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Luni Holidays Guide to Restaurants in Lunigiana - Restaurants - LuniHolidays

Food and wine

Italian food and wine must rank as one of life's great pleasures; and nowhere in Italy is there a greater variety of regional specialities than in the countryside and coastal regions of Lunigiana and Liguria.

What could be better than home-made pasta with ragu or perhaps fresh sea bass from Lerici, or why not a free range chicken roasted with garlic and rosemary.

Something to drink? Most restaurants offer a more-than-passable house wine, both red and white but why not also try the famous "Sciacchetra" produced in the vineyards lying sheer above the sea in the Cinqu Terre. This wine, old gold in colour has an intense fragrance of apricots, honey and raisins. "Sciacchetra" is served cool to accompany pandolce alla genovese, dry cakes and strong cheeses.

Whatever your taste your pleasure will be enhanced by understanding the structure of Italian menus and the Italian way with food and wine.

The menu - order of courses

In Italy food is eaten in the following order; but most people skip courses.

Antipasto - starter, hors d'oevre.

Usually consists of thinly sliced meats such as Parma ham, salami etc. and generally accompanied by sweet pickled vegetables but may also include a wide variety of small dishes of (for example) marinated beef, salmon, pastry rolls, lentils etc. You may also be offered stuffed pancakes or seafood.

Primo piatti - literally "first plate". This is the carbohydrate course and is usually either pasta with a sauce or risotto (rice) with mushroom. Many people find that an antipasto plus a primo piatti is more than enough and this is quite acceptable.

Secondo piatti - This is the main course (meat or fish), - look out for regional specialities which are particularly good.

Vegetables and salad In Italy vegetables (contorno) and salad (salato) do not automatically come with your main dish and should be ordered separately.

Formaggio - Cheese. Unlike France there is not normally a formal cheese course but cheese is often available.

Dolce - Dessert. Not the great strength of Italian cuisine, choice of dessert can be limited, but can also be very good. Ice creams are, as you would expect, superb - especially with a frutti di bosco sauce. Torte (cake) is good but is usually served dry without cream, so if pudding is your thing, choose with care.

Caffe - Coffee. Espresso is normally served unless otherwise ordered. Espresso is very strong coffee and served in tiny cups. Try it with a glass of Limoncino - a delicious lemon liquer..

Vino - Wine. Most restaurants make their own wine (Vino della casa) and will ask you if you prefer red (rosso) or white (bianco).

Acqua - Water. When ordering you should state if you want 'ACQUA GASSATA' (fizzy) or ACQUA NATURALE (plain mineral water).

In Italy, it is normal to charge a cover charge to include bread, 'Pane e coperto'. IVA (Value added tax) will be included in your bill and sometimes service as well.

Buon Appetito!

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As a rule, restaurants are open from 12:00 to 14:00 and from 19.30pm to 22:00 (pizzerias are normally open till much later). You will often find that a large restaurant is entered through a small bar at the front and from the outside looks as if there is no restaurant there at all, don't be put off - you may miss out on a real treat. In Italian restaurants you do not normally wait to be seated, just walk in and sit down.

Here is an outline of some of the restaurants in the area that we have either tried ourselves or that holidaymakers have tried and recommended to us.

Location: Crespiano, Lunigiana

Restaurant: Galletti

Crespiano - Tel. 0187 484564

Galletti is on the on the right hand side of the main road going through Crespiano towards Comano.

  • Good food modestly priced but service can be slow.
  • Closing day Wednesday (except for Summer season)
  • Payment by cash or Eurocheques.
Location:Fivizzano, Lunigiana

Restaurant: Il Giardinetto

Via Roma, 151 FIVIZZANO - Tel. 0585 92060

A well-known restaurant which has been in the same family since 1882. One of our very favourites and a "must" for all visitors.

  • Very good food and good friendly service. The antipasto is a must.
  • Modest prices
  • Payment by cash or credit card
Location: Fosdinovo, Lunigiana.

Restaurant: Ristorante Pizzeria Paradiso

Via Boccognano 6, 54035 - Fosdinovo (MS) Tel. 0187 417058

This is a small place more suitable for lunch and snacks than for an evening meal.

  • Good food - try the lasagna
  • Friendly English-speaking staff.
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Closed Thursday
Location:Cormezzano, Lunigiana.

