Friday, 23 November 2012

Caffè Baratti & Milano | Unmistakable Fragrant Smell of Torinese Coffee and Chocolate.




Caffè Baratti & Milano is absolutely an iconic symbol of the most important city of Piedmont region, Turin since 1865 when that very distinctive establishment located in the old core of the former Italian Capital in a corner among the most captivating of the entire city embraced by those nostalgic times reminiscent the Savoy House opened its doors. All around that emblematic site you will notice a very special detail particularly highlighted in the air consisting in that captivating presence of an unmistakable fragrant smell of Torinese coffee and chocolate result of years and years of brilliant and distinguished traditions serving thousands and thousands of locals and tourists.
 
There are many cities in Italy with determined places spreading that unmistakable aromatic flavours with their essence flying as something of magic and highly sublime conquering many people immediately creating that special feeling of desire to enjoy a warm cup of such inviting brewed beverages.

Strolling some street or squares of the country often appears that denomination "Caffè" a word which simply means Cafe representing the right place to sit and tasting a superb coffee made by the best blends created by most appreciated baked exotic seeds produced by a divine mixture perfectly toasted and prepared in perfect  machines which are since a long time ago pride of the Italian catering industry making during all those processes of preparation something simply outstanding which in its kind conquered the world.

That product always represented in its pure essence and simplicity part of a culture, a hot dark beverage which always linked people in daily chats sitting at a table, in a social break, a business meeting and culturally it constantly represented and represents an occasion to see someone for just 10 minutes or simply tasting a cup of Espresso standing up in front of the bar wishing someone good morning, good afternoon,  have a great day or see you...

As usual tradition those Cafes were establishments which since a long time ago characterised meetings linked to notable artistic and cultural movements, others as favourite destinations to talk about specific topics as political issues with Ministers, Ambassadors, fervent patriots and a long list of writers, poets, philosophers who found in those famous and prestigious Literary Cafes the right place to think, create and develop, significant details which gave Italy an unforgettable trendy style well known all around the globe.

From North to South crossing the centre of the Nation you will find many of them, in Naples the famed and elegant Gran Caffè Gambrinus ,in the Milanese Galleria Vittorio Emanuele the stylish Savini the famed Via Condotti in Rome boasts the classy Antico Caffè Greco while in Venice, concretely in the stunning Piazza San Marco emblematic presence of the popular Cafes Quadri and Florian is another living example. You can find many others in several streets and squares representing in their kinds iconic establishments which wrote important historic pages closely linked to relevant episodes, anecdotes or events.

Italy lived glorious times linked to those sites which continue to represent social and cultural meeting points also in contemporary times. Generations of people related the most important and different arts and professions started to frequent them tramsmitting later the trendy habit which attracted later visitors, tourists and ordinary people simply delighted to sit in one of them enjoying a pleasant time or a break during a day.

Turin which was the Capital of the Kingdom of Piedmont and Sardinia and of the first Italian Reign undoubtedly has a very reputable position about that boasting notable Cafes some of them opened during the times of the Savoy House.

The former rulers, who also for the strong connection to their French heritage transmitted that chic and classy touches of "noblesse" and sophisticated style in the city of that famous stylish and charming detailed glitzy splendour so alive in Paris which was and is one of the most distinctive icons boasting long traditions and always ready to create places so called "charmantes" able to attract the attention for their stylish furniture, soft lights, comfortable armchairs with spaces highlighted by appealing details such as crystal, glass, silk and other notable materials  to embellish in a scenic way a fascinating environment.
  
The historic Torinese centre due to that was a place which strongly assimilated in its Cafes those influences which were in in their kinds also very trendy features at those times. 

Many of those sites became the most important meeting points of politicians of high ranking, it is enough to mention the Count Cavour, Crispi, Giolitti, ministers of the former Kingdom and strongly linked to the Royal Family. Furthermore the high artistic nomenclature living in the current 4th Italian city also sat in those rooms and those establishments became a sort of symbol of the classy society with numerous aristocrats flocking to savour a drink.

