Less than hour away from Bra, you will find the elegant city of Torino. Known for its coffee culture, and less importantly for its soccer team 😂 It is homee home of Lavazza and Caffè Vergnano, making it quite the spot to understand how Italians enjoy coffee.
In my humble opinion, now that we are here "entre nos", I don't like the Italian traditions of drinking coffee, it is so different to my way of enjoying coffee. Back home, we drink tintos, long black coffees, that take longer to drink and could be perceived as watery. Here in Italy you head to a coffee bar and order at the bar. The most common order is "un caffè per favore", that refers to a shot of espresso, that you drink at the bar as a shot. Additionally, they have this invisible rule against drinking cappuccinos after noon. Apparently, drinking cappuccinos, as they contain a lot of milk, should only be consumed for breakfast. Which makes total sense, as Italians barely consume dairy throughout the rest of the day 😂
✨ All jokes aside, Torino is worth the visit, specially for its traditional coffee called Bicerin -- which in Piedmontese dialect means “small round glass”. This hot and rich drink has three distinct layers: the espresso at the bottom and the thick hot chocolate topped with whipped milk. If you want an intense kick of sugar and caffeine, this is it.
✨If you want a very good Italian street-food, that almost feels healthy 😂 head to Trapizzino, the Italian pizza pocket. The first and only time I have been there was when one of my little miracles came to visit me in Bra.
Miggy, or Miguel, is Portuguese but met by pure luck while we lived in Geneva. Due to the pandemic and rotations in his company, he moved to Frankfurt, Germany and since since then, mid pandemic, we hadn't seen each other. We did have our weekly cyber beer chats while he helped me completing a horrible business simulation to graduate from the MBA 😂 We passed!
In Trapizzino, we got to try a little bit of everything, however, I strongly recommend the Burrata and Fried Zucchini stuffing, or the Eggplant Parmigiana.
✨ If you are feeling like regional and traditional Italian food, for a bang to your buck, head to Cianci Piola Caffè. Their menu is short, but with all the essentials. You must start with their Nebbiolo wine, that comes in a jar, then their Vitello Tonnato or their Cavolfiore (Cauliflower) Flan drenched in cheese sauce. Now for primi, the menu changes according to seasonality. However, you must get their Tajarin, and if their is "al ragù di salsiccia", do it. Their secondi options are stellar too, but usually and antipasti with primi is more than enough.
✨Now, if you are not feeling Italian food, and instead some Asian street-food, head to Oh Crispa and get their Gua Bao to start. Oh man, is it good. Now, this recommendation depends if you are into spicy foods or not, the Wan Za Mian is a must for me, but beware, it burns. For a different and delicious option, go with their Xia Long Baos.
✨ For unique signature cocktails and plant-forward apericena head to Smile Tree. If you are a Gin girl that enjoys tropical and spicy flavors, like me, get their Gaucho Valiente, a London dry gin infused red pepper, guava liquor, and yerba mate syrup.
✨ Now, if there is something you must know when traveling to Italy, is that it is the third most Michelin starred country in the world, with 385 starred restaurants. Although I am not the Michelin expert whatsoever,) I did have the fortune of trying one based in Torino, that is Unforgettable, quite literally. They step away from the traditional Michelin restaurant experience, and bring it to the next level in term of modernism, story-telling, and overall experience. Check the video, to have a better glimpse.