Jul 17

Eating Out In Abruzzo

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One thing about eating in Abruzzo is that you will be surprised and even embarrassed at the bill when it arrives at your table. Eating out in Abruzzo is cheap – cheap as in you probably couldn’t eat cheaper if you made it yourself – not compromised ingredients. Flavours are fresh, vibrant and delicious!!

Last Friday night I ate at a Pizzeria in Bominaco for the princely sum of €13.50, for which I received; 1 woodfired pizza, a large mixed salad, 1 litre of sparkling water, 1 non-alcoholic beer and 1 espresso! On paying I was rewarded further with complimentary chocolate liquor.

Saturday afternoon I hesitantly stopped at a touristy looking bar in Sulmona called Bar Centrale di Agostino Pierluigi in Piazza Annunziata for a quick bite to eat. I chose a bottle of water, bottle of Coke Zero and their Caprese:  a generous plate of fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella (not the industrial variety) and chargrilled bruschetta drizzled with quality olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.  Total price €11!!

Ristorante Il Castello in Fagnano Alto, Abruzzo

A last minute invitation to dinner had me at this wonderful out of the way yet ‘close by’ restaurant in a town largely uninhabited since the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake.  The restaurant is run by 2 husbands who were our hosts and their wives who do all the cooking according to methods handed down through their families.


We received 4 dishes comprising of the following:

Plate of charcuteries

Truffle salad: rocket, shaved truffle & shaved grana padano

Fritto misto: zucchini, aubergine, zucchini flowers, sage & cherry tomatoes fried in a light batter

Fritto misto: zucchini, aubergine, zucchini flowers, sage & cherry tomatoes fried in a light batter

Fritto misto: zucchini, aubergine, zucchini flowers, sage & cherry tomatoes fried in a light batter

Mozarella and bocconcini with grated black and white truffle!



I think there were 5 types to choose from and we were able to have half portions in order to try 2 types – we had no idea the portions would be so huge!

Ravioli – truffle & funghi

Ravioli - Tartufo e Funghi

Ravioli – Tartufo e Funghi

Spaghetti – sundried & pomodoro fresca

Gnocchi – saffron & local chickpeas

Gnocchi Zafferano e Ceci

Gnocchi Zafferano e Ceci


We struggled at the thought of eating any more but agreed we just had to TRY one!!

Chicken breast – almonds and saffron

Petti di Polo - Mandorle e Zafferano

Petti di Polo – Mandorle e Zafferano

Porchetta – calvados and roasted apple

Veal – vino bianco



Reaching the outer limits of what is possible for any person to eat in one evening we persisted scared of missing out on something wonderful!

Chocolate mousse with raspberries and mint

Chocolate Mousse, Raspberries & Mint

Chocolate Mousse, Raspberries & Mint

Peach torte with meringue and pistachio

Yoghurt semi-freddo and peach


Yoghurt Semifreddo & Peaches

Yoghurt Semifreddo & Peaches

I nearly exploded!! Generous portions, fantastic simple flavours and at a ridiculous price!! Including water and wine our meal came to €30 per head! I could not believe it – just 2 weeks earlier I paid €75 in France for a very nice but certainly of a similar quality meal of 3 courses, wine and water!

After reliving this meal I feel the need to rest and eat no more! Happy and content!



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  1. sandra christensen

    Sounds delicio!!! Maybe we can eat together sometime!!!!

    1. Ingrid

      That would be FAB!!! xox

  2. Toni DeBella

    In Italy we can “mangia bene” every day. In San Francisco I can’t quite get used to paying $3.45 for a substandard cappuccino in the mornings….love Italy and can’t wait until I am back in the place when food is King! Great post. Now I’m hungry!! xxoo Toni

    1. Ingrid

      Ciao Toni – yes those bucket sized coffees in the US are a worry, especially when you are not getting a great coffee! Give me one good one rather than 100 bad ones!! Here in France the coffee is rarely any good either and can be pricey too.
      Grazie mille
      Ingrid xox

  3. Janine

    Well done Ingrid. What an absolute treat. It’s so true. Italy is still the place to eat!! I was delighted to still find places where with 15 or 20 euro you could eat unbelievably well. For me the more rustic the better too!

    1. Ingrid

      Thank you Janine! It is incredible – and they don’t skimp on their ingredients either, it is good honest food made with heart!!

  4. lisa | renovating italy

    Oh you are making me hungry, how fantastic to be able to split the pasta so you can try extra’s. Beautiful food made with love!
    ciao lisa x

    1. Ingrid

      It is easy to find a good meal in Italy and the ingredients are usually the freshest – Abruzzo has many offerings and I am amazed at all the hidden restaurants just awaiting discovery along with the people that run them who are passionate and do it because they love it!!
      Buon apetito xo

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