One of the nicest things to do in an unknown city is to wander and explore. However, my wandering today began with intent for on a Saturday morning where else would a food blogger in a new city want to go other than to the main food market. I should really have been here last week for the major slow-food movement festival but as it was, there was still the excitement of Porta Palazzo market in Piazza della Republica to enjoy. I’d asked at the reception desk at the hotel where to go and this was where I was directed and told it was one of the biggest markets in Europe.
I walked to Piazza San Carlo, up Via Roma and into Piazza Castello where I stopped for coffee at Baratti & Milano – one of Turin’s many famous grand cafes – and dating from 1858 for a cappuccino and a mini brioche.
It was excellent and because I stood at the bar, Italian style, which is cheaper than sitting down, it only cost me €2.80. Then I made my way to Piazza della Republica. The market really is enormous, stretching across a wide area.
It was a fabulous market with wonderful fresh produce: enormous pumpkins, courgettes with their flower still attached, huge tomatoes and fresh chillies.
On the far side was a covered market.
I then took a quiet, different route back to Piazza Castello where I sought another coffee.
The great thing in Italy is that coffee comes in small sizes so you can stop more frequently. And this time I decided to pay extra to sit down. I wanted a little rest! I’d passed Caffe Mulassano a couple of times and liked the look of it, so went there.
I had another cappuccino and mini pastry. My sit down price was €5.50 – but the sitting down was worth the extra! Then I headed down Via Po towards the Po river, which is the longest river in Italy, flowing from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea. The best risotto rice is grown in the Po Valley.
On the other side of the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele 1 is the 19th century church of Gran Madre di Dio, built to imitate Rome’s Pantheon. Even inside, it was a copy – though a far cry from the real Roman Pantheon which is one of my favourite ever buldings.
This Turin version apparently featured in the film THE ITALIAN JOB. I decided to head back towards the hotel and made my way to a wine bar I’d seen last night that was busy and looked good. I thought it would be a good place for lunch.
Cantina Torino is in Via Monte di Pietta. I wanted a light lunch as I’ve a table booked at a restaurant for supper tonight. I chose a special of the day: a frisella which is a bread salad with lots of vegetables and almonds.
It looked pretty and was fresh and tasty – perfect for lunch. I liked the bar a lot and service was friendly. Now it was time to go back to the hotel for a little siesta. I’d walked over 7km and my feet needed a rest! But what a great morning t