BY LOY BERNAL CARLOS
The Sala Risorgimento is extraordinarily evocative. It’s where Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, principal architect of the Unification of Italy, used to lunch. It is still easy to imagine the notables who graced the tables over decades and centuries: from Giacomo Casanova, the famous seducer, to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, from the playwright Carlo Goldoni to the novelist Honoré de Balzac, to Friedrich Nietzsche. One 20th-century habitué was Mario Soldati, the respected writer and director who gave endless life to Del Cambio in an episode of his memorable series “Viaggio in the Valle of the Po” (Travel in the Po Valley), filmed for RAI in the 1950s. Illustrious seductresses were there too, such as Paolina Borghese (née Bonaparte) and the alluring Contessa di Castiglione, mistress of Napoleon III, up to such 20th-century divas and icons as Eleonora Duse, Maria Callas, and Audrey Hepburn. Lest we forget, there are the statesmen who brought the Unification of Italy to fruition, as well as the pioneers of Italian industry starting with the automobile’s, embodied by the Fiat Agnelli’ dynasty. Art, genius, and history abound. Del Cambio has and will always be where Europe and the world feel right at home.
DEL CAMBIO TODAY
Memory, style, innovation: the essence of Del Cambio. This concept, in practice, is translated and made evident through historically authentic spaces such as the Sala Risorgimento.
It is a challenge, a mix of elegance and charm: a dialogue woven with preciousness, a tribute to Turin's spirit in all its deep refinement. The world of Del Cambio is a journey that goes beyond the boundaries of time and history, leading to a philological sense of contemporaneity. The Sala Risorgimento is the most outstanding, ancient and iconic hall of Del Cambio. While respecting the integrity of the place, each element has been cleaned up and restored: frescoes, antique furniture, mirrors, wood paneling and chandeliers allow the experience of stepping into bygone days. Its frescoes dating back to 1875 are seen deftly combined with impressive contemporary site-specific works of art.
Parallel to the Sala Risorgimento, lays the Sala Pistoletto, named after the artist who gives soul to its space, welcoming us in with the extraordinary work of art, “Evento”. Using eight mirror plates, “Evento” portrays ordinary people engrossed in watching a spectacle that is not perceived in the composition. The room is furnished with chairs and tables expressly designed by Martino Gamper.
The sophisticated mise-en-place is today enriched by the “Ruins of Del Cambio”, a series of china plates whose production is the result of the cooperation between the Israeli artist Izhar Patkin and the outstanding french Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres. A unique project: some 200 plates were originally rejected when deemed not up to the highest level and condition. All have been hand-customized by the artist with a reference to the restaurant’s name and history. All the remaining table decorations, from fabrics to porcelain, from crystal to silverware, are made out of original pieces or items inspired by the restaurant’s classical taste and history.