Turin: the Italian capital of chocolate

If you need another reason to visit Turin here is one of the main ones: chocolate! Some time ago we talked about the importance of coffee in Turin but the city is also the Italian capital of chocolate.

A bit of history

Chocolate arrives in Europe following the Spanish conquistadors in 1528 and from the court of Charles V, it spreads throughout Europe. It arrived in Italy in the mid-16th century thanks to Duke Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia. The movements of chefs and pastry chefs due to the marriages of the Savoy with the Infante of Spain and with the French princesses make Turin one of the European capitals of chocolate processing.

Already at the end of the 16th century, after the marriage between Duke Carlo Emanuele I and Catherine of Spain, chocolate is one of the most popular and fashionable drinks. At the end of the seventeenth century, chocolate becomes a real institution and in the center of Turin numerous shops of chocolatiers open up to produce 350 kg of chocolate per day, also destined for export.

The real boom of this delight occurs in the Century of Enlightenment when the first coffees spread throughout the city. The artisans of chocolate begin to get rich and, at the end of the eighteenth century, the production of chocolate reaches industrial levels.

Everyone in Turin to learn the secrets of chocolate!

In the nineteenth century, Turin becomes the reference point for anyone in Europe who wants to learn how to make chocolate: even the Swiss masters, who would later found Nestlè, go to Turin to learn the techniques of chocolate solidification.

Sweet new discoveries

The most important Turin inventions related to chocolate belong to the 19th century: bicerin, gianduiotti and cremini; while the invention of the legendary Nutella dates back to the twentieth century, created by chance by Pietro Ferrero in his pastry shop in the San Salvario district. It seems that in 1946, due to the hot climate, the chocolate cream he produced melted, becoming a product that began to be sold cheaply, and with immediate success, for snacks.

The Italian Coffee Series: Torino e i suoi bar storici - Torrefazione  Mokaflor Firenze

Legends and idioms

Chocolate is so much part of the Turin culture that there is even a way of saying: "fare la figura del cioccolataio" (literally "to look like a chocolatier”) which means making a fool of yourself. The expression originates from the Savoy aristocracy's contempt for chocolate artisans who, in the eighteenth century, began to get rich, but lacked education and elegance.
At the end of the eighteenth century, a chocolatier in Turin loved to show his wealth by traveling in a carriage pulled by 4 horses, when at the time the bourgeois could afford a maximum of two horses. Legend has it that Carlo Felice (the duke of Savoy) was offended by his behavior and ordered him to stop showing off royal habits. After this he ordered the construction of a more luxurious carriage, stating: “When I go out I don't want to look like a chocolatier”.

Read more about the city of Turin:


Scuola Leonardo da Vinci Turin

The Leonardo da Vinci partner School is situated in the Crocetta residential district of Turin.
The welcoming friendly atmosphere of our school will make you feel at home and you can relax with your classmates in the small gardens of the adjacent pedestrian area.