Market hopping at “The belly of Torino”

or Torino is a city of elegant 18 km porticoes, a home of the House of Savoy, gastronomical traditions, the Slow Food movement, Fiat , the finest gourmet chocolates and more. As the capital city of Piedmont, Torino offers you truly unforgettable experiences. My mission was to explore its famous chocolate obsession festival, and of course the local market scenes. Fresh local markets are always the fulfilling places where I love to go when visiting any new city to get a feeling of what the locals love to eat, and to understand what products are available at different times of the year. Being in Torino alone in March last year, there was no other place to enjoy much more than the Porta Palazzo market, officially known as one of the largest open-air markets in Europe.

I went to the indoor market read as L’ Antica Tettoia dell’ Orologio at Piazza della Repubblica on late afternoon just before its closing time. L’ Antica Tettoia dell’ Orologio (a.k.a ” Clock market”) is the striking old building built in 1916 with the unique architecture combining steel and glass structure. The Porta Palazzo market is a charming central food market offering wide array of foods and more just like the old charming days at old Les Halles in Paris ( old covered market ). note : Les Halles, known as the belly of Paris was torn down and replaced by far less appetizing Forum des Halles.
My market strolling therapy at L’ Antica Tettoia dell’ Orologio began in late afternoon to enjoy what was left of the day. Only little bustling noises by the vendors ! click here if you love to hear the real scene in 2009.

I walked a long way from a Porta Nuova railway station ( Torino’s main railway station with the beautiful 19th century facade ) until I found a largest square (of 51,300 square meters) in Torino (Piazza della Repubblica) and its charming indoor market. You could see what I saw, but only the indoor market.

I had no chance to see the fresh market and the so-called biggest open-market in Europe. It is just an excuse to dream that I shall come back to Torino definitely. Torino is very easy to explore when you have a map. I had a map, but not enough time. If you are not drunk with all finest chocolates, you won’t get lost easily. Believe me!

It is highly recommended to explore bustling market scenes on Saturday. You won’t miss the real Porta Palazzo, Europe’s largest open air market and you will enjoy being a part of a big melting pot where different food cultures, traditions and languages are shown vividly. Rachel E. Black wrote an interesting book , called Porta Palazzo : The Anthropology of An Italian Market including a foreword by Slow Food movement founder, Carlo Petrini. Porta Palazzo is indeed a cultural and culinary hub where you can learn a lot about cultural connections and a lot of interesting different cuisines. See you again, Torino!

Click here for no non-sense travel guides, a cool map of Torino ( made by young locals from Torino )


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