Restaurants, Food & Wine

EATING OUT. Where do I want to go?

There are so many ristorante’s, trattoria’s and pizzeria’s to eat in the Lucca area to suit everyone’s taste and budget. We are a foodie family, so would also love to hear your discoveries.

We would recommend drinking the house reds, they are generally all local & organic. Italians don’t usually tip as they see this as another tax (& they don’t like paying tax). However if you like to tip then please do.
Buon Appetit0

Aurelio Barattini’s porchetta

Our clear favourite is:

ANTICA LOCANDA: Situated on our side of the river, just before Ponte A Moriano. Via Ludovica, 1660, 55100, west side of Ponte a Moriano.

Tel: (0039) 0583 578181 Closed all Saturday & Monday lunch.

This is a family run trattoria, originating back to 1368. A trattoria traditionally is where tractor drivers ate, although now it rather more comfortable with better home-grown local Lucchese seasonal food. ‘When you have been on your travels it is always so nice to come home’ and returning to our favourite restaurant is like coming home. We have been eating here for over 20 years and love it.

This is a really fantastic restaurant, very simple and run by a very special family where the eldest son, Aurelio is the Head Chef and makes all the wines, Prosecco & olive oil too perfection), Lambi is in charge of the service in the restaurant with his charming Mama, Raphaella, who also makes the desserts, chocolate and pasta.

Maitre d’it Lamberto and Head chef, Aurelio Barattini.

The food is excellent, one of our favourites in the world, seasonal & local – Lucchese; it’s famous for grilled meats, which chef Aurelio cooks on his wonderful olive wood fired grill. All the pasta’s, desserts etc are home made. The Vino & Olive oil are wonderful – why spend more – the vino rosso della casa is fantastic.

Pappa di Pomodoro is such a wonderful simple dish. In the Autumn it becomes heartier with more bread and is cooler and fresher in the summer. Try with a drizzle of Antica’s amazing olive oil

Chef, Aurelio has been cooking all over the world this year, recently in the Russia, Monaco F1, NY, Israel & California.

Delicious ravioli stuffed with aubergine and tossed with the sweetest cherry tomatoes from their farm, Maolina

One of the great pasta dishes served by son, Lamberto who is front of house with his mother Raphaela. This is one of the great pastas, monograno pasta tossed with Cinta Senese pig cheek in a pan, then poured and mixed in a wheel of Pecorino- truly amazing.

Bistecca cooking over olive wood

Head chef, Aurelio is famous for his beef tagliata

Aurelio’s mother Raphaela & nonna, Ida, who make the pasta & desserts

Home-made pasta with Cinta Senese pork sausage made by Aurelio’s mother.

Home-grown and home-made fig crostata.

Italian food at its simplest and best. Wonderful. If you find a better restaurant, we want to know where it is!! 11/10

BUTTERFLY. Michelin starred, run by a husband and wife team and only 10 – 15 mins from Casa a Corte, near the roundabout by Esse Lunga. As you would expect the food, mainly fish is superb although it is a bit fussy for our taste Tel: (0039) 0583 307 573  SS.12 del Brennero, 192 Marlia, Lucca

Very popular local trattoria’s are:

DA PINZO): Via Nazionale, 1207 – Ponte a Moriano (Ponte A Moriano Square) This is a locals hangout serving good home cooking at a cheap price. It serves excellent pizzas baked in a wood oven, local Tuscan dishes as well as take-aways, plus it has a daily menu board. It is run by a lovely lady called Emma (who walks around as if in a 50’s film), her daughter, husband and brother in-law are on the pizzas. It is not a romantic old fashioned trattoria as it is very brightly lit (Italian’s love a BRIGHT restaurant!), but very popular with all the locals and also other villa rental guests.

Tel: 0583 577 760. Closed Wednesday.

Take aways including pizzas. Emma is from Mastiano and so the lovely red wine & olive oil is all from their land.

Bianca pizza – procuitto with marscapone cream. It is fantastic, you can have a version with a tomato base & also cooked prosciutto (cotto) but i prefer it raw (crudo)

ERASMO:  On the other side of the river. Via Nazionale, 1782 Ponte A Moriano, Tel: 0583 406362. This restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants in the area, dating back to 1760. It is a very simple and traditional with a lovely spacious garden on the river to eat on during the summer months. It does very nice anti-pasti & nettle pasta. Closed Mon. Park 30m behind restaurant.

IL BOTTEGHINO: This is a simple restaurant with no written menu but serves wonderful pasta and one of our favourites. The waitress recites the daily dishes (very quickly). Anti-pasti is good, pasta is wonderful – maccheroni ai fungi, tordelli a ragu (Lucchese speciality), piccante (spicy) – and there is a seasonal vegetable soup – we often ask for a selection of pasta to share. For main course the rare roast beef is a real winner, served pink, finely sliced with a drizzle of olive oil (don’t try to change it to well done as it won’t happen). There is often a fish, probably Baccala (salt cod), fried meats – chicken, rabbit, maybe tripe & bistecca / steak. Great selection of pecorino (ewe’s milk) cheese.

