Friday, December 8, 2017

Ratafia' - cherry wine liqueur

Among the many souvenirs you can buy when in Turin and Piedmont, and especially among the MANY local specialties you should try here, Ratafia' holds definitely a special place.

Ratafia' is from Adorno Micca in Piedmont

Ratafia' is a sweet liqueur made with wine and cherries; although you will find also many variants all over Italy, in France and Spain, it did originate right here - over 400 years ago - in Piedmont where we grow black cherries 😋 

The Ratafia' production started back in the 17th century in the Santa Maria della Sala monastery in Andorno Micca, in the Biella area (where Ermenegildo Zegna is from).  

Sweet, juicy and fruity are the main characteristics of Ratafia' that can be made with red wine or grappa according to the production area. Famous Italian writer Gabriele D'Annunzio loved it for its deep red-purplish color and its fruity taste.

The Piedmontese legend has it that back in 1000, a cherry liqueur saved the Andorno Micca population from the plague thus making possible the wedding between the liqueur inventor's daughter and the son of his enemy.

As the two families became friends the Latin sentence "et sic res rata fiat" was pronounced and it became the name of the liqueur.

In 1700, Mr Pietro Rappis, an apothecary, started an artisan production. In 1880 Giovanni Rapa took over the tradition and started his own production carrying on the local tradition and recipes.
This is a brand you can actually find and buy
Besides, the Piedmont black cherries, sugar and red wine, Liquorificio Rapa also uses a spice blend.

As a digestive liqueur Ratafia' is perfect to close your meals, chilled, still or on ice. You can pair it with a dessert, fruit salad or gelato and naturally, you can also use it to moist your cakes 😉

homemade Ratafia'

As you can see, you can make your own version of Ratafia' at home, it won't taste like the one you can buy here in Piedmont, but making it can be a good travel preparation.


  • 800gr - 1.7lb                          black or sour cherries
  • 1liter - 1 quart or 4 cups        red wine
  • 500 gr - 2.5 cups                    granulated sugar
  • 300ml - 10 fl oz                     alcohol 90* 

Wash and pit the cherries; put them with the wine in a large glass container that you can close tight like in the picture above.
Keep it in the sun for 40 days and let it ferment, stirring occasionally.

After the 40 days, filter the wine, add the sugar and alcohol.
Stir it well and let it macerate for 2 weeks in a cool environment.
Finally filter, bottle and enjoy it!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Epicurean week-ends

1. Read the list and count how many you know and like:

espresso, all Martini & Rossi beverages, Italian fashion, Juventus, Italian cars, Cinzano, Fiat 500, gelato on a stick (like Magnum), chocolate, Lavazza coffee, vermouth, lady fingers (cookies), lady's kisses (cookies), alpini, aperitif, Italian design, RAI tv, Cirio pasta sauce, Robe di Kappa, grissini breadsticks, risotto, arcades or porticoes, the Shroud of Turin, Salone del Gusto - Terra Madre (Slow Food), IED, panna cotta, polenta, tramways, agnolotti, tajarin, Mole Antonelliana, Italian cinema, Italian sport, Egyptology, Sandokan, brutti ma buoni (cookies)

2. If you marked at least 10 you MUST come over to Turin, home of all the things listed above 🙌

Foodies, wine lovers and lovers of all things Italian: you'll easily get hooked on Turin and will crave for more 😎

Friday, November 24, 2017

Piemonte flavored gelato in the UK

If you love gelato as much as we do, you will love this post by Laura Hadland about Gelato Village, in Leicester, UK. This is the gelateria founded by our Twitter and Instagram friends Antonio and Daniele, both from Turin 🙌

Gelato Village: Bringing a flavour of Piemonte to the UK

When Gelato Village first opened its doors in August 2014, its Italian owners, Antonio De Vecchi and Daniele Taverna, had no idea if the people of Leicester, England would have an appetite for authentic Italian gelato. The two natives of Turin had come to the UK over 10 years earlier, working in the medical and IT industries. It was their love of high quality food, inspired by their Piemontese upbringing which encouraged them to throw in the towel on their old careers and turn their passion into a business.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ishita's love letter to Turin

Ishita at Al Bicerin here in Turin!
This week we are sharing our friend Ishita's second post, you can read the first one about Sacra di San Michele here.

Ishita Sood is an Indian blogger hopelessly in love with all things Italian. She pens downs her travels in her blog Italophilia and makes it a point to visit Italy every year. And naturally, we hope to see her very often right here in Turin.

Follow her on her stories and her great pictures of Italy on her Instagram account

Friday, November 10, 2017

Marco Giachello, a real chef from Piedmont

The chef is an artist who shapes nature's ingredients into dishes that are deeply rooted in their territory. Preserving the original flavors and atmospheres has always been an important concept in Italian cuisine and even more in Piedmont where Slow Food was born.
The bond between the chef and his/her home region is vital because it emphasizes how local specialties vary town to town around the year and how they can be developed to adapt to a more modern taste.

Chef Marco Giachello shaving white truffles over his egg tajarin

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Strolling around Turin

Follow our Twitter friend, Michael Hindley strolling around Turin through his favorite parts of our city.

Michael was educated at London University and the Free University of West Berlin and is a former Member of the European Parliament.
Michael has travelled extensively throughout Europe and Asia.
He writes and lectures on European politics and divides his time between his native Lancashire and Evian-les-Bains, France.
Follow Michael on Twitter @HindleyLancs

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Dong Film Fest

Fall in Turin is a rather rich season of events, especially for all those who love cinema. As Italian cinema was born in Turin - that was the Hollywood of silent productions in 1910s, it doesn't come as a surprise that we are now hosting such a unique festival as the Dong Film Fest.