Sicilia, Lazio, Umbria... here I come!
The time has arrived for me to stop dreaming and start getting serious about where I intend to eat on my trip.
I'll be leaving soon for a one-month jaunt through southern and central Italy. I have never been anywhere in Umbria before, and while it seems like I have perused every publication from Slow Food to Gambero Rosso (and have even gone back to old CH posts that I took part in!), I am finding it difficult to make decisions when I don't know the places at all and there is so much to choose from. (I have a list of favorites in the Rome and Palermo areas, and though I am not in need of too much help as far as they are concerned, I am definitely open to suggestions).
I could use some serious guidance on the Umbrian towns/cities of Panicale, Gubbio, Citta di Castello, Assisi, Spello, Spoleto, Orvieto, and, of course, Perugia.
We eat everything, appreciate good wine and local company. I'd be particularly interested in hearing about neighborhood trattorie and ecotouristic farms and vineyards.
I also have some specific questions:
Which are some truly great locales for sampling Norcia's famous sausage and beans? How about vineyards/wineries that offer tastings of Sagrantino? I've done plenty of research, but would like to hear from my trusted fellow CHers.
Has anyone eaten at the famous Redibis (at l'Orto degli Angeli), or Enoteca Onofri in Bevagna? I'd love some feedback on them.
I Sette Consoli in Orvieto? I also have heard a lot about La Bastiglia in Spello (awarded a Michelin star)- has anyone been? Taverna del Lupo in Gubbio?
Finally, Sicily: can anyone give me some pointers for the Siracusa/Ragusa area? We've had good luck just sort of exploring and eating wherever looked good (never been disappointed), but I'd like to have one or two definite places in mind this time, as I'll be spending more time there. Also, Sciacca- I've never been. I hear many wonderful things about the many local seafood places in this seaside city, but don't know much detail at all.
II'll be in Italy for about one month, through the first week of October. I'd really appreciate and enjoy hearing about any and all suggestions/comments/memories re: food and wine that you deem relevant, and will be checking CH periodically during my trip. Price is not much of an issue, as long as they take credit cards. If I need to show up with wads of cash, please let me know! Casual stops, pasticcerie, coffee bars, tavole calde, and enoteche all apply!
II'l be taking notes (and photos, hopefully) for my post-trip reports, so please keep the ideas coming!
Gubbio is a beautiful town and Taverna del Lupo is a great restaurant. You might want to visit Todi, which has an excellent restaurant called Umbria. Taverna del Pescatore is just off the main road between Spoleto and Trevi. These have been discussed on previous posts about Umbria. We stayed on a farm with a restaurant about 8 years ago, but I cannot find any information about it and suspect it is no longer in business. There is lots of great food in the region, and prices are not terribly high. Have a great time!
Thanks, rrems. Todi is definitely on my list, I just forgot to mention it. I think I have heard of Taverna del Pescatore (most likely on this site).
From my research, it seems that farms with restaurants are all the rage in Umbria. It's likely that the farm where you stayed was sold and is still operational under a different name.
I'll be at Villa di Monte Solare in Panicale. The Villa has a restaurant and a cantina, but I think we'll probably only be there for breakfast- there are way too many towns to explore and I am sure we'll be embarrassed for choice!
If you can wait less than two weeks I can update you about Umbria with very fresh news because on next Wednesday 17, until Saturday 20 I will be in Montefalco where there is the Sagrantino di Montefalco Festival. I will dine in Montefalco and in Bevagna and I hope to discover several smart new names.
About Sicily I have a short list whose last update is March.
Please do not omit the small walled city of Norcia in Umbria. It's claim to fame is for all things pork (especially wild boar) and truffles. Wouldn't recommend the black truffle liqueur though!
I ate a dissappointing meal at Enoteca Onofri this summer, but having only tried it once I wouldn't yet cross it off the list. It is possible that we just "ordered wrong".
One of my favorite Umbrian meals was at 'Nana on Corso Cavour in Perugia. It looks like a store front when you first walk in, but continue through and you are in a lovely restaurant. Here's my review on Slow Trav: http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/restaur...
If you surf around there you will find lots of review for Umbria etc.