When our trip organiser declared that it was time for lunch and that we were to find our own, we somehow ended up gravitating towards the port of Bolsena. Maybe we were feeling the call of the waters, and needed to see the lake from a closer distance…
We walked down the labyrinthine streets from the old city centre, and then reached a long avenue with what looked like recreational summer houses on both side—the sort of places where city people would escape to during their long holidays, to retreat and read adventure books under the shade of pine trees.
Some of them were really interesting, and I would have liked to linger more and look at the architecture, as there’s something really attractive about summer houses—the seclusion which often results in inviting neighbours and friends so there’s no seclusion at all? the pretend-but-humble luxury? the urban/domesticated nature?—but we had a very short lunch break and were also quite hungry, so we kept going as I took pictures really quickly.
We ended up in Trattoria del Moro, a shore-side restaurant with a really strong family vibe. It being August, many people were probably on holidays and with their kids, we suspected. But despite the horrors we anticipated, people were in general not annoying or noisy. The joy!
We decided to try the famous wine of the area, Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone. We had seen lots of signs advertising it all around the town, and I was very intrigued.
The legend says that a bishop sent a servant ahead to identify places with good wine for the bishop’s later visit. He was to scrawl “Est” (“There is”, in Latin) on the doors of such places, but when he was served this wine in a Montefiascone inn he enthusiastically scrawled Est! Est!! Est!!! because it was SO GOOD.
The legend also seems to be considered as a pure invention, but I don’t really mind it, because it’s a funny one (although I’d also say it’s pretty rude to go around scrawling things on people’s houses).
What actually matters is that the wine was really good, and it went beautifully with the calamari we had, standing up to their oily content and strong flavour, but not being too dry either.
I’m not a big fan of fried fish (pesce fritto) or prawns (le gambe), so I “donated” most of those, and focused on the salad, and specially on the calamare… which I love, and these were great! Not chewy, and with a thin batter—I’d eat this again!
Then, a really necessary espresso:
The beach wasn’t too busy either. It was all very pleasant. I wished I had time to stay there for longer. Maybe we should have a holiday here…
We [slowly] walked up the hill and back to our meeting point—satiated, cheerful and with the deep conviction that ours was possibly the best chosen lunch of all the group 😏 #smugness
Trattoria del Moro
Piazzale Dante Alighieri, 5