Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Door Series #13 & #14

I have posted many pictures of the ornate and fabulously carved doors of Piedmont, but I wanted to post these not so ornate doors too because I believe they have just as much character. They look like home.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Girl in a Bubble

There was a girl in a bubble today in my piazza. Who knows why, any ideas?

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I have to give props to Fabrizio Zanelli at Torino Daily Photo for taking this stunning picture of Torino at night. This is the Piazza San Carlo under Christmas lighting. It inspires me. Wow.

Visit Fabrizio's site here for more daily photos.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mr. Snowman, Bring Me a Dream.

Someone left us a present last night. I woke up this morning and opened our shutters and saw this surprise! Jolie and I had to run out and snap a picture before the snow plow came. I wonder who did this? It's a mystery...

I don't think that Ramses ever imagined that he would be covered in snow.
But this guy seems that he was readt for it.

BTW, Jolie was scared of the snowman and growled at him. hehe.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Outside My Window...

It finally snowed! It's going to be a white Christmas outside my window this year. The castle looks beautiful covered in snow don't you think? Meanwhile we stay toasty inside by the fire.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What is Panettone?

Panettone is a very egg-y and fluffy sweet cake made with raisins and dried citrus fruits, mostly eaten at Christmas. I have never met an Italian that didn't absolutely love panettone. This week the Torino newspaper La Stampa announced this years bakery's that make the top 10 best panettone. Now, I haven't really found one that I couldn't live without, I would trade it for a pumpkin pie or flourless chocolate cake any day. But this article got me thinking, maybe I should give panettone another chance. Maybe I have not had the Best cakes and that is why I have not yet fallen in love with it.

So I went online and did some research. I found all the addresses of the top 10 bakeries. 4 are in my neighborhood. So Pier and I have began a quest to find a cake that we can love. This quest focuses on trying as many as we can on the list. I'll do updates as we go along but first check out this video to see the art and the 3 days of work it takes to make just one pannettone.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Markets

Italians celebrate Christmas by doing what else? Eating well! The outdoor markets are full of varieties of dried meats, heavy smelly cheeses and the sweet perfume of fresh breads that stay with you as you drool across the street. You simply can not walk by with taking something.....or everything.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas Rick Steves!

As usual, Rick Steves is awesome. Here he is explaining Christmas traditions in Italy. It's like he knew this would be perfect for my blog.

A couple of notes:

1.That part about the witches coming to bring the gifts is true. So they have baby Jesus, Babbo Natale, and La Bafana the witch, all who bring gifts. (and I thought I was lucky I had 3 sets of grandparents for Christmas gifts).
2. Obviously Italians don't like fruit cake either.
3. Panattone is not fruit cake, but it's pretty close.

Everything But The Monkey

I have mentioned before that my city is full of gypsies. They have many talents and extreme ways of asking for your money. Here is just one. This beautiful music box on wheels that sounds like a cross between a harpsichord and a merry-go-round. There was no monkey but he was playing the soundtrack to Chocolat, an irony not lost on me as that film is about a traveling women chocolate maker who falls in love with a gypsy.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


He he he..ASS Italia....

Friday, December 11, 2009

Film Fest Fever

In gearing up to head out to the Sundance Film Festival, just after New Year's, I am reminded that just a couple of weeks ago my city was buzzing about the Torino Film Festival. Francis Ford Coppola was wondering around town as well as Isabella Rossolini. You can find the winners of this years prizes here. One winner was from the US! The best thing about International film festivals is that you get the chance to see films that you would never otherwise get the chance to see. The other best part is that you get to watch it with the people who made it. That is awesome!

Poster for this year's fest.
Francis Ford Coppola in Torino with his film Teatro, shot in Argentina. (photo Marc Helperin)

The piazza in front of my house.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Conception Day

Today is an Italian holiday. Everyone has the day off and all the shops are closed to celebrate the Immaculate Conception. But surprisingly there was a vintage market in Piazza Gran Madre which got me in the holiday mood with all of the fur coats and vintage nativity scenes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


You might remember a year ago when I posted (of have heard of it on every news program) about an American girl from Seattle, Amanda Knox, who was accused along with her boyfriend of killing her college roommate, Meridith Kercher, while they were on an exchange program in Perugia ,Italy. Today she, and her boyfriend, were found guilty and sentenced to 26 years in an Italian prison. It took a jury of 8 some 2 years of trial and 13 hours of deliberation to decide guilty. What do you think about the verdict?

Friday, December 4, 2009

I Could Just Eat The Windows!

At holiday time all of the bakery's and sweet shops really bring out the big guns for the window displays. Did you know that the solid chocolate bar was invented right here in Torino? Before that chocolate was only consumed in liquid form. Because of that even today there are more master chocolatiers here in the city of Torino than in all of France and Belgium put together.
Therefore the aromas coming from the bread and sweet shops when you walk by grab hold of you and lure you in. The above picture is Pier getting some panini to take home for dinner and below is just one of the sweet shop displays full of cakes and extra large chocolate balls.
More pictures to come. I saw an entire Christmas tree made from chocolate in Piazza San Carlo....
Just for fun, here is the scene in the wonderful movie Chocolat where the town mayer sneaks into the chocolate shop and eats everything in the window, which is a fantasy I often have myself.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Door Series #12

I haven't posted a beautiful carved wooden door lately and it's about time I did. This gem was found in Piazza Vittorio. When I find these doors wondering around my neighborhood, I start to really think the best way to get to know your city is to walk it.