OSTERIA in Italy was originally a place serving wine and simple food.
Lately, the emphasis has shifted to the food, but menus tend to be short, with local specialities such as pasta, meat, fish, pizza and often served at shared tables. Ideal for a lunch, osterie (the plural in Italian) also cater for after work and evening refreshment. Osterie vary greatly in practice. Some only serve drink and clients are allowed to bring in their own food. Some have reached out to students and young professionals. Some provide music and other entertainment
Turin (Torino) is unique. It’s Italy’s fourth-largest city and has an illustrious past, resulting in elegant squares, world-class museums and historic cafés, flanked by some 18 km of colonnaded walkways. Italy’s first capital offers incomparable vistas in the town centre streets, balanced between the measured sumptuousness of Piedmont Baroque and the rational Roman town planning.
History hasn’t though stood still here: Torino has pioneered a host of innovations, from FIAT cars to the first-ever Slow Food supermarket (housed in an old factory). Funky new bars spill onto the cobblestone streets of the Quadrilatero Romano during aperitivi, and contemporary art installations grace both its baroque buildings and the odd Roman ruins.
Torino’s charms aren’t only manmade: to the city’s east, low-lying green hills rise above the Po river, while to its west are the now famous mountains that hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics. Torino has therefore a lot to offer: its Baroque cafes and architecture and some of the most visited sites in Italy make it a great city for wandering and exploring.
Its strategic position makes a good base for exploring nearby mountains and the smooth hills of the ‘Langhe’, where the Barolo vineyards paint the landscape.