Curious in Torino (Turin)

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Mole Antonelliana, landmark of Torino

This was a fast trip to Torino.  Literally fast because the Frecciarossa speeded up to 299 km/h!  The ride from Milano to Torino with this high-speed train takes one hour.

There are so many food terms linked to Torino, just to mention a few:  gianduja, white truffles, Lavazza, Eataly, Vermouth, Pastiglie Leone, Nutella, and, of course, Barolos and BarbarescosTorino convinced me that it is a must-visit place for legitimate foodies.

Check these sites to see what is going on in the hub of the foodie culture:

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Eataly @Mole Antonelliana

The long-awaited visit to the slow food capital was a delightful weekend.  Here you see Italians themselves enjoying of good quality fare on a day-to-day basis, simple pleasures of life like a coffee or ice cream at the next-door café.

Because coffee is so important in Torino.  Read this interesting article about the coffee culture in Torino.

I will start with the espressos I tasted in three different cafés at the central Piazza San Carlo.

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Caffè San Carlo and Caffè Torino are two of the historic cafés that are a  kind of soul of Torino’s tradition.

Caffè San Carlo (1822)

Caffè Torino (1903)

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My espresso ranking at Piazza San Carlo

I liked best the espresso at Caffè Mokita although this café corner was the simplest venue of the three.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For accommodation I can recommend La Luna e i Falò without any doubt.  The name of the B&B is one of Pavese’s famous novels (“The Moon and the Bonfires”).  The writer lived in this house.

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Beautiful house vis-à-vis La Luna e i Falò

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This charming B&B, located in a nice, quiet area, a 20-min walk to the city center.  If you prefer, the tram/bus stops are just a couple of blocks away.  They also have private parking.

The owner kindly contacted me upon arrival.  She is actively involved in foodie events.

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B&B’s antique elevator

img_9125We were friendly welcomed by Elena, who offered us an espresso and a delicious piece of panettone.  Both hostesses, Elena and Gabriela, were really kind and helpful.

The room and bath are impeccable and comfortable.

Breakfast is a delicious treat with fresh and dried fruit, nuts, homemade bread and cakes, and artisan jams.

Torino would not be Torino without the aperitif (aperitivo); after all, it was invented here.  Aperitif usually runs from 6-9 pm.  The price per drink (approx. EUR5-10) often includes something to nibble and nowadays even a buffet in many places.

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Pastis – Our first stop for an aperitif in the Quadrilatero (Roman quarter).  It is set as a 1950’s retro bar.  The atmosphere is casual that seems to attract student clientele.

 

 

Tre Galli – This winebar/restaurant, one of the first ones to open in the Quadrilatero, looks like a Parisian bistro.  The wine list includes 1,200 labels!

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Fantastic Barbaresco Rizzi

 

Dai Saletta – It is not in the historic center but in the San Salvario district.  I chose it because it is a family-run trattoria offering traditional Piedmontese specialties, cooked with seasonal ingredients locally grown.  It was exactly what I expected, including the red and white checkered tablecloths!

The pasta dishes were sensational.

The main courses charged with homemade flavors of mamma’s kitchen.

We enjoyed a Barolo Boroli 2007.

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Caffè Roma già Talmone – Almost in front of the Porta Nuova Station, I could try my firstimg_9197 pistachio ice cream in Torino.  I found it a bit watery and too sweet, but that is, certainly, all a matter of personal taste.

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Anyway, I have to return to Talmone, because everything displayed looked fresh and delicious.

 

Caffè Plattì (1875) – Also close to the Porta Nuova Station, on Corso Vittorio Emmanuele II or just corso Vittorio, you find this belle-epoque café …  Sipping drinks with the complimentary nibbles.

Caffè Baratti & Milano (1858) – This is another historic caffè, and one of my favorites  among the ones I visited in Torino.  Their chocolate and pastry display looks incredible.  I was so amazed that I forgot to take a picture inside …  It is located in the beautiful Galleria Subalpina.  I got here to get their renown gianduiotti—they are divine!

