Thursday, November 16, 2006

Turin Day 1 – A Chocolate Fiend’s Delight

With the accommodation worries sorted, it was time to explore a bit of the city. I only had the afternoon to explore as I already had plans for the Saturday & Sunday (more about that in upcoming posts).

So...what does one do in Turin ??

Do you go to the Egyptian museum, to check out the 3rd largest collection of Egyptian artefacts outside of Cairo & London (let’s not get into a philosophical discussion about how the artefacts actually wound up in Turin !!) ??

Do you check out the Museum of the Risorgimento (museum about the unification of Italy)& the place where the first Italian parliament sat ??

Do you go to the main Cathedral to see the Shroud of Turin ??’s not the actual shroud but a life-sized photo. The actual shroud is stored away in an environmentally-controlled unit, until such times as the Pope & Bishop of Turin decide to exhibit it again.

For was none of the above !! I headed straight to the tourist office to get myself a Turin Chocopass.

The Chocopass is available in 24, 48 & 72hr groups & allows you free samples (from a variety of establishments) of hot chocolates, chocolate cakes, pralines & chocolates. In my case, I had 24hrs to use as many of the vouchers as possible. Now…some of the vouchers have two establishments on them so you have to choose.

I managed to get through ¾ of the vouchers in the space of four hours (& my accumulation of chocolates increased twofold).

The highlight was a visit to a coffee shop called “La Bicerin” (to try one of their cakes). It is one of the more famous cafés in Turin & has been frequented by such greats as Cavour, Dumas & Nitzche.

While shopping in the chocolate shop next door (thus increasing my hoard of chocolate yet again), I got into a lively “discussion” with the owner about what constitutes good chocolate. She seemed offended when I mentioned how I loved the Caffarel Gianduiotto at Eurochocolate.

She was very quick to point out that Perugian chocolate is not Piemontese chocolate & that the Gianduiotto that Caffarel make uses an industrial process & is nowhere near as good as the Gianduiotto that the artisans (like “La Bicerin”) make. Their Gianduiotto certainly tastes different (yes….I did buy a bag !!).

So...if you happen to be in Turin & you find yourself in either the café of the shop of “La Bicerin”, be sure not to mention Gianduiotto made by Caffarel...or Perugian chocolate for that matter.

Until the next post...take care.


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