Discover Authentic Flavor in Turin
Nutella, Lavazza, Vergnano, Martini, Eataly, Barolo, White Truffles and Panna Cotta. What do all these products and brands have in common? They are all from the same Italian region – Piedmont is the magic place! Located in northwest Italy in an area bordered by the Alps and just a one-hour drive to the seaside, this region’s cuisine spans from cheese and wine to chocolate and precious truffles – a true paradise for a trip full of flavor.
Prepare for a journey in Turin, the region’s capital, as I guide you through Piedmont’s finest specialties.
Mornings in Turin begin as they do in most Italian cities, with a cup of strong espresso taken right at the counter along with brioche, the newspaper, and small talk with the barista. This breakfast is around 2€, and you will find plenty of bars around the city. You’ll be drawn to the smooth aromatic sensation of the local Vergnano coffee served at the bar at DoubleTree by Hilton Turin Lingotto. They even serve you the coffee in a pink cup and support the women in coffee project!
From the hotel, cross the road to Eataly. Turin is the birthplace of this concept store by Oscar Farinetti, which opened in 2007. Eataly provides an endless number of the finest local Italian products and a cooking school, plus they are a strong supporter of the Slow Food Movement.
Book a market tour with one of their passionate guides, and you will be taken by hand to learn the culture and vision of Eataly. You will try the homemade mother yeast bread, watch mozzarella be prepared by hand in the cheesemaking lab, and meet the butcher who knows about every farm his products come from.
It takes around an hour to explore the market, and for lunch after this, try out the concept called “dal banco all tavola,” which means you’ll choose your preferred meat or fish cut at the counter, and the chefs in a large show kitchen in the middle of the market will prepare your meal right away.
To satisfy your sweet cravings, you must try a Gianduiotto. These are a mix of ground local hazelnuts, sugar, and cocoa, traditionally wrapped in gold or silver foil. If you fall in love with the creamy, pure taste of these, order a glass of Bicerin, a hot drink prepared with Gianduiotto chocolate, coffee, and whole milk. My favorite places for these sweet afternoon treats are Gertosio and Caffè al Bicerin.
Now we reach the best time of the day: Aperitivo time! In 1786, Vermouth was created in Turin. Since then, Turin crowds celebrate their pre-dinner drinks, snacks, and gatherings every day all over the city center.
For this occasion, visit Caffè Elena on the corner of Piazza Vittorio. Enjoy your food and drink under the arcades – the furniture and history in this café date back to the 19th century when it became famous among the intellectuals and artists of Turin.
Take a stroll through the wide-open square of Piazza Castello, surrounded by royal buildings from the time Turin was the capital of the United Italy (1861- 1865) before you indulge yourself in a traditional Piedmontese dinner at Tre Galli. Located in the heart of the Roman Quarter and headed by Chef Andrea Chiuni, Tre Galli has its roots in Piedmont tradition, interpreting it in a creative and refined way. The sister restaurant, Tre Galline, is just a few steps away as well.
If you are a foodie like me, you will love what Turin has to offer, including authentic food, fine (and even affordable) Michelin-Star restaurants, tasting tours, Aperitivo events, and nightlife that are all easily accessible. You won’t leave Turin hungry – it’s a promise!
Know Before You Go
- Turin is nicknamed the “Hollywood of Italy” and the “Paris of Italy” due to its rich contemporary culture.
- If you travel to the top of the National Museum of Cinema using the glass elevator, you can get a beautiful panoramic view of the entire city.
- Turin is home to one of the largest Egyptian Museums in the world.