extent, the rituality of religious practices takes on a magic aura too, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that here in Turin, we have a couple shops specialized in "magic supplies".

Usually these are small independent "magic drugstore-like" shops selling all you need for you magic rites, whatever side you like to follow: white or black. 
The reason why both kinds of supplies are easy to find in town is because the legend has it that  the European magic centers can be grouped into 2 triangles based on the cities' geographical positions.  One of the triangles is for white or good magic, and the other one is for black or negative magic. The two triangles have a common point: Turin 😲


the Mole Antonelliana seen from the Gran Madre cathedral

This also explains why right here we count many people who have seen and felt the positive vibes of the angels and at the same time, we have so many satanists... Supposedly, the Holy Grail is buried under the Po River too... in a specific point, where the hand of the statue of the Holy Mary, outside the Gran Madre cathedral would be pointing to .... if the statue still had that hand πŸ™€

Back to the magic supplies, you can actually find some tarot decks in some bookshops too, but if you really want to pick your own deck, letting it call you, then you need to go to Esotericamente's in Via Garibaldi 18.
On their Facebook page, you will see they sell sweetgrass too, not sure the origin of their herbs though, but for sure, once you go, you can ask Andrea, the owner.

Esotericamente is definitely the most thorough shop for anything you need; they have: a huge book section of new and used books ranging, from history to religion, symbolism, potions, rites, kabbalah, numerology and traditions.
They also have salts, herbs, magic inks, candles, amulets, stones and crystals (many shapes), runes, incenses, coins, oils, talismans, voodoo supplies, magic wands, magic papers, Ouija boards, magic spheres, bells, brooms, chalices, cauldrons, basically all you need to perform a magic rite, set up and keep your magic altar.


Now that you know it, why would you ever want to follow Harry Potter to the UK??
Turin has so many Harry Potter-like places that J.K. Rowling should move over to Turin and start a whole new saga!

In view of your trip to Italy, please remember that:


  • if you are learning Italian, reading tarots and studying their symbolism will enhance your language level! Strictly linguistically speaking, any horoscope tradition (Western, Chinese, Indian or other) and the tarot divination use many interesting words, expressions and figurative speech. 
  • if you are into visual arts, some tarot decks are so gorgeous, you will feel like framing them and hang them around you house and office.


At Esotericamente's, they have about 200 different decks plus a catalog you can flip through to double check the art style of the deck that summoned your attention.

just some of the many decks you can find at Esotericamente's

Needless to tell you that upon request, we always accompany our friends and guests to pick up their tarot deck and sometimes, we give them a reading too 😎
Just in case, at Esotericamente's, you can also make an appointment with their astrology and tarot consultant too.

Never underestimate Turin ☝: food, fashion, chocolate and booze are the path to magic 😡

Wait no more, come on over and live our vidaroyal with us!


























Thursday, May 10, 2018

4 palazzos in Turin

Turin is magic but to the non locals it is always quite hard to understand why...
Most Italians instantly think about our esoteric background, in fact, the city is full of magic symbols  on our palazzos and even underground, Turin never stops to amaze you.

What we really refer to though is our atmosphere, because Turin is just unique thanks to its gorgeous palazzos and many historical architecture styles.
Here are 4 palazzos, you can partially visit for free to get a direct sense of our local magic 😎

Thursday, May 3, 2018

G is for Genepy

Elda's Genepy
Our friend Elda has recently gifted us with a bottle of her own artisan Genepy. As this is a traditional Northwestern Alpine liquor, this is what we are sharing with you today.

Piedmont's very diverse landscape can be  divided in layers: a crown of mountains - the Alps, a ring of hills - where our wines and truffles are from, the plain with the longest Italian river, the Po and the lakes flow. This rich diversity in our landscapes generates an amazing variety of climates and biodiversity,  and consequently, of both natural and artisan products.

Seasonality is another key word whenever we are talking of our local products, because wines, cheeses and local dishes are forced to follow the four distinct season Piedmont enjoys every year.
This is why we love to say that in our region, fashion and food together follow the seasons 😁 

So, it doesn't come as a surprise that the very first Italian National Park - Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso (established back in 1922) is also located here in Piedmont where we have always felt a deep connection to nature and its rhythms. 

Genepy is a traditional product of the Western side of Piedmont and can also be produced in our neighboring Valle D'Aosta region.
It is made only from specific  and locally grown varieties of the Artemisia genus, a medicinal herb  or shrub of the family of mugwort, sagebrush and wormwood. One of these local varieties is called Genepi because it is used to make this liquor.

