My flight wasn’t until late afternoon so I had all morning to see more of Turin and have some lunch before I left for the airport. It was lovely to wake to a beautiful sunny day with clear blue skies. I thought I’d visit the Palazzo Reale which was a royal residence during the time of the House of Savoy in the 19th century and walk through its gardens. But morning coffee called first and I decided to try another cafe. Turin is full of wonderful cafes. There are so many good ones it would be hard to have a favourite but what a joy to have so many to try out. I decided to go to Caffe San Carlo in the beautiful Piazza San Carlo. This cafe dates from 1822 though has undergone major restoration since that time. Inside it’s very grand indeed.
The woman at the cash desk was really friendly – it makes all the difference. If you drink and eat at the bar you buy a ticket as you go in. This is much cheaper than sitting down, but I wanted to sit down and take my time. I ordered a cappuccino and croissant but it came with a complimentary little cake too.
It was all very delicious. I went back out into the sun and piazza and made my way up Via Roma with its beautiful arcades and smart shops to Piazza Castello, which leads into Piazza Reale.
What I’d failed to bear in mind is that many galleries and museums are closed on Mondays. As are many shops – or at least until lunchtime – and some cafes and restaurants too. Palazzo Reale was closed and so were a couple of others I looked at so I settled for taking a walk through the Giardini (gardens) Reali.
I was happy just wandering round this beautiful city and pleased to see it at last in full sunshine.
I had to go back to the hotel late morning to check out and then decided to go to Eataly for lunch. There’s a small branch of this well-known food emporium with cafe and restaurant in Via Lagrange, just round the corner from my hotel. The original large branch is further south and about half an hour’s walk away. Eataly offers some of the country’s best produce and wines and the original Turin branch opened in 2007. There are now 27 branches round the world, including New York.
I chose to eat at the restaurant tables outside rather than the cafe. Bags of two types of bread – plain sourdough in one and olive in the other – was put before me.
The bread was wonderful; probably the best I had all trip, though all bread served to me was of high quality I chose a starter of roasted peppers with a tuna sauce stuffing.
These were excellent too. I then had a very simple pasta dish of paccheri – large pasta tubes – with tomato and basil sauce and burrata. I wanted something reasonably light as it was lunchtime – but I also wanted a full lunch before the long journey home.
It may have been a simple dish but it was very good too. I chose a small plate of three bite-sized cakes for a dessert.
They were three mouthfuls of gorgeous wonder. It had been a lovely lunch; a great way to end my trip to Turin. Two slightly odd things about Eataly though: I had to pay for my food before it came to me, despite being in the restaurant part. The other thing was the restaurant didn’t serve coffee, people were being told to go to the adjacent cafe. I just ate my little cakes – but it would have been nice to be served an espresso with them!
All too soon I was heading back to the airport. But it had been a fabulous trip and I think Turin has become one of my favourite cities, so I’m sure to go back!