The Facts: Italy's Slow Cities
For more information on the Slow Cities movement, visit www.slowfood.com. This year's Orvieto con Gusto festival takes place October 5 through 13. The next Salone del Gusto, where violino di capra was unveiled, will be held in Turin October 24 through 28.
WHERE TO STAY
Albergo Casa Albertina 3 Via della Tavolozza; 39-089/875-143, fax 39-089/811-540; www.casalbertina.it; doubles from $165. Lorenzo Cinque's hotel, built into a 17th-century house, is more modest than Positano's grand resorts, but no less welcoming. The 20 rooms are saturated with deep reds and blues and have private verandas. Meals are served on a terrace overlooking the bay. Le Sirenuse 30 Via Cristoforo Colombo; 39-089/ 875-066, fax 39-089/811-798; www.sirenuse.it; doubles from $372. One of the oldest, best-known, and best-positioned hotels in town, with a swimming pool, a candlelit dining room, and a new spa. Vietri tile floors and whitewashed walls give the 60 rooms a spare elegance; the antiques and artwork remind guests that their hosts, the Sersale family, descend from noble Neapolitan stock. Il San Pietro di Positano 2 Via Laurito; 39-089/875-455, fax 39-089/811-449; www.ilsanpietro.it; doubles from $375. Mesa Verde on the Amalfi Coast: founder Carlo Cinque (no relation to Lorenzo) carved 60 exquisite rooms, each with a private balcony, into the cliffs just outside town, then added sun-filled terraces, fragrant gardens, and beach access--an elevator that descends through the rocks. Cinque's niece Virginia Attanasio continues the family tradition of indulgent hospitality.
WHERE TO EAT
Chez Black 19 Via del Brigantino; 39-089/875-036; dinner for two $78. The most popular place for seafood and pasta on Positano's beachfront piazza. Request a waterfront table for prime people-watching. Ristorante Pupetto 37 Via Fornillo; 39-089/875-087; dinner for two $48. Another famous spot on the beach: sip an aperitif and have pizza ai frutti di mare.
WHERE TO STAY Grand Hotel Italia 13 Piazza del Popolo; 39-0763/342-065, fax 39-0763/342-902; www.bellaumbria.net/grand-hotel-italia; doubles from $92. Like most of Orvieto's hotels, this one is straightforward and mid-range. In a 19th-century building on a lively piazza, it has 44 nicely furnished, comfortable rooms. Hotel Duomo 7 Vicolo di Maurizio; 39-0763/341-887, fax 39-0763/394-973; www.argoweb. it/hotel_duomo; doubles from $91. A recently renovated hotel, located hard by its namesake, that has a modern lobby and 18 rooms with contemporary sculptures by a local artist; several rooms have views of the spires.
WHERE TO EAT
Antica Cantina 18Ð19 Piazza Monaldeschi; 39-0763/344-746; dinner for two $36. Lucia Gismondi serves local delicacies as well as dishes from other regions, including lardo di Colonnata and mortadella di Bologna al tartufo, in two rustic rooms. Ristorante I Sette Consoli 1A Piazza Sant'Angelo; 39-0763/343-911; dinner for two $80. Chef Anna Rita Simoncini, a member of Jeunes Restaurateurs d'Europe, offers creative Umbrian cuisine--such as roasted pigeon with liver, fennel, and balsamic vinegar--in a flower-filled garden and dining room that used to be part of the adjacent church.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Crimea 16 Viale Pratogiano; 39-0343/34343, fax 39-0343/35935; www.hotel-crimea.com; doubles from $63. A functional if plain three-star hotel with 30 rooms and a popular restaurant. A good bet in a town with few exceptional choices.
WHERE TO EAT
Crotto Torricelli 15 Via Picchi; 39-0343/36813; dinner for two $48. The best of the many restaurants that have taken over the natural grottoes where violino di capra was traditionally aged--and one of the places in town where you can sample it (fall through spring). Ristorante Passerini 128 Via Dolzino; 39-0343/ 36166; dinner for two $60. More formal, with fine house-made pasta and local pork and lamb. Macelleria Del Curto Fratelli 129 Via Dolzino; 39-0343/32312. Butcher Aldo Del Curto sells authentic violino di capra, as well as other specialties such as bresaola cured in the same manner.