Every once in a while a travel magazine manages to masterfully capture an authentic slice of Italy – not the cliché, nor the sugar-coated sales pitch – but an honest portrait (albeit one of a lover). This time, the often overlooked Turin takes center stage in Oddur Thorisson's article for this month's Conde Naste Traveler. Having traveled extensively in Italy and been fortunate enough to have had an insider's view every step of the way (thanks to friends, family of friends and friendly strangers), I was impressed with Thorisson's observant overview of this grand old gem...of course, I have my edits:
Where to Have an Aperitivo in Turin
While Turin has its fair share of grand caffés as Thorisson mentions (and, some, like Del Cambio, are worth a peek), my favorite is the tiny, wood-paneled Caffé Mulassano just off the central Piazza Castello in front of the Teatro Regio, tucked under one of Turin's famous arcades. It's the perfect place to ponder your next move while sipping on the city's classic coffee concoction, the bicerin.
If a light bite is all that you are after, you can start and finish the night with Affini (Via Belfiore, 16C). Enjoy the generous portion of nibbles which accompany each negroni or cocktail of your choosing (preferably with the city's famed vermouth) at this hip spot just a short walk from Torino's train station Porta Nuova.
Where to Eat in Turin
I'm in agreement with Thorisson about many of the restaurants he selected, especially Porto di Savona (a legend) and Scannabue Caffé (fit for a dandy).
A new, yet knowledgable kid on the block is Gaudenzio Vino e Cucina (Via Gaudenzio Ferrari 2H), just down the street from the crown jewel of Turin's skyline, the Mole Antonelliana. The food, wine and setting are all impeccably tasteful (and tasty)!
And, one can't forget the local favorite just around the corner, Ristorante Sotto La Mole (Via Montebello, 9). Think refined Piemontese cuisine served atop white linen tablecloths – yet in the most humble and approachable of ways. Always a wonderful option.
Finally for a casual, unfussy lunch, head to Da Cianci Piola Caffè (Largo IV Marzo, 9/b), a couple of blocks from the San Giovanni Battista Cathedral, where you'll get well-proportioned helpings of hearty Piemontese cuisine in vintage digs.
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