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Favorite meal in...

Hello again,

I would love to hear about your favorite authentic Italian meal in the following places; Baveno, Stresa, Lucca, Siena, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Orvieto, Assisi, Spello, Montefalco, Trevi, and Rome.

I love eating authentic home cooked meals, so would most likely eat at an osteria or a trattoria, over an expensive ristorante.

I'm also happy just eating a deliciously crispy pizza, or buying freshly baked bread, prosciutto, burrata, olives, and enjoying a simple picnic at a park.

So, tell me... Where did you enjoy a yummy Italian meal?

I also have a sweet tooth, so would love to hear about your favorite gelateria and pasticceria (bakery)!

Grazie mille! ;-)

Priscilla

Posted by
280 posts

In San G, we enjoy creating a picnic from all of the wonderful shops. Last time we were there we came equipped with a lightweight tablecloth. We also bought a wonderful bottle of wine and a corkscrew from Luciano Bruni (I smile every time I use the corkscrew). I will be following this thread as we are heading to Spello, Assisi, Siena, Orvieto and Rome in June!

Posted by
780 posts

I can help with a few of these, based on a summer 2016 trip:

Lucca: Trattoria Canuleia. We sat outside on the terrace (well actually it's a full backyard) behind this beautiful restaurant. The trees formed a canopy over the tables, which were covered with beautiful linens. The service and the food were both exceptional. We lingered over lunch until we were the last ones there. We also really enjoyed "Local Food Market" (yes, its real name, not translated). The terrace there has dozens of beautiful lemon trees. Also really terrific food. Busy both times we went but mostly Italians.

Orvieto: Il Malandrino Bistrot. Another beautiful patio lunch. Indoors was lovely too, but I love eating outdoors. Really enjoyed this, and it was slightly off the main drag in a secondary piazza so peaceful

Rome: Renato e Luisa. Just go. Best meals I had in 7 weeks in Italy (ate there twice, 3 weeks apart.) No patio/terrace but the food is exceptional. Go hungry, eat all 4 courses, pick from the specials board. Phenomenal.

Other good restaurants in Rome:
Prati - Trattoria ai Villini - best gnocchi I've ever eaten
Centro, nearish to Pantheon - Trattoria der Pallardo - fixed menu, you can pick "big" or "little", that's it. Every bite delicious.
Trastevere - Trattoria da Vittorio. Heart shaped pistachio pesto and fresh salmon pizza. Relaxed, good food.

Bonus tip: AVOID this restaurant in Monti: Rome - La Carbonara 1906. Memorable only for "tourist rush seating" at 7:00 with demand to be done by 8:15. As soon as we put our forks down, our plates were removed and we were told to pay at the bar. And tourists lined up outside like crazy waiting for this place to open!!

And although we didn't eat in Montefalco, we nibbled our way through the region with Gusto Wine Tours. Highly, highly recommended. We had a great day touring 3 wineries with Mark for wine and food tastings. He's engaging and knowledgeable.

Posted by
780 posts

One more tip, slightly off your proposed route but worth a detour. If you're in Stresa with a car, and want an excursion for a really great meal, there's an agriturismo in Orta san Guilio that the Milanese flock to for really special family-style meals. Il Cucchiaio di Legno (The Wooden Spoon) cooks a set menu Thursday through Sunday evenings. You don't get to choose - you get some of everything they cook that day. Not a hardship, because every bite is exquisite. But at every course there are at least two items, so there is lots of variety. It's pretty much exclusively Italians. You must reserve, it sells out every meal, but it's a really special event.

It's only a half hour drive from Stresa. But of course someone has to drive back - or book a room right at the agriturismo. I stayed 3 nights and didn't want to leave.

EDIT: I was alone for this part of my trip. I managed to taste some of every dish they put in front of me.

Posted by
120 posts

We had a superb meal at Ristorante Sottosopra in Baveno a couple years ago.

Posted by
4522 posts

Wow! Thank you for all these wonderful recommendations!

I can't wait to get back to Italy!

Posted by
9447 posts

Oh Priscilla, you have a great trip planned!

Siena: Trattoria La Tellina. That night was cold and rainy, inside was warm and welcoming with simple Italian preparations. No English spoken the time we were there.

Spello: Osteria de Dada'. So simple and sweet! We were there in winter, so very quiet and local. Menu on a board; you eat what they are cooking that day. Everyone in the place was a local except us. Also enjoyed Il Trombone, but Dada' was teh favorite.

Rome: Oh-so-many! Dar Poeta, Da Remo, and La Pratolina for pizza. Salume from Antica Norcineria Viola in Campo de' Fiori; Gelato from Come il Latte near the American Embassy. The best local dining experience overall, La Fraschetta del Pesce. Take a taxi. It's worth it!

