For those curious enough to explore and experience how it felt to actually live in one of the most opulent and luxurious royal estates in Europe (and not only) there is a glamorous exhibition entitled “The Wonders of the Tsars” in place at Venaria Reale. The display features around one hundred objects belonging to the Romanov Imperial Palace of Peterhof, Russia, such as paintings, dresses, porcelain, tapestry and precious stones, with large projections and images of the estate reinforcing the realism of the visit.
I recently found out there is another important photography exhibition not to be missed when in (or about) Turin. The die-hard fans of Magnum Photos and black and white pieces can put on their dancing shoes and revel in the news, there is a magnificent and very comprising Elliott Erwitt Retrospective happening these days, open until November 13th.
With September not so far away and the city of Turin finally coming up to life after the hot summer, it is safe to say it is going to be a busy autumn with the many many things launched upon the unsuspecting visitor/tourist prancing the city streets.
In the headlines is the much-awaited Madre Terra Salone del Gusto, held in Turin from September 22nd to September 26th and featuring special events and panels dedicated to preserving the Earth and the natural resources becoming so scarce nowadays, biodiversity and the need to change damaging culinary habits, all under the compelling umbrella of the Slow Food Movement, born here in Piedmont in the 1980’s and turned into an international phenomenon impossibly to ignore, essential for the future on & of (!) the planet.
When I first came to Italy, one of the most bewildering and highly annoying new things I experienced was the fact that every single film, documentary, cartoon etc. is systematically dubbed into Italian. In my humble opinion, this must be one of the reasons why the vast majority of Italians speaks poorly other languages besides their own, as they never had the chance to digest & be properly exposed to anything but Italian since childhood.
Here dubbing goes a long way back in history to the 1930’s, when Mussolini and his authoritative dictatorship made it compulsory for all foreign films to be dubbed into Italian, at a cost covered by the foreign production houses. In time, this became a widely appreciated tradition, with Rome becoming the heart of a very profitable and lucrative new industry that will be very difficult to overthrow. I met people convinced that the Italian actors dubbing the likes of Penelope Cruz, Alan Rickman, Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, Marlon Brando etc. (just to cite some of the most recognizable voices in commercial cinema and not only) did a better job than the original. Must be an acquired taste that, as yet, I haven’t acquired.
Nevertheless, it was no way of running away from it, until I found the only two places in Turin where one can watch movies in their original language (with Italian subtitles), hear the actors’ original lines and voices:
1. CINEMA MASSIMO (SALA TRE), via Verdi 18, Torino – tickets €6 (€4 for under 18 and for students – evening screenings, €3 for over 65 and for students – late afternoon screenings)
This one is actually closed from July 21st to August 24th, but will reopen at the end of the summer with some of world cinema’s most recent gems: Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta (2016), Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem (2014), Valerie Donzelli’s Marguerite et Julien (2015), Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! (2016), and Rebecca Miller’s Maggie’s Plan (2015).
2. CINEMA CENTRALE ARTHOUSE, via Carlo Alberto 27, Torino – tickets €6 (€4 for under 18, over 65, students)
Until July 27th, their program includes a Spanish Film Festival (España, te quiero!) featuring, among many others, five contemporary films that won the Goya Award for best film. Here is the complete list of screenings:
I have recently found out that CAMERA – THE ITALIAN CENTRE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY (i.e. Centro Italiano per la Fotografia) features until August 14th an exceptional event dedicated to none other than Edward Weston, one of the most innovative and influential artists of his time, deemed to have changed the way we see modern photography.
I recently had quite a big argument with someone really bright over something really trivial: the importance of self-help books. My position is/was somewhat a skeptical one, since I was born in March. Therefore, a list of reasons why I believe they seem to gather supporters (not to say proselytes) by the thousands, even on a slow working day.
- Advice comes from someone who is apparently rich and obviously successful (he/she must know what he/she’s talking about, isn’t he/she?). We all want to become that when we grow up (i.e. obvious and apparent).
- The advice does NOT come from (your) mother (a mother, The mother, etc.) and does not smother you with the unpleasantness of agreeing with your relatives.
- Sounds better than common sense things people say over dinner, as the context is usually broader than talking dirty dishes and taking out the garbage.
- Your mindset is already ready to accept the authority of someone’s speaking in your earphones (otherwise, admitting you hear voices wording THE TRUTH could in itself present as a problem to be solved – with more self-help books).
- SERIOUSLY NOW – since we are prepared to see and understand things only within the limits of our previous knowledge and capacities, what self-help books do better is organize and proofread the information already in our possession, but hidden under tons and tons of daily routine from the conscious part of the functioning brain.
Take, for example, Barolo, Langhe. Brainstorm for about 3 seconds. The result must include, for sure, vineyards & wine, music & Collisioni Festival. Fewer know that the latter, is, actually, a LITERARY and music festival. Furthermore, the participants will keep exclusive company this year with the likes of Svetlana Alexievich, Richard Ford, and Michel Houellebecq.
This post is addressed to those of you who, like myself, came to Turin, fell in love and decided to stay for more than just a few days. Therefore, if touring museums, royal residences, castles, permanent or temporary exhibitions & co is your favorite spare time delight no matter the city & country you’re in or the state of the weather, Abbonamento Musei Torino might just do the trick.
If you are intent on giving Turin and its (furnace-like) heat a chance during the summer you may also want to take into consideration a short trip to the city center, where Palazzo Madama welcomes you with a very posh and quite melancholic exhibition open to all Marilyn Monroe fans out there.
The event, entitled “La donna oltre il mito” (The Woman Beyond the Myth) wishes to depict the real woman behind all the Hollywood glamour, the person and not the flamboyant diva bent on seducing with her pouty lips and luscious body.