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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 2015 by Ginda Simpson

ROME

VENICE

FLORENCE

Seafood at La Bussola in Ostia Antica

Da Pancrazio: A Roman Restaurant with a History

Ristorante Montebuoni: A Restaurant with a View

Trattoria da Què Ganzi: A Florentine Must!

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

CENTRAL ITALY

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

NORTHERN ITALY

Ristorante Antica Torretta: A Veritable Feast in Verona

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

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

Ristorante Tiratappi: Lunch in a Sunlit Piazza (Mantova)

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

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

Ristorante Patry: Lunch at Ristorante Patry (Chianciano Terme)

Ristorante Armentum: Food as Celebration (Armenzano - Assisi)

Taverna dei Consoli: Gnocchi from Heaven (Assisi)

Ristorante Il Trovatore: Dining in Parma (Parma)

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

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

Zeffirino: And Pesto for a Pope (Genova)