Today, dear friends, we propose you a tour among the Historical Coffee Shops in Turin, chief town of Piedmont. They are places full of extraordinary charm, full of delicious things to eat and drink and interesting memories.
They strongly belong to the history, to the custom and to the city lifestyle . They are unique places. In the nineteenth century,they were meeting points for intellectual and political people, for poets and literates and they had an important role in the Italian unification.
Today they can’t be missed during a visit or a short holiday in Turin. So, come with us and prepare your eyes, your taste and your smell!
Ideal coffee shops for breakfast are, for example, Caffè Torino in San Carlo Square, a place where luxury and elegance show themselves in golden big mirrors, painted medallions, in the wonderful liberty staircase, in the wooden and marble counter. To begin the day here ,there is a little-great pleasure of life, among lights and golden croissants, mignon pastries and pleasant coffees and cappuccinos smells, also known as the Abrate Patisserie. This characteristic place in via Po, open since 1866, has warm wooden interiors made in Piemontese furniture style and a lot of ancient heirlooms. At the time of Savoia Royal Family, Abrate Coffee Shop was the official supplier for the princes ‘ breakfast, who were formed in the Regal Cavalry School.
For a snack or an appetizer, the ideal place is Mulassano Coffee Shop, which lies under the arcades of Castello Square since 1907. Very small and cozy, with little tables, it has conserved the original Belle Epoque atmosphere with furniture and shelves made of appreciated woods, floral decorums in bronze, precious marbles and an original chests ceiling with the central parts made of Madeira’s leather. Turin’s people recognise in Mulassano Coffee Shops two great worths: having launched, for the first time in Italy, the Parisian use of sandwiches (they are unsuperable for quality and variety – over 30 types!) and having made known the toaster for the first time that was imported from the USA in 1925.
Or San Carlo Coffee Shop, a real institution, under the arcades of the same wonderful square; it’s a triumph of golden big mirrors and Corinthian capitals. Its counter almost disappears under the mountain of open sandwiches, pizza breads, salty cakes, grilled vegetables, seasoned pasta and other delights which often become a fast meal.
For a cup of tea or coffee or an afternoon hot chocolate, the idel place is Baratti&Milano, in Castello Square, under Subalpina Arcade, a jewel of post-liberty style, with so many eyes of showcases, airy rooms, rich furniture, chairs and armchairs dressed in leather.
Finally, don’t miss a stop at Bicerin (its name means small glass), in Consolata Square, near the magnificent Consolata ancient church. A small place with a big atmosphere! It has stolen the name from the homonym warm drink prepared with coffee, chocolate, milk and whipped cream served in a thick glass. Bicerin is a particularly strenghtening drink during the cold winter days. This place was born in 1763 as confectionery and was turned into a chocolate and coffee shop during the first halves of nineteenth century.
Photographic credits: Turismo Torino e Provincia; Comune di Torino.