My family stayed in Varenna for several days so we had the chance to try out a couple of the town’s restaurants. One of our favorites was the Albergo Del Sole that resides along the edge of the piazza in the upper part of the city. In fact, we enjoyed it so much, we ate there twice!
As you can see, it is beautifully situated in the piazza, or town square. I love sitting outside in the town squares and watching the pace of life all around you. The small main road through town is right in front of the church so you can watch all the bicyclists and motorcyclists ride through town as you eat. Varenna is a small, rather mellow and relaxed town and the pace of life in the square reflects that. So, though it’s right on the town square, the environment is peaceful. Albergo del Sole also has indoor seating in what seems like a charming atmosphere so either way you choose, it’s a fun place to eat.
The first time we ate there, we all ordered pizza – a must-do when you’re in Italy! This one is the “prosciutto e funghi” pizza. You can see right away that this pizza is quite different than it’s American counterpart. The pizzas here have very few toppings offered on each pizza (so no ultra supreme combos in sight!) and the toppings they do have are rather sparse. While it’s definitely different than what we’re used to, it’s not a bad change. Less toppings means that everything must be quality ingredients because you will taste each individual topping more. The crust was delicious and light and since it was wood fired, it had a great crunch and light smoky flavor. I wasn’t quite prepared for the large size of them. But because they don’t have a lot of toppings, it’s not too hard to eat most (or all!) of it yourself.
We went back a few nights later and had pasta. My dad ordered Carbonara and my mom ordered Bolognese. Both were good, but the star was my dish, the pesto pasta. Now, I love garlic (who doesn’t?!), so pesto is one of my favorite foods and I had been greatly looking forward to trying some in Italy. This dish absolutely fulfilled my hopes for what pesto pasta would be in Italy. It was garlic-y and basil-y and just delicious!
Let me know what dishes you would love to try when you visit Italy!