Going out in Turin

Artissima 2017

Artissima is starting today in Turin. Established in 1994, it is now considered Italy's most important art fair. And what is more important than art and calcio in Italy? Food! Here's where to have a simple bowl of pasta and the best vitello tonnato in the city of Fiat and Juventus, brought to you by Turin connoisseur Clarissa Tempestini from Berlin's ChertLüdde gallery.

 

Others may dispute this, but I happen to think Italy is the food capital of the (art) world. Food is the sweetest comfort to accompany the long week of Artissima in Turin. The former capital of the Duchy of Savoy has one of the most varied and celebrated cuisine of the country and autumn is one of the best seasons to experience the city’s gastronomic tradition. As a matter of fact this is truffle and porcini season. Unique to this Alp-fringed city is also gianduia chocolate which is made with a mixture of cocoa and hazelnuts. If you are in town, be sure to try it in the form of a gianduiotto or crema gianduia.

The city is packed full of restaurants, trattorie, osterie and pizzerie, and an increasing number of places that offer Italian food. When in town, these are our favourite places for a treat:

 

Breakfast

Caffè Torino
Piazza San Carlo, 204

Serving great espresso, croissants and typical Italian pastries since 1903, Caffè Torino is right at the other end of the arcade from the Caffè San Carlo, with grand Art Nouveau decor. Be sure to try the “Bicerin”, a real bomb made of espresso, drinking chocolate and milk, served layered in a small rounded glass. This place is also famous for its Martini aperitif, and the house speciality is a Negroni cocktail, an unforgettable mix of Martini Rosso, Campari and gin. Not recommended for breakfast. 

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Caffetteria Beccuti
Via Pietro Micca, 10

The sheer number of bars in Italy only shows how serious the locals are with regard to their coffee. Try a real “Torrefazione” like Caffetteria Beccuti, a cosy bar that serves delicious coffee and a whole range of tempting pastries, chocolates and savoury snacks. It also sells blends of freshly roasted coffee that you can have ground to take away.

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Teapot Tisaneria
Via Silvio Pellico, 18

For a more international feeling, try this lovely little place in San Salvario neighbourhood, perfect for a Sunday brunch. The atmosphere is "your grandma’s kitchen" and the food is made on the spot. From here you can take a stroll down the dazzling Parco del Valentino and reach Cesare Lombroso's Museum of Criminal Anthropology, the astonishing collection of this “infamous” criminologist. On display are drawings, photos, criminal evidence, anatomical sections of madmen and criminals, along with works produced by criminals in the last century. This is not a museum of horrors, rather a tribute to science and to this scientist incredible’s mind. Still, not recommended for the faint-hearted.

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LUNCH

Da Cianci Piola Caffè
Largo IV Marzo, 9/b

An affordable restaurant in town which serves simple and tasty dishes from the region. “Piola” means Trattoria in the traditional local dialect and these places are usually family-owned business. Cianci Piola Caffè is often crowded and loud. Try vitello tonnato, acciughe al verde, tomini al verde or the tasty Capunet. This place is located in the antique heart of the city, the "quadrilatero", and so is close to to many nice little craft shops and many of the city’s sights. 

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Caffè-Vini Emilio Ranzini
Via Porta Palatina, 9/g

Nearby you will find also the Caffé-Vini Emilio Ranzini, which will take you back in time. Being an old-fashioned place, you may be asked to share your table with others and you will probably end up with some new friends. A real icon for hipsters, within walking distance from the elegant Royal Palace of Turin.

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DINNER

Da Mauro
Via Maria Vittoria, 21

This is the real gem, I was almost tempted not to mention this restaurant as it is our little secret place. As a matter of fact, it is not well known, not even among locals. The restaurant doesn't look like there's been a decor update for 50 years, and that is the beauty of it. It is frozen in time, and the staff also look like they’re from another century. We went there yesterday and I am still drooling over all the dishes. Here you can try real Piedmontese food, truffle and porcini, risotto, agnolotti piemontesi and even fish (try octopus with artichokes) for a very fair price. Be prepared for non-English-speaking staff, but don’t panic: It does not really matter what you order, it is going to be gnammy. Start with a mix of bruschette and then just go with the flow.

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Da Michele
Via Maria Vittoria, 21

Not to be confused with Da Mauro, this is one of the exhibitors’s favorite spots for dining. Here you can enjoy a marvellous pizza with local products which are always seasonal and fresh: you’ll feel like a real Italian. 

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Tre Galli or Tre Galline
Via Sant'Agostino, 25
Via Gian Francesco Bellezia, 37

These two places are a must try in Turin, and they are quite famous within the art world (and not only). The Tre Galline and the Tre Galli were amongst the first restaurants in the city and they offer an outstanding reinterpretation of traditional cuisine of the region. Find it out yourself by feasting your palate in the mouthwatering dishes on the menu and let the sommelier make you dizzy with a great selection of wine. 

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HANGOUT

During Artissima you can dance the night away every night of the week at Club To Club Festival. This year the event hosts nationwide debuts from Visible Cloaks, Ben Frost and Kraftwerk's 3-D live show. The festival takes place in different venues including the old Fiat factory in Lingotto and the Palace of Venaria, along with some of the best of the city’s nightlife spots. 

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Artissima opens today and runs until 5 Novermber.

CLARISSA TEMPESTINI is the manager of ChertLüdde gallery.