Italy—Umbria

Casteluccia

This tiny town is a short, but scenic drive from Norcia, a wonderful small hill town known for it’s fine food shops selling mushrooms, truffles and meats. 

Taverna Castellucio,
Via Dietro la Torre, 8

Castelluccio di Norcia is a tiny hill town that’s famous for their lentils (lenticchie). After the scenic drive to the town, walk up the hill to enjoy the views and don’t miss a great meal at the Taverna Castellucio. The views from the outside tables are wonderful and so is the food. They serve traditional Umbrian fare, with a great selection of meats from nearby Norcia. However, be sure to try their dishes made with lentils. They even serve a moist lentil cake for dessert that is excellent—even if you aren’t a lentil fan.

Montefalco

L’Alchimista, Piazza Comune, 14, 39+ 0742.378558

This was our favorite spot in Montefalco. With its perfect location on the main piazza, it’s a good idea to make a reservation. You can sit inside the cosy dining room or out on the sunny piazza. They make their own bread in-house and it’s outstanding. I had the best ravioli dish ever. They tweak traditional Umbrian dishes and make them perfect! Desserts are also excellent.

Frederico II, Piazza Comune, 4, 39+ 0742.378902

This is a fun restaurant and bar across from L’Alchimista. They have an excellent happy hour with food service on the weekends and during the height of the season. Pizza is good and the food is fine. It’s just not as special as L’Alchimista.

Locanda del Teatro, Piazza del Comune, 19, 39+ 347.7882235
A recent addition to the Piazza is this excellent restaurant with its lively host, Paulo. His partner Pasqualino is a fantastic and creative chef. Together, they have created a wonderful spot to try Tuscan specialties using the freshest local ingredients. We enjoyed a special evening and would return there in a heartbeat. Don’t miss this one.

Perugia

We stayed in the amazing hill town of Perugia for one month. We had a wonderful apartment to cook in, but we also tried the local restaurants. We visited the ones listed below more than once! 

Trattoria Del Borgo
Via della Sposa, 23, #075-572-0390

This small and cosy restaurant is a pleasant walk down the Via dei Priori, off the main Corso Venucci. Although it’s a bit of a hike, it’s well worth it! You will dine with the locals and enjoy traditional and fresh Perugian cuisine. This is a small, family-run restaurant, so you may want to call for reservations.

Brizi
Via Fabretti, 75/79, #075-572-1386, closed Tuesdays

This restaurant was recommended by our good friends who live in Perugia part-time. It’s also off the main drag, but it’s a pleasant walk along the auquaduct (Via Aquaducto). The food is authentic and consistenly good. Try their delicious sausage dishes or fresh pasta.

Pizzeria Mediterranea
2 locations Piazza Piccinino, near Main Cathedral
also on Via G. Marconi, 11 (down Corso Cavour)

This popular pizzeria serves only pizza, but their wood fired pizza is the best you’ll find in Perugia. The location near the main Cathedral is very popular. However, you can take a walk down some lovely steps towards Tre Arci for another larger location that has less students and more families. Either way, you will find fast, friendly service, great pizza, beer and wine and a lively atmosphere— all for a decent price.

Pizzeria Capri
Corso Cavour, 28

This pizzeria serves a good pizza, along with salad choices and some intersting side dishes. Because it’s not in the most crowded tourist area, it tends to attract the locals. Upstairs there is a huge, flat-screen TV for the avid soccer fans in town. If the room is not reserved, you can join the fans and enjoy your pizza, too.

Spello

We arrived in Spello after walking the St. Francis Trail from Assisi. It’s a lovely town worth more time than we spent. We managed to have lunch at the fun restaurant listed below.

Il Trombone
Vic. Fontanello, 1

We chose this small restaurant as a lunch spot because of the fantastic views from the beautiful garden patio. But the food was equally outstanding. The pastas were fresh and inventively enhanced using locally grown vegetables. In the evenings, they serve pizza, which we didn’t get to try. They also have live music on the weekends during the busier months in Spello.

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