Thursday, July 18, 2024

the chocolate museum

After many long years of wishing and praying, soft whispering and hoping, the Turin chocolate museum finally opened and with Alex Futter - a long time friend - we went to take a look for you!

Bridgerton vibes at the chocolate museum too

As many of you already know, Turin's chocolate tradition started back in the 1585 with the wedding of the Duke of Savoy and the daughter of Philip II of Spain.

This is how stashes of cocoa beans made it from Latin America - where the Spanish crown had its colonies to Sicily - part of the Kingdom of Spain since 1412, from Sicily up to Piedmont and from Piedmot to all the European royal courts before any chocolate brand you may have heard of was even founded.

Why and how?
Simply because the others had no clue about what to do with all those cocoa beans and for many centuries even how to use the cocoa powder...

cocoa pods from different origins

Since the 1600s many things have changed in how we Turinese make and like our chocolate(s), hot cocoa and chocolate specialties and we can now thank Napoleon too. 
In fact, without the Napoleonic wars at the beginning of 1800, we would have never felt the need to blend our 'cheap' hazelnuts to our cocoa to make gianduia - our luscious staple flavor.
Can you even imagine a world without gianduiotti and cremini - our 2 staple chocolates - or even nutella - another Turin product?? 

Alex inside the Spanish galleon bringing the cocoa pods to Europe

Naturally, over the years many chocolatier families launched their small and large businesses and to these days, Turin has 5 chocolate factories open to the public, many pastry shops have their own artisan chocolate productions and many of our historical local brands are still thriving despite the economy and their family dramas.

This is how over the years the Pfatisch pastry shop collected a priceless amount of chocolate-making equipment and it is now finally sharing them with you all right under their historical location.

the Pfatisch pastry shop and cafe'

The chocolate museum is designed like a travel that starts in the pre-Colombian America, crosses the Atlantic over to Euope with big bags of cocoa beans and we are taught about the different varieties of cocoa around the world.

This is quite important because once in Turin you'll soon learn that this Gods' food isn't just a generic sweet chocolate but our cioccolato changes dramtically in taste and texture according to the origin of cocoa beans, the amount of cocoa used and the other ingrendients like cream, hazelnuts and different natural raw sugars that can be used for our current productions.

moustache cups for hot chocolate

This is how after the leanring about the many chocolate varienties and terroirs, historical uses of chocolate and a bit of first European scepticism, we end up at a sensorial table where we can smell two hot chocolate recipes from the 1700s: a Florentine one with vanilla - yes, it is glorious, and our very own Turin's bicerin coffee - simply pure chocolate bliss!

olfactory table with the two hot chocolate recipes to smell

moustache cups

The museum shows a bit of the local and European chocolate culture that developped as chocolate became part of our daily life: 

- in a corridor sided with display cases, we can admire some moutache cup (the moustache helped keeping the moustache clean) sets and hot chocolate sets on one sid and some hot chocolate pots of different matierials, shapes and time on the other.

hot chocolate pots

- mortars and pestles of many shapes and sizes used to grind the cocoa beans and other chocolate making equipment

- a whole wall with historical pictures of old Turin, Piedmont and some famous Italian chocolate brands facing a collection of historical chocolate tins like many Italian nonnas still have in their living-rooms.

Alex looking at the historical chocolate tin collection

Walking around Turin, you will notice that many royal cafés selling their chocolates and as well as many pastry shops sell Turin themed chocolate boxes of many sizes and materials. You may at first think they are for the tourists, but in reality, we locals still love the tradition of gift-giving artisan chocolates from famous local tiny productions in boxes that will be kept, used and hand down to other generations.

Finally, the chocolate museum brings you to a chocolate statue gallery and to 3 chocolate dispensers  where you can enjoy as many chocolate coins from the Pfatisch production of milk chocolate, white chocolate and 75% chocolate.

chocolate Easter eggs are a BIG thing in Turin

After returning your audioguide, you'll end up right inside the old Pfatisch café where despite the renovation everything still looks like 1915 when it first opened there.

Its decor in wood exhudes the old Turin royal atmosphere and the temptation to buy one of everything you'll see will be strong AF!! Don't resist it, amici!

chocolate has MANY benefits

A unique experience you shouldn't skip is sitting down at the tables outdoor, under the arcades and  order something to drink, hot or cold it doesn't really matter, as long as you pair it with some of the Pfatisch savory finger foods made for the aperitif (but also great with tea and at any time of the day, really) and their tiny pastries. Turin has always had a refined taste!

Finally, get yourselves a small amount chocolates to munch on your way to your next visit, be it shopping, another museum, an art gallery or a gelato shop. You will not regret it!

Nothing is sweeter than eating chocolates while walking under the Turin arcades, doing window shopping and feeling just like a local!


great Turin souvenirs, and look at how many chocolate spreads they make here!

Wait no longer, polish your crown, hop over to Turin - airport code TRN - and 

email Lucia: 

for your private tours, tastings, private classes, travel concierge and consulting sessions.

Look at more pictures on our Pinerest account.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

late June in Turin

June in Turin is one of the top  months to visit because you, amici from out of town, can enjoy our fully working city when some of the locals have already left for the summer!

the fruit you can buy at our market at the end of June

Thursday, May 16, 2024

May in Turin

 ... and in the blink of an eye it's almost summer even though in Turin and Piedmont these days it's still pretty rainy and we are still wearing sweaters and jackets. 

To understand what May does mean in Turin you will need a market our. Lucky us here, we have a daily market in every neighborhood except for Sunday. According to what you'll see on the stalls you'll know what we are cooking, eating and what to expect on our restaurant menus.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Olivetti the Italian Silicon Valley

If we were to ask you what Martini, Lavazza and FIAT have in common, what would you answer? And if we asked you how they are connected to Bialetti, AlessiZegna and Ferrero - think nutella and Ferrero Rocher?

Easy: Turin capital of Piedmont! 
Now imagine a company vision where the wellbeing of the workers directly translates into the highest productivity and revenues for the company itself, and you have the framework of most of our Piedmont companies and brands. 

The most famous and renowned Italian brands and symbols in the world originated by small family owned companies here in Piedmont. Martini in the late 1700s, FIAT in the late 1800s, Lavazza, Bialetti, Alessi and Ferrero in the early to mid 1900s. And their products are the results of the creativity of the company founders and their descendants.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The bear, the bulls and the wine fair

As the 3rd season of The Bear has just been confirmed and as the 2nd one has just won a ton of Golden Globes we want to share with you why this iconic TV series - a must-see for all food-lovers is actually also a portrait of Turin and basically how Chicago and Turin are so similar in their polar opposite identity.

La Farmacia Del Cambio, Turin

Monday, January 15, 2024

2024 Turin travel FAQs

Happy New Year from Turin, amici 🎊 2024 is an 8 year (2+2+4) meaning: the infinite and whether Turin is already in your plans or not, well... we do hope to see you here to experience our infinite cool things 😎

Via Po near the University of Turin since 1404