Coffee (and I mean really good coffee) and Italy belong together like cup & saucer, like Tristan & Isolde, Like Romeo & Juliet, like Anric & Lauralouise, like Thelma & Louise – I think you get the point that I am trying to make. It’s a match made in heaven and Italy excels at making great coffee, even the gas stations have better coffee than you can find in London or New York (and by the way, that horrid acidic stuff from Starcucks, is not actually coffee; were talking about real coffee here.
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so whenever were at the Villa Boomerang – we love visiting the ancient city of Torino nearby, its only one and a half hours away, and my wife normally loves stopping at the Vicolungo Style Outlets (Route) en route. So given my fashionista wife’s magnetic attraction to shoe stores and designer boutiques, I have naturally become a somewhat self proclaimed coffee shop aficionado.
Here are my favorite coffee shops in Torino
- Baratti & Milano, since 1858, Baratti & Milano has been serving up spectacular cups of Turin’s pièce de résistance, the “bicerin”. It’s a traditional Piedmontese cousin to the classic Italian cappuccino. The drink comes in a stemmed glass and is a precise layering of fine espresso, melted chocolate and rich steamed milk. Its sweeter, more youthful counterpart, the house’s caffe Baratti e Milano, is espresso prepared with whipped cream, chopped hazelnuts and gianduja, an indigenous chemistry of chocolate and hazelnuts.
Getting a taste requires following Nietzsche’s own steps to a dark arcade in an out-of-the-way corner of the city’s noble Piazza Castello, where an iron door leads into a soaring arcade with a glass-ceiling. Here, you’ll find the cafe enthroned in the same baroque splendor that it knew in Nietzsche’s time, and to open its doors is to tumble into a rabbit-hole of paper-wrapped chocolates, heavy velvet curtains and flickering chandeliers. It makes sense, or doesn’t, that the philosopher was able to finish three of his greatest books in the year he spent in the cafe’s plush chairs, eating finger-sandwiches and munching meringues. Website
- Caffè Fiorio is a historic café in Turin, northern Italy, located at Via Po 8. Founded in 1780, Fiorio became a fashionable meeting place for the artistic, intellectual and political classes of the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia. Frequented by Urbano Rattazzi,] Massimo D’Azeglio, Giovanni Prati, Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour (who founded the Whist Club here), Giacinto Provana di Collegno, Cesare Balbo and Friedrich Nietzsche, it became known as “the café of the Machiavellis and of the pigtails.” The Halls of this famous cafe are quite spectacular and well worth a visit even if you are not a coffeedrinker. Website
- Caffè al Bicerin, home to it’s namesake drink has been serving this wonderful drink since 1763. The current building stems from 1856, its tiny – like 3 x 5 metres and world-famous. Once upon a time, cafes were exclusive male dominion: men found each other to drink, smoke and talk (what else). The “respectable” women could not attend places so unsuitable for them. The Caffè al Bicerin soon proved to be a unique place: it had been opened by a man, but the management soon passed into the hands of ladies. The particular position right in front of the Consolata Sanctuary made it a favorite destination for a female audience who felt protected and at ease in this environment. For many years it was one of the few places where women could show themselves alone in public; here they soaked the biscuits with butter in the bicerin, to break the fast after the daily functions in the sanctuary across the road. It’s been under female management ever since. It’s well worth a visit. Website
- Bar Pino – is one of my all time favorite hangouts in this magnificent city. Located on Via Mogadiscio, this tiny historic gem, again owned by a man called Pino, serves some of the best coffee I have ever tried. It’s a real place where the locals hang-out, the prices are very reasonable and somehow you can feel the spirits of all those that have visited this place before. Time seems to stand still when you enter the doors. There’s no surprise that its the No. 1 coffee shop on Tripadvisor in all of Turin. Facebook Page
- Pasticceria Venier – more bakery and pasticceria than coffee shop – but still serves great coffee and the most spectacular pastries you have ever seen. Its easily the No. 1 ranked bakery in Torino, its right near the Pietro Micca statue on via M. di Pieta. Facebook page
Did you know: In the Western world, coffee consumption is around one-third that of tap water. After petroleum, coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world. Over 7 million metric tons are produced annually. By the end of 2015, Great Britain alone had more than 20,000 coffee shops and the US has over 32,000 speciality coffee shops.
Despite the fact that a pope once called it ‘the devil’s drink’, there is a jar in every kitchen and it is a fact of life that drinking coffee is here to stay.
Related Video Post – Making Caffe Affogato