Thursday, June 11, 2015

living Turin style

Diana Zahuranec of Wine Pass who took part to Turin Epicurean Capital 2014 has decided to create Blogging Piemonte an online community of bloggers based in Piedmont and blogging in English.
We met in May and picked the first topic: authentic life in Piedmont.

After 11 years living in the Midwest, even though I am a Turin native, I did have to sit down and think about what this topic meant to me. This is how I came up with a list of things I missed while overseas and those that have always been part of my Turin way of life as a native.

10 things to live Turin style 

1. social eating and especially eating local cuisine, more particularly at the risotto restaurant where they have a glorious menu of risottos that changes according to what the season offers:P 

delicious handmade grissini by chef Giachello of La Smarrita in Turin

2. buying fresh bread and large grissini - breadsticks on a daily basis and munching them on my way walking home. This is really a small pleasure you can't enjoy everywhere in the world; freshly baked bread in its many variants is very comforting and long and thick breadsticks bring me back to when I went to kindergarten and my mom used to buy them at the baker's near our place.

Roman ruins in Turin with a park where you can relax and walk your dog
3. walking the dog at the park near Porte Palatine admiring the Roman ruins. Non-Italians are always surprised at how nonchalant we seem to be regarding our historical monuments and in a way, in Italy, we are: we take our history for granted. We are immersed in our past, we basically go through a stargate every time we leave our homes.

one of the many places to eat in the Quadrilatero area
4. Quadrilatero Romano near Via Garibaldi: spending Friday or Saturday night in one of Turin's nightlife centers. This is also a very creative daylight area with trendy indie designers' shops to browse through.

5. doing window shopping in Via Garibaldi and Via Roma without ever looking at the watch. Enjoying the shop windows and size of the street, the people and thinking about where to rest and have a gelato or a hot chocolate with a cloud of soft whipped cream, in the winter.

6. having a favorite gelato place for each kind of flavor: each ice cream production has its own recipe and specialty and having many options is a huge luxury! My categories are; best fruit flavors, fior di latte - heavy cream based gelato, varied chocolate flavors, hazelnut, whipped cream and granita - slushy. Turin has the best gelato and seasonally, you always find new flavors!

vendro from Porta Palazzo market
7. going to your neighborhood market on Saturday morning. Each neighborhood in Turin has a daily open air market and people who work shop there every Saturday morning. It's an Italian tradition, everything is fresh and cheap, maybe not certified organic but still very natural compared to what you can find in a grocery store.

Piazza Vittorio Veneto
8. taking the orange tram to go downtown or walk all around the city. In Europe we walk a lot which helps us keep in shape. If i have the time I walk everywhere but when i can't, orange trams are a real Turin symbol, we even have one converted into a wandering restaurant!

stylish Piazza San Carlo is Turin's living-room. The dots on the facade are cannon balls 
9. having breakfast or merenda or mid-afternoon snack at a cafĂ© with one or more friends, especially downtown and in a Piazza in the summer, enjoying some pure peoplewatching and street fashion, imagining the passers-by's lives and just enjoying some free time, your friends and the nice weather.

Piazza Vittorio Veneto before the Saint John's fireworks 
10. celebrating June 24th or Saint John the Baptist, Turin's patron saint. Every year, the city organizes a parade with people wearing original historical costumes from different centuries all across the main streets of the city, a bonfire and it finishes with colorful fireworks on the Po River banks. 

Many cities in the world are special but Turin is magic indeed!

These are the links to the other posts by :

Bailey Alexander Save Yourself by Saving the Planet: the real benefits of growing a garden

ItaliAnna Piemonte = Authenticity

Simply Italiana Finding Authenticity as a Foreigner in Italy

who will take part to Turin Epicurean Capital 2015

The Entire Pizza Forced to Live Authentically in Piemonte
who took part to Turin Epicurean Capital2014

and the other amazing expat bloggers in Piedmont and Turin:

Wine & Truffles Authentic Living in the Alta Langa

Living in the Langhe How to Become Authentically Piemontese in 5 Easy Steps

Texas Mom in Torino Authenticity: The evolution of this Texas mom to an Italian mamma

Turin Mamma Why I Draw the Line at Using the Word "Authentic"


  1. I didn't know about the risotto restaurant. It's one my favourite primi and I love adapting it to what's available seasonally. Where exactly is this delicious-sounding location? Will have to try it one day...

  2. Lucia, with so much culinary goodness there, it does make me smile thinking that you sometimes miss American goldfish crackers. :) I love the sound of the markets, the Roman ruins, and the look of those grissini! Knowing that Italy is celiac-friendly, I suspect I could likely find a gluten-free version. Yum.

  3. Awesome post Lucia! Makes me wanna hop on a train and get to Torino ASAP! Love your comment about the grissini.. such an italian and especially Piemontese authentic thing to do... keep up the good work and see you soon!

  4. Nice one Lucia, I'm definitely checking out the Risotto restaurant next time we're in Turin. And the Quadrilatero Romano sounds really good too. I can't wait for our next day out in the big city now! So long as we manage to avoid the cat cafe all will be well :-)