The Basilica offers a cafeteria service in a timeless atmosphere, where you can enjoy coffee, chocolate, hot and cold drinks but especially typical Piedmontese specialties. One of these is the “bicerin“, an hot drink born in the early nineteenth century in Turin, made with chocolate, coffee and cream.
The “merenda” (snack) had its luster in 1700/1800, thanks to Charles V who, once discovered this new hot drink (chocolate), became very greedy of that, so that it became a real status symbol for the economically advanced social classes.
But it was in the Napoleonic age that our chocolate became the product that we know. At that time, to counter the British maritime supremacy, Napoleon closed all European ports to British trade. In Piedmont our chocolate masters had to strive to find a solution to the shortage of cocoa and used, to integrate it, a product already present in Piedmont and destined to become famous: The Hazel from Langhe, called “tonda gentile” and unmistakable for the round shape of its shell, very hard and completely full.
Turin became the Capital of taste for its fine cuisine, and its “maitres chocolatiers” became famous throughout all Europe, thanks to the numerous and elegant cafes and pastry shops that filled the city.
In ‘800 was born the famous Bicerin, literally Little Glass, favorite beverage of Cavour: originally the ritual of Bicerin meant that the three ingredients (coffee, chocolate and cream) were served separately. There were three variations: “pur e fior” (today’s cappuccino), “pur e barba” (coffee and chocolate) “‘n poc’ d tut” (a bit ‘of everything) with all three ingredients mixed. This last formula was the more successful one, and prevailed over the others, giving rise to this delicacy of Turin.
In speaking of the Bicerin, Ernest Hemingway even included it in the hundred things to save on Earth.
Here are some of our “merende”
- Menù Camillo 8,00 €
(Bicerin, typical Piedmont Biscuits)
- Menù Adelaide 6,00 €
(Tea with a slice of cake)
- Menù Vittorio 7,50 €
(mixed platter of salumi and cheeses with a glass of wine)
The cafeteria has, in addition to an entrance room, some tables located in the corridor in front of the entrance to the cloister, and an outdoor dehors open from spring to late September on the terrace located on the left of the entrance of the museum, where you can enjoy the splendid panorama over the city.
In the cafeteria of the Basilica you will find typical Piedmontese products like bisquits, sweets made by the historical Leone manufacture, chocolate and far more.
You can taste our delicacies inside thesmall tea room or outdoor in our dehors, open from spring to late September, where you can enjoy the amazing landscape over the city.