The Only Restaurant Waterside the PO River
from (est.) 1936
In the heart of Parco del Valentino, behind the Savoy Palace, was the ancient dock for royal boats, among which the best known was the 18th-century Bucintoro. At that time, it was moored in a special dock connected by an underground passage to the overlooking Castello del Valentino, possibly serving as an escape route and nighttime exit, as was apparently customary in the days of Madama Cristina, daughter of the King of France, who had the castle built to her taste modeled after the castles of the Loire. The old dock, which had been renovated in the early 20th century, has been the location of Imbarcadero Perosino for four generations, named after Alberto Perosino, the shipwright who founded it in 1936. It now serves cuisine of the past handed down from Bisnonna Felicina and Nonna Anna Pesca to Mamma Graziella Perosino and now to her daughter Anna Carla Felicita De Coster and granddaughter Cecilia Graziella Jones. She has so far preserved the tradition of the Imbarcadero with boat tours on the river, the ultimate pastime of the Turinese since the postwar period. Piedmontese-style “Sinoire” snacks and candlelight dinners on the banks of river Po, relaxing lunches in an oasis of greenery, lulled by different background music every day, receptions, private parties… Imbarco Perosino certainly needs no introduction, but there is a ‘tidbit’
about it that deserves to be told… The historical venue in Parco Valentino also boasts a beautiful veranda overlooking the river. The most significant aspect is that the entire space, renovated under the supervision of interior designer Anna De Coster, is dedicated to the Peota Reale, the famous bucintoro of the Savoy designed by Juvarra (now on display at Venaria Reale after a lengthy restoration). But why remember the Savoy vessel exactly at the Valentino? Qualified witnesses, including studies conducted by naval historian Luigi Griva, show how, to house the royal boat, a special landing was built right where the Perosino Embarkation now stands. The Perosino family thus chose to pay homage to the history of the venue and to one of the most magnificent pieces of Juvarra’s art, the Savoy bucintoro, built in 1729 in Venice (along with a sister model that was destroyed in 1824, however) and transported to Turin by river, pulled by horses, in 1731. From Maria Christina of Savoy onward, royal celebrations were held in this precious vessel: the wedding of Vittorio Emanuele I (1789), and Vittorio Emanuele II (1842), and so on. The last time La Peota sailed the waters of the Po was on May 15th, 1860; after which it was donated to the Museo Civico di Torino. Graziella Perosino, together with Anna De Coster, researched all the information needed to reproduce the bucintoro’s distinctive features as faithfully as possible. The new bar counter is therefore shaped like the fore of a boat, covered in black bituminous paint with a red band, just like the original version. A predominance of blue (Savoy blue, of course) and prints and images all around testify to the authenticity of the discovery. So today you can organize parties in the veranda of the Imbarco Perosino just as the Savoy family did, stepping, in a way, into History.
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