Book takes readers on tour of Turin |

Book takes readers on tour of Turin

Provided to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Lisa Mortara will sign copies of her book, "Tales of Turin: Wine, Castles and Adventure" on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Neighbors Bookstore.

This month the Olympics are taking place in and around Turin, also known as Torino, in northwest Italy. Along with the Games, visitors will be able to experience the winter culture of this Italian region called Piedmont. Polenta, panettone, bagna cauda, Barolo – the list could go on for pages, just highlighting food and drink. Lisa Mortara’s travel book, “Tales of Turin,” does just that. In addition to making your mouth water with descriptions of food and wine, “Tales of Turin,” showcases the myriad cultural charms of Piedmont, Italy, and its capital, Turin, throughout the seasons.

Food, wine, museums and castles, coupled with folkloric and contemporary stories, “Tales of Turin” brings the city to colorful life with tales reflecting its 2,000-plus years of history – a perfect companion to viewing the Winter Games. We witness the agony of ancient gladiators in combat and the élan of ancient Turin’s Celts defending their city against Hannibal. Then the book shifts to contemporary Turin and Piedmont, with tales of grape harvesters and bon vivants.

Among the adjectives that suit Turin (picturesque, gastronomic, avant-garde), “magical” and “heroic” are two of the most fascinating. “Tales of Turin” delves into these qualities in a chatty, conversational format with dialogue-packed short stories.

From ancient mysteries (the enigmatic Shroud and the elusive Holy Grail) to modern wonders, Turin bares its character and personality to the world. It invites all to partake in its vast, rich and exciting culture. “Tales of Turin” is an opportunity to discover a city and a region whose name will resound during the Olympic year and beyond.

“Tales of Turin” is an insider’s guide to discovering the Olympic city, as Mortara has been exploring the city and region’s intimate as well as public facets for more than 30 years. Italian-American, born in Reno, Mortara has lived in northwest Italy and Switzerland. She continues to travel in Italy and France every summer, when she’s on vacation from teaching at Wooster High School in Reno. Writing is one of her hobbies, and sisters, Victoria Perry and Carolina Mortara, South Lake Tahoe artist and “Tales of Turin” illustrator, were instrumental in encouraging her to write the book. It was time and timely for those 30 years of adventure and experience to come to life in print.

Regardless of whether you follow the Winter Games, Turin and Piedmont are magical and picturesque any time of the year. If you can’t make the rendezvous this February, consider the numerous attractions of Turin and northwest Italy season in and season out with “Tales of Turin” as your guide.

If you go

Who: Author Lisa Mortara

What: Book signing for “Tales of Turin: Wine, Castles and Adventure.”

When: Saturday, Feb. 18,

2 to 5 p.m.

Where: Neighbors Bookstore, 4000 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Village Center.

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