The sun was so gloriously hot that I could only contemplate finding somewhere for lunch with tables outside. I’d passed Farmacia in Piazza Carignano a few times and noticed it’s always busy so decided that was a good place to head at lunchtime.
There was a short queue but fortunately a table became free fairly quickly. I found myself sitting in full sun, which was both wonderful but also left me wondering if I’d last in it long enough to eat a meal! I did and by the end, the sun had moved round enough for me to move my chair back a little into the shade. This was my view:
It was only once I sat down and looked at the menu that I realised I was in an offshoot of the famous – and very expensive – Del Cambio restaurant next door. Thus everything came with a touch of luxury – rather gorgeous decorated glasses, posh bottled water, etc.
I’d ordered a salad and glass of fizz. I chose a glass of Franciacorta sparkling wine for only €1 more than the prosecco (€11 for 150ml). Franciacorta is an Italian sparkling wine made using the champagne method, which gives it more flavour than prosecco. It was gorgeous and perfect for lunch in the sun.
With it came and array of ‘nibbles’. It seems, unless you go to a cheap or very ordinary cafe, that there’s no such thing as a simple lunch of ‘salad & glass of wine’ or ‘sandwich & glass of wine’ in Turin. There’s always more, and more is always good and sometimes, like this lunchtime, very wonderful.
I’d chosen a salad of smoked salmon with orange slices, capers, diced cucumber and a yoghurt dressing (€12). It seemed a welcome light and refreshing choice after a lot of heavy meat dishes the past couple of days. It was exactly what I’d hoped for and very good.
I finished with an espresso.
I had to go inside to pay. The cafe was once indeed a pharmacy and its previous existence was clear from the furnishings.
At the back a number of chefs were hard at work preparing the food. There were so many I thought it must be for the restaurant too.
Later in the afternoon I went in search of my daily gelato. When in Italy be sure to eat gelato every day! Or that’s a Travel Gourmet rule.
I’d been to a Grom just round the corner from Farmacia on another visit to Turin but was keen to visit the original shop – the very first Grom. I found it just off Piazza Paleocapa, through the arches in the photo below, and a short 7 minute walk from my hotel.
Unsurprisingly it was busy with a queue outside. However, I didn’t have to wait long.
I chose a €3 cup with gianduja (a Turin classic of chocolate and hazelnut) and grapefruit.
It was wonderful. But then I’m very accustomed to Grom gelato! Using only natural flavourings, Grom was founded in 2002 in Turin. It has, since its fame spread, been bought out by Unilever – hence I can now buy tubs of Grom gelato in upmarket Waitrose supermarket at home (though so far not other supermarkets). I can only hope Grom maintain their high standard for it really is some of the best gelato you can buy.