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Where to refuel in Turin.
You’re still in time to book a cheap flight (Ryanair flies to Turin from East Midlands, Dublin and London Stansted) to join in the city’s party celebrations on and around the 17th of March to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the unification of the Kingdom of Italy. Turin is the birthplace of Vittorio Emanuele II, the new Kingdom’s first monarch, and its first parliament was held in the city’s imposing Palazzo Carignano (5 Via Accademia della Scienze).
But even if history isn’t quite your thing, you are guaranteed to be tempted by one place with a historical link. An absolute must-stop when you visit this elegant city at the foothills of the Alps, is the famous ‘Caffé al Bicerin’ (www.bicerin.it), which dates back to 1763. A ‘bicerin’, Turin’s iconic drink, is a magic mix of thick hot chocolate, coffee and cream and it became famous after one of the town’s famous ‘sons’, Count of Cavour, the first Prime Minister of the newly united Kingdom developed a penchant for it and became one of the Caffé’s regulars. It may be wickedly calorific but it’s a great way to refuel mid-morning or afternoon.
And if you’re looking for a gift to take home, Turin is also famous for ‘Giandujotti’, velvety hazelnut chocolates, made from hazelnuts grown in the Piedmont region. They can be found all over town but undoubtedly the best are sold at Guido Gobino’s (www.guidogobino.it). The Via Lagrange branch has a very cool tasting salon, where they also serve sparkling white wine which makes as excellent aperitif. Cheers! Or ‘salute’ as the locals say.