Thursday, May 24, 2018

memory stones

In Turin we like details, not only on our historic palazzos but also on the sidewalks we take on a daily basis. Whenever a friend, a follower, a guest or a visitor comes to town we always show them our "memory stones" or pietre d'inciampo for those of you who love Italian, or stolperstein in German.

Ottolenghi is a common family name here in Piedmont, whenever you think about the chef, think of us here

These are small 10x10 cm (5x5 in.) plates made of brass placed in front of certain doors and scattered all around the European cities as part of a German artist's project. By placing these plates, Gunter Demnig wanted to remember all the victims of the Nazi persecution and provide an individual identity to all of those who died as a mere number.
Originally, in 1995 this art project included only 50,000 plates to be placed in many European cities, and the 50,000th one was placed in Turin.

Nowadays Turin has about 100 of these stumbling stones or plates, and engraved on each one, you can read the full name, date of birth, date of arrest, the date of death (when known) and concentration camp of the victim who used to live in the building where the plate is placed in front of.

Despite these brass cobblestones glisten, they get overlooked far too often by the distracted walkers, but hopefully you won't miss out on them when you come over to Turin.

This growing memorial project is supported by the Resistence Museum or Museo Diffuso della Resistenza who includes different locations all around the city, the Turin Jewish community, the Goethe-Institut Turin and by the National Association  of Former Deportees (Aned in Italian).

Needless to tell you that when in town, you should most definitely:
  • visit our Mole Antonelliana originally conceived as a synagogue and 
  • take a walk in the San Salvario neighborhood to look at the actual synagogue the Turin Jewish community managed to complete after exchanging the plot of land where the Mole Antonelliana is today with the current one.

The Turin's synagogue

Explore the San Salvario streets for aperitif, world cuisines, gelato at Cooperativa - Gelateria Naturale Come Natura Crema and Orso Caffé where you can choose all sort of coffee brewing methods and cool blends!

after all this is what makes our life style a true vidaroyal 😎

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 🙀

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.