A Three-Day Stay in Turin for Foodies

If you are fulfilling that Foodie dream of visiting the Piedmont to taste fantastic Barolos or Barbarescos on-site, or perhaps you are lucky enough to be in that delightful region learning about its famed, regional star, the Alba white truffle, make sure to add a trip to Turin to complement your experience.

As a food lover, I am happy to suggest foodie options nearby the must-see places in Turin. Here is a guideline for a three-day, foodie visit in the splendid, unpresuming, Piedmontese capital.

Note that I have nicknamed each day according to the day’s highlight. I recommend that you assign, at least, half a day for that main activity. You will see that everything is within walking distance, and you can go at your own pace. Undertake the days in whichever order you prefer--just check the opening hours.

Turin is the cradle of the Slow Food movement; so, get in that laid-back mood and don’t rush. The best way to enjoy Turin like a local is to take a break, whenever possible, at the next café or gelateria

Day “ ROYAL”:

Get to the heart of the House of Savoy, Italy’s royal family.

Highlights (both at Piazza Castello):

· Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) – Hosts the Royal Museums. (closed Mon)

· Palazzo Madama (Madama Palace) – Hosts the Museum of Ancient Art. (closed Tue)

· Reale Chiesa di San Lorenzo (Royal Church of Saint Lorence) – Admire its beautiful dome by Guarini.

Interesting:

· Duomo di San Giovanni – Here is where the Schroud is kept. Note that it is usually not on display. The Duomo is located adjacent to the Palazzo Reale.

· Porta Palatina (Palatine Gate/Towers) – Standing from Roman times, this was the main gate to access the city from the north, as well described here by Rome Across Europe.

Foodie Tips:

· Caffè al Bicerin (1763) – Birthplace of the bicerin, a coffee-chocolate-cream drink, considered a traditional Turinese specialty. (closed Wed)

· Mercato di Porta Palazzo – With over 1,000 stalls is one of the largest and oldest, fresh produce markets in Europe. (closed Sun)

· Pastis – A casual place to pop by at any time from breakfast to dinner, or just for a coffee or an aperitif. After all, the aperitif was invented in Turin in 1786. (open daily) / At the Carpano Museum you can learn more about this story.

· Tre Galli – A winebar/restaurant in the Quadrilatero, featuring 1,200 labels! (closed Sun)

· Tre Galline – This traditional restaurant of fantastic, Piedmontese cuisine is just a few steps (2-min walk) from Tre Galli. (open daily)

Day “EGYPT”:

You will find this weird, but in the historic center of Turin it is possible to submerge yourself in the ancient, Egyptian culture like nowhere else …

Highlight:

· Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum) – It is the oldest Egyptian museum and the second largest of its kind (after Cairo) in the world. You will be astonished with the amazing collection. These guys were foodies! (open daily)

Interesting: · Palazzo Carignano - Hosts the National Museum of the Italian Unification (Risorgimento) at Piazza Carignano. (closed Mon)

Foodie Tips:

· Bar Abrate (1866) – Another historic place that has maintained its traditional charm but has adopted some coolness at the same time. Great panini. (open daily)

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· Caffè Baratti & Milano (1858) – One of those gorgeous, historic cafés not to be missed. It is located in the beautiful Galleria Subalpina. A good place to try delicate pastry and gianduiotti. (closed Mon)

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· Caffé Mulassano – Another historic café, inventors of the tramezzino (triangular sandwich). (closed Wed)

· Del Cambio Ristorante (1757), Bar Cavour, and La Farmacia – Certainly, this is THE restaurant to experience fine-dining in Turin (closed Mon). Its Bar Cavour and La Farmacia (both open daily) are also good options for drinks or for something more informal but still refined. The three at Piazza Carignano.

· Gelati Pepino (1884) – The inventors of the Pinguino® (Penguin), the ice cream served on a stick covered with chocolate. Their ice cream is excellent, and the place is also nice to enjoy an aperitif. (open daily)

· La Romana (1947) – They have already established a large chain of ice cream shops, not only in Italy but also in Austria and Spain. With four parlors in Turin, their newest is conveniently located very close to Piazza San Carlo at via Santa Teresa 6. The ice creams are delicious. (open daily)

Day “CINEMA”:

No, you are not visiting Turin to go to the movies. It has much more to offer! The Mole Antonelliana, its landmark and symbol, hosts a very interesting museum ...

