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Vincenzo DíAntonio finds a great place to eat in Viterbo

We left our beloved Penisola Sorrentina, and Costiera Amalfitana too, where weíre living now, and by car, with sea on our left, we reach the medieval town of Viterbo.

Viterbo has a very significant place in history, because eight centuries ago, five Popes went to Viterbo from Rome for about two centuries.

So, I suggest you visit the Papal Palace (second half of the 13th century) famous for its loggia.

I can translate loggia only with "balcony", but really a loggia is quite different from a normal balcony!

Close to Viterbo there is a very important Thermal Area. But now itís very cold, wind is whistling from North; we name tramontana this wind. Tramontana comes from Latin trans montem: across the mountains.

Itís eight oí clock and we want to taste a great dinner. So, the right place is RICHIASTRO, along a dark street, into a small garden ( richiastro means a small garden, in fact ) The walls are wood panneled and the chairs are long benches. Over the tables, not cotton but paper.

The kitchen is the result of serious research into ancient kitchens, rediscovering dishes of the farmers of many centuries ago.

We begun with assaggi of four soups: ceci and castagne, beans with wild finocchietto, lenticchie and mushrooms, broccoli and potatoes.

For our main first course we ate lombrichi with pecorino. Lombrichi is a long kind of handmade macaroni, only farina and water. Pecorino is an old ship's cheese.

For the second course we ate pork with prugne. Prugne is a fruit but when we manage to cook it at the right way we have a delicious partner for the grilled pork.

Cookies make a very good marriage with a sweet Aleatico di Gradoli, a dessert wine with its own appealing taste.

During the dinner we drunk a wonderful Shiraz í97 by Casale del Giglio: you have to taste it. I say itís a great red wine coming from the central part of Tirrenian part of Italy.

We paid less than 100,000 Italian Lire and we were two persons; so it means less than 50,000 Italian Lire for person.

Ok, it would be crazy to come back home so late, so dark, so cold, so tired. So we have a nice rest in a good hotel around the Thermal Area: Niccolò V, the name of a Pope which Viterbo liked more than Rome did!

Vincenzo DíAntonio, March 2000.

RICHIASTRO

Via della Marrocca, 16
Viterbo

Phone: 00390761228009.

Closed for lunch from Monday to Thursday, for dinner on Sunday and the months of July and August.


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