rotonda di Bardonecchia
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In Italy any big or small place seems entitled to unveil a big surprise. Every time I am amazed by the corners I find on my road, that are always worth of a stop and focused observation.

Cities like Turin and Genoa have room for anything, so that you need more than a single stop just to have a look to whatever attraction. It reminds me when I first stepped into the huge Reggia di Venaria, driven by the curiosity to try the CaravaggioExperience, a show intended to display paintings on every side of a dark studio, with the suggestive (and only) company of loud music. Mostly attracted by past giants, I appreciated the opening of the OGR far less. But it was due to the main modern art exposure, by my taste very poor. Instead, the idea of a former repair factory being converted into a brand new hub to promote culture is to be called very clever. As for Genoa (top photo), despite of being not as famous as the most famous, it holds kind of an unexpected beauty that shows up at every corner, with ancient church columns that seem indestructible, and the smartly decorated Rolli palaces.

Being born in Turin has gifted me with a special feeling for the Alps; that’s why I longed to see Bardonecchia (featured image), the very last train stop before the Frejus tunnel to France. A few train stops before, there’s Susa, located in a valley where wolves have recently returned. A few more train stops before, there’s Avigliana, offering two beautiful lakes as well as a bus transfer to the symbolic Sacra di S. Michele abbey.

These are all small historical sites in very good conditions. Surely, less pollution, less traffic, less noise do enhance their fascination. They are a healthy chance to rediscover life: the sun swapping with soothing rain, varied colours in one single side of a mountain, wooden panks close to a clean water fountain, a relaxing walk ending up with a typical dinner, the intriguing silence of the highness. Furthermore, here is where you usually find trusting cats…

Other small towns offer less, like Bra, and one would never go there if not for SlowFood. The CHEESE fair, for example, is quite an opportunity to taste formaggi from anywhere (including Oregon!) in company with Mr. wine, Ms. beer and a rich court of sausages. What a panino (!!) I ate, the local sandwich; with Bra sausage, Bra cheese, Brabread and (Bra?) lettuce. I learnt they even serve you raw meat, but I preferred the grilled. And as for the incredible variety of flavours, cooking methods, smells… better not to know too much in advance, so it is more exciting to see LIVE and find out on the spot.

I don’t think Italy is necessarily the most beautiful country, but I have no doubt it is molto, molto speciale

Patrizia Zampieri

Anche se amo da sempre viaggiare, è l'Italia che ho nel cuore. Scrivo partendo dal racconto di cosa vedo e vivo in prima persona, spesso cercando le tracce di chi lì ha vissuto. Adoro la musica, e nutro grande interesse per l'arte e la natura. Credo in Dio e nella vita.

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