Highlight: · Museo Nazionale del Cinema (National Cinema Museum). (closed Tue)

Foodie Tips:

· AgriSalumeria Luiset – A great tip from the Tastes of Carolina! If you are a salami lover, don’t miss this excellent salumeria. (open daily, Sun only am)

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· Bar Mokita, Caffè San Carlo (1822), Caffè Torino (1903) - All at Piazza San Carlo, good stops for a coffee or aperitif. (open daily)

· Contesto Alimentare – A urban trattoria, as they defined themselves, that respects traditions, seasons, and the region.

· Eataly Lagrange – In 2007 the concept brand Eataly was born in Turin. You can find one of its shops in pedestrian Via Lagrange. (open daily)

· L’Essenza del Gelato – One of my favorite for artisanal ice cream. (open daily)

· Pastificio Defilippis (1872) – In-house elaborated fresh and dried pasta. Indulged at their restaurant or take some home. (restaurant opens daily / pasta shop Mon closed)

If you still have some time …

Check these three in the San Salvario district:

· Dai Saletta – If you are looking for that typical, Italian restaurant with checkered tablecloths, where it seems that the nonna is serving you her Piedmontese dishes, this is the place. (Sun closed)

· Mara dei Boschi – This fabulous artisanal gelateria was shown to me by Amanda and Carolina, two bloggers, who are food/wine experts on Piedmont! (open daily)

· Orso Laboratorio Caffè – Just next door to Mara dei Boschi. A special place to enjoy a good coffee. You can choose not only the beans origin but also the way you prefer the barista to prepare your cup. They can brew coffee in eight different ways. (open daily)

Get lost, strolling around its streets, squares, and 18 km of arcades. You will fall in love.

For some shopping, walk Via Roma (between Piazza Castello and Piazza Carlo Felice).

 

Upcoming foodie events in Turin:

· Una Mole di Colombe e Cioccolato, 17-18.Mar.2018

· Turin Epicurean Capital, 20-22.Jun.2018

· Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, 20-24.Sep.2018

· 88 International Alba White Truffle Fair, 6.Oct-25.Nov.2018

About Patty Boner

Patty’s wanderlust is almost as strong as her foodie instinct. She also loves writing, photography, and good food and wine. Because these are all things that reunite people, she likes to share them on Foodie Sneak Peeks. Follow her blog to discover awesome places while touring foodie spots she carefully selects.

Visit Turin - Where to Eat Drink and grab a Gelato

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Torino (Turn) is the birthplace for many things, it was the first city to import Chocolate, the creators of the Grissini (bread stick), and the parliament who united Italy. but one thing that when visiting Italy you will notice a very sacred time of the day (between 6 until 8) called Aperitivo. Thanks to Turin this too was the first place to take on this Aperitivo culture. It all started out as Turin is a Theater city and while the people getting out of work rather late, in order for them to make it to the theater in time, they went out for a drink and a small bite just enough to hold them until dinner time. In those days it was common to enjoy a glass of Vermouth, or a cocktail with the base of Vermouth (Negroni, Americano, etc)

With that said here are some great places to have a nice Aperitivo

Caffè Mulassano

Piazza Castello 15

Tel: +39 (0)11 547 990

This is the place where the Aperitivo started. They were also inventors of the Tramezino. My recommendation for this place is to grab a table, order up a nice glass of Vermouth over ice and snack on the classic Tramezino bite size sandwiches.

Rosso Rubino Enoteca Enotavola

Via Madama Cristina 21

Tel: +39 (0)11 650 2183

What could be better than enjoying a glass or a bottle of wine in a WINE SHOP, Nothing!! This place is small and hip and the staff is passionate and knowledgable. They have a crazy amazing selection of bottles to bring home too!

