When eating your way through any country, you should have two main priorities. 1) Find amazing food and 2) breathtaking views and/or ambiance. Osteria Pastella in Florence, Italy and Sibilla in Tivoli are 2 restaurants you will want to put at the top of your list.
The Alfresco Sibilla Restaurant in Tivoli
No where in the world can you eat at the base of the ruins of a Roman temple under a wisteria that predates the birth of the United States while looking down at beautiful lush waterfalls.
But you can do all of these at Sibilla in Tivoli, Italy.
Living in a country that considers a building built in 1880 historic, I find it incredibly humbling to walk streets that are over 300 years old. When you gaze at structures over 1500 years old you realize how brief your life really is.
Traveling through Italy was truly awe inspiring. We had just come from Rome and were about to wander the gardens of the Villa d’Este. But first we stopped for a long mid day repast at Sibilla.
The alfresco ambiance was surprisingly spectacular and the food was delightful. Sibilla opened in 1720 and the wisteria we dined under was planted in 1791.
I’m not a fan of sweet wines. I steer away from rieslings, Prosecco, and moscato for the most part. However, the dry rieslings I’ve had trekking through Austria where light and refreshing, not at all sweet and this Prosecco my aunt ordered at Sibilla was divine!
It was smooth, creamy, light with a slight mineral finish. I have yet to find it here in the States. If you find it, please let me know!
Tivoli is about 45 minutes east of Rome. It’s home to the Villa d’Este, a 16th century palace with enchanting gardens and magnificent fountains.
Construction started in 1560 and stands as a true testament of Italian Renaissance ingenuity.
These gardens are a masterpiece of hydraulic engineering. Not only is the general lay out genius, but so is the complex system of water distribution as is the water displays.
The fountains of Villa d’Este were the very first hydraulic automation to have ever been built.
Best Pasta of Your Life: Osteria Pastella
I am not joking.
We stumbled across this gem by accident. It’s located 5 doors down from the hotel where we were lodging: Hotel Alba Palace on the other side of the street. Osteria Pastella is located at Via della Scala 17 red, 50123 Florence Italy.
Order the tagliatelle flambé alla bottarga in crosta de grana padan OR the tagliatelle flambé alla truffle in crosta di grana padano. Bottarga is fish roe and truffles are… well… heavenly. We ordered the tagliatelle with truffles. Best pasta I’ve ever eaten!
They cart an enormous wheel of parmesan cheese, light it on fire, add fresh pasta in a cream sauce with truffle oil, plate it and shave truffles over it. I died and went to heaven that night.
We went back the next day and did it again.
Months after our trip, Jerry and I were still dreaming of our experience at Osteria Pastella. How could we replicate this experience at home? Hello… AMAZON!
We joke about how you can get anything on Amazon all the time. I’m starting to think it’s not a joke. Apparently, as we found out, you can order a ginormous whole wheel of parmesan (direct from Parma Italy) off of Amazon. We clicked “add to cart” and had it in 3 days!!!
Next time we light it up, I’ll take pictures and put them on here. So much fun!
If you’re interested in making your own pasta a home try my authentic Italian pasta dough recipe.
(I am no longer an Amazon affiliate and will not financially gain from any purchases made from links on my blog. Nor do I receive any benefits from the restaurants written about above.)