Laurie Ellis writes about the perks of traveling to a lesser-known area of a beautiful place. She traveled to Turin or Turino and found that this lesser known Italian city is worth checking out if you like good food, wine, and museums and markets. And you don’t have the crowds you would deal with in places such as Florence or Rome or Venice.
Laurie says, The wine of the Piedmont region is world class – this is where the Nebiolo grape grows, giving the world the excellent Barolo and Barbaresco wines. And the white wines aren’t too shabby either!I know next to nothing about wines, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying just about everything I tried. The people in Torino and the Lakes region are only too happy to fill you in on what you’re drinking and why. If you already know your wines, you’ll be in heaven.
Yum! From a simple everyday espresso to Caffe San Carlo’s melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi and fabulous affogato al caffe (vanilla gelato gently doused with espresso), to Al Bicerin, fine purveyor of things chocolate (think firm creamy chunk of Nutella, but so much better) and their signature drink, the Bicerin: a layer of espresso, layer of chocolate, layer of cream; you can’t go wrong dining in this region.
Cheese and cured meats are also a specialty of the area, so be assured that the proscuitto is outstanding. This place is a gourmand’s nirvana.
Cooking class at Eataly — More drinking than actual cooking
In Torino, they even have something called the “ChocoPass”. It’s a book of tickets that offers you 10-15 samplings of chocolate in 24 or 48 hours. If I had only had the opportunity…
The Piedmont region is the birthplace of the Slow Food Movement, an effort to increase awareness of the food we eat. “Slow Food is good, clean and fair food.” To that end, the SF movement was instrumental in the recent opening of Eataly in Torino– an amazing market that offers an educational as well as gustatory experience. They have a “cooking with top chefs” series of classes on site as well as other events on a regular basis. I mention this for two reasons: I was duly impressed with the store and philosophy, and there are plans to open an Eataly in Rockefeller Center, New York, NY, in 2008. Check the website and keep an eye out for it.
If you would like to read more about Laurie’s experience in Italy, check out for her story. She talks about the markets and the museums, the islands and the lakes, the accomodation, food, and other exciting Italian discoveries that make anyone want to immediately begin planning a trip.