Monday, 2 July 2018

The Restaurants of Arpino

Italy is all about delicious food (oh, and Italy is also all about great wine, stylish fashion, cool sport cars, amazing nature and brilliant properties). Arpino is no exception: we have 7 wine bars/wine shops, 5 cafes, 3 cheese shops, 4 butchers, one fish truck that delivers the catch of the day from the ocean and one amazing pasta factory where you can buy home made pasta or pick up a lasagna cooked to perfection. Not to mention the abundance of fresh, organic and locally produced vegetables, fruits and olive oils.

Italy is all about great food!

It’s great fun to go shopping for food in the local markets and we really enjoy to cook in our italian kitchen in our house, Casa Colle, and enjoy the meals with a view on our terrace. To go shopping for food is also a great way to learn Italian and you always bump into a lot of fun people and neighbours while getting your local supplies.

Arpino - a great place for food, wine and views!

Food (and wine) is very important here and of course there are several really good restaurants as well, both in Arpino and the nearby area. There are actually quite a few restaurants with Guide Michelin mentionings and also a GM 1-star restaurant not too far away from Arpino. Not to mention all the food festivals and wine tastings going on here where our neighbours open up there homes to offer the best home cooked food you can imagine and the streets are filled with food stalls and people.

The local food and wine festival in the street outside our house (one of MANY local festivals)

Where else than in Italy would you find all this service, quality and local initiatives in a small town with just 7000 people in the entire commune and just outside Rome? If this had been in Sweden there would hardly even have been a supermarket in a town this small.

Here are our favorite places to eat in and around Arpino!

Our top-10 selection of restaurants in Arpino (listed in no specific order):

1. La Perla
- By far our local favorite restaurant. High ambitions in the kitchen, beautiful presentations and a modern take on the Italian kitchen. Great wine selection and very attentive service from the owner Rino in a stylish setting with a great view. Local fine dining with a modern twist. We go here all the time and just love La Perla.

La Perla

2. Pizzeria Trattoria del Corso - we have had a lot of pizzas in Italy and around the world and the four cheese pizza of this place is honestly the best one we have ever tasted. It never fails! They also serve other dishes but for us it’s the pizza that counts. Rustic Italian interiors, friendly staff and a pretty good local wine produced by the owner.

Possibly the best four cheese pizza in the world!

3. Il Ciclope - a charming and very genuine local restaurant operated by a friendly family who serves excellent traditional Italian food with lots of love. The chickens, meat and vegetables served are from their own farm and the food is delicious. Great place for a long Italian Sunday lunch.

Il Ciclope - Real Italian food for real Italians

4. Magno - a new Sicilian restaurant with amazing food and great wines operated by a very talented Sicilian chef and his wife. Very sophisticated food, great value for money and beautiful presentations. The only thing we are missing is the opportunity to dine outside and enjoy the views. (Soon to be we hope)

Real Sicilian food, good stuff!

5. Il Pettinaro - outdoor dining on a charming little piazza in the heart of Arpino. Always busy and fun. Only a few tables and a menu that changes daily. Brilliant food, excellent wines and very easy going and nice.

Il Pettinaro, a new favorite!

6. Mantova di Lago - OK, it´s actually a 15 minute drive from Arpino but a visit is really worth the drive. This restaurant is unbelievable beautifully located by a lake and surrounded by impressive mountains and beautiful trees. A very serene location and a brilliant restaurant with focus on fish and seafood that is true Guide Michelin material.

This is the stunning location of brilliant Mantova di Lago

7. Casala de la Regina - another local restaurant with high ambitions in the kitchen. Mostly focusing on meat and chicken with a modern take on the traditional Italian kitchen.

Casala de la Regina, located in the valley below Arpino.

8. I Giardini dell’Acropoli -  A nice restaurant located by the ancient acropoli overlooking Arpino. Serving traditional Italian food, pizza and great gelato (ice cream).

Restaurant overlooking Arpino from the top of the mountain

9. Ottavo Vizzo - This restaurant is located in the cantina (cellar) of a palazzo and serves delicious Italian food and offers a nice wine selection as well as friendly service. The interiors are honestly quite simple and the space is dark but the food and general ambiance is great.

Enjoying the perfect Aperol Spritz at Barnaba wine bar

10. Enoteca Barnaba - it’s not a full-scale restaurant but it’s the best wine bar in town that also serves some basic food, tapas and antipasti. We go here to buy wine for the house, enjoy an apertivo and also the small dishes and friendly service. Best spot to catch the action on the piazza.

Sometimes you want to keep it simple: just that perfect espresso and perfect gelato

Always dine with a view!

So come visit us and enjoy the food (and sights) of Arpino! It´s actually worth the one hour drive, if you are in Rome, just to visit La Perla for lunch! You never go hungry in Italy. And remember: life is too short to eat bad food or drink bad wine!

Buon Appetito!