I leave on Tuesday, and I’m excited and grateful. I’m scheduled to arrive in Turin, Italy, Wednesday, at 10;30 a.m Turin time. Unfortunately, I won’t get to the preopening press conference and subsequent events on Wednesday. My hotel reservation were wrong, I had to cancel it. The person making the reservation was confused. That person was me. I was fortunate to find a studio apartment about 3 miles away from the center of Turin. Check in there is at 2:00 p.m., and I’m sure I’ll want to get acclimated after a long day of travel. Here’s a taste of what’s on offer for this week.
La Veneria Reale
My home for this four-day trip will be La Venaria Reale, a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), world heritage site. A brief description;
The Reggia di Venaria Reale is an extravagant baroque Royal Palace used as a Savoy residence in the 17th to 18th centuries. Built in the mid-17th century, it’s one of the most significant examples of baroque art and architecture in existence and is one of the most beautiful royal residences in Europe. Inside are many beautiful frescoes and original paintings.
My studio apartment is located on the perimeter of this complex. The gardens are vast, and I can’t wait to stroll through them. The video below will give you sense of their scale.
Hopefully, I’ll take a gondola ride on one of the ponds in the gardens here, and there’s installation of Brian Eno’s music that would be a unique experience. I’ve been a fan of his since his time with Roxy Music.
Salone del Gusto Terra Madre (SGTM)
It all starts with a taste.
By understanding where our food comes from, how it was produced and by whom, adults and children can learn how to combine pleasure and responsibility in daily choices and appreciate the cultural and social importance of food.
As you can see from that quote, Slow Food International is devoted to preservation of biodiversity, and to the education about why it’s so important. To that end, take a look the work of their Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, their education programs and their University of Gastronomic Sciences. That’s an impressive commitment, and too much to try cover in one blog post. Once I get to SGTM, and participate in the demonstration of Slow Food International’s commitment, I can provide real-time examples of what they do.
There will a large international Marketplace, where Terra Madre producers from around the world will have their products on display. There will be four plazas, three will feature Italian producers, one will feature international producers. There will be a tour for the press, but as I mentioned earlier, I won’t be able to attend the pre-ceremony events. I have a tentative personal shopping experience set up, and I hope that does come through.
If not, there is so much being offered, that I’m not worried about filling my schedule.
Chocolate and Historical Caffes
Turin, chocolate and historical caffes in Italy are blended together in the official drink of the Piedmont region, the Bicern, which is a layered hot drink made with espresso, hot chocolate and whole milk;
The Caffè Al Bicerin has been serving the drink in Torino’s Piazza della Consolata since the 18th century, and some authorities believe that the drink was invented there. Others believe that it originated around 1704 in the Caffè Fiorio which still stands on what is now Via Po.
The relationship between Turin and chocolate is honored with a yearly chocolate festival, chocolate tours, and a choco pass that is a tasting tour of some of the chocolate shops in the city.
There will be so much to see and do, and I welcome you along for the ride. I will updating the blog as much as I can. I anticipate they will be short bursts of information, with more comprehensive posts when I get back.