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Spoleto: Two Restaurants in Historic Center
Slideshow | Lightbox (12) Tags: europe food italy restaurants spoleto traditional-cuisine tuscany Posted: Feb. 28, 2011 by Serge
This is the place to start our mini exploration of two Spoleto restaurants - piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi. The entrance to the Spoleto historic center is on the right. The Church of Gregorio Maggiore is in the background. Restaurant Il Tartufo is on the left from the church.
Restaurant Il Tartufo (Spoleto, Italy) at night.
Restaurant Il Tartufo (Spoleto, Italy) - it has an area outside the restaurant to enjoy the views of piazza G. Garibaldi.
Inside the Restaurant Il Tartufo you will find a cozy and elegant environment with dark wood furniture and dark wood panels.
Via Giuseppe Garibaldi (Spoleto, Italy) is closed to traffic. We will use this street to walk from Restaurant Il Tartufo to Osteria del Trivio (about 5 - 7 minute walk).
Spoleto (Italy) - corso Giuseppe Garibaldi not far from via del Trivio
On this page I am going to tell you about two restaurants in Spoleto (Italy) you may keep in mind when visiting this ancient Italian city. One of them is Ristorante il Tartufo (piazza Garibaldi, 24, 06049 Spoleto, Italy - il Tartufo on map); the second is Osteria Del Trivio (via del Trivio, 16, 06049 Spoleto, Italy - Osteria Del Trivio on map)
Both restaurants are located close to each other - about 10-minute walk; both locations are convenient for those who visit Spoleto historic center; both are specializing in traditional local cuisine (Spoleto is in Umbria, a region of central Italy bordered by Tuscany to the west). But similarities stop here - in fact, I think it's difficult to find two restaurants in one city so different as il Tartufo and Osteria Del Trivio.
Although I may have my personal preferences, I will not try to tell you here which one is better - I think it will be silly. Firstly, a lot depends on someone's expectations and ideas about a perfect meal and place to eat. However, even our faves may change with circumstances like the time of the day or even our mood. That's why I am talking here about both restaurants - both of them, because they are so different, can serve you well depending on what exactly you are looking for.
Let's start with il Tartufo - it's an elegant restaurant located in the very center of Spoleto on piazza Garibaldi next to the Romanesque church of S. Gregorio Maggiore . This also means that if you use a car, you will have a place to park it. The restaurant has two sitting areas. One is outside (with capacity for 25 - 30 guests); another, more formal, is inside for 30 - 35 people. The main dining room is finished with dark wood panels. Tables are accessorized with roses.
il Tartufo is know place in Spoleto. It was opened first in 1927 and since then run by the same family. The restaurant specializes in traditional local cuisine with a very visible attempt to enrich it by experimenting with new recipes and flavors. True to its name, a number of dishes offered at the restaurant include truffles. Expect to find high-quality and well prepared food and good service. The restaurant has a good wine list as well the large selection of spirits.
If you are careful in your selection of dishes and wine, a dinner for two can cost you €120 - €140. However, Il Tartufo can be expensive depending on your order - your "conto" can easily reach the level of €200 - €250. I would like also to mention that the restaurant is rather popular among both, locals and tourists. So, a reservation is recommended.
If Il Tartufo is located near one of the entrances (via G. Garibaldi) to the historic center of Spoleto, Osteria del Trivio is located inside the historic center even if by distance it is only about 500 yards from Il Tartufo. To reach Osteria del Trivio from piazza Garibaldi, take via Garibaldi and walk uphill until you see via del Trivio. Turn left, and the osteria is right there. This location also means that nearby car parking may not available (especially if you not familiar with mostly one-way streets in the historic center).
With Osteria del Trivio prepare to find very informal place with rustic decor. This does not mean that it is not attractive. In fact, the environment inside Osteria del Trivio is quite charming. You feel like in your own home. Brick and stucco walls with old painting and pictures, traditional checker table coverings - everything produces an impression of an old farm house, cozy and inviting. This homy atmosphere is complimented by food offered.
The whole place is not only owned but also run by a family - Umberto and Mirella (with their daughter helping them). Umberto is in charge of taking orders as well as serving wine and food. But his wife, Mirella is the one who makes this place special with her traditional Umbrian cooking with everything exceptionally homemade. In Osteria del Trivio, there is no "fusion" of old with new, not even a trace of it. You have what Umbrians eat at their homes, and believe me they have know what tastes and aromas of whatever Umbria can offer are about.
The menu is not extensive, but I would not hesitate to recommend anything you will see in it - be it "Pollo alla cacciatora" (€9) or Tagliatelle al tartufo (€16). Unless you ask for a wine from the list, a good local "vino di casa" is served €10 per bottle. For dessert, try Biscotti con Vin Santo. Dinner for two in Osteria del Trivio can cost you from €65 to €135 depending on dishes and wine you choose.
To finish my brief overview of the two restaurants in Spoleto (Italy), I have to mention that both are located outside the main tourist points in Spoleto historic center. I am talking about places like piazza del Mercato and piazza del Duomo. Restaurants mentioned in many guide books are concentrated around both squares that are very close to most places of historic interest in Spoleto. As a result, they cater more to tourist crowds and, in my view, provide less opportunity to experience genuine Umbrian cuisine that Il Tartufo or Osteria del Trivio.
Osteria del Trivio is located on via del Trivio - the entrance is significantly less glamorous than Il Tartufo.
Osteria del Trivio (Spoleto, Italy) - a menu outside. Nothing can be simpler and more naive that this hand-written menu.
Inside Osteria del Trivio (Spoleto, Italy) - the entrance to osteria is in the background.
Osteria del Trivio (Spoleto, Italy) - cozy tables next to the window.
Inside Osteria del Trivio (Spoleto, Italy). The entrance to the kitchen is in the background.
Inside Osteria del Trivio (Spoleto, Italy) - a detail of its decor. This arrangement of foods gives the place its rustic character and charm.