During our trip to Piedmont last fall, we decided to take a break from Barolo and discover Torino. Just an hour drive from downtown Barolo, Torino is one of our favorite “big cities” in Italy, especially due to the absence of American tourists. Torino is the city of Fiat, Carpano, Cinzano, and Martini. Torino has over-the-top elegant wooden bars, fantastic shopping that rivals Milan, and amazing food. It’s a city that we want to go back to and hope you will visit too.
If you love Vermouth or Campari, you’ll want to visit all of the dark and opulent old school bars around the city. Order a Martini, Negroni, Americano, Negroni Sbagliato, or Bicerin, the traditional coffee drink born in Torino.
Our first stop in Torino was Cafe Torino in Piazza San Carolo. You can sit outside under a giant vintage Martini sign or inside under opulent chandeliers, wooden fireplaces, and pastel painted wall medallions. There’s a long case full of sweets including torts, cookies, and a copper pan filled with candied chestnuts. The opposite wall houses the bar with an array of bites for apertivo and bottles of Campari along the wall. Waiters, in white tuxes, gracefully serve your favorite Negronis, Martinis, and Bicirini.
Next, we headed to Muraglia Grande for some of the best Chinese food in Italy (when we travel in Europe, Mexican and Asian food – especially Japanese food – are what we miss the most). The dishes were delicious, inexpensive, and perfect for sharing with your friends. Other recommendations that we didn’t get to during our visit included;
We can’t wait to go back and spend time exploring one of our new favorite cities. There’s an airport in Torino, but you can also take a high-speed train from Milan – make sure you get on the Frecciarossa and you’ll be in Torino in just over an hour.