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.


our mile long arcades are the perfect shelter


In fact, cherry season has just started and we are right in the middle of our very much longed for asparagus season. As per tradition we'll be eating cherries till June 24th or St John's Day - the patron saint of Turin. After that date we'll be enjoying ramassin plums, our tiny and sweet plums - and no, don't look for them anywhere else in Italy because they grow only in Piedmont. 
Please, mark down: ramasin gelato on your late June-July to-do-list in Turin and Piedmont.

Apricots, peaches and netcarines will appear soon too but as for now, we are still enjoying our strawberries!

All this is quite important because artisan gelato shops in Turin sell seasonal gelato and sorbet flavors besides their cream and chocolate based one. Some gelato makers, like Miretti's takes advantage of the bountiful summer fruits to stock up and prepare the starters for the winter flavors.


Miretti's has always limited ed monthly artisan flavors and popsicles

These days, when the rain gives us some respite, the locals are coming back to our piazzas, catching up with family and friends with a spritz, vermouth (Martini is from Turin!) and munchies of different nature. Pedestrian streets  are like endless terraces with bistro tables, chairs and sometimes even huge parasols just for those few sunny hours.

Looking yourselves around, scanning the palazzo façades, you'll get the very unordinary feeling - for an Italian city - to be in a blend of Vienna, Paris and New York vibes with an Italian twist. People here have their own sense of rigorous elegance, our architecture is rather rational too, and the urban spaces are very well distributed to create some very nonchalant 'chill out zones'.




In Turin you will not find just one trendy or young area but many - here we love to have options:

  • in Piazza Vittorio - largest European open square, near Turin's symbol Mole Antonelliana and by the River Po, where in case of showers or if it is scorching hot, our long and wide arcades will shelter you. Great cakes, teas and more here.
  • in the Roman lanes where tiny rum and vermouth bars side tarot parlors and many eateries -vegan, traditional and ethinic will sooth your cravings
  • the San Salvario hood near the Porta Nuova station, where the synagogue is located too - makes always for an edgy place, full of pubs, wine bars, small trattorias and ethnic food.

Non Italian visitors come over to Italy for the food, and rightly so. However, when in Turin, visitors are always surprised not to find the 'usual dishes' and this is simply because Northwest Italians eat other things.


no cacio e pepe, fettuccini Alfredo or tourist traps in Turin


Spring and Fall are our big seasons: the Fall 🍂 for the white truffles - extra $$$ because unlike black truffles, they can't be cultivated - and the Spring 🌹for the porcini mushrooms that spring thanks to the May (heavy) rains, and of course, our asparagus!

Risottos, raviolis, pasta dishes, breads with cured meats and our Alpine cheeses, meat dishes, fish dishes, flans, quiches and salads all include porcini and asparagus in a big feast for any foodie.

Expats visiting from other Italian cities are always amazed by our large ethnic food choices: besides Chinese and Japanese, we also have Thai, Greek, Balinese, Persian, Egyptian, Russian, Turkish, Brazilian, Armenian, Argentinian and Indian restaurants, including some fusion options!

Our restaurant scene reflects our very diverse international community and rooted historical relationship with other cultures and countries. 
And yet, we hold on tight to our traditional flavors too and this is why many chains you'll find in touristy Italian places don't last long on Turin.




Standardization and stereotypes, average quality and cheap mass productions are not Turin or Piedmont concepts. 

Instead, take your time to dress in style, wander our streets and savor all the house aperitifs. As there is no schedule for pleasure up here, feel free to order a cappuccino at any time of the day: nobody will flinch 😉 but yes, locals will think you are an alcoholic if you sitting down at a café, you'll order an espresso and some wine without any food to pair it with!

In Turin, do it like the locals do it: feed both your stomachs and souls, enjoy strolling around, peeking through our many independent bookshops, specialty shops, museums and pace your day with different drinks and foods.

Let our endless options allure you and soon you'll be apartment hunting here too 😅 after all, there is an airport TRN connected to all the major European cities including London Heathrow (with BA), Paris (CDG), Munich & Frankfurt (with LH) and Madrid!




e-mail Lucia: turinepi@gmail.com 

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