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Somewhere in the countryside or by the sea to eat wonderfully and stay the night?

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Wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a restaurant/inn in the Italian countryside or, even better, by the seaside to eat wonderfully and stay the night? Preferably not too stuffy accommodation.

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  1. I'm sure there are many, but with some 1000 miles of coasltine, it might help to specify a region, or at least a general area of the country.

    4 Replies
    1. re: bob96

      Well, regions we have been considering are Liguria, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands, Puglia, Maremma and Le Marche. I know that's still very vague! We recently spent ten days staying in agriturismi around Sardinia, which was great, but agriturismo lodging is often extremely uncomfortable despite the tastiness of the food! This time around (June/July of 2011) we're hoping to stay in greater comfort, and possibly a little style, but not looking for overly fiddly food. The trip will be for a special occasion.

      1. re: johannabanana

        I would love to read about your food adventures on Sardinia. Would you consider doing a report outlining where you are and what your impressions were?

        I hope you get some good responses to this query!

        1. re: erica

          Erica, we stuck to the less glitzy parts of Sardinia: the Costa Verde, the countryside around Nuoro, the East coast just below Siniscola, finishing up in Cabras. The best food was at an agriturismo on the Costa Verde, primarily of beautiful long-haired goats, called l'Oasi del Cervo; and at the fish restaurant "Il Caminetto" in Cabras.

          Angela at l'Oasi de Cervo is a wonderful cook, a very hospitable person, who makes a real effort. We stayed with her and her husband for three nights and the food was a revelation, at least for two of the dinners: memorable dishes included delicate fried goat's livers, fregola sarda with courgette and sausage, a tremendous lasagne, and braised goat. Dinners often seemed to run to about 5 courses. (The rooms were quite basic, however.) At breakfast the coffee was served with fresh goat's milk.

          We had what we thought was a fairly mediocre dinner at the Costiolu agriturismo near Nuoro. Puntalizzu agriturismo near Siniscola had the best lodging (and the most beautiful coastline nearby) and the food was really good one night (excellent peppers and fried eggplant antipasti, ricotta ravioli, and lamb cooked with an unidentifiable but special herb), less so the other.

          "Il Caminetto" was astounding: incredible seafood antipasti (skate in tomato sauce, baked squid, octopus, marinated fresh sardines with pine nuts, etc...) and very well prepared scorpionfish in a tomato sauce also. Modest, traditional place well worth a detour.

          Overall we ate well although we got a little bored of ricotta ravioli (served everywhere) and even with suckling pig (not necessarily at its best the way the Sardinians prepare it). In this regard, "Il Caminetto" was a great escape into seafood -- at the agriturismi it's much more meaty fare. Meals were generally good value, especially when paying half-board.

          1. re: johannabanana

            Thank you so very much for those comments! I have long wanted to travel to Sardinia and when I do get there, your comments will be most helpful..I may come back and ask more in another thread...

    2. We spent several months along the coast in Italy, following the Slow Food movement. We would recommend staying and eating all around Siciliy. However, the best place we can recommend is L'Antica Filanda. Lovely rooms with views, gorgeous pools, and the food was amazing. Somewhat near Palermo and Messina. As for Southern Sicily, we had a great lunch in Trapani. Also, several great slow food recommendations in Puglia and nice places to stay. In Siracusa, we stayed at Giugiulena right on the water and they could not be more accomodating, we ventured out for dinner but loved their waterfront breakfast. 100% we'd suggest a Sicilian adventure!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Landissimo

        Landissimo, thanks for the recommendations. We love the Slow Food guide also and had a great time using it in south-eastern Sicily 3 years ago. If we go to Sicily next year, we think we'll stick to Palermo and the west of the island, together with Filicudi, perhaps. However, on the more recent trip to Sardinia we felt that the English version of the Slow Food guide (published in 2006 I think) was very much out-of-date. We intend to try to get hold of the latest, annually published Italian version.