Saturday, August 15, 2009

Great Food Away from the Tourist Traps

I have heard it said that it is hard to get a bad meal in Italy. Indeed, any establishment that tried to serve one would not be in business for very long. Even the Autogrill’s (the fast food establishments along the major highways) offer some reasonably priced fare that could easily pass for something authentic in a stateside Little Italy restaurant. But as for traditional sit-down restaurants, the real trick in Italy is to find a place that not only serves delicious fare but does so at a reasonable price. The best ones are usually the smaller, family-run affairs, off the beaten path and away from the tourist traps.

Susan and I found one such gem on our ascent up Mt. Etna. Just beyond Taormina off of highway A-18 from Messina to Catania, about 10 kilometers up from the Fiumefreddo exit and toll plaza, the winding road takes you through the small town of Linguaglossa. Just beyond the town, the road resumes its hairpinning ascent through vineyards and olive groves that cling to the Etnean foothills. If you aren’t paying attention, you might miss a small sign that says “Trattoria Le Sciare”.