Talla is most famous as the birthplace (maybe! – a debate…) of Guido Monaco, late 10th-c Benedictine monk, regarded as the inventor of modern musical notation (staff notation) and writer of Micrologus, a key medieval musical treatise.
You might not head to Talla in the Tuscan Casentino Valley to hunt for the house of Guido Monaco, but it’s worth a trip just to eat at Ristorante L’Orcello, with outdoor tables flanking the monument to Guido Monaco in the tiny main piazza. Just the antipasto of bruschette topped with Tuscan white beans, white truffle, and a soft local cheese lets you know you’re in for a feast. Pino followed up his antipasto with stinco di maiale con palate arrosto (roasted pork shank with roasted potatoes) and I had trouble between two pasta choices, spaghetti alle cipolle (with the local red onions onions) and tortelli di ortica con salsa di noci (large homemade ravioli filled with nettles, topped with walnut sauce). Host Walter (his wife Anna and sons reign in the kitchen) decided for me: I’d have two “half-portions.”
When the smiling young waitress, Monica, brought the pasta dishes, not two “half-portions” at all! Half?! This is Italy.
Read about nearby Poppi, another of our Tuscan favorites
Read more on another Casentino gem
Read about more good eating in Tuscany
Read more on a Tuscan gem, the Mugello valley
Read more on Mugello and the loving Passerini family