A typical every day Italian meal consists in a first course, usually of pasta or rice (risotto). There are various kinds of pasta, each with its own name: spaghetti, tagliatelle, penne, farfalle, lasagne, ravioli to name but a few. Sometimes there will be soup (zuppa or minestra).
The second course is usually a meat or fish dish with vegetables. In most of the addresses listed on this site you help yourself to the vegetables from the buffet selection after ordering your meal. You will be served with the first course, main course, wine, mineral water and coffee at your table.
The meal is accompanied by mineral water and wine (red or white). White wine can be either still (fermo) or sparkling (frizzante), you choose.
If you are ordering a “pranzo di lavoro” (see below) a desert will not be included.
The meal ends with coffee. Italian coffee is very condensed and is served in a very small coffee cup, which often surprises foreign visitors. When asked if you want coffee you should specify the kind you want otherwise you will be served normal black coffee. The various kinds of coffee are: 1. Caffè normale or caffé liscio (normal Italian black coffee i.e. not decaf) 2. Caffè decafeinato (decaf.), black decaf coffee 3. Caffè macchiato (normal black coffee with a spot of milk), if you want warm milk you should say “caffè macchiato caldo” (caldo = warm), if you want the same but decaf say: “caffè decafeinato macchiato caldo“. If you want spirits added (whiskey, grappa etc) you ask for “caffè corretto“ (this kind of coffee is not included in the pranzo di lavoro and you will pay extra for this, of course).
If you want a typical meal at budget price look for the sign outside saying “pranzo di lavoro” or the plural “pranzi di lavoro” (lavoro = work, pranzo di lavoro = working lunch or workman‘s lunch). A normal price for a pranzo di lavoro is 10-11 euros (2010). The sign outside may say + vino, acqua e caffè (including water, wine and coffee). In some cases this will not be specified on the sign outside and so you should ask before sitting down to avoid doubling the price of the meal. Usually, but not always, if not specified, wine, water and coffee are not included (especially in touristy places). However, when you leave the tourist haunts it may not be specified that drinks are included because the locals take it for granted that they are. If in doubt ask before sitting down. A meal can be expensive if these are not specified even for a so-called “pranzo di lavoro“. We tend to stay clear of these places, each person must make his own decision.
All but one of the restaurants listed below have been visited by us many times and have proved honest in their dealings. There is one restaurant we cannot recommend. This exception is mentioned below. If you have a bad experience at any of the restaurants listed please let us know and it will no longer be included in our list. None of these restaurants has paid to be included so our advice is based solely on our personal experience and not on advertising.
You will not usually find the “pranzo di lavoro” in the evenings or on Sundays. One or two will offer this on Saturdays some will charge 1 € extra on Saturdays. If you want a “pranzo di lavoro” please be sure to be at the restaurant as near as possible to 12 o’clock as it mainly caters for those who have one hour or so to eat before returning to work. The later you arrive after 12 the less buffet selection will normally be available. The restaurants do not serve meals all day so try not to arrive after 1 or 1.30.
The place to eat nearest Mirasole apartment is the social centre across the road. It is a social club and provides basic standard meals. It is not a restaurant so please do not expect restaurant standards but it is cheap at 8 euros (excluding coffee). Those running the centre would prefer a day’s noticed for your meal but you can usually just turn up.
Distance from the apartment: 40 metres on the other side of the road. Leaving the apartment on the right.
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