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One cannot live by art alone – not even in the great cities of Italy,  where unparalleled art, design and fashion abound.  So, for every museum, every masterful sculpture, every bustling market and elegant boutique, every candlelit church that a traveler admires, he should indulge in a meal that reflects the region's culinary traditions – tastes born of the rich abundance of the Mediterranean, its seaside, its countryside, its verdant hills and golden fields.  It is a cuisine that is simple, frugal, hearty, rustic, refined.


These meals vary according to where you are on the peninsula because the ingredients are local, the produce coming directly from the nearest vegetable plot, the fruit from a nearby orchard, and the lamb most likely grazed not far from where you are seated.


Northern cuisine is rich in butter and creamy sauces, the central part of the country prepares dishes from the bounty of the land in simple, wholesome ways, and the dishes get spicier as one travels southward. The pasta shapes differ, the seasonings vary, and the choices change from region to region. One thing never changes – the abundance of food and the love with which it is prepared.


Here are my impressions of a sampling of restaurants, by no means complete, of where to dine while traveling through Italy. The links below will take you to posts on my blog  Artful Rooms with a View.

Restaurants in Italy

All images and reviews copyright 2017 by Ginda Simpson

VENICE

Le Bistrot de Venise: For Artists, Writers, and Lovers of Fine Food

FLORENCE

Ristorante Montebuoni: A Restaurant with a View

Trattoria da Què Ganzi: A Florentine Must!

La Reggia degli Etruschi: Fiesole – A Delightful Spot for Lunch (Fiesole)

Ristorante La Loggia: A View over Florence at La Loggia

ROME

Seafood at La Bussola in Ostia Antica

Da Pancrazio: A Roman Restaurant with a History

Antica Trattoria Polese: A Roman Tradition

Trattoria Armando al Pantheon: The Art of La Cucina Romana

Caffè Accademia: Dinner in a Building that Dates back to the 13th century (Città di Castello)

Ristorante L’Antica Osteria: A Truffle Feast in Montone (Montone)

Ristorante Armentum: Food as Celebration (Armenzano - Assisi)

Taverna dei Consoli: Gnocchi from Heaven (Assisi)

UMBRIA

Ristorante Canoscio: High Above the Upper Tiber Valley (Città di Castello)

Pauline Borghese Restaurant: A Memorable Dinner

Golden View Open Bar: Golden Moments – Golden Views

Ristorante Umbria: Celebrating Life at Ristorante Umbria (Todi)

Enoteca di Piazza Onofri: Bevagna at its Best (Bevagna)

NORTHERN ITALY

Ristorante Antica Torretta: A Veritable Feast in Verona

Ristorante il Torchio Antico: Lunch at a Palladian Villa (Lugo di Vicenza)

Ristorante Tiratappi: Lunch in a Sunlit Piazza (Mantova)

Hostaria del Ceccottino: A Tuscan Cuisine with a Jewish Past (Pitigliano)

TUSCANY

Ristorante Patry: Lunch at Ristorante Patry (Chianciano Terme)

Ristorante La Bucaccia: Eating good in the neighborhood (Cortona)

Osteria dei Fiori: A Perfect Pranzo on a Sunday Afternoon (Macerata)

CENTRAL ITALY

Ristorante Il Trovatore: Dining in Parma (Parma)

Buca di San Francesco: Echoes of the Past (Arezzo)

Zeffirino: And Pesto for a Pope (Genova)

Ristorante 12 Apostoli: A Restaurant with a Long History (Verona)

Trattoria Volpelli: Truffle Treasures (Umbertide)