Italy is beautiful. But lets face it, you’re going for the food and romance! To make sure you don’t miss the best that Italy has to offer, here 10 restaurants in Italy you can’t afford to miss.
You and your love have been planning your dream Italian vacation for months now. Which museums to go to, what hotels to stay at, which churches to visit. But before you pack your bags and wave ciao to home, do you have dinner reservations?
If you and your sweetheart are going on a romantic Italian vacation, you’ll want an equally romantic dinner spot. Wine, candles, pasta…what could be finer? Below, find recommendations for ten romantic restaurants in Italy that will make your trip magical.
Venice – Osteria Boccadoro
When you’re in Venice, you want the freshest seafood, a break from the tourist-filled streets, and a restaurant that offers the genuine Venetian experience. You can find all three at Osteria Boccadoro. Tucked away in a quiet square, this traditional Venetian restaurant is easily one of the best places to eat in Venice.
Osteria Boccadoro offers fresh-caught fish cooked to perfection and an extensive wine cellar.
They also home-make their pasta and use local vegetables and ingredients. The restaurant has played host to Italian government officials, including former Prime Minister Romano Prodi.
Rome – Cesare al Casaletto
Cesare al Casaletto has seen renaissance since husband-wife duo Leonardo Vignoli and Maria Pia Cicconi took it over in 2009. The couple traveled the world pursuing careers in fine dining before coming back to Rome and taking things back to the basics. The restaurant offers all the great Italian classics with just enough of a twist to make the dishes better than ever.
Cesare al Casaletto has a pasta alla gricia that has gained international fame. Their pizza is paper-thin and made with the best ingredients. They also offer magnificent starters such as eggplant croquettes and shredded beef balls, as well as a fantastic wine menu.
Tuscany – La Grotta Trattoria
If you’re looking for a small adventure and a magical dining location, La Grotta Trattoria is an amazing dinner choice. As the name suggests, the restaurant is carved into the rock of the hills outside Tuscany. The view looks out over the Tuscan hills, and you’re sure to feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale.
There is no menu at La Grotta Trattoria. Your meal includes an antipasto, three pasta courses (one of which will include wild boar), a wild boar and wood pigeon entre, and a dessert. The wine menu is similarly predetermined, with waiters bringing you a wine that will pair well with the food.
Naples – L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
If you want to get the authentic Italian pizza experience, La’Antica Pizzeria de Michele is the place to go. The restaurant is not fine dining by any stretch, but the food is tasty enough to be. Rather, the owner believes in a back-to-the-basics approach to pizza.
You won’t find any meat lovers, veggie, Hawaiian, or pepperoni pizzas at La’Antica Pizzeria de Michele. The owner believes pizza doesn’t need such “junk” and serves only margherita and marinara pizzas – and it’s served him well. The restaurant has set the bar for Neapolitan pizza for more than five decades.
Genoa – Pizzeria Kebab SoleLuna
If you’re in Genoa and dreaming of Naples, the Pizzeria Kebab SoleLuna is the perfect place for you and your love to get dinner. This eccentric little restaurant features murals depicting some of Naples most famous faces. It also embraces the beautiful chaos of the southern city, creating a fun dining atmosphere.
The food here is something to be reckoned with as well. The restaurant is famous for its pizza and kebabs, as the name might suggest. It’s also relatively affordable, so if you’re looking for a good meal on a budget, this is a great choice.
Florence – Enoteca Pinchiorri
At Enoteca Pinchiorri, you will get a world-class Italian dining experience with all the bells and whistles. The chef, Annie Feolde, is the first Italian woman to earn three Michelin stars. Her cooking is innovative and quintessentially Italian.
If you dine at Enoteca Pinchiorri, you’ll be served such luscious dishes as a risotto that features fregola, saffron, shrimp, and pumpkin flowers, as well as a rack of lamb with dried fruit. The wine cellar is headed by sommelier Giorgio Pinchiorri and will leave you utterly delighted. If you would like to follow up dinner with a tour of the city, click here to learn more.
Verona – Il Desco
What better city to visit with your sweetheart than the famous setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet? Fall in love all over again over dinner at Il Desco, a gorgeous Verona restaurant.
Chef Mario Batali included the restaurant in his list of eleven places to eat in Italy.
Il Desco is run by Chef Elio Rizzo and his son Matteo. They work together to produce gorgeous dishes topped with decadent sauces such as a red wine caramel reduction and a lettuce sauce.
The plating is gorgeous, and the food is exceptional.
Lake Como – Locanda dell’Isola Comacina
Locanda dell’Isola Comacina is steeped in tradition in more ways than one. For one thing, the restaurant is located on Italy’s picturesque Lake Como. And for another, their menu has been the same for more than seventy years.
At this restaurant, you can expect a five-course meal including a tomato antipasto, salmon trout, chicken, a piece of Parmigiano Reggiano, and peaches with ice cream. The whole thing is topped off with a pot of brandy, which is set aflame while the history of the island is recounted, and which is then added to coffee for a memorable finale to the night.
Milan – Ratana
Milan’s Ratana offers an experience that will delight all your senses. The restaurant is housed in a twentieth-century building that was once part of Milan’s railway system. Chef Cesare Battisti heads the restaurant, which was lauded as a 2015 Gold Standard Restaurant by Conde Nast Traveler.
Ratana has a number of dishes that will have your mouth watering just reading the menu.
Risotto with osso bucco and veal cheek with mashed potatoes and celery leaves will leave you and your darling awestruck.
Bologna – Trattoria Bertozzi
If you want to get a table at Trattoria Bertozzi, you’ll need to book one well in advance. The restaurant is fairly small and is off the beaten path in Bologna. You and your partner can stroll through the streets of Bologna for the fifteen minutes it takes to walk to the restaurant from the heart of the city.
Once you’re seated, you’ll find yourself looking at a menu filled with mouthwatering dishes. The restaurant’s specialty is gramigna, a hollow corkscrew pasta prepared with saffron, Parmesan cream, guanciale, and zucchini. The wine cellar is extensive enough to fulfill your wildest dreams.
More Excellent Restaurants in Italy
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