What is Turin Epicurean Capital?
I've recently got to know lovely Lucia Hannau, the creator of a fantastic Italian event held in Turin each year. I asked her how she got involved and why, of all the beautiful Italian cities on offer Turin tops them all!
Turin Epicurean Capital is a 3 day event in Turin, Italy. The year 2018 marks the 5th edition of the festival and it will take place from 20-22nd June. I organize the event to help promote Turin and shed some light on our beautiful royal city that is still pretty much under the radar despite most famous Italian brands and products being born right here.
I came up with the idea of Turin Epicurean Capital after seeing how unpromoted our city is, how hard it is to make the visitors curious enough to stretch their visit for more than one day.
There is so much to see, do, eat and drink. Our local museums are the most visited in Italy by Italians but this huge treasure is still the Italian best kept secret because non-Italian travelers and journalists just go to the usual places.
Who can attend?
Guests are international food and travel bloggers, culinary professionals, writers and local artists.
The event is open to the public and it is free; it is bilingual English-Italian and it revolves around our local lifestyle: food, wine and way of life. Each day there is a talk show and then an 'experience' such as a cooking class, a walking tour or a fashion show.
All the first time visitors leave Turin knowing they will come back as soon as possible because three days aren't anywhere near enough to get the sense of the city. I have to add that in this year our guests get a special treat thanks to the St John's celebrations. In fact, on 23 and 24 June, we have two parades in historical costumes, a bonfire and fireworks on the river. Surprisingly there are no tourists so you can enjoy the city like a local!
Turin is one of the best places in Italy because of its rich history dating back to the Roman times and baroque architecture. It was built on a grid and navigating it is as easy as moving in Manhattan.
What is Turin famous for?
Most of the famous Italian symbols and brands in the world where born in Turin: the Italian ministry for fashion was based here, the Italian sport and car industry with design originates here, not to mention big names like Fiat, Martini, Nutella, Lavazza, even the Bic pen founder was born in Turin!
Food & drink
Anybody with a passion for Italian things should visit Turin but particularly the foodies and wine-lovers. Turin has always been the drinks capital of Italy and our cuisine is a refined mix of aristocratic specialties, country flavors and seasonal products.
Aperitif, chocolate, wine of any kind, craft beers, risotto, gelato, agnolotti (meat filled ravioli), alpine cheese filled ravioli, raw beef, frogs, chili peppers, snails, over 200 kinds of cheeses and the list goes on and on.
Programme of events
This year we will collaborate with Associazione Qubì for the cooking class: chef Marco Giachello will guide us through a virtual culinary tour of Piedmont. Last year he taught us how to make risotto al barolo using a whole bottle of this precious wine.
Margherita Frari who manages Associazione Qubì will assist him with the other specialties. Last year we made tomino cheese with bagnet verd or soft alpine cheese with parsley, anchovies, evoo sauce and chocolate-amaretto baked peaches from Roero - one of the Unesco Heritage wine districts.
So we virtually visited the alps, the rice paddies and spent a good time in the renown wine districts of Langhe (Barolo) and Roero (chocolate, peaches).
We will then visit the Porta Palazzo market on 21 June. This is the largest open air market in Europe and it has different sections: produce, fish, a covered deli part with butchers, pasta and bakeries; the farmers section and the clothes and houseware. Everybody in Turin shops at this market, from professionals, business owners and all the restaurant owners!
My top recommendation for Turin
Is to get to know it by walking in the city centre like our kings used to do, to sit down in one of the many royal coffee shops especially under the arcades/porticoes and do some good people watching.
Finally pick one museum: either Mole Antonelliana - tallest building in Europe or the Egyptian museum that is just impressive with its largest collection in the world. There is a lot you can do in Turin, but for a first time visitor i recommend to get the first impression by walking and munching on chocolate and let your senses vibrate higher.
And there's more...
I organize epicurean long week-ends where people can get a sense of our local lifestyle visiting the market, taking a cooking class, drinking bicerin our staple chocolate-frothed milk and espresso coffee drink, and naturally have aperitif and dinner, lunch and even visit our historical urban vineyard.
As I personally know our local fashion designers, it is also possible to organize a shopping spree and buy one of a kind garments and accessories. Two to three hour walking tours through the historical and specialty shops. The market and coffee shops are also very much requested because most visitors want to get a first hand experience of the local life rather than just being told a list of dates and historical facts.
I also need to add that for those who request it, I also teach power vinyasa yoga. Especially after traveling for many hours in plane or sitting in a car, it is nice to devote 60-90 minutes to yourself and empty your mind.
Turin Epicurean Capital is the only event I organize but as it gets me in touch with the whole region, upon request I also organize and help organize itineraries in Piedmont - our wider region and very easily I can help people attending concert and our royal opera house: Teatro Regio.
Grazie tanto Lucia! I'm sold! Is anyone free in June?