Caffè Torino

Piazza S. Carlo 204

Tel: +39 (0)11 545 118

In Torino there are a lot of historical bars but this one is located in front of the twin churches underneath the historic galleries in Piazza San Carlo. You can take a table outside and enjoy people watching in this historic Piazza.

L’Enoteca

Via Giovanni Amendola 8

Tel: +39 (0)11 440 7291

This place has style and class. Fun Fact: Piemonte is the largest Champagne consumer in Europe outside of Champagne. So if you are having a bubbles craving head over here for a glass and a plate of some of Piemontes finest Prosciutto.

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Snack Street foods

Gofreia Piemontèisa

Via San Tommaso 7

Tel: +39 349 392 6090

Hidden down one of Turin’s little sleep side streets, you have a place who decided to take a traditional country side street food and move it into the big city of Torino. You will never guess what it is. A waffle cooked very thin with a crunch made into a sandwich. I recommend trying the house speciality Gofre della Casa.

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Focacceria Lagrange

Via Giuseppe Luigi Lagrange 11

Tel: +39 (0)11 562 9244

This is a great place to sit outside and watch all the people go by while snacking on your favorite type of Focaccia. If they have the Reco you must give it a try.

Savuré

Via Giuseppe Garibaldi 38

Tel: +39 (0)11 1966 5300

Pasta fresca at its finest. They make all the pasta daily and will fix you up a plate to enjoy at the moment, of if you are on the run you can get the Agnolotti with a ragù to go.

For a great casual meal

Casa del Barolo

Via dei Mille 10

Tel: +39 (0)11 287 6272

Here you have a clean and modern setting of a restaurant with good traditional food and a solid wine list.

Closed Sunday and Monday

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Ristorante Consorzio

Via Monte di Pietà 23

Tel: +39 (0)11 276 7661

This place is a bit more hip and young, where you can taste some not so familiar local Piemontese grape varieties by the glass. Being a part of Slow Food they are very concious of the food products they are using but are not afraid to be a bit creative.

Closed Saturday lunch and Sunday all day

Osteria al Tagliere

Via Corte d’Appello 6

Tel: +39 (0)11 436 9551

You come here for some great traditional rustic no fuss dishes. The food here will never disappoint and you might get lucky to be serenaded with some traditional Piemontese music during your meal.

Closed Monday and lunch time during the week, Saturday and Sunday they offer lunch and dinner services.

*Save room for dessert and other sweet things!

Gelato

Mara dei Boschi

Via Claudio Luigi Berthollet

Tel: +39 (0)11 076 9557

I do not get up to Torino as much as I would like but to curve my craving for this gelato place I am lucky they have a sister store in Alba. The best flavors to get are zenzero (ginger) and strawberry or the Marotto (gianduja).

Ottimo Gelateria

Corso Stati Uniti 6/c

Tel: +39 (0)11 1950 4221

I don’t need to say to much as the name says it all, but this gelateria was voted the best gelateria in Torino by receiving 3 cones from Gambero Rosso

Gelateria Alberto Marchetti

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 24 bis

Tel: +39 (0)11 839 0879

Artisanal and delicious the creamy scoops that are made fresh daily are worth a visit in itself. Some flavors to try are the Pistachio, Hazelnut, and the Torrone.

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As I keep going on and on about how Turin was the first of many places to do things or to invent things, because the kingdom of Savoy was very much interested in experimenting with foreign products they were the first city in Europe to start to work with chocolate. 

A fun little fact: when one of the many wars during the time of Napoleon, had blocked the Savoy Kingdom’s chocolate importation the city of Turin's chocolateers were in need of finding a way to use less of this precious product. They were forced to create something that would help to stretch out the dwindling chocolate supply. Luckily Piemonte is also famous for the quality of its Hazelnuts and close by to Turin you have the heavily planted slopes in the Roero where some of the worlds best and most flavorful hazelnuts grow. The Nocciola tonda Gentile they are called are noted for their smaller nut and rich flavor. Chocolate + Hazelnuts, from these two ingredients in 1886 Gianduja was born. Today many different chocolate places make these wonderful little pointed ingot shaped treats. Some not to pass up.

