Torino and Piemonte, some trip notes.

Jun 17th, 2008, 04:20 PM
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Torino and Piemonte, some trip notes.

We just got back from a short (9 day) trip to Torino and the surrounding area of Piemonte. It was our 6th trip to Italy over the last 10 years.

We started out renting a hotel in Asti, preferring to be in a smaller city, but found Asti not to our liking. It was just not what we envisioned.

On this trip, we would be meeting some friends of one of our very best friends here in Philadelphia. They turned out to be the kind of people you feel you’ve known all your life. Anyway, after 2 nights in Asti we moved our base to Torino to be closer to our new friends Francesca and Paolo. Torino is a great city with beautiful buildings and wonderful shopping colonnades.

We ended up eating lunch at Francesca and Paolo’s flat in downtown Torino 3 times and dinner twice. Home cooking is a wonderful experience in Italy with Italians!! The shopping being a big part. The central open market in Torino is amazing with the best looking produce, meat and fish. We would cruise the market then head home to prepare the feast. We also ate at some memorable restaurants which I’ll post later.

Some notes…

Torino is a very walkable city. Even though it’s at the foot of the Alps, it’s relatively flat on the East side of the Po River.

The museum of cinema in Torino is very well worth the visit. The building is unbelievable and the exhibit was one of the most entertaining.

We visited Piemonte’s main wine area including Barberesco, Barola, Serralunga d’ Alba and others. The towns and countryside were among the most beautiful we’ve seen in Italy.

If you’re interested in palaces, there are a number of great ones to visit around Torino.

It’s easy to get into the Alps from Torino. The Val di Susa is an awesome drive.

Visit Sacra di San Michele if you can, the view is impressive.

Pardon my spelling. Have a great time in Torino.
Den_ is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 05:00 AM
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What was it that disappointed you about Asti?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 05:50 AM
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The Piemonte is a very unique food experience in Italy, much different thn other regions. What foods did you find especially interesting? The fragrant Lardo, Pork rind and bean soup, Mixed boiled meats, (Bollito Misto), and the ubiquitous,variety of offal such as Cock's Comb with chicken livers, gizzards, porcini, and minced veal or beef, called, I believe, La Finanziera, are all only found in this region. The Frito Misto here is also different, made up of Calf's liver, Sweetbreads, brains,, sausage, baby lamb chops, etc. For some dishes.....plenty of Dolcetto and Grissini is
longboatkey is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 06:07 AM
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just got back from 2 weeks in Northern Italy - Torino, Bellagio, Mantova and Milan. Torino is a wonderfully designed city - the porticos/arcades allow lots of walking and milling about even in the rain. Torino reminds me a bit of some far flung arrondissement in Paris - the colors of the buildings, the art nouveau flourishes. And the food - combines elements of italian and french. Those wonderfully fragrent, stinky, runny cheeses - the cured meats. The cinema museum is a delight - the film clips are great and be sure to take the Willy Wonka glass elevator for a panorama view of Torino. Will post a brief report in the coming weeks.
Carta_Pisana is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 06:25 AM
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Actually, Longboatkey, many of the dishes you mention as being found exclusively in Piedmont are found in other regions of Italy as well. Bollito misto is found in Emilia Romagna, for example, and lardo is a Tuscan staple with the most esteemed variety from Colonnata in the Apuan Alps. And stuffed cock's comb is the signature dish and inspiration for the name of Florence's famous Cibreo eateries.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 06:33 AM
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Eks...True but the Emilia Bollito that I know,or have had, are more made up of muscle cuts, save beef tongue and heart. Anyway they are all great!!! The fragrant lardo of Piemonte is somehow infused/scented with herbs. Cockscomb is prominent in the dish La Finanziera.
longboatkey is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 08:24 AM
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All great! And now you have made me hungry!!

Was still wondering what it was about Asti that the OP did not like..I've not been but have it on my list for the future!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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EKS.. I am waiting for the Asti reply too.
longboatkey is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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ttt for later
annhig is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 02:13 PM
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Hindsight being what it is, I should probably revise my comment about Asti. It may be a place others truly enjoyed and finding Asti "not to our liking" was probably somewhat self inflicted. I don't think we stayed in the right area. We really enjoy the evening passeggiata and there was just nothing going on where we were. We were on the East side of Piazza Vittorio Alfieri. The architecture on our side of town was mostly of the uninspired post war variety. It was also raining which didn't help at all.

I'm sure there are wonderful areas in Asti to visit, it was just not right for us to stay there where we had booked for 9 days. If we hadn't met friends in Torino, we may not have relocated to there. It was fortuna!
Den_ is offline  
Jun 8th, 2012, 06:15 AM
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My wife and I are also visiting Torino for the first this fall. We'll be there for 3 days before going to Alba for the truffle festival. Can anyone recommend the best area to stay (hotels) that balances sites, shopping, markets, restaurants.

Also as anyone been to the large biannual food show and your thoughts.
Jack_Garver is offline  
Jun 8th, 2012, 06:21 AM
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Jack - I would start your own thread with a descriptive title as many may not open this trip report and you will likely get better responses.

We stayed at just outside of Asti and enjoyed it alot. But it is a drive to Torina (fabulous city btw) and you may not want to be outside of a town.

Enjoy your trip, its an excellent area!
jamikins is offline  
Jun 8th, 2012, 07:52 AM
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Agree about starting your own thread. Here is my trip report from a few years ago, with hotel and B&B suggestions in both Turin and the Langhe:
ekscrunchy is offline  

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