Posted by
904 posts

Try branzino when near the coast, carbonara in Rome, osso buco anywhere in the north, even Florence

Posted by
11613 posts

Can't remember the restaurant's name, but in Orvieto, if you are standing in front of the Duomo, look to your left for a row of buildings that includes a caffe, a hotel, a short staircase (don't take it), a gelateria and the building at the very end is a great restaurant with views over the valley from the outdoor dining area.

Posted by
5537 posts

Thanks Priscilla for posing the question, and thanks to all the responders! I'm headed to Orvieto and Rome in a couple of weeks, so I'm watching and listening carefully. Thank you!

Posted by
141 posts

Had one of our best meals at Trattoria del Moro Aronne in Orvieto. The whole experience in Orvieto was wonderful. You know when you travel and you have "that moment"...that was it for me in Orvieto. It felt and smelled like Italy. I thought I would have had that moment in Rome at the Vatican..nope it was in Orvieto!!! I will treasure that day forever.

Posted by
280 posts

Mmmm... nidi di rondine pecorino e miele caldo at Trattoria del Moro Aronne! I still dream about this dish. June can't come fast enough!

Posted by
4522 posts

This is great, thank you all for recommending me your favorite places!

Zoe, your trip will be here before you know it! Wishing you an amazing trip!

Laurel, do you miss living in Rome?

Gordon,
I love eating branzino!
When my mom & I visited lake Garda in 2014, I asked for,
"pesce del mare", and the waiter corrected me by saying, "pesce del lago!"

Kim,
It sounds like you & Zoe will be in Italy at around the same time! Have a wonderful trip! Wait, I should have written this... Bon Voyage!!!

Jeanine June will be here sooner than September, so you will be in Italy before me! Buon Viaggio!

NJMOM, I'm so looking forward to enjoying a delicious meal at Trattoria del Moro Aronne in Orvieto, thanks! :-)

Posted by
9447 posts

Sometimes I do, Priscilla. I miss the atmosphere, the Spring weather (they can keep summer!), the outside/walking/carless lifestyle. But I love being back in Oregon, too!

Posted by
1726 posts

I've looked back to find the name (no luck!) of this little hole-in-the-wall we lunched at in March in Orvieto with our Roman friends (who knew of the place), but there were only two tables, no menu, and we dined on homemade noodles with cinghiale (wild boar) and drank house wine. Oh, and we shared the table with the family dog. She didn't eat, just slept.

In Rome, however, I'd pick Elle Effe, close to Campo de' Fiori. Awesome Sicilian cuisine in a nondescript little cavern of a place. Orata fish in red sauce with capers, pizza Siciliana with capers, black olives and anchovies, tremendous caponata, and tiramisu served in small Mason jars, topped with grated pistachio. We found it on a fluke while walking around, as it happens sometimes with the great places.

Not far away from Elle Effe, there's Pizzeria Emma for the best spaghetti alla Carbonara of my life.

Posted by
31 posts

The food is so amazing throughout Italy, but a couple of our favorites do come to mind. La Sosta di Violante in Siena, near the Porto Romano served us the most Florentine style steak; we still refer to it as the "meat-gold!" Done to PERFECTION!! In Orvieto on a rainy night we stumbled upon Ristorante Il Cocco, and it was phenomenal! Enjoy!

Posted by
118 posts

Last October we had a great meal at La Teatro on the main square in Montefalco. It was fairly new when we ate there. The service was friendly and fun and the food was great.

Posted by
31030 posts

Priscilla,

Some of the restaurants that I've enjoyed.....

  • Stresa: In the main piazza, Gran Caffe Torino - http://www.caffe-torino.com/ . Also, La Botte Trattoria
  • Lucca: I really enjoyed Pizzeria da Francesco *(make sure you get the one by the station, as I believe there's also a restaurant by the same name) - http://www.pizzeriadafrancesco.it/
  • Orvieto: without a doubt, L' Antica Rupe - http://www.anticaboheme.it/
  • Rome: One restaurant I always return to is L' Antica Boheme, which is close to Hotel Sonya - http://www.anticaboheme.it/ . They have lots of photos of the rich & famous lining the walls, so it seems they're very popular.
Posted by
396 posts

Off the coast of Baveno/Stresa is the Isola Superiore Dei Pescatori. Take the boat to the island and eat at Verbano. Great location and food.
Lucca: pizza: Bella 'Mbriana at via bella Cavalerizza 29 and Trattoria da Leo at via Tegrimi 1
Siena: Kopa Kabana at via dei Rossi 54 and via San Pietro 20, L'Osteria at via dei Rossi 79-81

Posted by
4522 posts

Laurel,

I miss the atmosphere, the Spring weather (they can keep summer!), the outside/walking/carless lifestyle.

I understand what you mean. Even though I've not lived in Italy, I truly enjoy the atmosphere there, which is unlike any other place... Being outside, walking everywhere, eating gelato, pizza and pasta, and not gaining a single ounce of weight!

