This is an excerpt from the book “Turin“
“What news from the cafès today?” King Vittorio Emanuele II would often ask his counselors when he wanted the low-down on the political situation. If we’re going to be honest, a chapter of Italian history was actually written in Turin cafès. Cavour was a patron of Caffè Fiorio, but Massimo D’Azeglio, Giolitti and Einaudi preferred Baratti & Milano.
De Gasperi used to wind down at Caffè Torino. Alexandre Dumas was a habituè of Bicerin (the “snifter”), Guido Gozzano liked the Art Nouveau rooms in Mulassano, but Platti was Cesare Pavese’s favorite.
Things haven’t changed much and the historic cafès are the heart and soul of Turin tradition and culture: a safe bet for tasting some special subalpine pastries in oh-so-chic style.
Piazza della Consolata, 5
The specialty of the house is the “bicerin”, a chocolate beverage mixed with coffee, hot bitter chocolate and milk cream. Don’t leave town without having tried it!
Caffe’ Baratti & Milano
Piazza Castello, 29
Tel. 011 440.71.38
Located at the entrance to the Galleria Subalpina, this cafè conserves the elegance of fin de siècle atmosphere and is the perfect stopover for an aperitif. The refined restaurant serves lunch from 12:30 to 14:30.
Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 5
This historic cafè once was the haunt of the writer Cesare Pavese and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Tables are set under the porticoes with a view of the square. Besides its well-stocked wine cellar, this popular cafè offers a wide selection of aperitifs and appetizers.
Via Po, 8
Established in 1780, the cafè was popular with artists and politicians such as Rattazzi, D’Azeglio and Cavour. Nicknamed “cafè of the pigtails”, it was also frequented by gentlemen aristocrats and high military officers during the 1800s. The rooms still conserve the elegance of times past. Light lunch also served.
C.so Vittorio Emanuele II, 72
Established in 1875, this cafè has conserved its original furnishings. Pavese and Einaudi were frequent guests, and today’s clientele still draws from the city’s upper classes. Light lunch with fixed menu is served from 12:00 to 14:30 and dinner is served à la carte from 19:30 to 24:00.
C.so Matteotti, 5
Small but elegant cafè famous for its excellent ice cream.
Caffè San Carlo
Piazza San Carlo, 156
The first Italian cafè to use gaslight that illuminated the rich plasterwork and statues decorating the rooms. At the time, chroniclers called it “a palace”, where Risorgimento patriots and statesmen met. Bar service. outdoor cafè.
Piazza Castello, 15
Established at the turn of the century, it was popular with the nobility from the royal court and the artists from the nearby Teatro Regio. An ideal place for a cup of coffee or hot cocoa and a look at the beautiful wood and marble furnishings. Its original owner created sandwiches that eventually made his establishment famous.
Caffè Neuv Caval ‘D Brons
Piazza San Carlo, 157
Elegant cafè serving aperitifs and coffee, with a choice selection of pastries, appetizers and sandwiches. A winding staircase leads to the upper floor restaurant with view of the square and outdoor cafè.
Piazza San Carlo, 204
One of the city’s most elegant gathering places, with outdoor tables under the 17th century porticoes surrounding the square. The elegant interior decor dates from the turn of the century. Light lunch served.
Piazza San Carlo, 191
Established in 1836, the confectionery made by Stratta is famous in Italy. Its show windows display the traditional products of piedmontese confectionery. Favorites include caramels, gianduiotti and filled chocolates. No bar service.
Piazza Carignano, 8
Established in 1903, the cafè is located in the square in front of Palazzo Carignano, the seat of the first Italian parliament, and the historic Teatro Carignano (pedestrian zone). It was the preferred cafè of the House of Savoy. Today, its outdoor tables offer a welcome place to enjoy a quick lunch, ice cream or cake.
Piazza Carlo Felice, 50
Typical Turin confectionery shop established in 1883, beautifully decorated with lacquered and golf leaf furnishings dating from 1926. A wide variety of choice products such as “Droneresi” (meringue filled with rum-flavored chocolate) and “Baci di Cherasco” (bitter chocolate filled with hazelnut creme). No bar service.
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