The topics of the chats in such refined places were many and so varied such as subjects to take important decisions, exchange of opinions regarding plans closely related to politic, art, culture but also extremely close to hopes, desires and ideas in a country which was living a continuous ascent and all that took place in a very selected comfortable atmosphere simply tasting a supreme coffee.

Turin which incorporated all that added furthermore the sweet and loved history and tradition of the most fine chocolaterie industry which accompanied that dark beverage in a sort of happy marriage since those times with Caffe Baratti & Milano as absolute protagonist about that.

The Piedmont capital was a pioneer in that kind of culture offering a more than captivating combination created in a very elegant style consisting in a superb coffee served in stylish cups and a chocolate candy placed on the side plate.

That sublime coupling is the creation of a divine binomial result in its kind next to a very appreciated service which conquered a multitude of people combining the aroma and the warm temperature of an eternally beloved drink with the desire immediately after to be delighted tasting the sweet flavour of another delicious product.

All that continued to be as a sort of ritual Torinese habit in a centre which developed a little empire around that sweet brown gastronomic blend of cocoa, sugar, milk and other ingredients.It is enough to think to the delicious Gianduiotti and the delectable and emblematic Gianduia cream filling cakes and desserts and those products made in Turin with several years of history and prestige delighting the most demanding palates.

In the beautiful and charming central Piazza Castello one of the most distinguished squares of the municipality considered since the former Piedmont and Sardinia Kingdom one of the most classic lounges of the Italic peninsula, Caffè Baratti & Milano was able since its inception to combine all those mentioned tastefully qualities, features and fine details.

Considered a relevant metropolitan landmark and established in that elegant scenery, that Cafe since its opening was elevated as a sort of indisputable symbol of that centre in the shade of the majestic Mole Antonelliana.

The fame of that famous site which with its charm and classical image conquered Italy, Europe and the world for its service, quality and style started its brilliant activity when Ferdinando Baratti and Edoardo Milano two Gentlemen and Master Chocolatiers decided to move from a small town of the Canavese a rural Piedmont sub county to the Capital of the Region.

They originally opened and managed in 1858 an active pastry & chocolate factory in the current street Via Garibaldi and worth a special mention that they were also the developers of the famous Cremino, a delicious candy chocolate which became since then one of their most loved and appreciated creations in terms of quality with an outstanding success.

Since a long time ago that Northern Italian centre developed around its image of cultural, active, busy, economic and historic hub also a notable prestige linked to the great names closely related to that sweet confectionery  industry with the famed and notorious companies Ferrero, Peyrano, Caffarel, Treglio and of course also Baratti & Milano entered in that awarded list well known worldwide.

The chocolate made there to have a simple idea about its prestige was mentioned by a prominent figure as Alexandre Dumas who was well known apart for his immense artistic literary talent also for his refined tastes in terms of culinary art.

Including the Torinese chocolate became in a very short time very respected, appreciated and admired by the emblematic Swiss Masters Chocolatiers who considered the blends used by the industries of that city superb, part of the highest Elite sweet gastronomic world.

Definitely that was an outstanding award coming from a country which never liked poor and scarce imitations, low quality, a nation with an extreme pride linked to a secular history and Gotha of sweet classy  flavours. Baratti & Milano was one of those brands which entered with all the honours in the list of the highest appreciations of the best producers of that land.

In a very short time those two masters had a great success in a city in which the research of the most tastefully cuisine and delicatessen strongly came into a a secular local culture which appreciated the best regarding the most refined and divine flavours delighting the most varied tastes.

After 17 years of a splendid and productive activity those two entrepreneurs opened a new seat in the historic centre, exactly in the famous Galleria Subalpina adjacent to Piazza Castello which was at that time a celebrated and favourite meeting point of the Torinese High Social Class.

Also there, beneath the arcades of that famed gallery the sweet masterpieces of those two figures continued to be successful. Those characters received several titles and awards, one of them was the prestigious  nomination of Official Provider of the Savoy Royal Family, an absolute stunning reward for the Company which thanks to that great honour lived in that time one of the most representative stages of its golden ages.

