Posted by: debrakolkka | January 6, 2011

Al Bicerin – Torino

Caffe al Bicerin

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.

I did not drink all 3

but I did manage to finish all of mine

Alexandre Dumas, Puccini and Neitzsche were all regulars.  I would like to become one too.

The caffe also sells chocolates and sweets.

chocolate cigars - better than tobacco

The little shop next door, which is part of Al Bicerin, sells delicious jams, biscuits  and other goodies.


the shop window next door

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.


  1. I would be prepared, in summer, as your primo research assistant, for no pay, to wear the bicerin-moustache. This I would do, careless of my need for dignity. (It must have been unusual/controversial, in 1763, for a woman to own and run a caffe?)

    • I can always count on you to be stoic.

  2. I think a bicerin first thing in the morning, before your shower, would be the solution Jan, though I think the job of research assistant might be hotly contested by many of bagnidilucca’s readers. How many were on that table, three? I love the idea of drinking layers of coffee and chocolate through cream, ah yes indeedy, a much better idea than drinking black tea through lumps of sugar held between your teeth, which have just come to mind, samovars, Tolstoy, mumble, mumble.

    Back to your post, could one maybe casually, while the staff weren’t watching. dip one of those chocolate cigars in the glass…

    • I hadn’t thought of dipping the chocolate cigar in the bicerin – what a good idea!
      I’ll have to go back to Torino.

  3. This post has just single-handedly convinced me I need to go to Turin.

    • .You won’t be disapppointed

  4. I love your posts… they make me so jealous! Wish I was there 😛

  5. I don’t even drink coffee, but I think that looks sooo enticing!

  6. I’ve never had a bicerin, but it sounds just the thing to sip on at this wonderful cafe, & I think I might top it off with a chocolate cigar !!

  7. The bicerin and choccy cigars look delicious!

  8. Debra I think the Bicherin would be popular here don’t you think. Now, maybe we could give it an Aussie twist and dunk a Tim Tam in it to suck up the coffee? Civilised, no?
    On the other hand, maybe I just need to get myself to Torino and experience it first hand. (Another here, that would also selflessly try it out during summer.)

    • It is amazing how selfless my readers are. I’m sure they would work very well in Australia. I wonder why nobody has done it. I love the Tim Tam idea.

  9. LOL are you sure you didn’t drink all three Debra? 😉

    • I promise I didn’t drink all three, but I did go back 2 days in a row.

  10. Looks nice, would like to try it, sit on this terrace, enjoying a good coffee and sun.

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