Luca Faloni: my dream day in Turin

Luca Faloni grew up in Italy surrounded by a strong culture of artisans and craftmanship. Then he moved to London and realised that every time he wanted a quality shirt, he had to fly home to get one at a reasonable price and so he did something about it. Today, his company, Luca Faloni, has eight shops where he sells clothes sourced from the best Italian materials: brushed cotton from Piedmont, cashmere from the Marche Apennines, leather from Tuscany. He told us about his dream day in his hometown Torino.

Torino is Italy’s “Little Paris”, a place of historic architecture, creamy buildings, straight-lined boulevards and beautiful parks. On the outskirts of the city, it even has its own version of Versailles, Venaria Reale. For some reason, though, it still flies under the radar, possibly because its connections with Fiat mean that it’s seen as an industrial city when in reality it’s beautiful, intimate and hardly has any tourists. I would start my dream day with a run along Turin’s river, the Po. It’s a beautiful way to experience the place: on one side of the water is the city with its medieval castle, on the other there are hills. 

Having worked up an appetite I would head to Stratta on Piazza San Carlo. Turin is famous for chocolate and patisseries and Stratta is one of the oldest and best in the city. Everything about it is authentic: the cappuccinos and their signature croissante Stratta. As it’s a dream day I would have a Gianduiotto, Turin’s famous chocolate made with hazelnuts, and I’d wash it down with a bicerin, a local speciality of espresso, drinking chocolate and milk. 

After that I would head to Mole Antonelliana, one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, which is shaped like an inverted champagne glass. The building is home to Italy’s National Museum of Cinema, but the thing that I like best about it is the panoramic lift which rises 85 metres into the sky and offers the most amazing views of the city. 

For lunch I would head to Farmacia del Cambio on the corner of Piazza Carignano. In Turin everyone eats outside when they can and because it’s not a touristy place the squares have a neighbourhood feel: they’re homely and calm, full of people going about their business, reading the paper, drinking coffee. Farmacia Del Cambio is the place to go for one of the great Piedmont specialities: vitello tonnato, thin-sliced veal covered in a rich sauce made with tuna. 

In the afternoon I would go for a long walk. The city has 18km of porticoes which protect you from both the rain and the sun, and they’re beautiful and atmospheric. At some point I would stop at Gelateria Pepino for an ice cream or one of its decadent hot chocolates. And then I would head to Sebastian on Via Cavourto get measured for a shirt. In Torino, tailormade shirts cost the same as an off-the-rack one in London. It’s a tradition to have them made here with initials stitched in. 

Turin is the home of Martini, the great vermouth company, so it would be wrong not to head out for a pre-dinner cocktail. If I was in the mood for somewhere with a more traditional feel I would head to Bar San Carlo, or if I was up for something more modern, I would go to GranBar near Gran Madre for a Bianco on the rocks. 

For dinner, I would go to Porto di Savona on Piazza Vittorio Veneto, a huge and impressive square that is very romantic in the evening and has great views of the hills and the Gran Madre di Dio church. Porto di Savona is an unpretentious place and the food is very traditional: Tajarin pasta with Castelmagno cheese, which is very heavy but very Piedmontese; or Novarese, which is a Milanese with Gorgonzola cheese fondue. It’s a classic Torino experience but it’s not a place for anyone who is counting calories. 

To buy Luca’s clothes, head to 192 Piccadilly in London or lucafaloni.com

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