Last week we came to this pretty town with a fish farm in its middle, today we climb the hill to the old town and find a most excellent meal. And doors are always nearby too, except when they are hidden by flowers so pretty that you don’t mind it at all.
Since I will not repeat the impressive water feature in the middle of this town, which I visited with my visitors from Oregon early in September this year for the first time, please have a look at my last week’s post if you missed it.
After a stroll around the park by the pond I asked my phone where we should have lunch. It said there was a 10 minute walk to the number one restaurant in town, so we climbed up to the old town and found a passage with a tree, which is where we stopped last week. Today we go through it and the town opens up before us.
A few years ago mom’s cousin visited with her husband who hails from Idrija, the town in Slovenia with mercury mining tradition. I remember driving around Monte Amiata randomly, without a plan, hoping to encounter some traces of that tradition. Little did we know that Santa Fiora is where we should go.
There is a mercury mining museum next to the Municipality but we didn’t enter it. Our stomachs were on a mission. My phone was leading the way and soon we found Il Barilotto, the restaurant in business since 1927, if you believe it and you probably should. All the tables on the terrace except a tiny one were occupied, so I asked the waiter if we – three people and a dog – could squeeze there.
We didn’t book in advance and with the situation as it is, I was worried that we might be turned away. Instead the waiter asked us if we had our Covid-19 Green Passes and since we did (a requirement if you wish to dine indoors in Italy), if we wouldn’t mind having our lunch inside. With the dog? With the dog, come on, he said.
He led us a bit further along the narrow street to the restaurant proper and it and everything that followed was just glorious, right down to the chestnut jam for dessert which he made himself with his brother (I believe). Clearly they are proud of their skills and their family restaurant in the wholesome, unobtrusive, non-screaming way, and such is their food as well.
Their white ragù with Cinta senese, pork from the pig raised around Siena with protected geographical destination, with the addition of anise and served with pici, local pasta, was possibly the best thing I have eaten in Italy so far.
After lunch we strolled through all the tiny alleys that we could find and greeted all the doors and cats, but then returned to our car since Monte Amiata, where they ski in the winter (and where I didn’t take a single door photo for some reason), was waiting for our ascent by car.
I invite you to visit Crystal’s blog and an informative post on this glorious day with more fish, food and frolics. Hard to believe this was nearly three months ago.
I wish Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the USA, with special thanks to our host Dan who is keeping Thursday Doors open despite the holiday. Buon appetito!
This day in my blogging history
Around the bend
is another bend.
And then another.
Beyond is just the
of exactly same sun minutes per day
as in the country of origin
this past week,
It’s warmer though
by a third
and the promise lies
in the return.