Piazza San Carlo, 156, Turin, Italy
NileGuide Expert tip:
The perfect place to pause, reflect and people watch whilst enjoying a great coffee.
Caffè San Carlo is one of Turin's oldest and most famous, in many ways, it is the essence of Turin's café culture, a place where you can have an espresso or prosecco in real style. Early chroniclers called it "a palace", hardly surprising as the lavish mixture of gilded mirrors, rich plasterwork and classical art is topped with a very large helping of Murano chandelier. In 1832 it became the first café in all of Italy to use gas lighting, which enhanced the interior, a favourite of Cavour and a place where the Risorgimento patriots met. Today its the perfect place to pause, reflect and people watch, whether in the morning to see the locals 'take' their heart starting espresso and enjoy a chocolate or cream pastry, or in the evenings when they return for free stuzzichini (almost all the cafés feature these evening snacks, if you pay for a drink you can help yourself to an aladdin's cave of pizzette, frittata, roated vegetables, salads, cheese, salami, olives, bread and more!) and an aperitivo. A Torinese 'must do' since 1822.