Michael Cimarusti, the chef at Providence in Los Angeles, details the most delicious things he ate and drank during his summer trip traipsing all over Italy.
Summer Truffle Pasta at Baita La Gallinola
Credit: Courtesy of Michael Cimarusti

When Massimo Bottura, the chef behind Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, invites to you to his restaurant, you take him up on it.

And chef Micchael Cimarusti of L.A.’s constant critical darling Providence didn’t hesitate. He’s used to going back to his Italian roots whenever he can, and this past summer he spent three weeks traveling all over the Italy. Here’s where he ate and drank along the way, including Osteria Francescana of course.


La Bucaccia Romano: “Owner Romano Magi has a colossal-size personality compared to this tiny restaurant situated in the old wine cellar of the 12th century Palazzo Cattani. You’ll find delicious handmade pastas, salumi, Chianina beef and a wonderful cheese selection.”
La Bucaccia Romano, Via Ghibellina, 17, 52044 Cortona AR; +39-0575-606039

Solociccia:Dario Cecchini is a force of nature. Before we dropped by his restaurant, we visited his butcher shop across the street, where Dario was blasting AC/DC from the speakers and giving out samples of his salumi with glasses of Chianti. Our lunch was a study in ‘muzzle-to-tail’ dining, featuring six meat courses served family-style at communal tables. (They graciously offer a vegetarian menu as well, although we saw no takers.) It was memorable from start to finish.”
Solociccia, Via XX Luglio, 11, 50022 Panzano In Chianti FI; +39-055-852020

Michael Cimarusti in Italy
Credit: Courtesy of Michael Cimarusti


All’Antico Vinaio: “The line is formidable at this sandwich shop near the Uffizi Museum but worth the wait. It serves excellent panini, like porchetta toscana, and mozzarella, zucchini, rucola e crema di tartufo.”
All’Antico Vinaio, Via dei Neri 74 R, 50122, Florence; +39-055-238-2723

Alimentari Uffizi: “We stumbled into this wonderful little alimentari near the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio after looking for a different restaurant. The father and son team who run the shop raise their own livestock on a farm outside Florence, and they make the salumi in-house. The testa is unbelievably good, but we had a platter of assorted meats, cheese and antipasti with a glass of cold rosé. What a happy accident!”
Alimentari Uffizi, Via Lambertesca 10r, 50100, Florence; +39-055-281089

Michael Cimarusti in Italy
Credit: Courtesy of Michael Cimarusti

Trattoria 13 Gobbi: “A short stroll from the Piazza della Repubblica, this traditional trattoria came highly recommended from my friend Mario Batali. The small 40-seat restaurant was busy on the night we visited, but the hostess offered little plates of antipasti and glasses of wine to all of the guests waiting outside for a table. Once we get inside, we ordered all the fantastic pastas and from the interesting wine list.”
Trattoria 13 Gobbi, Via del Porcellana 9/r, Florence; +39 055 284015

Pampaloni: “The 115-year-old silversmith, run by brothers Gianfranco and Francesco Pampaloni, carries on the tradition of handmade sterling silver. The shop is located on a small side street and can be difficult to find but worth seeking out. We bought a beautiful set of sterling Due Sicilie serving pieces for entertaining at home.”
Pampaloni, Via della Porta Rossa 99R, 50123 Florence; +39-347-514-5468

B. Del Secco: “We bought a stunning set of Florentine table linens at this almost 100-year-old shop near the Piazza Pitti and the Ponte Vecchio. Tiny and neatly stacked with linens, the shop isn’t hard to navigate when the proprietress Antonella helps you. She shipped our purchases directly from the shop, and they arrived home before we did.”
B. Del Secco, Via Guicciardini 20r, 50125 Florence


Osteria Francescana: “From start to finish, this was one of the best meals I’ve ever experienced. My friend Massimo Bottura and his staff took such good care of us during our visit—the legendary chef served us several courses himself. He is an extraordinary talent, and the restaurant deserves every accolade bestowed upon it.”
Osteria Francescana, Via Stella, 22, 41121 Modena MO; +39-059-223912

Michael Cimarusti in Italy
Credit: Courtesy of Michael Cimarusti


Osteria Piga: “Off the beaten tourist path is the excellent Osteria Piga. The cencioni pasta, an Apulian specialty, with lamb ragu was hearty and rich, and the silky fava bean purée with croutons, roasted peppers and onions was out of this world.
Osteria Piga, Via S. Vito, 89, 70044 Polignano A Mare BA; +39-080-424-8751

Frescolatte: “This was the best gelato we had in Italy, and we had a lot of gelato. The pistachio had an intense nutty flavor but was still exceptionally smooth and light in texture.”
Frescolatte, Via Giovanni Barnaba 4/6, 70043 Monopoli BA;


Credit: Courtesy of Michael Cimarusti

Baita La Gallinola: “We had the pleasure of spending a day in Molise with our L.A. friends, the ‘Truffle Brothers,’ aka Michael and Marco Pietroiacovo. We hunted for summer truffles with forager Ciccio and his dog Nerina, then ended the day at their family-run restaurant in the mountainous area of Campitello. They fed us courses of delicious salumi, risotto, local lamb and pasta, laced with local porcini and the truffles we found that morning. It was a perfect summer day.”
Baita La Gallinola,Strada Provinciale 106, 125, 86020 San massimo CB; +39-338-434-2876

Amalfi Coast

La Torre Del Saracino: “Chef Gennaro Esposito’s two-star Michelin restaurant is set in a 1,300-year-old fort on the water in his native town, Vico Equense. His menu features produce, meat and seafood from the region, and I highly recommend just letting chef Esposito cook for you.”
La Torre Del Saracino, Via Torretta, 9 - Loc. Marina d'Equa 80069 Vico Equense; +39-081-802-8555

Michael Cimarusti in Italy
Credit: Courtesy of Michael Cimarusti

Pizzeria Da Franco: “Several locals directed us to this spot for no frills but excellent pizza!”
Pizzeria Da Franco,Corso Italia 265, 80067 Sorrento; +39-081-877-2066


Flavio Al Velavevodetto: “Located in the ancient heart of Rome, this traditional trattoria came highly recommend by several friends—we even ran into my friend chef Elizabeth Faulkner. You’ll find classic cooking, a lively atmosphere and an excellent wine list. The burrata with anchovy and trippa alla romana were delicious.”
Flavio Al Velavevodetto Via di Monte Testaccio, 97, 00153 Roma RM +39-06-574-4194

Antico Forno Ai Serpenti: “This is a fantastic bakery in Rio Monte near the Colosseum. It has everything, from pizza to pastries, all made in-house. Try the sfogliatella filled with pistachio cream and pick up some house-made jams and condiments to bring home (they make great gifts).”
Antico Forno Ai Serpenti, Via dei Serpenti, 122, 00184 Roma; +39-06-4542-7920

Trattoria al Moro: “We had a wonderful meal just steps from the Trevi fountain at Trattoria al Moro. When we saw the platter of fresh porcini at the entrance, we knew we had picked the right place. Try the anchovies with butter on toast as an appetizer and the pasta baronessa (a chicken liver ragu with rigatoni) that’s rich, gamy and satisfying. It was the perfect way to end our tour of Italy!”
Trattoria al Moro, Vicolo Bollette, 13, 00187 Roma RM; +39-06-678-3495