Between riddles, fantasy and reality: artistic Marentino
You are traveling through the beautiful countryside in Piedmont, about 20 km away from Turin, and decide to stop in a pretty village on a hilltop. But this is not your typical ancient town: as you walk through the streets, your imagination is captured by a series of puzzles illustrated on walls… Welcome to Marentino!
Composed by the three ancient hamlets of Marentino, Avuglione and Vernone, this small and colorful village has been home to some of the best Italian muralists since 2005. The initiative started with the collaboration between some locals and La Settimana Enigmistica, a widespread Italian weekly publication about puzzles.
There are about 20 illustrations that make the walk through the streets of the village a reason of artistic interest and challenge to find the solutions of the puzzles. If you don’t speak Italian, it might be difficult for you to answer the riddles on the walls; however, the murals are related to the local territory, and admiring them offers you an alternative insight into the landscapes, nature, traditions, and everyday life of Marentino.
Some of the paintings are by Franco Mora, who has been defined by some as the “painter of hope”, because of the joyous colors used to create images that reflect social situations. His works of art often tell fantasy stories full of poetry, but also show scenes of true life. In 1979 he founded the Itinerant Group of Naïf Murals, and the Naïve art style is what he chose for his puzzles in Marentino.
One of our favorite murals covers three walls of the exterior façade of the local elementary school. In an interview, Franco Mora remembered his experience while creating this painting back in 2007: “The puzzle had to involve elements that are typical of the area, like wine, bees and skis; and I had to combine the theme with the four seasons. It seemed like a very complex thing to accomplish, but I actually had a lot of fun with it, also thanks to the curiosity of the children. During their breaks, the little ones would take painting lessons with their teachers: their ideas and excitement had a positive effect on my final work”.
Local genuine flavors
Honey is a typical product from the lands of Marentino, which was included in the circuit of Le Città del Miele (The Cities of Honey) in 2007. Every September, the Fiera del Miele (Honey Festival) takes place to celebrate this delicious gift of earth.
If you visit the town in other times of the year, you can still learn more about local honey at La Casa del Miele, which is part of Piedmont’s Road of Colors and Flavors. Here you can safely observe the bees as they busily buzz in the apiary, and understand their world in the didactic center, which is especially great for children! You can continue the full immersion in nature by strolling along the adjacent Giardino Mellifero, a garden that offers different seasonal panoramas; and by enjoying local products under the shaded pergola of La Casa del Miele.
But Marentino is home to even another surprising niche product: homemade beer made not only with the traditional malt and hop, but also with local ingredients from Piedmont! Protagonist of this unique project is Valter Loverier, owner and founder of the Loverbeer microbrewery. His passion for eno-gastronomy led him to undertake the art of home-brewing and to look for ancient beer recipes, both in Italy and abroad.
The result? Today he produces and sells beers such as “BeerBrugna”, a ripe and fruity beer that is brewed with the “Ramassin” Damaschine plums from Piedmont’s Bronda Valley… if you sip it, you can really taste the whole fruit, down to the pit! Other beers are made with the Freisa grapes from Turin’s hills, and with the Barbera grapes from Alba. Valter’s microbrewery works with local producers who integrate agricultural traditions with modern technologies, proposing environmentally friendly and quality products.
If you are the kind of traveler who is always on the lookout for authentic experiences and new places to discover off the beaten path, then you share our same passion and vision! At Italian Special Occasions DMC we have a never ending basket of gems like Marentino, and of surprising foodie delights like LoverBeer and the Honey Festival. Contact us for bespoke travel experiences and special events like weddings, corporate events, and family & friend reunions.