Baratti Milano

Piazza Castello 27/29

Located in the historic galleria Subalpina building built in the late 19th century you will be very impressed by how amazing this structure is. If you have some time you wohsl stop to have a coffee and admire one of the oldest most prestigious caffè houses Torino has to offer.

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Guido Castagna

Maria Vittoria 27/C

A small artisanal chocolate producer who offers an in house tasting where you are able to go through a bit of their different types of chocolates so you know which ones you would like to buy.

Guido Gobino

Via Giuseppe Luigi Lagrange 1

Great quality chocolates and a bit more well known in the area of Piemonte. Here you can stop in when you would like and try their different chocolates they have for sale that day or if you would like you can order up a tasting where they will prepare and array of different flavors and chocolate types.

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If you need some more great gelato places in the area of Turin or surrounding towns you can check out my post about my Top 10 Gelato places in Piemonte

If you would like to plan a small vacation in the Torino area I consider checking out a guest post from Patty with her Three day stay in Turin for Foodies

Things to do in Piemonte in winter months.

The idea to come and visit your favorite winemaking region during winter months when tourist season could be at it lull, is a good idea.  There are plenty of Christmas Markets to visit and and also some things to keep in mind while you are visiting. The pro’s to visiting during off season is you will benefit from the off season rates for flights, hotels and car rentals. The cons are because there is a low in tourism many places take advantage of the quite season as of recently there has been more and more movement in this area, so people are closing up shop and going to their favorite island to bask in some sun.

Winter holiday, here in Italy we take our holiday very seriously and holidays to keep in mind are 8 December Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Christmas 25th and the 26th is Boxing Day or the second Christmas day. The first of January is also a national holiday.  Normally during these holidays it will be hard to find places in the restaurants or hard to find a taxi service or driver services as many people will too be celebrating with their families and friends, or they will be just over booked.   Also keep in mind that if any of these holidays fall on on a Tuesday or Thursday most people will take advantage of having a long weekend and plan to do things in another area of Italy.  With this overload of Italians in circulation it will become more difficult to find tables in restaurants, long lines at the ski lift, difficulties also for making appointments in wineries they will become full very fast, and we must not forget about the traffic.  So keep in mind it is best to do a little research beforehand to make sure you are booked where you would like to go, instead of trying to pop into somewhere.

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Weather conditions it is winter here, we don’t tend to get to much snow and the temperature does not drop to often below zero centigrade. But it can and it does. So it is a good idea to bring some winter gloves, a nice warm winter jacket with a hood is a good idea incase you need in a pinch, a hat, a scarf, and a good pair of boots that are comfortable for walking and also are good in the snow.   Also here the cold weather doesn’t get us down.  There are plenty of things to do on the weekends, farmers markets, Christmas markets or festivals that will have you outside walking around.  It isn't uncommon to find many people eating drinking and dancing outside in the winter months.  It actually helps get rid of those cooped up winter blues we sometimes can encounter.

Christmas markets are plentiful here in Northern Italy as well as Germany, Austria, and other European countries.  The Christmas markets are nice, they will typically have some traditional music playing, hot dishes to eat, and one thing to keep an eye out for is the mulled wines “Vin Brûlée” that will help keep you warm and get you in the spirit.  Be careful as most people tend to add a little kick to the wine of either a Brandy or Rum.  Usually the people displaying their wares are artists or crafters if you would like to find something hand made this is usually your best bet.  Most of the items will be Christmas themed like tree ornaments, or cookies and candies, but sometimes you can find wooden products and jewelry, etc.

Some markets worth visiting:

Canale (Roero) every weekend, in the center from the first Saturday in December until the weekend before Christmas there will be different activities and also a market.

Alba (Langhe) Every Saturday Alba hosts a very large market where you can get everything from fresh vegetables, meats, cheese, to Italian made clothing, and household goods. But once a year they host a market dedicated to all things Christmas.  This year it took place on Sunday 18 December.

Torino being the larger city in the area they have a few more things going on than the other parts of Piemonte. Every day starting from the 26th November to the 8 of January they have a Santa Clause Village that is open everyday of the week from 10am until 11pm.  Located in Piazza d’Armi. It offers visits from Santa Clause, ice skating rink, and street food vendors.

