Bolsena on Lake Bolsena in the region of Latium has been a favorite week-end getaway for us for years.
From the top of the hill above the lake, you can spot the tower of the medieval castello, Rocca Mondaldeschi della Cervara
…and as the road winds down into Bolsena, the castello stands stalwartly as if protecting the town below:
And on nearly every visit, we’ll head through the winding medieval alleyways….
…towards a favorite eating spot, Trattoria Picchietto:..
….where Anna and daughter Monica cook up lakeside goodness:
A small osteria (inn) was opened here by the grandfather, Giuseppe (nicknamed “Piccnietto”) of owner and host Mario Stella, Anna’s husband.
– and in fact, the alleyway flanking Trattoria PIcchietto commemorates that inn and is called “Via dell’Osteria”:
Picchietto opened his inn in a restored medieval church – as Emiliano, co-host with his father, proudly recounted to me.
Smiling, he stood in front of their wine selection under a medieval arch telling me, “una volta, l’altare era qui.” (“At one time, the altar was here.”)
And medieval arches of the former religious edifice backdrop feasting diners:
Whimsical frescoes reminiscent of the ancient Etruscan past of Bolsena (“Velzna” for the Etruscans) backdrop other guests:
Pino and I enjoyed the lakeside goodness cooked up by Monica and Anna in the adjacent garden.
i ordered grilled vegetables as an antipasto while Pino chose his favorite (a seafood not lakeside choice): steamed mussels.
And after the antipasti, I ordered one of the Trattoria Piccietto specialties, ombrichelli al ragu di lago (a thick spaghetti with sauce of Lake Bolsena’s buonissimo white fish, coregone)…..
…and Pino ordered fritto misto. His mixed fried fish included not only fried seafood (mussels and shrimp) but also lattarini (minnows) from Lake Bolsena:
For a side dish, Pino chose verdure alla griglia (which had been my antipasto).
I skipped the side dish but could not resist a dessert.
A smiling Teresa (distant cousin of Monica, one of the chefs) presented us with an array of choices…
…and served up my choice, crema catalana
…as well as a sorbetto al limone for Pino, one of his favorites post-feasting:
After an espresso, we headed to the trattoria entrance as Emiliano had told us that he would be appearing on the news at 2 p.m. that day.
We’d watch him together on the TV there near the bar and espresso machine.
Old hotos of the trattoria were on the wall nearby….
…as well as past photos of Bolsena and the fishermen heading out to fish coregone and eel:
Piccietto and his wife were in a photo, too…
….and as Pino looked at the photo I asked Emiliano about his nickname, Picchietto (literally, °little woodpecker”).
“He was not tall and had a pointy nose,” Emiliano replied with a smile.
Pino sippped a grappa as they talked about the upcoming interview with Emiliano for Rai Tg3 Regionale.
He and other restaurant and hotel-owners in the region of Latium had been interviewed about their increased expenses for gas and electricity since the beginning of the Ukraine war.
“Our gas bill doubled – we’ll see soon about electricity,” he told Pino (as he had also told the interviewer).
I took photos of Emiliano as he viewed himself filmed while standing in front of Trattoria Picchietto. Emiliano watched silently and thoughtfully with his arms crossed decisively, just as during the interview:
Emiliano and family, we wish you most sincerely buona fortuna as you carry on your work in the face of new challenges.
Your prices might have to go up – but we’ll be back in any case.
I have written numerous notes on Bolsena. Just SEARCH “Bolsena” here and enjoy
Here are just a few notes:
Read more here about Trattoria Picchietto.
See my video here on Lake Bolsena
Read more on why we love Bolsena