Equidistant between Florence and Rome, Orvieto is the showstopper of Italy’s Umbria region, thanks to its magnificent ‘duomo’ (cathedral), Medieval old town and down-to-earth dining culture.
Surrounded by rolling green hills, combed vineyards and skinny cypress trees, it’s no surprise that Orvieto has access to some of Italy’s best local produce. All the better for the chefs here, who feed residents and visitors the local specialities: rich, meaty pasta sauces; locally hunted game; and crunchy anise biscotti. Hungry? Here are some of the best restaurants in Orvieto, Italy.
This very cute wine bar and trattoria is right next to the duomo. It has a panoramic terrace with a partial view of the soaring cathedral’s gold-painted facade, and overlooks the crooked rooftops of the Centro Storico. Inside, the worn floorboards and frescoes are balanced by elegant table settings. Try the salt cod, or the rich tagliatelle in duck sauce, complemented by a local wine.
Umbrian cuisine is reassuringly Italian: rich, indulgent and heavy. This place, located down a picturesque alley off an unassuming piazza, plays to those strengths with rustic decor, a warm welcome and traditional grub. Order the rabbit stewed with peppers or the tagliatelle in wild boar sauce, after a very generous antipasti board to warm up your stomach.
Time to take it underground. This Orvieto institution is as atmospheric as it is intimate, housed in an Etruscan grotto with rustic furniture and craggy, uplit spaces carved into the belly of the city. This is the place to indulge in the traditional flavours of the region, reimagined in modern fashion. The menu prizes local truffles, porcini mushrooms, game and a variety of seafood – and there’s an excellent wine list.
Since 1965, the Cinti family has purveyed traditional Orvieto cuisine, and venturing to their trattoria feels like paying a visit to an old friend. There’s a local antipasti board, wild boar and game, and the highly recommended spaghetti all’ascaro – a carbonara with black truffle. It’s all seasonal, too, with local cheese to finish.
It’s near all the tourist traps, but this unassuming backstreet trattoria is a well-kept secret. The family-run outfit has a comfortable and cosy dining room and a pretty walled courtyard, setting the scene for expertly prepared, traditional dishes that are always based on local produce such as truffles, pork and beef. If you try one thing, make it the casseroled wild boar – and get your dining buddy to order the gnocchi with bacon, spinach and truffle sauce.
You’ll want to rest after trying these restaurants – head back to one of the top hotels in Umbria, now bookable via Culture Trip. To continue your culinary tour of Italy, head down to Rome where you can try the best pasta around. Discover more reasons why you need to visit and what there is to do in the capital, before booking one of these luxury hotels.
This is a rewrite of an article originally by Luca Pinelli.
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