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Nov 30, 2008 08:50 PM

Underground 'In Home' Restaurants in Italy

Just beginning the culinary planning for a two week Italy trip next spring...

I have this vague recollection of reading a New York Times article a while back on a form of ad hoc restaurant in Italy that is basically a proprietor serving lunch (maybe dinner too) out of his or her home. Sort of an underground scene, but in a local sense. I think the article also mentioned that these are popular among workers on lunch break. The details are all very fuzzy and I haven't been able to find the article again.

Does any of this ring a bell?

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  1. I didn't read the article, so I will try to guess what you may be talking about.

    They exist, but they are very hard to find, as obviously they don't advertise...and would face fines.

    Cesarine is an association, and you can find dinners in a house that serves typical food:

    You might try to find an agriturismo. It is not underground, and it is not popular among workers for lunch, but could fit your requirements.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jaykayen

      I'm looking into an agritursimo, but was hoping to do this in addition.

      Found the article:

      Upon review, it only covers "At-home Trattorias" in Palermo. I won't be in Palermo, but I'm still wondering if it's worth seeking them out in other cities, and if so, how to do it.

      The homefood association looks interesting. I will definitely be considering it.

    2. Hello,

      The article still holds true in much of the south (at least I've seen similar places in most of Sicily and Naples) but I don't know if you'd really find that up north. Also, I find that from Rome up the trend drifts much more towards unmarked or unnamed but completely legal trattorias. For ei, I can't even give someone a name or address to any of my favorite places in Rome, but I can walk to all of them with ease. What city will you be in?

      1. Likely itinerary: In or around Bologna for a couple days, an agriturismo in Tuscany for a couple, a few days in Rome, a few days in Positano.

        Nothing set in stone except flight into Milan in late April and flight out of Naples two weeks later.

        1. I don't know of any, but FWIW I think this is the article you're referring to:

          EDIT: just saw zEli173's previous post about the same article. Oops.

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