Viale di Trastevere, 53, Trastevere
Taking up a fairly large storefront in Trastevere, this traditional Roman-style pizza spot is an important stop if you’re eating your way through the city. Order off the lengthy menu (we suggest going purist with a Margherita), take a seat at one of the communal tables inside or street-side and enjoy your pie (you eat it with a knife and fork) while watching the pizzas go in and out of the massive oven in the open kitchen. Keep in mind that they keep to evening hours only and are big on take-out, so you’ll see a steady procession of locals picking up stacks of pizza boxes to take home for dinner.
Via Colonica 4, Montepulciano
It’s what you dream of when you dream of Tuscany: Avignonesi is the Platonic ideal of a Tuscan winery, hills rolling in every direction, an estate that could be home to a royal family, and a selection of wines to impress any sommelier. “Avignonesi is the top producer of Vino Nobile,” says Voigtmann. “And its wine-tasting lunch is a great way to let a day completely get away from you.”
Bar Gelateria Alberto Pica
Via della Seggiola, 12, Centro Storico
This nondescript-looking gelato joint in Centro Storico is easy to miss—but don't. For fans of rice pudding, try Alberto Pica's gelato version of the treat. Photo: @signemeirane
Largo Isarco 2, San Luigi
Since opening in 2015 in Fondazione Prada, this Wes Anderson-–designed café has almost become synonymous with Milan—at least, for those in the worlds of fashion and design. Stepping through its doors feels like walking onto one of Anderson’s film sets, with jukeboxes, Steve Zissou (a character from The Life Aquatic)–themed pinball machines, pastel Formica chairs, and terrazzo floors that all give off a kind of retro, 1950s sense of nostalgia. It’s certainly one of the prettiest spots you’ll find for a biscotti and espresso break.
Beppe e I Suoi Formaggi
Via di S. Maria del Pianto, 9A/11, Jewish Ghetto
Named for Beppe Giovale, one of the shop’s partners who comes from a long line of Piedmont cheesemakers, this spot is a wonderful place to shop for cheese and wine, plus a selection of other, complementary specialty items like truffle salt and organic honey. If you’d prefer, you can also sit an enjoy a wine and cheese tasting, which is a pretty incredible way to spend a leisurely afternoon.
Buon Gusto Gelateria
Via delle Case Nuove 26, Pienza
“Simply the best gelato” in a town—and a country for that matter—known for its gelato. It’s tiny, there’s always a line, and give up any notion that you could actually get a table. But the gelato flavors change regularly because they’re all based on what’s local and fresh, and BuonGusto has never, not once, served a scoop that’s less than heavenly.
Casanova di Neri
Podere Fiesole - SP 14 Via Traversa dei Monti, Montalcino
This is the place for people who are very serious about their Brunello and their food. Very serious. “It’s not controversial to say that Giacomo Neri is Montalcino’s most famous and influential producer of Brunello,” says Voigtmann. “The tasting room is always open for a visit, but a private lunch in the secret dining room is an unforgettable experience.”
Piazza di S. Lorenzo in Lucina, 29, Campo Marzio
Ciampino has roots dating back to 1941, which means they've had generations to perfect their gelato. The old-school café uses organic milk and eggs, and many of the flavors are loaded with fresh fruits. One of their specialities is candied chestnut—but regardless of your personal flavor preference, put it in a waffle cone with Ciampino's whipped cream.
Come il Latte
Via Silvio Spaventa, 24/26, Ludovisi
One of the more Instagrammable gelato shops, Come il Latte's walls are lined with old-fashioned milk bottles, the floors are black-and-white tiled, and their flavors are handwritten on a chalkboard menu. They pride themselves on making super fresh gelato daily, and on their ingredient sourcing, which draws from around the world: vanilla from Madagascar, pistachio from Sicily (mixed with ricotta and white chocolate in one flavor and oranges in another), cinnamon from Ceylon (cinnamon cream is counted as a specialty, and there's also a pear sultanas variation), and so on. Don't feel like you have to be adventurous with your flavor choice, though; Come il Latte does the classics right.
Cugisi Cheese Farm
Via della Boccia 8, Montepulciano
Tuscany is as renowned for its wine as it is for its Pecorino, and perhaps no cheese farm does it better than Cugusi. You can tour the dairy, meet the sheep, or cut to the chase and just stock up from the store. Whatever you buy, you’ll wish you bought more. “This famed cheesemaker also offers a picnic-basket service with products from its farm,” says Voigtmann. “It’s the perfect way to enjoy a picnic overlooking Montepulciano.”
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