Summer might be over, but your wanderlust doesn’t have to be. Bookmark this for next year or take advantage of cheap off-season flights this Christmas time – you’ll have earned it. I rounded up the best eats from a holiday train-ing around Italy.
Hosteria Toledo, Naples:
Although world-renowned for its pizza (don’t leave without sampling it), Naples is also a port city, with an abundance of fresh fish. My favourite restaurant on this leg of the trip combined classic Italian cuisine with delicious seafood. Hosteria Toledo is a cosy, charming restaurant complete with gingham table cloths and walls adorned with photographs and personal touches. The restaurant might resemble your grandma’s dining room, but, rest assured, the food doesn’t. Quality cured meats and cheeses to start, accompanied by delicious and very reasonably priced wine. I followed this up with a shellfish Paccheri, impeccably cooked in a delicious tomato and mixed herb sauce. A must visit for some fine dining in Naples without having to dress up.
Ai Tre Scalini, Rome:
Ai Tre Scalini is notorious in Rome, and it’s not hard to see why. This is a restaurant championed by locals as well as tourists. The atmosphere is bustling, and you might struggle to get a table but we were offered drinks and delicious aperitif whilst we waited. The food here was potentially my favourite of the trip. We began with buffalo ricotta cheese and truffle honey which was exceptionally fresh and creamy. We then moved onto pasta, where I opted for a classic cheese and tomato ravioli: simple but perfectly executed. Finally, approaching bursting point, we shared a North Italian special of beef meatballs in a rich tomato sauce. Each dish seemed to top the last and complete with friendly staff and good wine, I now feel no trip to Rome would be complete without a stop at Ai Tre Scalini.
Piccolo Buco, Rome:
I couldn’t visit Italy’s capital without uncovering multiple foodie havens. Piccolo Buco is a pizzeria serving modern innovations on classic Neapolitan bases. My choice? A yellow tomato base with chorizo, buffalo ricotta cream, and mint. This one is really not to be missed. The restaurant itself is on the pricier side and lacks much in the way of atmosphere, but the pizza is good enough to make up for this.
Hosteria Il Punto Rosa, Verona:
So nice that we did it twice; arguably repeating restaurants on a trip away is a little criminal, but we couldn’t resist returning to Hosteria Il Punto Rosa. Tucked down a little side street and conveniently situated near the arena if you happen to have tickets for the infamous Verona opera, this restaurant and wine bar is a delight. If you’re sick of typical Italian food by this point, opt for the tuna steak with poppy seeds and seasonal roasted veg. Seriously the best tuna steak I’ve had. Equally, if you’re still all for the carbs I highly recommend the lobster and scallop pasta, which was one of the best pasta dishes I ate over 11 nights in Italy. The woman serving us was so friendly and knowledgeable about the menu, and even gave us complimentary oyster shooters before our meal. Finally, a shout out to the wine once again- here you’ll find delicious wines that would set you back considerably more at home.