Buon appetito! Eat well for less in Italy

Thinking of travelling to Italy this summer? One area Holiday Homes in Italy believes you will be able to save money, is eating out...

Surprisingly in Italy, it really is possible to eat well and spend little according to research on Italy. The time is over for restaurant bills that leave you with no money on your credit card; forget the “menu turistico” with overcooked pasta and cardboard steaks; and keep away from pizzerias where you can’t have a pizza and beer for less than 20 Eur.

This gastronomic trend has been highlighted by research undertaken by numerous international newspapers from the New York Times to German FAZ to the Australian, the verdict is unanimous; in Italy it is possible to eat well, and often extremely well for only 10 Eur. All you need to do is find the right place.

A columnist from the New York Times wrote in his travel column about Pepi, an Italian eaterie: “I had a course of carne mista for only 12 Eur and in my life I had never eaten better meat. I’m going to say shut up to the next person who speaks badly about Trieste”.

The same influential newspaper has surprisingly found out that even in expensive Venice it is possible to satisfy your hunger, without the risk of disappointment, for the modest price of 12 Eur. Its advises to follow the Venetians and go to the bacari (a regional type of osteria) where a meal with polenta slices and cod, shrimps, toasted bread and salami costs between 12 and 15 Eur.

According to the British press, Naples is the top city when it comes to eating low cost and more surprisingly in its neighbouring Amalfi coast; “Stop by a small hotel or a B&B and look for the old trattorias with reasonable prices and excellent food like "La Taverna del Leone in Positano” suggested The Guardian.

Further afield, a journalist from the Financial Times in Rome announced to the business world that in the capital: “a primo piatto only costs 6 Eur”. USA Today has also been amazed by the fact that in parts of Puglia “Pizza with mozzarella and tomatoes can still cost as little as 5 dollars”.

This trend is highlighted in an edition of “La Gola in Tasca├»”, a guide that summarizes all the reviews published by other famous guides on wine and food like “Gambero Rosso”, “Michelin├»”, “Osterie d’Italia”, etc. Amongst 11.000 reviewed restaurants, nearly a quarter were identified as places where it is possible to eat well for less than 25 Eur per person!

In conclusion, we are seeing an Italian triumph against the ever increasing costs of food. Davide Oldani from Milan, a popular chef, knows this well. His restaurant, the D’O (a former trattoria for truck drivers, now proudly showing its Michelin Guide Star) in Milan, is often booked up. Oldani, former pupil of Gualtiero Marchesi, was the first one, amongst the Chefs de Rang, to choose the new route of high quality catering at low cost. From Monday to Friday a lunch comprising of a primo, a secondo and coffee is set at a fixed price. For dinner it is also possible to choose a “sample menu” and not spend more than 40 Eur for the whole meal.

According to Oldani: “this is the only way to work due to high competition”. His winning strategy is to focus on traditional cuisine, fresh ingredients, always local and seasonal. He adds: “For instance tomatoes disappear from my kitchen on 21 September and come back on 20 June. The same happens with courgettes and melon. This is the only way to keep the prices low”. The chef, confident in his success has no doubt: “I don’t criticise those who choose to continue with high pricing. Clients are prepared, they know the quality of food and they know what price is right” The era of spending money at restaurants with no control is definitely over!  Buon Appetito!    

To search a wide range of self-catering accommodation in Italy, visit Holiday Homes in Italy

Source: Il Corriere della Sera 

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