The Friendly Castle of Moncalieri.

South east of Turin within the region of Piedmont lies a little town called Moncalieri. It is a  pleasant place, also being quite peaceful, and silent this past Saturday on the day I visited. The locale not residing too far from Turin, it is easily accessible by train. The faire also being exceedingly cheap. It did not tax my pockets, not one bit. With various boutiques, bars, and libraries along the way of the main street I headed through the borgo. That day’s visit was directed to what is considered the location’s most famous jewel; The Castello of Moncalieri. I was suprised by the extreme politeness, and furthermore patience of the habitants that made sure to help me along, while guiding me towards the castel. A young habitant’s proof of patience was constantly tested as I stopped to take pictures throughhout the way.  The Piazzetta Vittorio Emanuele II, an elegantly humble square was luminous, and clean with many humble bars to stop at to enjoy an aperitif. The few locals who seemed to be out, and about that day, sat infront of the bar of their choice living graciously in a collected, slow manner. While being pointed out to the various sights, at the corner of the same square there was the Church of San Francesco whose origins date back to a preceding chapel of the 12th century.

Entering a novel is like going on a climb in the mountains: You have to learn the rhythms of respiration – acquire the pace. Otherwise you stop right away.– Umberto Eco

Il Castello di Moncalieri.

  The structure, overtowering the  city for it’s historical fame and  importance is listed within UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultral Heritage. It was the residency of The Royal House of Savoy. It’s an important structure part of the various Sabaude residences,  situated within and on the outskirts of Turin. It is one of the many of the 22 Sabaude constructions to testimony Italy’s monarchic past, a time that preceded the Italian Institutional Referendum of 1946. Built by Tommaso I of the Savoy in the 11th century, the spot  was a strategic one acting as an entrance that looked over the passage of the south of Turin. Under the power of Iolanda di Valois, the daugther of Carlo VII of France the castle became a Villa Di Delizia. The Villas of Delight, were homes of leisure in which nobles went to spend their free time. She along with other historical figures had shared their prescence in the Castle of Moncalieri. The castle went through many architectual work, fountains, and gardens were also then added. Vittorio Emanuele II, also known as Vittorio Emanuele Maria Alberto Eugenio Ferdinando Tommaso di Savoia loved the location, making the castle the perfect study for his children. Currently the castle became a caserma for carabinieri. Today the castle with plenty of stories to tell, is also an museum which is open to the public.

Rivetti, the pastry shop.

In Moncalieri the Pasticcieria Rivetti is much adored by the locals. It was more than once I have been hinted that it is the place to visit, It is a traditional pastry shop with many selections of teas, hot chocolate, and pastries. It is any “old timer’s” perfect place.  Situated in a building of two floors on Via San Martino, the atmosphere recalls a time of a distant past. Untouched, by the trends of today’s era. It was a little paradise for anyone who is searching for a Piccolo Mondo Antico. I asked for a pot of white tea, to go along with a couple of butter cookies that where indeed delicious! Unfortunately though I could not stay long, so as I wandered back to the train station to head towards Turin. I made sure to stop to have a glass of Franciacorta, along with a selection of cheese paired with cold-cuts.

Franciacorta is a delightful sparkling wine, that derives from the region of Lombardy in the small area of Franciacorta, near Brescia. It being similar to the Champagne, the quality is seperb. The bottle must be of DOCG, which is the lable that proves that the wine is the highest level of Italian wine classification.

Les Guerre Des Boutons of Louis Pergaud

This book is new to me. I have found it one evening in a library as I searched for a French book to read. Hidden between various books of various languages. In that precise Italian bookshop did not have a many French books on hand. Tha majority of books were  in English, and obviously Italian. I did however found Les Guerre Des Boutons which in English is translated into The War of Buttons. Written by the French author, and poet Lois Pergaud. Published in 1912, within the first years of Modernisim, the book talks about two children gangs fighting for glory.  Adapted into script for five different movies. The victims that fell prey, being held hostage, and then finding themselfves without their buttons. Funny, and light this story is perfect as a family story. My copy, not being true to the novel’s original, is a copy by Lang Edizioni adapted to teach French through a cartoon illustrations.  While describing the fight between Les Longevernes, and Velrans I am able to learn this language while following the images of the cartoon contained inside. Teaching me the phrases like “Marie a les cheveux blonds.”, and ‘La craie? Pour quoi faire?‘. This way I am able to learn this language as I listen to Serge Gainsbourg day dreaming happily, like a  happy woman should.

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