9 historic restaurants in Italy

9 historic restaurants in Italy

Musement takes a look at 9 restaurants in Italy where both food and history are on the table.

Food is very important in Italy. Some dishes have literally shaped the history of the country, and some restaurants have even left a distinct mark as well. Here’s a look at some of the oldest Italian restaurants, those where a bite of food is itself a rich, thrilling part of history—whether of a city, neighborhood, or the whole of Italy.

1. Antica Trattoria della Pesa, 1880, Milan

Today, this is the most futuristic and modern area of Milan—but once upon a time in the 19th century, it was where custom duties were calculated. Antica Trattoria della Pesa opened here in 1880, and its typical Lombard dishes prepared to perfection still delight the palates of its patrons to this day: risotto al salto, ossobuco, and kidney with mashed potatoes and cutlets, all served in an old-school ambiance with original tiled floors and vintage signs. Viale Pasubio 10

2. Ristorante Zeffirino, 1939, Genoa

Among this restaurant’s famous patrons was none other than Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. As the story goes, he unsurprisingly fell in love with the fragrant homemade Pesto Genovese. Ristorante Zeffirino’s pesto is among best in Genoa–even the Pope and Pavarotti obtain their personal supply from here. The elegant restaurant is still proudly owned and run by the Zeffirino family. 20 Via XX Settembre

3. A la Vecia Cavàna, 1912, Venice

At the beginning of the 20th century, an old roofed boathouse (the eponymous cavàna) was converted into a tavern, and it has been delighting both locals and visitors ever since with its typical Venetian cuisine. Over time it became a full-fledged restaurant that has grown quite famous for its wine list, which features a particularly fine selection of Friulian wines. Definitely a must when in Venice! 4624 Via Tera Santi Apostoli

4. Checchino, 1887, Rome

Five generations of the same family have been running this treasure in the Italian capital to this very day. Checchino restaurant is the birthplace of the coda alla vaccinara (oxtail stew), one of the most traditional dishes of Rome. When Ferminia, the great-grandmother, first opened the restaurant, its patrons were vaccinari, the neighborhood’s butchers—but today it’s not uncommon to rub shoulders with nobility and celebrities. Don’t leave without taking a peek at the cellars: they were excavated by digging through the Roman era shards of amphorae that formed the Monte Testaccio. 30 Via di Monte Testaccio

5. Ristorante Caffetteria La Loggia, 1876, Florence

An airy terrace overlooking Piazzale Michelangelo, this is one of the most beautiful vantage points from which to admire the city of Florence. The restaurant has had many illustrious patrons since its 1876 opening such as Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the founder of the Italian Futurist movement. He even filmed part of his 1916 Vita Futurista here. 1 Piazzale Michelangelo

6. Ristorante Pizzeria Mattozzi, 1833 Naples

Naples is synonymous with pizza, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t select a pizzeria to represent the Campanian captial. This old establishment is also historically significant: four generations of pizza makers who worked here were the founders of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, formed to protect the true Neapolitan pizza, which has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. 2 Piazza Carità

7. Casa del Brodo “dal Dottore”, 1890, Palermo

‘A good broth can be better than medicine’—this slogan has made Casa del Brodo “dal Dottore” trattoria famous since the early 20th century. The waitstaff at this Palermo gem donned white jackets while serving a perfect tonic broth, and even dispensed advice on various kinds of treatments and medicines. The descendants of founder Salvatore Catanese still run this magnificent Art Nouveau-style establishment. 175 Via Vittorio Emanuele

8. Antico Ristorante Porto di Savona, 1863, Turin

This fantastic restaurant was established in 1863 beside the spot where the stagecoaches linking Turin to the Port of Savona used to depart. It has kept its original décor and furnishings in the elegant Art Nouveau style, and prominent cultural figures have dined here. Bagna càuda, homemade tajarin al Castelmagno and vitello tonnato (veal in tuna sauce) are some of the typical Piedmontese dishes. 2 Piazza Vittorio Veneto

9. Osteria Cannone, 1900, Bologna

When you enter this popular Bologna eatery, it’s like taking a journey back in time: the entrance, the arch that divides the dining halls, and even some of the chairs and tables are all originals. The creative and varied menu features both seafood and land-based cuisine, an homage to the restaurant’s beginnings as it opened next to the place where goods used to enter the city from the sea and hinterland. 102 Via Andrea Costa

1 comment

  1. excellent post thank you

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