For locals, Torino is chocolate city

Torino is a city of chocolate. And Torino’s “Fifth Avenue,” Via Roma, is lined with chocolate vendors — and chocolate customers.

While it may be a confection which people line up at booths all day to sample, it is also an enormous industry, and its very much part of the history of this region and the rich history of Torino.

And no one is a bigger part of that history than Giuseppe Peyrano. 

“Torinese chocolate is so good,” Peyrano says, “because of our long experience.”

He may be 72 years old, and on crutches from a skiing mishap, but this master chocolate maker still runs the family factory, and walks these floors past the machines he designed.

The Peyrano family has been supplying chocolate to everyone from the Italian Royal Family to diplomats around the world since 1915.

Every piece is important to Peyrano. He selects the beans and oversees each step of the process — from the raw product to works of art, like chocolate skis.

His chocolate has a rich history: during World War II, Giuseppe’s parents hid Jews and British POWs from the Nazis, who also showed an interest in the family chocolate business. “The Germans had asked us to work for them and my parents said 'no,' in order to avoid collaborating with them,” Peyrano says, “They made up excuses not to produce anything for them.”

Peyrano is all about history and tradition. He’s proud of his almost 50-year marriage to his wife Giulia — even that is part of his philosophy that some things can’t be improved upon.