Closed on Tuesdays. Via di Matraia 1505, San Pancrazio 55100.  Tel: 0583 406 406

Tordelli, local pasta from Lucca, veal & pork mince in a ravioli; it is delicious. I think this osteria makes the best pasta.

Cacciucco di Livornese, translates as stew from Livorno, a large Tuscan port. It is similar to bouillabaisse, lots of fish, shell fish and tomato; it is only served on Friday evenings

OSTERIA da GIOMO, via di mezzo 3, Valgiano, 55100 Lu: This little bar/ osteria is one of our favourites and has a lovely view (perfect for hot sunny evenings) and really typifies simple Tuscan country cooking. It’s similar to Greece, where there isn’t really a menu but wonderful fresh seasonal food is brought to your table at a wonderfully cheap price.
We think it’s magical whether you  sit inside or out and the view is wonderful too. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy good food. Definitely worth a 20-25 mins drive

Closed Monday & Tuesday, open 17.00-24.00 Telephone: 340 856 2675. Valgiano is a beautiful 30mins drive east.

In Ponte A Moriano we have a good fresh food & basic clothes market on Tuesday mornings, a superb Gelateria, called Sauro’s Gelateria on the river (wonderful ice cream open until 23.00). This is also a lovely place to have an aperitivo on the balcony before dinner. Their ice creams are the best in the area. On the other side of the road to the Gelateria is an excellent Butcher – Fabrizio and son Georgio, who speaks a little English, DIY shop (Maurizio speaks superb English), Pharmacist, Green Grocers, Cafes etc.

Just passed the square on the right hand side is a Gastronomia Antichi Sapori, a deli that serves daily dishes to take-away. Tel: 0583 579 296, Open Mon – Fri 08.00 – 14.00 / 16.30 – 19.30, Saturday 08.00 – 16.30, Sunday 09.30 – 13.30

Alessandro cooks fantastic pasta sauces, lasagnes, sliced meats – superb res beef, meat, fish dishes – baccala & fritto mist etc on Friday whilst girl friend, Romena serves behind the counter. If you are going to re-heat it in the oven at home ie lasagne, ask for it in a tin-foil dish as opposed to a a plastic one – al forno (oven), then you do not need to transfer it. To see what else is on offer look through the little window behind the counter  – Alessandro is a lovely chubby character & loves to please.
Friday is very fish orientated. My wife’s favourite is his Roast Beef Sirloin with a drizzle of meat jus. He will also cook anything you would like, just ask

Aubergine parmigiana

Alessandro, his girlfriend Romena works behind the counter.

Wonderful fresh seasonal produce in the market.

SUPERMARKET, ESSELUNGA, which you probably passed on the roundabout on the way to the house, near Ponte a Moriano is a really good supermarket. It is open 7 days a week, 08.00 – 21.00, 09.00 – 20.00 on Sunday.You will need a Euro 1 coin for the trolley. Esselunga is on the East side of the new bridge over the river towards Marlia, 1.5km along the river, south of Ponte a Moriano.

Wonderful grocer with fresh vegetables and fruit, fresh daily cooked bread (& pastries) from our wonderful artisan baker using wood-fired oven, deli, local wine and general supplies in on the main road in ‘Ponte di Moriano di Sesto’. Why go to the supermarket when on holiday when you have wonderful local shops like this one?


Il Piazza del Giglio 2, Lucca Tel: (0039) 0583 494058 A true gem, excellent town traditional restaurant with excellent service – the food, especially risottos are wonderful, they cook some unusual dishes which are very good and also the grilled meat & fish; I feel the price is very fair. Book the lovely traditional room inside. Closed Tuesday evening & Wednesday lunch. The restaurant now has a Michelin * and has a traditional & alternative menu. The service & cooks are wonderful with influences from Japan & Copenhagen. This is one of our favourite restaurants in the world, we really recommend it.

Pasta with porcini

Delicious parmigiana risotto with Chianti reduction. Il Giglio serves the best ever risottos.

Scallops with ginger & strawberry dust

Sweetbreads on parsnip puree & coffee – dining room (below)

Sweetbreads with coffee and cardamon with artichokes.

L’IMBUTO, Lucca, Tuscany. This restaurant draws inspiration from the Lucca Center of Contemporary Art in which it is located. The cuisine proposed by chef Cristiano Tomei is firmly rooted in traditional home cooking but so creative and complex that it provides museum-goers with a not-to-be-missed gastronomic experience. New much recommended addition to Lucca & Michelin starred in it’s first year 2015

CANULUIA TRATTORIA, situated behind the anphitheatre – very good young chef who has a twist on his menu & charming wife who brilliantly runs the dining room also has a good garden. (+39) 0583 467470 Closed Monday

RISTORANTE OLIVIO, Lucca – one of the best restaurants in central Lucca (+39) 0583 496 264

OFFICIANA DEL GUSTO In the centre of Lucca, this has been recommend by local Lucchese foodies

BUCA DI S.ANTONIO  Via della Cervia 3, Lucca Tel: (0039) 0583 558 81 Well known, very good Tuscan restaurant, sister to the wonderful Ristorante Giglio.

