Versilia is a land with a vast gastronomic culture, both of land and sea: today I recommend you 5 trattoria restaurants you must go in Camaiore.
The people of Camaiore love going to a trattoria, because they find dishes cooked according to tradition, like at home. The valley of Camaiore is dotted with a myriad of beautiful small villages, which are located on the hills that embrace the town. These villages are connected to each other by an ancient path that is still well signposted and easily passable: the crossing of the Camaiore hamlets. This path, almost 30 km long, is part of the extensive network of paths and mule tracks that constitutes the Camaiore Antigua.
Each of these small villages has at least one restaurant / trattoria in a unique location. Today I tell you about my 5 favorite restaurants and trattorias you must go, which stand out not only for traditional cuisine, but also because they are in enchanted places, not to be missed.
1. PANORAMIC TERRACE WITH SEA VIEW. MONTE DI ROSE RESTAURANT, MONTEBELLO.
The Monte di Rose restaurant stands out for its warm welcome and panoramic view. Simple but nice furnishings. I discovered it one evening with my friend Agnese, during a walk. When we arrived we asked for the menu and already our eyes sparkled. Then we asked to see the room upstairs and we literally fell in love with this place. The terrace with a
breathtaking view of the Camaiore valley and the sea has captured us. We looked at each other, both already with mouth watering, and we decided to cancel the other restaurant where we wanted to go, to stay there for dinner!
You can reach the restaurant directly by car or do the 10-minute walk like us leaving the car at the church and climbing up the hill to the restaurant. The climb is a bit steep, but it will make you feel less guilty when you sit at the table! Make sure you have a torch for the return after dinner.
We ordered the fried panzanelle with stracchino. We were pleasantly surprised by a particularity served together with panzanelle, the toothpicks, an invention of their own! All the preparations are very good: let the owner advise you, and ask for dishes of the day. Portions are plentiful. That evening we were lucky enough to find an excellent roast chicken, tasty and soft, accompanied by excellent roast potatoes. The homemade cake is also very good: the fig cake and cinnamon ice cream we enjoyed very much.
2. CHARME AND ELEGANCE BETWEEN OLIVE TREES. LA DOGANA RESTAURANT, Capezzano Pianore
La Dogana is a historic restaurant, which we have known for many years and which we have seen grow, move and rise. My uncles, who lived for many years in Nocchi, a town near Borgo4Case, were very fond of them: every opportunity was good to go and eat there.
One summer, we were back from Provence, where we had spent our holidays in France; I was still a child, but I remember we found a farmer who grew vegetables of particular colours: black and yellow tomatoes, red and black potatoes, chard with colored ribs, edible flowers, and white aubergines. We brought these products to Vittoriano asking him to cook them for us. I still remember the astonishment in his eyes for these strange products, which in Italy were not yet known, and the curiosity to cook them.
The restaurant is family run. Vittoriano, the father, is in the kitchen and in the vegetable garden; the son and grandson are sommeliers and serve in the dining room with professionalism, but also with the friendly Tuscan welcome.
Dogana restaurant serves land and sea dishes in a menu with a selection of a few dishes that change every season, cooked with the freshest products and carefully prepared to keep the organoleptic properties intact. Also the wine list is rich and selected.
The environment is elegant and charming, well cared for in every detail. The building has been renovated respecting traditional architecture. Book your table well in advance on the covered terrace in the olive grove.
3. A WALK IN THE HILLS OF VILLAGES. RISTORANTE/TRATTORIA IL MATTARELLO, Torcigliano
The restaurant is located at the end of the village of Torcigliano, open for lunch only on weekends. Il Mattarello, is a family-run restaurant. In the dining room you find Antonio, a calm and cordial man and in the kitchen his wife, the cook, who was trained in close contact with the kitchen of Vittoriano, chef of the restaurant La Dogana.
From Borgo4case you can leave on foot or by car to reach Agliano-Peralta. Leave the car before Agliano and continue on the path that can be seen between the houses on the right. Continue along
the coastal path, among olive groves and in the woods. Quickly reach another hamlet, Buchignano, a small group of stone houses perched on the hill. Almost at the bottom of the village the path that continues between olive-tree terraces and woods is connected. Here and there you will find beautiful stone houses, water sources, and panoramic points. Approximately 45 minutes you will reach the town of Torcigliano, your destination.
Torcigliano until the 1950s could only be reached via the path you have just travelled. I invite you to lose yourself in staircases, wash-houses and foreshortenings to take some pictures, or if you are a designer, bring along a nice sketchbook, surely you will find an excellent subject to insert in your travel diary.
The menu is mainly of land. You can start with the classic Camaiore’s appetizer with wholegrain “panzanelline fritte” (fried bread dough) accompanied by stracchino and the cured meats of Gombitelli (a Camaiore’s town famous for the processing of sausages), olives, pickled vegetables, pies with seasonal vegetables and many other small delicacies. Fresh pasta is all made by them. Those who here are called maccheroncini, which are usually served with wild boar sauce, ragu or mushrooms, are actually maltagliati for me. The gnocchi Parigina are also very good. The main dishes are the great Camaiore classics: chicken or fried rabbit and wild boar with polenta. Leave yourself a place for desserts! Even these are simple but well-kept and sometimes special.
Book in advance to ensure you have the table on the terrace with a panoramic view of the hills. Coming back, stop in Peralta to watch the sunset from the terrace: breathtaking!
4. ALONG THE TORRENT, CANDALLA RESTAURANT, Candalla
If you are looking for a restaurant that allows you to eat outdoors and escape the summer heat, Candalla is a paradise in the valley of the Rio Lombricese.
The restaurant, which takes its name from the town with its pools and waterfall, has become famous in recent years for its romantic and unique location. I recommend that you book well in advance to have a table on one of the terraces overlooking the river.
Before going to the restaurant I recommend taking a walk along the stream. Arriving at the restaurant you will see an artistic workshop for iron working that still uses the power of the water of the stream. By looking beyond the restaurant you find yourself in front of the waterfall of the old mill. From there go up along the mule track that leads to the pools of Candalla and the climbing walls.
5. ROMANTIC TERRACES, WITH THE SLOPES OF MONTE PRANA. CIRCOLO IL FONDACCIO, Metato
Metato is a small and magical village. A collection of alleys and stone houses just a few steps from the summit of Monte Prana. In the last, but not least, of the 5 trattoria restaurants selected for you, you will enter the home of Massimo and Mara. They have transformed their home into a magnificent cultural circle where you can taste traditional dishes on a terrace with a breathtaking view.
I discovered this place recently, on the occasion of my first performance as a professional singer. Thanks to the Camaiore Cultural Exchange group that invited me to perform with my acoustic trio, Along Blue Woods, one June evening at sunset.
Massimo, the cook, has decades of experience in catering. Mara takes care of the service, the organization of the events, the reception. During the event they served us a very tasty buffet aperitif with simple and genuine dishes. The menu includes original dishes inspired by traditional local cuisine.
I hope to return soon to eat there, and still sing in the romantic atmosphere of their terraces, surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the Versilia mountains.