Jay, I love little hole-in-the-wall places with great food!
My mom & I found one such place while visiting Santorini, and we ate there every day during our stay!

I can't wait to try the Orata fish in red sauce with capers at Elle Effe, thank you!

Lifeisnow, How can I possibly not try your recommendation after reading your comment!

Florentine style steak; we still refer to it as the "meat-gold!" Done to PERFECTION!!

Thank you Lifeisnow! BTW, I love your nickname! It's such a great reminder!

Kim Thank you! I'm looking forward to my visit to Montefalco and will check out La Teatro :-)

Ken, Now I wish I had more days in each of my destinations so I could try all of these wonderful places!
Thank you for all your recommendations and for all your help with my trip planning!

Thank you Karren! Do I need to make a reservation at Ristorante Verbano?
Thanks for all your help with my trip planning! :-)

I'm definitely saving this post! I will start making a list of all your recommendations, for each of my destinations, so I can refer to it during my trip.

Thanks again to every one who has contributed to this thread!!!

Now all I need is to hear about your favorite gelato, pastry, or yummy dessert!

Priscilla

Posted by
396 posts

We did not make a reservation at Verbano but we did get on the first boat over there that arrived around lunch time...1100 and make a quick walk to the restaurant and asked for outdoor seating. We had a perfect spot overlooking the lake right by the water. If you take a later boat, you may have to wait for an outdoor table or eat inside.......they also have a hotel on the island. We didn't stay there but it looks like fun to do that. The hotel has boat that will take you back and forth or the ferry stops there too.

Posted by
4522 posts

Thanks Sandra! The facebook link is great! Now I need more days in Rome in order to try all these great places!

Thanks Karren! I will be sure to get to the restaurant early in order to get a table outdoors!
It would be fun to stay at their hotel, but I'm actually staying at the hotel you recommended, Hotel Eden! ;-)

Posted by
11613 posts

I am smiling to see this topic near the top of the page!

Okay, I have to say, my most memorable dish (not meal) was a pumpkin tortellini in a sage/butter sauce at a little restaurant in Sabbioneta, near Mantova, in 1985.

Posted by
5537 posts

oh Zoe, if I'd had that, that would be my most memorable meal too!!

Posted by
5537 posts

Ok the place that Zoe referred to above in Orvieto along side the Duomo, at the far end, is called Vinosus.

I.e.if you're looking face on at the Duomo, there is a line of establishments facing the left-hand side of the Duomo. Vinosus is the last one/furthest back from that vantage point.

Posted by
4522 posts

Thanks Kim!
I've added Vinosus to my list!
So you're in Orvieto now, right?
Did you try the gelateria next to the restaurant?

Enjoy your time in Orvieto and Rome! ;-)

Posted by
1 posts

To add somewhere new...

When in Assisi try Le Terrazze de Properzio. Food is delicious, not expensive; but it's really the incredible views from the terrace, looking out over the Umbrian countryside, that is the clincher. Go for lunch and enjoy the sunshine.

Rome has too many to name but a favorite of mine is Ponte e Parione; an excellent cucina Romana, one block back from the Piazza Navona so it doesn't have the tourist prices. Exit the piazza to the right of the large church (S. Agnese in Agone) then turn right (it's then on your left). If you fancy gelato afterwards then take the northern exit from the Piazza Navona turn right and then about four short blocks on your left you will find Gelateria Della Palma; well-known for the 150 flavors it sells. Always a good way to end dinner by strolling the historical centre with gelato in hand.

Posted by
4522 posts

Rob,
Thanks for taking the time to write about the wonderful recommendations for Assisi & Rome!

And yes... I always fancy gelato!

Posted by
5537 posts

Ok, I'm back . . . here are the places we particularly enjoyed in Orvieto:

La Palomba -- small trattoria recommended in Rick's book (at least in 2013 version I have). Also recommended in my husband's Gambero Rosso. Reservations definitely needed. Just behind Piazza de la Repubblica. We liked it so much my husband tried to go there again the second night. No dice, as they were full (and we saw people turned away the night we were there too). Not much charm in the decoration -- except in the sense that it's so tacky it's almost charming. Closed Wednesdays.
http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.com/2013/09/trattoria-la-palomba-orvieto/

Antico Rucchero -- a little bigger, near the big clock tower, just down a side street. You step down into the dining room. My husband loved his pasta with cinghiale (wild boar) sauce so much that he ordered a second plate upon finishing the first. And he's Italian and knows his pasta!!! They have a space to dine out front, tables covered with umbrellas, that would be lovely when the days and evenings are warm enough.
http://www.ristoranteorvietoanticobucchero.com/

Posted by
4522 posts

Thanks Kim for these wonderful recommendations!

I hope you enjoyed your time in Italy!