I usually reserve restaurant reviews for TripAdvisor.com (username:crawfz), but I do recall a memorable lunch in 1976, which was so good I thought you might like to try this place next time you’re in Italy.
A few years ago, driving our cute Fiat Bravo, we toured the walled city of Orvieto, about two hours north of Rome and just a few minutes west from the A1 autostrada.
The city is in a fabulous location with commanding views of the Umbrian countryside, but it’s tiny, and a full tour will take no more than an hour.
Descending to the plain below, you drive back along the Via del Sette Martiri towards the A1, then hang a right onto Strada Bagnorese, and then go a couple of kilometres west, and left onto the Strada Provinciale 111, until you come to the beautiful La Badia Ristorante and Abbey.
The original abbey was built in the 6th century, but time and decay saw it crumble, and a replacement was built in the 12th century.
For almost 300 years the Badia di Orvieto belonged to the noble Umbrian family descending from Saint Claire of Assisi, the Counts Fiumi di Sterpeto.
It was acquired privately in the 1960s and a full restoration of the house and the abbey was begun. It’s now a luxurious four-star hotel, and the restaurant still gets rave reviews.
I can’t remember the details of the 1976 menu, but the meal was sensational accompanied by crisp white Orvieto Classico wine.
|Ristorante La Badia|
I do remember being told by our host to hurry up and finish the lunch, as we had a two-hour drive ahead to Firenze, and if we weren’t sharpish, we’d be late for dinner!
Ah, the Italians certainly have their priorities right.