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Nov 10, 2009 07:31 AM

Recommendations in Volterra and Montepulciano

I am taking my 13 year old daughter to Italy for the first time and two of the places we will be visiting are Volterra and Montepulciano (my daughter is a huge Twilight/New Moon fan obviously). Can anyone make recommendations for good places for lunch in one or both of those places? Great pizza and pasta would be exceptionally good for my daughter. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Tiger, seriously, you're asking for great pizza and pasta - in Italy ?
    The best restaurant in Montepulciano is La Grotta. Don't know if open at lunch.
    But definitely book for dinner.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ManuelF

      In many places in Italy, pizza is never served as a lunch item. It's considered something to eat for dinner (and who likes heating up the oven in the middle of a hot day?)

      Since both towns you are going to are bigtime tourist destinations, it may be that you'll find someplace offering pizza at the lunch hour (but by all means stay away from bars that may be microwaving it! You want a "forno a legno" -- a wood burning oven.) But prepare your daughter for the possibility that, for lunches, pizza may not be possible or even advisable (Toscana has yet to nail down a reputation for great pizza, although I'm sure individual vendors can be great if you know which ones they are.)

      Your daughter might enjoy sampling bruschetta in the afternoons instead of pizza, but surely you'll be able to find lots of pasta, with lots of variety in shapes and sauces, so if you don't speak Italian, you'll find it helpful to pack a menu translator.

      1. re: summerUWS2008

        Thanks for the help. I will probably have to settle for pasta, which is fine with me! I have spent about 4 months in Italy over the last year so I can handle most Italian menus. If there are any great local places that I can get by with basic Italian, I am in!!!

        1. re: summerUWS2008

          Unless things have changed in recent years, I would not consider Volterra a "bigtime tourist destination," at least relative to many of the other towns & villages in central Tuscany (Siena, Arezzo, Cortona, etc.). It is a little off the beaten path and gets MUCH less tourist traffic than San Gimignano.

          Volterra certainly is worth visiting, for both the Etruscan Museum and the shops that specialize in working with alabaster.

          1. re: DavidT

            I don't know when you were last in Volterra, and I agree it does get the numbers of tourists as most of the other places you mentioned, but I think it may have surpassed Arezzo as a go-to hilltown. It's fame has spread as a place worth visiting.

      2. Good pizza in Montepulciano can be had at La Briciola on Via dei Cantine; they are open for lunch and may or may not serve pizza then. I mentioned them in a report from a few years back: