Umbria Blog | Restaurant Bistro Porta Senese in Castiglione del Lago

Castiglione del Lago

Castiglione del Lago is on the eastern shores of lake Trasimeno. It used to be an island, the fourth island of Lake Trasimeno. Now it is a peninsula with its castle overlooking the lake. The town is surrounded by its fortified and castellated walls with three gateways, a main street and a piazza.

In high season many tourists spend a lot of time in Castiglione del Lago. Along the lake you’ll find free beaches, bars and restaurants. This place is also an ideal location for those who love walking and swimming. You can take a walk with your dog on the shores if you want, but only on leads. If you prefer leaving your dog without leash, than the former airport of Castiglione del Lago is an ideal and spacious area to walk your dog.

The historical centre of Castiglione del Lago has cosy restaurants, bars and souvenir-shops. If you’re a wine or beer lover, you can eat your heart out here! There are also some gelateria’s offering a good selection of flavors.

The impressive fortress “Rocca Leone” is worth a visit, with or without children. The views over the Trasimeno Lake from the towers are just stunning!

Perhaps the most busiest day in Castiglione del Lago is Wednesday because of the weekly market in the historical centre. During the summer many festivals are held in the villages along the Trasimeno Lake. In July – August for example is the famous Trasimeno Blues music festival.

A well known Jazz & Blues event where famous artists from all over the world perform. At least 3-times is Trasimeno Blues in Castiglione del Lago. The concerts are free, but it may happen that you need to buy an entrance ticket.

Restaurant

Recently I’ve had dinner in a modern, refined and stylish restaurant in Castiglione del Lago: Bistro Restaurant Porta Senese. This restaurant is just around the corner behind the city gate of Castiglione del Lago. Porta Senese prepares and serves food in a modern style and setting.

Near my dinner table were people from Belgium. For them it was definitely not the first time to eat in this cosy restaurant. The waiter and co-owner is very attentive and kind. It is a wonderful location to spend an evening.

Pasta alla carbonara with guanciale (pork cheek), almonds and tomatoes.

Carpaccio Porta Senese with tomatoes, capers, olives, pepper, salt and good olive oil.

The food is excellent and the wine pairings are great. Local wines from Umbria and Tuscany are served. The Sangiovese wine from the winery Madrevite was perfect to combine with my pasta and meat dish. 

Porta Senese is not a big restaurant, but a small bistrot with some tables. The menu they offer is divers but most are meat dishes. Consumers can choose between cooked beef, raw carpaccio or “meat” sushi. But there are also vegetarian plates like the parmigiana and pasta with pecorino. Even the dolci are from the house! 

Crostata with ricotta, fruit and chocolate.

Personally, I think that Restaurant Bistrot Porta Senese is one of the best restaurants in Castiglione del Lago. It is 5 years that I live in this town and I have never been … until now! An eye opener. It is worth eating here. Even if this restaurant is not really a cheap restaurant, but you’ll be surprised about the quality of the food they serve and the wines they serve are excellent.

The meat supplier of this restaurant is butcher Burico Ottorino. They are just outside the historical centre and sell their own selected meat coming from this area.

Address restaurant:
Via Vittorio Emanuele 2
06061 Castiglione del Lago (PG)
Tel. + 39 075 953331

Reservation is recommended, by phone or by mail. This restaurant has only a few tables available. Parking space is easy to find just outside the city walls of Castiglione del Lago. There is free parking along the fortified walls of the village. 

Enjoy!

Umbria Blog | Visit Civic Museum in Montefalco

Montefalco “Mount of the Falcon” is a town of churches and convents. This hamlet is situated 11 km north west from Foligno and is perched on a hill top, boasting magnificent views over the green hills. Montefalco is also known as the balcony of Umbria. Outside the Gate of St. Augustine there’s ample parking. Enter the gate and proceed up the Corso G. Mameli with its small shops and restaurants to the Piazza del Comune.

The area around Montefalco is famous for its Sagrantino wine. This wine is made of 100% Sagrantino grapes which have been cultivated for centuries on the hills of Umbria. Following the wine route “Strada del Sagrantino” one can stop by some local wineries to  taste and buy the local wines.

Besides the famous Sagrantino wine the medieval walled town offers a mix of picturesque streets and historic churches and museums. A must see in Montefalco is the museum in the Chiesa di San Francesco, the church of Saint Francis. You can reach this museum by walking down from the main piazza to the Via Ringhiera Umbra. This museum is divided into three sections: the church, the gallery and the crypt.

The church houses important works of the Renaissance painter of Florence Benozzo Gozzoli, il Perugino, Melanzio and some other painters. The famous painter Gozzoli, painted in the apse of the church brightly coloured frescoes all on the life of San Francesco. These frescoes in the chapel are of great importance and are comparable with the cycle by Giotto in the church of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Pietro Vannucci, also known as Il Perugino, made two master pieces in the church: the “Nativity scene” and the “Annunciation with the Eternal in glory between angels”. Tiberio d’Assisi instead painted the frescoes “Madonna and Child with saints”  and “The descriptive Madonna del Soccorso”. All are interesting works by artists known all over the world.

Video Civic Museum Montefalco.

In the basement of the church is  a medieval wine cellar where monks brought their locally grapes, pressed them in wine presses and prepared wine for local consumption.

The gallery contains important works and wooden sculptures of the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries.

The entrance for this museum is 7,00 Euro. Children from 6 to 14 years pay 2,00 Euro each and children under 6 years are free. With your entrance ticket you can visit other musea in Umbria for free. This offer is valid for two weeks after the date of your visit to the Civic Museum in Montefalco. For more information visit this website: Umbria Terre Musei.

From Montefalco you can head up to the medieval walled town of Bevagna. The distance is about 8 km, a 10 minutes drive.

Ristorante della Mura is situated on the Piazza Garibaldi 14a in the centre of Bevagna. In this restaurant they serve traditional local Umbrian dishes. Really recommended!

Umbria Blog | restaurant in Terni “La Piazzetta”

Terni is in the southern part of Umbria. It is the smaller of the two provinces in the region Umbria and a modern, dynamic city, rebuilt after the Second World War.

Terni now is a culinary destination with many trendy bars and restaurants. The busiest area is Via Cavour and Via Roma. Every weekend the streets are filled with people eating and drinking outside.

In Via Cavour is restaurant La Piazzetta, offering local and seasonal cuisine. The menu and wine list change every season. In this restaurant is a good vibe, La Piazzetta has the right atmosphere and ambiance to have a nice lunch or dinner with your family and friends. The food and wine they offer are really outstanding!

Federico is the owner of restaurant La Piazzetta. I have known him for some years now. In 2012 I organized a festival with my friend from Terni, Marco, to promote the region Umbria. Umbriabeecoming was meant to attract more visitors and tourists in Umbria. For the promotion of this region we’ve organized several Umbrian wine tastings and presentations in Holland together with the Italian society Dante Alighieri.

It wasn’t the first time I had dinner at La Piazzetta. The authentic pasta dish “ciriole” with black local truffle remains one of my favorite Umbrian dishes. The home made pasta they serve is excellent and absolutely worth trying.

On the website of Tripadvisor you can read the reviews from restaurant La Piazzetta. This restaurant is really recommended when you’re in Terni!