The prestigious Torinese factory continued to produce chocolate of immense quality so famous worldwide and apart the already mentioned and tastefully Gianduiotti and Cremini the popular Gianduiotto Bulk became an absolute protagonist. Furthermore the group launched in the market new trendy products as the elegant Gianduiotti Gift Box, the Gianduia Tin and other captivating articles always perfectly studied to conquer a multitude of people containing products with a classy and indisputable fragrance boasting very refined sweet flavours.

The popularity of the Cafe was able to call the most relevant cultural sphere at its tables but it needed later according new trends related to more contemporary times a new stylish face and image to avoid the risk to fall in a démodé and retro environment. 

The operations of make up started by the addition of an innovative decoration in a Belle Époque style thanks to the work of Top Architects such as Giulio Casanova and Edoardo Rubino, two very distinguished exponents of the highest Liberty movement in Italy in that period.

The establishment was transformed in a sort of "Salotto" a classy and elegant lounge with a perfect choice of the best marbles, selected furniture and stylish tables made by the most captivating and classic timber, refined wooden chairs covered by leather and a trendy arrangement of new architectural elements and details which filled in a very scenic style the spaces with taste and elegance.

The bar was greatly decorated using golden painted timber with the presence of fine marble in some sections and furthermore the rooms were embellished with over 50 stylish crystal chandeliers, splendid stuccoes, attractive wooden incisions of value while the windows were integrally restored and modified adding them an eclectic and elegant painted wooden frame.

With all those splendid changes more than a Cafe, Baratti & Milano took an appearance much more similar to a Royal Hall of the Savoy period also gaining for its new aesthetic appeal a notable appreciation by every customer. Thanks to all that immediately that distinctive site became pride and landmark of Turin, venerated by famed artists and VIPs and including it was also used as set for some scenes of movies filmed in the city.

Unfortunately that iconic site suffered some damages during the 2nd World War and it reopened its doors in 1948 after some restorations which took time to be ended with long works to preserve the interiors so richly provided by expensive materials.

Despite that difficult period related to the times of the the post war in Italy in which to relaunch a site of prestige was not always easy, the Cafe once reopened continued to be an eminent catering emblem. Its superb history and prestige undoubtedly played an important role and the name of such emblematic establishment never lost its fame always alive in the memories of the Torinese.

 In 1985 the Cafe received another prestigious award by the Ministero dei Beni Culturali ed Ambientali (The Culture and Ambient Ministry) which honoured that site delivering it the title of Cafe of Great and Historical Interest elevating it as  sort of catering & hospitality monument.

The Company due to some internal changes and new operations of management was incorporated in the Group Toulá in 2003 and one year later became part of a partnership linked to the famed Company Dufour-Elah & Novi. In that time worth a mention that there was a further restoration of the interiors but despite that it has kept its historic charm.

The Cafe today offers a splendid choice of sweet and delectable homemade products, you can taste there the typical Cioccolatini Piemontesi (Piedmont chocolate candies) the best Cremini, Gianduiotti and you will have the great chance to try the delicious Marron Glaces covered by chocolate next to the sublime sweet Nocciolino you can not miss and much more.

A divine hot chocolate is also a must at Caffè Baratti & Milano considered by many people one of the best of the entire Turin and obviously the coffee which in that site is simply fantastic for its outstanding quality, rich in aroma, fragrance and taste served in classy cups with a magnificent service, attention and style so do not miss to enjoy  a classic Espresso, a great Macchiato, a sublime Cappuccino or including a traditional Corretto with Grappa or other fine liquors.

In that point of the historic centre of Turin that Cafe constantly continues to attract people who want to sit there enjoying its atmosphere in a place which is still embraced by a relevant historic past and that breathe of marked charm never lost.

I added some links below If you are planning to visit the beautiful Capital of Piedmont  which offers a lot in terms of history, art, stupendous museums ad attractions with naturally that one related to that establishment which is definitely mandatory, a wonderful piece of Italian history remembering a glorious past still alive in the present.

It is so pleasant to have a break in that iconic site tasting its excellent specialities certainly living a magic time at Caffè Baratti & Milano situated in a more than appealing historic and monumental environment with all around you as further unmistakable captivating detail that fragrant smell of Torinese coffee and chocolate which continue to be deliciously immortal in the air of a superb Italian city.




Francesco Mari