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Gelati Pepino (1884) – This ice cream parlor, located in the exquisite Piazza Carignano (myimg_9141 favorite in Torino) is the inventor of the “first gelato in the world to be served on a stick covered by chocolate: Pinguino® – the Penguin”.img_9140

This time I did not have the chance to try their ice creams but was lucky to be there for an aperitif.

Nice aperitif … great atmosphere …

 

Ristorante Del Cambio (1757) – Inevitably, the highlight of this post.  Not necessarily because of its Michelin star, but because it really offers superb, authentic Piedmontese cuisine, and the chef, Matteo Baronetto, impresses with an innovative touch.  The dazzling staff is attentive, but at the same time casual in a way that it makes you feel truly welcome.

The whole concept is a mix of magnificence and charm; two elements usually difficult to combine.  Their contemporary Sala Pistoletto, where we had our table, shows that it is possible.

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Read this interesting article “Sleeping Beauty” about this historic restaurant.

Del Cambio holds a lot of remarkable history, and one can feel it being there, but it is also nice to see that it is open for el cambio without losing its essence.

Introductory greetings from the kitchen

With a wine list of 98 pages (1,200 labels of which 140 are champagnes), we appreciated the sommelier’s outstanding wine tip:  Barolo Mascarello Giuseppe e Figlio 2009

Starters:

Main courses:

Dessert:  Babà in Perù … yes, in Peru! This dessert is elaborated with “ILLANKA”, which is a Peruvian grand cru chocolate. The waiter poured a delicious sauce in the middle of the babà. The sauce ended up filling the word “ILLANKA”, which was inscribed on the chocolate disk. The flower petals on top were pure ice cream!

To close up the magic evening, another surprise from the kitchen.  This time for the birthday boy.

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Del Cambio deserves the recognition it has in the demanding, slow-food capital and can be proud of it.

Caffè Fiorio (1780) – This one is close to Piazza Castello, on Via Po, but they have ice cream parlors in several locations.  I gave the pistachio img_9287ice cream a second try.  I asked for “una piccola coppetta di pistacchioand this is what I got.

Fortunately, I ordered only a small cup!  I am glad, I indulged; it was delicious.

 

 

 

Pasticceria Abrate (1866) – Also on Via Po a few steps from Caffè Fiorio, we were glad to img_9289try this neat, historic spot, before leaving Torino.  A great place at any time of the day (breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea time, aperitif, or early dinner …).  You cross the entrance door, and you have traveled in time.

We ordered some drinks and hot sandwiches.  They were so good that we had a second round …  The staff was really friendly.  The plates displayed with finger food ready for the aperitif hour were tempting  … I think I have to come back to Abrate.

Tips:

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  • Via Roma (between Piazza Castello and Piazza Carlo Felice) for shoppingimg_9204

 

Still on my pending list:

  • Bicerin
  • Eataly
  • Gofreria Piemontèisa
  • La Smarrita
  • Menietti
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16 thoughts on “Curious in Torino (Turin)

  1. Pattita, what a marvelous summary of your speedy visit to Torino! You should be hired by these cities as you give everyone a desire to visit ASAP! Maybe we can finish all together your wish list – including the Nutella factory with Mauricio – one day not too far away… keep the Curious in sagas coming. Love them!

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    1. Tks, Mariana! I’m glad you’re enjoying the Sneak Peeks. Sure, it would be fun to go together to Torino; there’s so much to discover there. Mauricio could help with the chocolate-hazelnut-spread tasting!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, liking and following my blog. I am impressed on how productive you are with yours. Love your saying “marveled at things that help me decorate my soul …” — same happens to me!

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    1. Sí, la verdad que yo también me quedé con la boca abierta, cuando trajeron el postre y el mozo empezó a vaciar la salsa por el centro del pastelito y las letras se llenaron. Buenísima presentación y delicioso en sabor.

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  2. Patty, repitiendo mis comentarios anteriores…qué lindas fotos y textos! Eres una super foodie 😉 Dan ganas de probar y visitar todo sólo de verlo! Y de alguna manera lo haré pues la próxima semana estaré en Italia disfrutando de todo su encanto 🙂 aunque por otros lugares.

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