Friday, October 22, 2021

Madonna del Carmine church

Lovers of Italian art and architecture, follow us in our exploration of another of the 114 churches of Turin: chiesa della Madonna del Carmine or the church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

  • Where

This small but impressive church is located in the historical downtown behind pedestrian Via Garibaldi, in Via Bligny at the corner with Via del Carmine. It is very close to 1500s Farmacia Collegiata in Via del Carmine 1 and at the corner of Piazza dell'Obelisco, on your way to Basilica della Consolata, Al Bicerin cafΓ© and the Rosa Serafino herbal shop (for the Italian video here).

  • Who and when

It was designed by the Baroque royal architect Filippo Juvarra, a big name here in Turin for he designed most of the historical buildings. It was built between 1732 and 1736.

Unfortunately, a bombing in 1943 destroyed a big portion of this church that was rebuilt and restored following the photographic records. Finally, it was reopened for service in 1955.

  • Why

This church was requested by the Carmelites in 1718 when they moved to this area from their old smaller convent. King Charles Emmanuel III approved and assigned the project of this church to his royal architect Filippo Juvarra and the works started in 1732. However, Mr Juvarra couldn't personally supervise its construction because was called to Lisbon to build the new royal palace. This church was blessed and dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 1736.

However, its façade was completed in 1782.

  • Structure

The distinctive sign of this tiny church is its natural light coming for the windows placed on the small cupolas on it's roof. It's small plan and high ceiling amazes both visitors and worshippers. In fact, this tiny church has only one nave with six oval chapels, three per side, decorated with colorful marbles. 
An arch acting like frontispiece divides the three chapels with new statues that substitute the original wood ones made by artist Stefano Maria Clemente who also made the baptismal font.

Completed in 1763, the main altar guards a relic of blessed Amadeus IX of Savoy (from the Savoy royal family that founded Italy) donated by King Charles Emmanuel III to the Carmelites in 1739. It is also made of colorful marbles and it is richly decorated with cupids, garlands and silver candle holders.

In its semi-elliptic apse with columns, there is a big icon portraying Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the blessed Amadeus IX of Savoy. 

The last chapel on the right is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, there is an important altarpiece representing the Immaculate Conception with the Prophet Elijah, painted in Rome by the famous Corrado Giaquinto in 1741.

The squared bell tower was built in 1734 and it is connected through the sacristy; you can reach the top through a narrow and steep spiral staircase. 

  • The Organ

A copy of the original one destroyed in the bombing, the electric organ has three keyboards, 49 divisions and 2750 pipes.

Like most churches in Turin, you won't think much of it from the outside BUT once inside Madonna del Carmine you'll be amazed by its light and elegant architecture.

After all this is our style here in Turin where people don't like to show off and boasting is considered bad taste. We rather keep everything superficially understated and amaze those who give us their trust and curiosity!

For tours and privates, e-mail Lucia:

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Thursday, September 16, 2021

back in Turin

Summer 2021 went by so swiftly, it is hard to believe that it will be officially Fall πŸŽƒ in just a few days. In Piedmont kids are back in schools for their second full year of these covid19 times. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

turinepi21: final thank you


As Turin Epicurean Capital 21 once again we'd love to take a minute to thank 

 πŸ”Ή️ all our 2021 local experts:

🧁🍩 Chef Justin Yip - vids here

☕🍫 Mr Alberto Landi - vids here

who kindly accepted to share their stories with us;

πŸ”Έ️ all our long time partners:

🎭 Br. Alfredo Centra, Director of De La Salle Collegio San Giuseppe

🏣 Federalberghi Torino, Turin's Hotel Association with our partner hotels:

πŸ‘©πŸ»‍πŸŽ“ Scuola Superiore per Mediatori Liguistici Vittoria and their awesome interpreting interns

πŸ™ This 8th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital was dedicated to the people of Myanmar / Burma who are fighting for democracy AND against covid12.
The vids of this digital edition show Lucia wearing the work of very talented Burmese tailors🧡
The news we get via New Education Highway are simply gruesome 😭

πŸ‘‘ Lucia's royal tour of Turin is here

For tours and privates πŸ“§ Lucia:

✨ thank you all from the bottom of our hearts 🍾

Sunday, July 25, 2021

a royal tour of Turin

To close this 8th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital we did want to give you a taste of our royal legacy and how we live it nonchalantly on a daily basis.

We are indeed surrounded by art and history, and yet we can't help marveling at what we have!

Follow Lucia in her sample tour starting in Piazza Castello where we have 2 royal palaces: the one for the King or Palazzo Reale and the one for the Queen or Palazzo Madama. Don't underestimate the collections of this last one as you are allowed to the stacks too! 

Look at more pictures and get a sense of what our second edition looked like back in 2015 when we visited Palazzo Madama here.
Our friend and Turinepi19 guest Dr Reine Dugas and her son Jake were soo impressed: read her post here πŸ˜

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Rosa Serafino since 1875

When you make it to Turin you'll soon realize that it is indeed a bottomless treasure chest full of hidden gems! In this 8th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital we just wanted to give you a glimpse over a tiny part of our precious places and we did want to include one of the oldest herbal shops in town, the only one founded by a woman back in the 19th century.

Rosa Serafino founded her herbal shop or l'erboristeria della Consolata in Piazza della Consolata 5 in front of the famous Basilica, back in 1875 and her shop is still in the same location and preserves its original wood furniture.

A real stargate to a world and a time already gone, where there is no need of a/c in the summer thanks to the special microclimate this old building provides. Giulia, a graduate in herbal sciences accepted to tell us about their products and history.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Bicerin: history, coffee, chocolate

A visit to Turin without stopping by Al Bicerin for a bicerin - Turin staple coffee drink - or a hot or cold chocolate wouldn't be complete!

For this 8th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital we met with Mr Alberto Landi, president of the association Locali Storici d'Italia or Italian Historical Italian Businesses and also owner and current manager of the oldest coffee house in Turin and it nearby chocolate shop.