Traveling to Turin
If Terra Madre / Salone del Gusto is like an Olympics of Food, Turin is its Athens. Turin (Torino to those who live there) is the capital of the Piedmont region and Italy’s fourth largest city. The Slow Food movement got its start here in the 1980s, and Slow Food's international headquarters remain in the neighboring city of Bra, Italy to this day. Turin boasts majestic architecture, an elegant appearance, and an old-fashioned air. In addition to its deep historic roots, Turin also has a magnificent food culture.
Of course, northern Italy and the surrounding area also have even more than Turin and Terra Madre to offer: consider extending your stay before or after Terra Madre / Salone del Gusto at one of these beautiful farm hotels or on a slow food-focused tour, all run by friends of Slow Food.
Where To Stay in Turin
If you have been selected as an official USA delegate to Terra Madre, please see our I am a delegate page for details on housing, meals, and transportation provided for delegates by Slow Food International.
For all others, Slow Food International has partnered with the Italian travel agency Ventana Group to offer online booking at hotels with special rates for Terra Madre / Salone del Gusto here.
More details on hotel accomodations in Turin during Terra Madre / Salone del Gusto are also available here:
What To Eat in Turin
If there's one thing we can guarantee about the experience you'll have at Salone del Gusto ("Hall of Taste"), it's that you're not going to go hungry! You could easily consume several continents or several weeks worth of food without ever leaving Salone.
If more than 1,000 exhibitors sounds like a whole lot of food stalls to navigate all on your own, consider enlisting a guide — roughly translated as “Personal Shopper.” For 8–10 euros, you'll enjoy a tour through the marketplace with focus on a particular food (honey, bread, chocolate, beer), or on a particular country or region (Sicily, Piedmont, Switzerland, North Africa). These guided walks through the marketplace leave every 15-30 minutes throughout the day; check the schedule here to make sure you catch the topic that most piques your taste buds.
Each day of Salone del Gusto includes a free Eat-in event. There are also nightly Dinner Dates, uniting celebrated chefs from around the world and exclusive locations in and around Turin. These dinners to savor for a lifetime are one of the most anticipated activities of the entire Food Olympics, so you are strongly encouraged to reserve your seat at the dinner table now — these will book up fast.
We also have recommendations for where and what to eat if you are venturing out on your own to explore Turin’s food culture:
View Where To Eat in Turin in a larger map »
- Porta Palazzo Market — Located near the central piazza Castello, Porta Palazzo Market is the largest open-air market in Europe with over 800 stalls with 100 of those stalls being farmers directly selling their own production.
- Caffè Al Bicerin (Piazza della Consolata, 5) — This historic café dates back to 1763 and is rumored to be the first to serve the bicerin, a layered concoction of coffee, hot chocolate and foamy milk, served in a tulip-shaped glass. If you’re looking for something with which to pair this delicious drink, we recommend a slice of the hazelnut cake.
- Sotto la Mole (Via Montebello, 9) — If you’re looking for some exquisite regional cuisine, this is your place. Be sure to try the typical pasta of Turin, agnolotti, which is flattened pasta dough folded over with a meat stuffing. Other great restaurants serving Piedmontese cuisine include Goffi del Lauro (Corso Casale, 117) and Consorzio (Via Monte di Pietà, 23).
- Stratta (Piazza San Carlo, 191) — Stop by this historic confectionery to satisfy your sweet tooth. Don’t miss the gianduiotto—chocolate produced from sugar, cocoa, and hazelnuts—which is the real culinary masterpiece of Turin. Other places to experience Gianduiotto include Caffè Baratti & Milano (Piazza Castello, 27), Guido Gobino (Via Cagliari, 15/b), and Peyrano (Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 76).
- Alberto Marchetti (Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 24) — Although the world famous gelato chain Grom originated in Turin, many believe that the gelato and torrone (nougat ice cream) at the artisanal Alberto Marchetti are superior.
- Caffe Mulassano (Piazza Castello, 15) — Turin is Italy’s capital of aperitivo, offering long drink menus and lavish buffets. Caffe Mulassano has been serving its house aperitif for 150 years. Head over around 6 or 7 pm to enjoy aperitivo like a true Italian. Other places to stop in for aperitivo include Numero Otto Caffe (Via Mazzini, 8), Caffe Roberto (Via Po, 5), and Pastis (Piazza Emanuele Filiberto, 9b).
- Wine — The Piedmont region is known for its wine, producing some of the greatest wines in Italy. Some of Piedmont’s white wines include Gavi and Langhe. If you prefer red wines, the regional varieties include Dolcetto, Barbera, Barolo, Nebbiolo and Barbaresco.
What To See in Turin
Especially if you extend your stay before or after Terra Madre, you may wish to explore more of the city. The following recommendations are adapted from Michelin Guide, New York Times’ 36 Hours Guide, TripAdvisor, and The Guardian.
- Mole Antonelliana (Via Montebello, 20) — The Mole Antonelliana, with its massive dome and conical spire, is a symbol of Turin. Constructed in 1862, the building was originally conceived of as a synagogue, but now houses the Museo Nazionale del Cinema (the National Cinema Museum).
- Piazza Castello — Piazza Castello, or Castle Square, has been a central point of Turin since the Roman age. In the center of the square you will find the Palazzo Madama (today the Antique Art Museum), which gives the square its name. It is here that the four main streets of Turin start: Via Roma, Via Pietro Micca, Via Po and Via Garibaldi.
- Piazza San Carlo — This beautiful square houses the churches of San Carlo and Santa Cristina, as well as the Philharmonic Academy. Beneath the arcades sit the San Carlo and the Tornio, two elegant historic cafés. In the center stands the famous ‘caval d'bronz’ equestrian monument.
