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Eating & Drinking

  • Local cuisine from Volterra is a hearty variant on classic Tuscan cuisine. Look out for zuppa volterrana, a thick vegetable and bread soup, or trippa alla volterrana (tripe cooked with tomato, sausage and herbs). Pasta can be made with organic local flour and includes such stalwarts as pappardelle di lepre (pasta ribbons in hare sauce) or the same pasta with wild boar (cinghiale). Other pasta dishes come with ceps (porcini) or with white Marzuolo truffles. Given the city’s Etruscan heritage and the ancient obsession with the city of the dead, try the morbid-sounding almond biscuits, called ossi di morto, `bones of the dead.’

  • Le Cantine del Palazzo

    After exploring the patrician palaces, retreat to Le Cantine, the ancient cellars below Palazzo Incontri-Viti, for a drink in a cavern-like restaurant that contains a Roman cistern and an Etruscan well. On the menu are typical Tuscan specialities at decent prices but the mood is as important as the food. If you eat outdoors, there’s a view over the valley. The restaurant entrance is beside Palazzo Incontri-Viti.

    Address: Via dei Sarti 39, Volterra
    Web: www.lecantinedelpalazzo.it

  • La Carabaccia

    This charming, family-owned, female-run trattoria is deservedly popular. The name comes from the house speciality, a filling vegetable soup that makes a good `lunch on the run.’  Come for the well-priced Tuscan home cooking and friendly atmosphere. It’s a limited menu but the dishes are authentic and good, ranging from pasta to rabbit or guinea fowl stew, with fish served on Friday.

    Address: Piazza XX Settembre 4-5, Volterra
    Web: www.lacarabacciavolterra.it

  • L’Enoteca del Duca

    After focusing so much on death in Volterra, it’s definitely a case of carpe diem: feast on Tuscan dishes in Del Duca, both a wine bar and mid-priced restaurant. Naturally the restaurant terrace is built below the walls of the Etruscan acropolis. In the vaulted dining room expect friendly service, and Tuscan home cooking with a good selection of local wines from the family’s own vineyards. Dishes range from steaks to pasta with wild boar, and plenty of vegetarian options. The Enoteca serves inexpensive light lunches.

    Address: Via di Castello 2, Volterra
    Web: www.enoteca-delduca-ristorante.it

  • L’Incontro

    Volterra's best-loved cafe and bar is a popular spot for breakfast, cakes, pastries and panini. The bar will take you from breakfast cappuccino to cocktails and cold cuts to a late-night digestivo (liqueur).  Along with the antipasto plate of cured meats and cheeses, try the brutti mai buoni (`ugly but good’) biscuits and the ossi di morto (`bones of the dead’) almond biscuits.

    Address: Via Giacomo Matteotti 18, Volterra
    Web: www.ballestrierivolterra.it

  • L’Osteria dei Poeti

    This evocative spot is in the rustic-elegant style that Tuscans love, with exposed brick-and-stone walls and vaulted arches.  As one of Volterra’s pricier restaurants, L’Osteria prides itself on its long wine list and its reliable modern interpretations of Tuscan classics. Dishes include bruschetta as a starter, perhaps followed by a T-bone steak and the house tiramisu.

    Address: Via Giacomo Matteotti 55, Volterra
    Web: osteriadeipoetivolterra.wordpress.com

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