Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany
It is very hard to find a good restaurant in Umbria...they are either excellent or superb! Italians eat out a lot and a mediocre restaurant gets the thumbs down from the locals, and word gets round very quickly. Remember, this is the home of the grapevine!
It is very hard to find a good restaurant in Umbria...
However, these are some of the restaurants we have particularly liked in our travels around Umbria, not in any particular order, and some have been recommended to us by clients or friends. There is a wide selection, from cheap and cheerful to the very best in cuisine. If you have a favourite restaurant to share please send us the details. Below is a list of the ones we especially recommend.
There are various stages you go through when visiting restaurants here. First, you look down through the menu and choose something you know, like...spaghetti. Then, when you know what all the dishes mean you choose something you like. Next you ask the waiter to explain what is in the dish. Finally you ask him to change it! I love the Penne alla Norcina in our local restaurant, Rosatelli, made with penne pasta, sausage and cream, but it goes to a new level when you ask for a little bit of black truffle to be grated over it!
Usually has a wide range on the menu and may or may not do pizza. If they do it is likely to be a wood burning oven and only running in the evening.
A family run and simple tavern usually with a fixed or very simple menu. You may have to book a table in advance. (eg. Il Borghetto, Deruta)
A modest restaurant.
A restaurant specialising in roast meats and vegetables. (eg. Rosatelli, Marsciano)
A restaurant that specialises in pizza (plural is pizze), usually available evenings only (eg. La Grotta del Gallo, Marsciano) but sometimes at lunchtime too. Go for one with a wood-burning oven as the flavour and texture is so much better.
This adoption of the English term by Italy means a large house comprising self-catering apartments. There is often a restaurant within the building. (eg. Antico Roseta)
An agriturismo is a farm with holiday accommodation, often with a restaurant on site which is open to the public.
AlbergoAn albergo, or hotel, will often have a restaurant open to the public as well as its guests.
This is, without any shadow of doubt, the best restaurant we have found. The food, wine, service and ambiance are second to none. Obviously it is not cheap but we felt it was excellent value for money. The locanda has a swimming pool and several apartments so you can actually stay there too. Ultimately there will be 26 apartments. Prices are very reasonable. They tell us they are creating a wine bar and a (separate) cigar room with a choice of 1,500 cigars too!
4 Piedi & 8.5 Pollici
Giro di Bacco, Monte Castello di Vibio
We went to a concert in the beautiful theatre in Monte Castello di Vibio and most of the theatre-goers went on to this restaurant afterwards, us included. We had never heard of it before as it's quite new, and were absolutely delighted. The setting is quite bright and modern but the food and service is excellent. We paid just over 20 euros per head for two courses, wine and coffee.
Address: Via Cesare e Luigi Agretti 41, Monte Castello di Vibio.
Directions: as you go up the hill from Madonna del Piano turn right into via Enrico Ippolisti, cross over a simple crossroads, and the restaurant is on the right after about 300m.
Tel: 075 878 0698 or 333 421 1344
Closing day: We're told they don't have one.
Website: www.girodibacco.it (with map and in English too)
Please mention that you found them on our website
A great little restaurant with dishes quite different to the usual. A little too brightly lit for our taste.
We don't normally recommend restaurants outside Umbria but you may want to take a day trip to Florence (known as Firenze in Italy) and therefore we recommend this one. It has a real atmosphere, excellent service and great food. The prices are reasonable too, considering the location, close to the duomo (cathedral). We paid 27 euros each for salad, pizza, coffee, and bottle of wine.
A great restaurant in Willesden Green, London.