BURALLI: Piazza S.Agostino 10, Lucca is another good restaurant with a more alternative menu. Tel: 0583 950 611



CASINA DELLE ROSE: is situated under the huge aquaduct, on the south of Lucca – Via dell’Acquedotto, Sorbano del Giudice, Lucca. Tel: 0583 946 41.

The Padaletta {a big bowl of mussels and shell fish with bread tucked in the sides to absorb the broth} is the perfect dish for a hungry fish eater.

A new discovery this year, with a wonderful garden is BAR TAMBELLINI Via di Sant’Alessio 1403, 55100, Lucca, Italy. Tel: 0583 342 077. Closed all Sunday, open for lunch Monday – Saturday, dinner on Friday & Saturday. The food is less meaty & fresher. It is situated 1km outside the walls of Lucca, our side of the bridge by Borgo Gianotti & approx 2km left (you would have turned right towards Camaoire when you drive towards our house)

VIPORE: Positioned in a lovely country location, a 25 minute beautiful drive away at Pieve Santo Stefano (west of Lucca). Tel: 0583 394 065. This restaurant had a good reputation in the 80’s but perhaps now the  lovely drive & views are more memorable than the food which is average at best!

VIGNA ILARIA: Another restaurant near the Vipore, Via Per pieve S.Stefano 967/C S. Alessio. Tel: 0583 332 091 Closed Monday. We really enjoyed our meal on our first visit, although I was a bit suspicious the menu needed a 20 minute description by the Maitre d’it, as We felt the food should stand up for itself without the explanation. My ravioli parcels filled with Baccala looked good but didn’t really have much flavour.

Calamari mixed with lemon & olive oil, then cooked in the oven in a tiny jar and served in its container looked and tasted fantastic. So simple, all with the aid of a little twist.

Testaroli alla Vongole, a sliced pancake type pasta with clams (more commonly eaten with pesto)

Ilaria is an alternative type of restaurant to the typical traditional Tuscan trattorias & has a fresh approach to Italian cuisine. It has well sourced local ingredients such as modafinil online (only Tuscan native pig breed to avoid extinction). On our 2nd visit we were very disappointed. Once again, we had the 20 minute explanation, which was then followed by fairly tasteless food. It is always well reviewed on Trip Advisor, so perhaps it’s us!



TRATTORIA BUONAMICO: This restaurant was recommended to us by the lovely lady at Dalia Beach club is situated 2km inland from the beach, Via S.Andrea 27, Viareggio. Tel: 0584 943 266 This is a very well run trattoria with wonderful daily specials (lots of fish) and a perfect way to end the day after the beach. Excellent.


Strong, pungent tomatoey fish stew from the port of Livorno, Cacciucco, similar to the French Boullabaisse soup

Delicious light delicate tuna at Buonamico



Another family favourite. Superb & recommended fish restaurant on the port in Viareggio with daily changing menu. We really enjoy the hot & cold anti pasta, great pastas & Cacciucco – one of our favourite fish restaurants. Closed on Monday

Tel. 0584 384065 |




Our neighbour designer Paul Smith’s favourite place to eat. You can eat outside or inside in the wine shop. It is not cheap but the quality is very good. Arrive early to avoid disappointment or book, as it is very popular with the Milanese. The restaurant really captures the arty Mediterranean atmosphere and is very trendy Tel: 0584 791 962 La Cantina dell’Enotecca Marcucci, Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 40, 55045 Pietrsanta Closed Monday

Italian food is very simple, grilled tuna steaks or bistecca’s cooked over charcoal to perfection

LA PINETA – “ It looks like a beach shack but it has a Michelin star. The sea permeates Luciano Zazzeri’s fish dishes, served raw, or with a tomato sauce, or simply grilled or pan-fried.”
This is a wonderful restaurant, that will have to be booked in advance. The sea views are fantastic. 90 mins journey from A Corte

Wonderful views (take your trunks & bikinis)

Baccala, 3 ways

For those who enjoy wine, I have to say we are extremely fortunate at A Corte.
In Lucca, we have one of the best 2 wine shops in Italy Piazza S. Salvatore, 7, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy Tel: They have the most amazing cellars and wine is available to drink with a plate of cheese on their private terrace on the street. All the finest, Barolo, Sassicaia, Chiantis are available to be shipped all around the world

TENUTA DI VALGIANO is 30 mins drive east and is a wonderful vineyard run by an English lady, Laura & her aristocratic Italian husband. Tours of the vineyard & tastings with food are extremely popular but have to be booked in advance

If you love Sassicaia, then drive to Bolgheri in southern Tuscany and have lunch in their wonderful vineyard