Italy continues to be full of surprises

It never ceases to amaze me that even when I think I know my part of Italy very well, I come upon a hidden valley or yet another amazing restaurant I’ve never seen before. Last week, driving as usual over and round the Euganean Hills, and stopping to do a spot of wine tasting at the number one place for Serprino (so I am reliably informed), Dotto Livio, we saw a sign off the main road (and when I say main road, I mean small lane) pointing alongĀ a single track to a hidden valley. Only a couple of miles further along was the most perfect baroque village, Valnodorego, complete with 17th/18th century villa, lanes full of flowers, a stream with cobalt blue dragon flies hovering along its course, and a wonderful-looking traditional rustic trattoria. Disappointingly, it was closed. I peered inside and saw that the chef was working at the back, so I tapped on the window. He came to the door and ushered me inside. I explained that we’d like to eat there, and he in turn explained that it was only open a few times each week, and only for prior bookings. I was to telephone, and if his mother answered, ask for him. (The place is run by just the two of them). They’re closed for July and August, but I’ll be phoning in September, and no doubt doing a restaurant review on these pages.

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