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Between full and empty

The heart rhythm of Marrakech

[Tripper: Paola]
ITImpara l’arteMarrakech

They call it the red city because of the sandstone of its ancient walls and buildings. Red like a heart that pulsates changing its rhythm. Marrakech is surprising for its many faces. Chaotic and elegant, dusty and luxuriant.
Beyond the walls you enter the medina, a tangle of tiny alleys crowded with vendors and people. Scooters speed past slow carts pulled by mules.

Giardini Majorelle

Majorelle Gardens

Riad tipico

Typical riad

The souk invades you, almost domineering, enters your eyes, nose, ears. It has the shape of Moroccan lamps, capable of creating an atmosphere hanging between dream and reality, it has the shape of baskets woven with palm leaves, of Berber-made wool rugs.
It has the scent of saffron, turmeric and mint tea, but also of the exhaust gases of the scooters, which find no sky to expand in those alleys covered with mats. There is no refreshment for the senses.

Streams of less frequented streets open from the main market streets. They are anonymous streets, lined with walls without windows, occasionally interrupted by wooden doors. You can't imagine anything from the outside but when a door opens, the private and intimate world of the riads opens up.
They are corners of Eden, places where the mixture of styles in perfect balance between sobriety and magnificence, is able to finally give you refreshment. The essentiality of the geometric lines perfectly dialogue with the colored glass of the mosaics, with the arabesque tea lounges, invested by the soft zenithal light.
The riad develops vertically by opening its spaces around the courtyard until it reaches the top where a terrace overlooking the roofs often opens.
The Moroccan tea ritual is an integral part of the place. The oral tradition that dictates the series of gestures to be made becomes almost art.
The use of a silver teapot, tall and with a long and thin spout, which helps in pouring the tea from a certain height, is a must. It serves to oxygenate it.
It is a green tea flavored with herbs, mostly fresh mint but sometimes a mixture of mint and sage is used. Moroccan mint is particularly fragrant and rich in menthol, which makes the infusion extremely refreshing.
The other fundamental element is the sugar used in large quantities, placed directly in the teapot.
The ritual is performed slowly to emphasize once again the duality between the internal world and the one outside the riad.
The magic of these sensory dining places is also expressed in the many incredibly luxuriant secret gardens, present inside and outside the medina. Examples are Le Jardin Secret and Le Jardin Majorelle. Here too, the classic elements of Moroccan architecture, the use of Tadelakt as a wall covering also suitable for the hammam tubs, or the presence of inlaid cedar wood or wonderful hand-carved stuccos do not escape the eyes.
The frenetic pulse returns when you meet the kaleidoscope of colors of the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square.
This seems to be everyone's space: snake charmers, street vendors, henna tattoo artists, acrobats, fire-breathing. It is a space that changes hour by hour to become the realm of street food in the evening. The fumes of grilled marinated meat, grilled vegetables rise, the vapors of the dishes spread inside the tajines.
Marrakech is all here: a balance between full and empty, between disorder, harbinger of creativity and imagination, and the order foundation of a democratic coexistence.