Tuscany is packed full of beautiful cities, towns and villages. Every time we visit, we discover somewhere new and each has its own quirks, delicacies and style. I so enjoy driving through the Tuscan hills and stumbling across a new place. But one place that we discovered on our very first visit to Tuscany and one place that we visit on every single trip, is the hill-top town of Volterra.
Volterra, although popular with visitors and tourists, has managed to retain its Tuscan charm and is very much a lived-in town (quite different to its rival and neighbour San Gimignano) and still feels authentic. Its narrow alleyways are packed full of quaint little shops, cafes and restaurants.
Eating out in Volterra is an absolute joy and this trip saw us eat out twice, once for lunch and once for dinner.
So I’ll start with lunch. It was a family affair with my mum and my mother and father-in-law together with hubby, the little lady and I. So we had lots of tummies to fill (particularly mine).
We wanted to try somewhere new on this trip, so parked at the top of town as we always do and walked through the winding alleyways, along the main walk down and bared right to another wider strip of shops and restaurants. With the midday sun beating down on us, we spotted some impressive parasols up ahead with the comfort of the shade beckoning us. It was La Taverna della Terra di Mezzo or “La Taverna” as it says above the door.
La Taverna has a great local, Tuscan menu at very reasonable prices. We cooled down with a bottle of Prosecco (obvs) and ordered a great selection of food. Across the table was beef carpaccio, bruschetta and my dish (which was the best!), Taglioni with crayfish and lobster tail. By far a stand out delicious dish! There is nothing quite like the al dente bite of fresh pasta. I was in heaven.
We happily devoured everything in site and will certainly put La Taverna on our list of top places to visit when eating out in Volterra.
Next was date night. A rare occasion when me and the hubby off-loaded the little lady for a few hours of food and wine. Volterra holds a special place in our hearts as we first discovered it, and our next restaurant, on our honeymoon three and a half years ago. Il Poggio is at the top of town, tucked down a small side alleyway. You could almost walk past the front door. It’s like our hidden gem!
There is relaxed seating downstairs but make sure you ask to go upstairs, as there is the cutest dining room with windows on both sides, which never fail to let the perfect breeze flow through. There is also a small terrace outside, but we find sitting inside is always best.
Again the menu is authentic and simple, with local delicacies like wild boar ragu, on the menu. We always have two courses each and a bottle of wine. First course for hubby was beef carpaccio (always a winner) and for me, a selection of Tuscan bruschetta. Delicious, light and the perfect starter to any Tuscan meal. Hubby went for the homemade lasagna and I went for the ragu served with thick, homemade spaghetti (called Pici). Heaven! All washed down with a nice Chianti (I didn’t say that with a Hannibal Lecter lick of the lips either, I can assure you!). Il Poggio is very reasonably priced, it never costs us much more than 50-60 euros when we have two courses each and a bottle of wine).
Dinner and wine quaffed, we went for an evening stroll in Volterra. 9pm is the nicest time for a stroll during summer in Tuscany, as it’s lovely and cool. Perfect to burn off some of those dinner calories. We tucked into an ice-cream (gelato) for dessert as we walked along, however, they were devoured before I remembered to take a shot of them. Oops.
So if you’re planning a visit and looking forward to eating out in Volterra, these two restaurants come highly recommended from me (particularly Il Poggio, our favourite). Let me know if you make it out there.
Do you like discovering new places to eat on your travels? Where are some of your faves?