- Museo delle Antichità Egizie (Via Accademia delle Scienze, 6) — This museum is home to one of the largest collections of Egyptian artifacts outside Cairo.
- Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento Italiano (Via Accademia delle Scienze, 5) — Established shortly after the Italian unification, its exhibits include weapons, flags, uniforms, printed and written documents and artworks.
- Parco del Valentino (Corso Massimo D'Azeglio) — This vast, romantic park is Turin’s most picturesque. It contains an impressive botanical garden, a castle, and the Borgo Medievale, a medieval village built for the 1884 Turin International Exhibition.
- Basilica di Superga (Strada della Basilica di Superga, 73) — This basilica is situated on top of a hill outside of Turin. It’s best to visit here on a warm, clear day because from the top of the hill, you’ll have magnificent views of Turin beneath. Walking here could take 1-2 hours, so, if you’re in a rush, take the funicular.
Extending Your Stay
Many Terra Madre / Salone del Gusto attendees, especially those who cross an ocean to get there, may be in no hurry to get back home. If you’re able to extend your time in Italy before or after the events, consider one of these beautiful farm hotels or a Slow Food-focused tour, all run by friends of Slow Food.
The Balkans are home to one of the most bio-diverse regions in Europe. Most of the area is covered by mountain ranges running from northwest to southeast. The mountain soil and pristine ecology of the Balkans produces herbs and grasses that influence the qualities of the milk of heirloom breeds of cattle, goats and sheep that go into the local cheeses. These rare and unique cheeses have been handmade in the same manner for over a thousand years and are on the brink of extinction.
On this tour, you'll visit Ark of Taste and Presidia cheese, wine, spirit and breed producers in Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, and Macedonia. And you'll learn how to make cheeses, see heirloom breeds being brought back to life, meet fellow Slow Food members and taste the bounty of the region's offerings.
A portion of the proceeds of the tour will benefit ESSEDRA in its pioneering work of creating an economic paradigm based on good, clean and fair food.
With a variety of microclimates, Piedmont is one of the most geographically diverse regions of Italy. This diversity is expressed in a rich food culture based on diversified peasant farming systems that are now threatened by policies favoring industrial development. Join Food First to examine the complex realities of the Italian, European and global food system through direct contact with the producers, consumers, policymakers and advocacy groups of the Piedmont region.
The delegation will travel through beautiful Italian countryside and stay in farmer-owned guesthouses where you’ll eat local foods at the site of production, giving you a first-hand understanding of rural life. Meet with organizations like the Italian Association of Organic Agriculture, Vía Campesina, Piedmont-based Slow Food International and others working to protect small farmers, promote sustainability and conserve agro-biodiversity in Italy.
Slow Food USA Members may enter the promo code "SFUSA" when registering for this tour to receive $100 off the tour cost.
This tour was specially created for those members of Slow Food that would like to extend their time in Europe after the 2014 Terra Madre conference and have a true slow-food experience in Slovenia and the Istria region of Croatia.
Slovenia and Istria boast a diversity of climates, landscapes, terroirs, and influences from their neighbors as well as their storied past. This translates into very rich food cultures with numerous distinct micro regions, each with their own long-standing traditions, specialty dishes and wine varietals. Everything is on such a small scale it makes guests feel like they are actually guests, not tourists.
The tour highlights the food, wine and artisans from a variety of regions stretching from the Adriatic (Istria and Brda) to the Alps (Gorenjska) and all the way to the fertile flat fields near the Hungarian border (Prekmurje). Slow Food Slovenia and Istria Tour is more than just savoring all these fresh, organic and local culinary delights that both countries have to offer. It’s a unique experience where each day presents a special opportunity for guests to sit down, talk with and learn from a myriad of friendly local producers, winemakers and chefs in their cellars, houses, kitchens and gardens. Guests will also get hands on experience in the kitchen and learn traditional recipes of Slovenia’s mountainous Gorenjska region.
The agriturismo is located in northern Tuscany, surrounded by 27 hectares of countryside, offering a quiet holiday, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The train station is only 800 meters away, making Tuscany’s most beautiful and characteristics cities easy to reach by car or train.
The agriturismo consists of 3 buildings, in turn divided into rooms and apartments of varying sizes, with entrance and private garden, with antique, rustic Tuscan style furniture, featuring all amenities: fully-equipped kitchen, telephone, color TV, satellite (for some), fax service, washing machine, dishwasher, and individual heating with thermostat and meter. Services offered on the property include a restaurant, a saltwater swimming pool, a lake for sport fishing, a volleyball court, a grass football court, a shaded park, a playground for children, and bike rentals. There are also municipal tennis courts within walking distance and riding stables just a short 5 kilometer drive.
Experience the beauty of the Italian countryside first-hand on a Tuscan farm. Tenuta di Spannocchia offers weeklong vacation rentals in rustic Tuscan farmhouses and nightly stays in the Bed & Breakfast at the Castello.
Spannocchia is a magical place. It is a unique integration of historic architecture and landscape: a working organic farm, a center for education and enrichment focused on both ecological and cultural history, and a multinational community. Their activities strive to find balance between tradition and innovation. There is something for everyone at Spannocchia: hiking paths, farm animals, verdant gardens, cooking classes, beautiful vistas, eight centuries of rural history, a swimming pool, friendly people, great wine, and fantastic food. In addition, our proximity to tourist destinations including Florence, Siena, Chianti, San Gimignano, the Tuscan coastline, and many small hill towns makes Spannocchia the ideal base for exploring Tuscany. If you are looking for a vacation destination that is off the beaten path but still has a comfortable community environment, Spannocchia is the place for you!
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