The halls of Fiorio

The atmosphere and the nineteenth-century tradition


Carlo Alberto di Savoia, ogni mattina, prima delle questioni di Stato, chiedeva che cosa si dicesse al Fiorio, perché era il circolo dei più influenti conservatori, come Prati, Collegno, Balbo, Lisio, Santarosa, per i quali la libertà era una lenta conquista civile a cui bisognava allenare il popolo perché non la sciupasse.
Lo frequentarono Cavour, Rattazzi, D’Azeglio. Fu “casa” del povero epigrammista Baratta. Dal 1930, la sala “Il Vagone” ospitò riunioni antifasciste. Sapore sette-ottocentesco; bancone in marmo giallo del 1920 e bussola d’ingresso laterale liberty.
Conserva i segreti dei gelati più famosi di Torino, amati da Nietzsche.

In 1780, customers used to enter a modest café, whose main characteristic was insufficient lighting, by candles, like most of the cafés of those times in Europe. Halls opened into one another and looked cramped, owing to the lack of light. During the first decades, the problem was solved following the example of Café Procope in Paris, in which mirrors were installed everywhere, to reflect light back in to the halls. As of 1838, Turin implemented gaslight illumination for public streets and many cafés adapted to this trend. Fiorio could not fall short of this trend, but the new abundant lighting revealed the defects and flaws of its halls, previously masked by the semidarkness. Renovation was the best solution to this inconvenience. In 1845, famous painters and craftsmen, among whom Gonin, Morgari, Gerbi, Busca, Barra and Bogliani, the sculpture, decorated the café from scratch. Red velvet divans replaced the torn chairs and couches, which were shoved off to the cellar and new mirrors embellished the walls. Every single blemish was purged. Fiorio has always been considered the café of the nobility. Thanks to the renovation works, it was regularly visited by the most prominent bourgeoisie of the town, who were seeking greater prestige. There were so many new clients that “it even made it a little noisy.”

About a century later, Fiorio was faithful to itself and preserved most of the traces of that sumptuous period. During the tough years after WWII, Florio started to host people’s joy of life in Turin again. The big hall on the ground floor was animated by a jazz orchestra and couples used to dance on the long linoleum carpet that crossed the hall lengthwise. They used to dance, happy and oblivious of all daily matters, while the orchestra was playing Glenn Miller’s music. Today, there is a beautiful carpet instead of linoleum and the imitation leather that covered divans in the Fifties is substituted by new red velvet; and Fiorio radiates a peaceful and retro atmosphere, meeting the demands of today’s customers, well aware of the balance which blends the past and the present.

Via Po, 8 Torino 10121
+39 011 817 3225

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