These are short, hard herbaceous plants that grow up among the rocks near where glaciers start, at 2000/2700 m or 6561/8858 ft. These short shrubs are 5 to 20 cm or 2 to 8 in tall and follow a quick vital cycle, so they must be picked fairly quickly, at the end of the Alpine summer.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

our 5th edition!

The countdown to the fifth edition of Turin Epicurean Capital has started!
On June 20th our guests will be here in Turin and will have the chance to explore our city and get to enjoy our vida royal made up of delicious seasonal foods, glorious wines and endless local activities.



Thursday, April 19, 2018

around Turin

In Turin, locals walk a lot, apparently more than in any other Italian city, and we are often asked why... Well, because we love our city and because walking keeps us fit, and this also answers another common question: do you guys have gelato everyday??

Yes, in Turin some of us have gelato everyday and we aren't scared of putting on weight because we walk it away. Besides, Turin's gelato is healthy and doesn't make you fat πŸ˜‹

For our friends and followers who haven't been to Turin yet, we are posting today some street things we see when walking downtown.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Turin in April

What does Turin look like in April?

 

 



Follow us around Turin on a whole Madame Bovary-style flΓ’nerie: walking on the cobblestone covered lanes of the Quadrilatero, under our gorgeous arcades/porticoes to our wide piazzas.
Temperatures are still swinging between humid cold and sunny almost summery but it is already gelato time. 
Remember that aperitif with delicious nibbles, seasonal foods and outstandingly neat architecture are always part of our local scene. After all, this is what makes our lifestyle truly a vidaroyal πŸ™†

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Thursday, March 29, 2018

grissini: a royal treat

Most people outside of Italy are familiar with American breadsticks; most tourists in Italy and die hard Italians outside of the boot enjoy their lunch meats rolled up on a grissino or ... Italian breadstick.

bottom left: firt rate, bottom right: Turin style

Thursday, March 15, 2018

5 Turin tips

We are often asked the following questions about how to organize your trip over to Turin so today, we are answering to all of you!


Palazzo Scaglia di Verrua, Renaissance in Turin, see if you can find it!


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Sweet life at the Turin's Lab

Let's face it, in the Italian tidy meal schedule, snacking and brunching don't traditionally fit in. Of all the Italian cities, in Turin finding a good tea time place is a task, our favorite is still Clarissa in Piazza Vittorio Veneto 😎

But just a couple blocks away, there is a magic door, you open it and instantly become Alice in Wonderland, celebrating your very merry unbirthday!


Thursday, March 1, 2018

our curry rice

As per our followers' request, we are sharing our 2018 flu go to rice recipe.
As at Turin Epicurean Capital we drink quite a lot of tea it is rather unusual we fall sick or catch the flu, apparently though, this year's strain has been rather virulent and, as we are burning the candle on both sides, we fell sick too.

Fever, cough, mucus, shivers, the ever-ending exhaustion feeling, the list of symptoms is long and we decided to kick it out of our system with some true soul food packed with all powerful ingredients: our curry rice with raisins and chopped hazelnuts just for a Piedmont twist 😜

This recipe is perfect for all the times you have no strength, will or time to cook something highly nutritious.


Friday, February 23, 2018

Mombaruzzo amaretti

Many of you might be familiar with the Amaretto liqueur and the amaretti cookies, but have you ever tried our Piedmont amaretti di Mombaruzzo?

First of all Mombaruzzo is a picturesque hamlet in the Asti area and this automatically makes us think of green hills, vineyards, renaissance castles, narrow and steep lanes, brick towers and a cute little piazza. Most def it is worth a visit, especially if you bake or are a cookie lover πŸ˜‰

Legend has it that at the end of the 1700, Francesco Moriondo, bursar of the royal park of La Mandria (near the Royal Palace of Venaria) fell in love with one of the royal pastry chefs, a Sicilian lady. Her specialty was a cake made with almonds.
Once they left the court duties they moved back to Mombaruzzo where Francesco was born and opened a small pastry shop where they started selling a new kind of cookie: soft and elegantly bitter thanks to the almonds.

Amaretto in Italian means a bit bitter because this is how the first fans of these cookies defined them: good and a slightly bitter.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

the Romans in Turin

Once visitors make it over, virtually everybody falls in love with Turin, its elegant architecture and rational structure - a legacy of the Roman times. The ancient Roman military camp on whose grid the Turin's downtown developed together with the Palatine Towers are the local Roman souvenirs to remind everyone that Turin has a long history!

the Palatine Towers with the statue of Julius Caesar

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Gianduia = Turin

Gianduia
Everybody knows Gianduia as the Turin's chocolate, but what does this name mean and who is Gianduia?

