Caffe Al Bicerin was founded in 1763, in front of the Santuario of the Consolata in Torino. It was fairly dark and dingy to begin with, but the caffe was renovated in the 1800s and it retains that appearance today.
It has been owned and run by women since the beginning. This may not seem important now, but caffes were the domain of men in the past and there were few places where women felt comfortable. Al Bicerin was one of these places.
I have to say that I felt very comfortable there with my bicerin. This delightful concoction is made up of coffee, hot chocolate and cream served hot in a glass – bicerin. It is not to be stirred before drinking, and it should be sipped, drawing the coffee and chocolate layers through the cream. I can’t describe the deliciousness – you will have to go there and try one yourself.
Alexandre Dumas, Puccini and Neitzsche were all regulars. I would like to become one too.
The caffe also sells chocolates and sweets.
The little shop next door, which is part of Al Bicerin, sells delicious jams, biscuits and other goodies.
It is worth a trip to Turin for Al Bicerin alone. I have always been in Turin in the cooler months. The bicerin may be a bit rich to drink in summer. Of course, I am prepared to try in summer, just to be sure.