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Vrù (Turin), the village of the nativity scenes where Turin and Pisa meet

Monday 07 january 2019

Vrù is a small fraction of Cantoira, in the Lanzo Valleys. It is a village on the still mountains where miners who extracted talcum lived. In addition to the cribs and the miniatures of the Mole di Torino and the Tower of Pisa.

Vrù (Turin), the village of the nativity scenes where Turin and Pisa meet

There are two things that make me happy. Discover new places and stay with the people I care about. That's why the day of Sunday, December 30th is and will remain unforgettable.
Already sometimes it had been in the Valli di Lanzo, for work and to visit the famous Devil's Bridge. But I never pushed myself further.

And so, while the radio transmits cheerful ballroom music, we pass Ceres, pass Fè and go through the center of Cantoira to head towards the small village of Vrù, a few meters higher.
Let's cover and walk a stretch of road uphill and we are facing a small village where time seems to have stopped.
Small dirt roads surrounding by meadows, houses in stone and wood, one stuck to the other. They have a know-how of unkempt, old, but they are full of charm and oozing history. They seem uninhabited, but in reality they are not.

We pass the village that we will visit on the way back and take a climb. The sign in front of us shows us that there is an open-air museum up there, the Brunetta ecomuseum run by the Cai, the Italian Alpine Club of Lanzo. They are the remains of what was a talc mine in the early 1900s.

The road uphill seems endless but the climate is not too cold making it a pleasant walk.
At some point emerge some stone houses. Very small, gray and with essential furniture inside, they are an example of how miners lived. We are 1100 meters high, in the Rivirin village, but to get to the tunnels of the mine you have to climb another 400 meters.

Next to the houses, two extraordinary works, a tribute to two of our most beautiful and important Italian cities. A Mole Antonelliana, a Tower of Pisa, a representation of Rocciamelone, a mountain belonging to the Graian Alps. They are all made from stone boulders and are more or less two meters high. To make them a local lord, Francesco Berta, even if everyone here calls him Cichin.

Cichin worked at the mine cableway and during breaks he devoted himself to his passion. Create from wood and stone. To him, to his ingenuity, we also owe the Mechanical Crib, another attraction that makes thousands of tourists arrive every year. It is located in a hut that was the old school, down in Vrù.

Bakers, blacksmiths, shepherds, animals and another hundred characters, all in motion waiting for the arrival of Jesus. But that of Cichin is not the only crib. Every corner of the village hosts one. All are made of recycled materials and everyday objects. Pencils, candles, cloth, stones, dolls. A riot of colors that can not fail to cheer.

Our trip ends when it begins to get dark. We leave Vrù with the same cheerful and carefree mood of the children. On the way back, we can not miss a stop in Lanzo to buy a piece of the famous toma dop and the delicious torcetti with butter.

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