As we are approaching the Mardi Gras celebrations that closes the Carnival season in Italy, we felt the need to put all the puzzle pieces together: chocolates, Brachetto wine, Mardi Gras and Commedia dell'Arte 😎

Back in the Middle Ages, before actors where professionals, there were groups of people who impersonated characters and stereotypes and acted in the Italian piazzas. As there was no script, they usually improvised and took advantage of the regional dialects to add color to their interpretations.
This is very shortly how each Italian town got to be symbolized by a theatrical character who summed up in him or her the ways of his or her city.

Certainly, back in the 1200 - 1700, politically correctness wasn't an issue and little by little shows were organized where all these 'characters' acted together amplifying their own local stereotypes. Naturally these plays were funny, they were comedies and because they reflected the core of the Italian culture - at a time when Italy was still divided into many tiny kingdoms, republics, states - this is what came to be called Commedia dell'Arte - the true Italian essence of the art of the comedy.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

bear coffee? Orso

Turin is definitely renown for its many royal coffee shops, all more or less centrally located and the total lack of international coffee shop chains. This translates into a city with only indie coffee shops... yet in terms of coffee blends and brewing methods, you will find virtually only Italian style coffees: espresso, cappuccino, latte, marocchino and bicerin, caffΓ© ristretto and corretto or lungo.




Thursday, January 25, 2018

L = Pastiglie Leone

Just imagine if you could get candies instead of medicines, and if gummy candies had medicinal properties.... Well this is how Pastiglie Leone aka THE Turin's candies started and how they are keeping up with their philosophy. Starting by their name because pastiglie means pills 😁

Mark this candy brand down because once again it makes a great souvenir thanks to all the nice tins and colored boxes you can find virtually everywhere, not only here in Turin and in Piedmont, but all over Italy too.

Original 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games tin by Pastiglie Leone

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Rosolio or Vermouth's nonno

Ph. by Monica Bessone
It is no secret that the Savoy kings loved Rosolio so much they had made it the official royal liqueur up to 1786 when King Victor Amadeus III loved vermouth better and officially changed the royal production. 
Rosolio in all its variants is one of those products that have always unified Italy even before the unification in 1861. Despite the many versions of this distilled elixir through the boot, only Piedmont Rosolio was recognized by the Italian government as an official traditional local product.

This liqueur was born during the Renaissance and became more common once refined sugar became readily available.  It followed Catherine De' Medici to France while in Italy, it was made mainly in convents where the nuns knew how to extract the herb, flower and fruit essences to make liquors. Later, it was also made in private homes, where rose petals were macerated in a 50% alcohol and 50% sugar solution. Rosolio has always been a good base to make other liquors too.

The first Rosolio di Torino recipe was published in French in 1733. Around 1750s the Cinzano brothers start the first largest production of Rosolio and in the 19th century, Mr Carpano starts labelling his bitter rosolio Vermouth.

Its name seems to derive from the Latin 'ros solis' or sun dew and it literally means 'rose oil'; in fact, Rosolio has an intense yet delicate aroma, yet a stickiness similar to the oil one, making it ideal to close a rich meal such as the traditional Italian ones.

With the passing of the time, Rosolio became THE ladies' liqueur par excellence for its elegance, smoothness and moderate alcohol content (between 25% and 35%) and it was officially offered to all family gatherings up to being considered a good luck harbinger when drunk by newlyweds.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

OUR lentil loaf

Happy 2018 dear all, our first post of the year was requested by our friend Jan Egan aka The Watchful Cook.
On NYE we made a delicious lentil loaf and after researching for the best recipe, we decided to give it a Piedmont twist by including some Jerusalem artichokes.


Regular Italian artichokes have always been an all time favorite of ours but it is only since a few months we started cooking and eating Jerusalem artichokes too.
Usually Jerusalem artichokes are part of bagna caoda THE Piedmont and family/friends dish, however, they can be cooked in virtually any way and can be eaten raw too.

Apparently their English name derives from the anglicized version of the Italian girasole or sunflower because the Italian immigrants in the US found the plant very similar to the sunflower one.
As for the artichoke part, it is due to their similarity with the regular artichokes, but they really have nothing else in common because "J art" are a tuber like potatoes.

In Italian we call them topinanbour and they come in 2 species, regular and white - the better and more delicate quality.
In the winter particularly, they are a super food as they are packed with potassium, iron, fibers and niacin, consequently they help you purifying your system, are  great option to bananas, give you strength and energy. Moreover, they reduce your cholesterol and regulate your blood pressure. πŸ‘Œ


As their flavor is mild and they can be cooked and roasted, slowly but steadily we are including them in many of our cold weather/comfort food dishes paired with rice, legumes and other vegetables to keep them in good company πŸ˜‰