You have a more Traditional Christmas market (Torino) open Monday to Friday from noon to 7pm, on Saturday and Sunday 10am till 8pm.  Located in Piazza Borgo Dora 34.  Here they have about 100 vendors, this market is half inside and half outside and there is a large variety of crafts, typical food products, and Christmas ordainments to keep you busy for a few house.  I typically go to this market every year as it has many wonderful things, and if you go on Sunday you can have the added bonus of the Antique market in the near by distance.

The idea of the Christmas market was started in the Germanic countries and to honor the idea in Torino they have an Ital-German market. Located in Piazza Solferino from the 8 November untile the 23 November.  This market embraces the Germanic traditions of Christmas and here you have the ability to taste your way though over 100 different types of beers!

One Christmas market that is very popular in the Langhe\Roero is the Govone market. Located around the Castle of Govone here this market is open weekends and holidays from 10am until 7pm and will run from 19 November until the 26 December.  This market brings in many from all over so be prepared if you don’t find a parking spot right away.  Also there is a wonderful Trattoria right next to the market that is not to miss called Trattoria Pautassi, they make some wonderful traditional dishes and if you are vegetarian have some delicious options as well.

Looking to Bring Back Wine from Piedmont, Italy or Beyond? Take it back on the plane.

International travelers returning home who want to fly back with a taste of our region can bring back some wine with them. There are a number of practical reasons to do this.

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* You will unavoidably discover small, family run wineries, which don’t export to your part of the world.

* Even if the producer can be found at home, there are specific vintages that may not be available.

* Alcohol shipping laws are restrictive and it is illegal to ship to many countries without an alcohol import license, making the process complicated.

* Shipping costs are high and parting with your wine opens you up to other risks, like temperature fluctuations during transport, long shipping durations, and potential damage.

Transporting wine with you on the plane is a great alternative. Here is what you have to know to do this:

In general, you may take wine on the airplane providing it’s checked (as hold baggage). This is because liquids in carry-on (cabin) luggage are prohibited unless they’re in containers with a capacity of less than 100 ml; hence full size wine bottles are a no-no.

Watch Your Weight

Standard airline weight limits will apply, which is typically 23 kg (50 lbs) per baggage for international travelers. A typical bottle of wine weighs between 1.2 and 1.8 kg (2.5 and 4 lbs). Consider grabbing one of these useful portable luggage scales to know the weight of your suitcase before you head out to the airport and avoid excess baggage fees.

Duty-Free and Duty

Each country has a duty-free limit for alcohol, and may charge duty when you bring more than this duty-free limit. When travelling between two E.U. countries each traveller can take up to 90 litres of wine duty-free if it’s for personal consumption. The U.S., for example, has a duty-free limit of 2 bottles. If you bring more, you technically face duty of only $0.35 to $2 per bottle, but because this is such a small amount duty officers rarely bother to charge you and simply wave you through. See this travelling with wine and alcohol guide and check the details for your country. 

Always Use Protection

It’s critical to ensure that your wine bottles are well protected in your suitcase to avoid any unpleasant surprises at the end of the trip. If wrapping your wine bottles in clothes is not worth the risk, there are a number of products that will give you peace of mind. Remember it’s not just the bottles you may lose if they break, but your suitcase’s contents as well. For one or two bottles there are bottle protection sleeves, some of which use bubble wrap type technology, while others inflate around your bottle to protect them. You can use a Styrofoam bottle protector, which comes in a variety of sizes for different numbers of bottles.

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For those wanting to bring back a larger number of bottles, it’s worth investing in the Lazenne’s Wine Check luggage. This easy-to-transport, airline approved carrier features wheels and a handy strap, and can carry 12 or 15 bottles of wine depending on the model chosen. With the bottles packed, the carrier still meets the airline’s international checked-bag weight limit of 23 kg (50lbs).

You can order the abovementioned wine travel products and more from European online retailer Lazenne. They can ship directly to your hotel throughout Italy and Europe.

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