Restaurant: Il Sicomoro

On the main road between Aulla and Fivizzano just past the Gassano turn off. Tel: 0585 99442

Almost next door to the local swimming pool with water chutes - fun for the kids, good food for the grown-ups.

  • Good food - try the pasta with wild boar sauce.
  • Friendly, efficient service.
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Closed Wednesday

Restaurant: La Giara. Via Bertolini 35 Sarzana

In the old part of town Via Bertolini runs off the main square at the bottom right hand corner

  • Very good food.
  • Pricier than many but very good value and good service.
  • English spoken
  • Closed Tuesday
Location:Monzone - Lunigiana

Restaurant: Da Remo Via C. Battisti Tel: 0585 97933

Via C. Battisti is the main street through Monzone so you can't miss this place.

  • Very good food - the antipasto is a must!
  • Friendly efficient service with a smile.
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Closed Monday
Location: Pallerone - Lunigiana

Restaurant: La Sosta Via F. Turati, Pallerone Tel: 0187 418095

This is at the side of the petrol station on the main road just outside Aulla at Pallerone. Especially good is the 3 course lunch for 10Euros including wine.

  • Crowded with local workmen at lunchtime.
  • Cheerful atmosphere
  • Good food
  • Credit cards accepted.
Location: Pugliano - Lunigiana

Restaurant: La Civetta Via S. Giacomo, Pugliano. Tel: 0583 611352

Take the old Lucca road past Casola and on up through Vigneta, carry on for two miles. Just past the Pugliano sign La Civetta is on the right. The pizzas are better than the main courses. Stunning views.

  • Very good pizzas
  • Pleasant service - no English.
  • Modest prices
  • Credit cards accepted.

Location: Casola in Lunigiana

Restaurant: Il Re di Macchia Via della Stazione Tel: 0585 90389

Via Stazione is the road out of Casola towards Pieve San Lorenzo and the restaurant is in a prominent roadside position just on the edge of Casola, so you can't miss this place.

  • Very good food in this recently opened restaurant
  • Friendly efficient service with a smile.
  • Credit cards accepted
Location:Pugliano - Lunigiana

Restaurant: Bar Trattoria Cecchi Via San Giacomo Tel: 0583 611057

Via San Giacomo is the old road to Lucca as it goes through Pugliano. The trattoria is by the roadside next to the Civetta

  • Very good workmans lunch - 4 courses with wine, coffee and water for 16 Euros! Local people say that the pasta is among the best in the area.
  • Friendly efficient service with a smile.
  • Supposedly closed Thursday but they don't seem to. Normally open lunchtime only but will cook in the evenings to order.

Location:  Casola

Restaurant:  Spino Fiorito

Reusa – Tel. 0585 949167

Go through the village of Vigneta from the direction of  Casola and at the end of the village there is a sharp turning to the left signposted Reusa.  Take this road and keep going until you see Spino Fiorito on the right hand side, on the road. Wonderful location and full of character.

  • Good food and good prices
  • Use of  great pool with the views!
  • Closed on Monday (except for Summer season)
  • Spectacular views
  • Payment and credit cards

Location:  Fivizzano

Restaurant:  Al Vecchio Tino

Take the road from Aulla to Casola.  About 5 miles before Casola there is a turning to the right to Equi Terme/Gragnola/Mezzana/Monzone  etc.  Take this road and go through Gragnola until you come to a turning to the left to Mezzana.  Go to to the T junction in Mezzana  where there is a sharp turning to the left and follow the signs to the restaurant.  The last bit of the drive is an unmade up road so don’t be put off.  It opens up into the restaurant and ample car park.  This is a truly spectacular place and well worth the effort.

  • Great food, although a little more expensive than most restaurant in the area – the owner and chef is from Milan
  • Closed on Wednesday (except for Summer season)
  • Breathtaking views – especially if it’s warm enough to sit outside on the lovely terrace. We believe he’s putting in a pool as well.
  • Bed and breakfast
  • Payment by cash or credit card

Location:  Aulla

Restaurant:  Cera Una Volta (Once Upon a Time)

Aulla – 0187 409798

You will find this fully restored restaurant on the right hand side of the main road out of Aulla going towards Pallerone (Fivizzano valley).  The setting is idyllic and is full of character.

  • Excellent food – good workman’s lunch during the week for 10 Euros!
  • Closed on Wednesday
  • Payment by cash and credit card

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