The Caffè Al Bicerin portrayed by the writer Umberto Eco in
the historical novel The Prague Cemetery:
… I pushed my way to one of Turin’s legendary places at that time. Dressed as a Jesuit, and mischievously enjoying the curiosity I arouse. I arrived at Caffè Al Bicerin, close to the Sanctuary of the Consolata, to taste their milk, fragrant with cocoa, coffee and their flavours, served in a glass with metal holder and handle. I was not to know that one of my heroes, Alexandre Dumas, would write about bicerin a few years later, but during the course of only two or three visits to that magical place I learned all about that nectar…
It was a magnificent place, with its wrought-iron frontage edged by advertising panels, its cast-iron columns and capitals and, inside, wooden boiseries decorated with mirrors, marble-topped tables and, behind the counter, almond-scented jars with forty different types of confectionery. I enjoyed standing there watching, particularly on Sundays, when this drink was nectar for those who had fasted in preparation of communion and needed some sustenance on leaving the Consolata – and a bicerin was also much prized during the Lenten fast since hot chocolate was not regarded as food. What hypocrites.
But, pleasure of coffee and chocolate apart, what I most enjoyed was appearing to be someone else: the thought that people had no idea who I really was gave me a sense of superiority. I had a secret.AAA
Umberto Eco, The Prague Cemetery, Mariner Books 2010