I-Robots: A Local’s Guide To Turin

The DJ Cookbook had the pleasure of chatting with I-Robots and getting the down low on his most recent project, while also learning about his favorite eateries and record shops in his home town of Turin.

I-ROBOTS aka Gianluca Pandullo is not new to the Turin scene, he has in fact been fueling the city’s cultural engine since the early 80’s as both a producer and event promoter, his passion for music seems to know no boundaries.

His upcoming Various Artists project called “Turin Dancefloor Express” is an example of his passion. The compilation goes on a journey into the 70’s and 80’s, one of the most prolific eras in music for the Turin area, after-all it was here that Italo-Disco was born. Through careful research, Gianluca gathered forgotten treasures and rarities, most of which is unheard material that is going to see the light of day for the first time on the compilation. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for this gem out on Opilec Music this fall.

Like any good Italian, Pandullo had lots of suggestions when asked about food and record shops in his city. Here is a list of his favorite spots that, “show the true soul of the Italian motor city and the real people behind it.

Restaurants

Pizzeria Ristorante Da Michi: This is a classic pizzeria al Tegamino, one that specializes in the local deep dish style pizza and a place where where Gianluca has been eating since he was a child. Go with a group and make sure you also get the farinata!

Divina Commedia Torino: An updated version or the typical Birreria aka Pub. It hosts live music events paired with both modern and traditional foods ranging from quinoa burgers to red rice gnocchi with shell fish.

Owner Paolo Mulas, a big supporter of the rare groove, has hosted  I-Robots jazz/bossa live events with bands produced by Nicola Conte as well as numerous DJ sets.

Gradisca di Carmen Prestigiovanni Piadineria RomagnolaCarmen Prestigiovanni was very well know host/dancer in the Riviera club scene before settling in Turin where she opened Gradisca.

This casual joint is Turin’s take on the traditional Piadina Romagnola (a flatbread sandwich originally from the Romagna region). They offer both vegetarian and meat options like the amazing crudo/squacquerone piadina and also the deliciously sweet nutella/banana/coconut combo.  Here, everything is homemade, with a big focus on high quality ingredients; a must try for sure.

Trattoria Bue Rosso: A traditional Piedmontese Family run restaurant where you can find typical dishes like insalata russa and fried ground escargots. This restaurant is a must if you want to get a taste of the regional kitchen without being in a super traditional environment. Do not forget to visit it during asparagus season (spring).

Owner Rosella Destefanis is a long time club-goer and from time to time breaks the trattoria routine by hosting DJ sets.

E’ PizzaThis joint is great for a snack or a quick lunch because, well, there is no wrong time for pizza. Here you’ll find authentic pizza by the slice and focaccia made with local ingredients and lots of love! Vincenzo Arena, the owner, is a long time friend of I-Robots and also a big music head, so expect expertly curated playlists and the occasional DJ set.

Record Shops

Dischi e DintorniThis store specializes in 60’s and 70’s rarities from jazz to rock passing trough italico and cosmic sounds, probably the best vintage shop in town. Located at: Via Ormea 31, Torino. Contact: Andrea Benedetti.

Slow Mood Dischi: A nice and cozy spot that focuses on Afro and Brazilian music. be assured you’ll always find something new here. Located at: Via Vincenzo Monti 13/O, Torino. Contact: Corrado Ferri.

La Colonna Sonora: A Record, CD and DVD store located at Piazza Carlo Felice, Torino. On Saturdays they set up shop at Il Balôn, one of the biggest open air flee markets in Europe, a true must see. Every third Sunday of the month they’re at Mercato Piccolo Antiquariato, located at Borgo D’Ale in Vercelli, (40 Km NE of Turin). Contact: Sergio Gambino.

ScambiamusicaA convention of  record collectors and sellers that happens twice a year. Clearly this tip is for the music nerds, but worth knowing about because there are high chances to find gems in all genres. Contact: Claudio Besia & Guido Sassola (Negazione).

Rubber Soul Dischi: This is one of the longest running vintage record shops in town. Here you can find a bit of everything, it is always a pleasure to get lost and go digging here. Oh but beware of the dog inside… Located at: Via Valentino Carrera, 52, Torino. Contact: Claudio Belletti.