With only a couple of days left we realized that there are still some restaurants that the owner’s of our villa recommended. I don’t know if I mentioned the amazing book that they left us filled with notes on towns worth visiting, cards from the best restaurants all over, maps of cities and parking tips and directions all over Umbria, Tuscany and Lazio. This book has been our bible while we’ve been here. It’s given us ideas, helped us plan itineraries and always shown us the best places to eat! (They also left an incredible array of tour books, history books and cooking magazines. Everything we could need to research and prepare for our various journeys this past month)
So, with bible in hand we decided to pick out a restaurant on the other side of Lake Bolsena that we hadn’t yet explored. We chose a restaurant called Purgatorio and plugged in the non-address into the GPS as best we could since there was no real street or number being right on the lake – somewhere. The drive around the western edge of Lake Bolsena was very different than the Eastern side. We worked our way through lush vegetation, tall grasses and tilled fields as well as vineyards and waving olive trees. We finally arrived at the restaurant perched off a dirt road not 20 feet from the water’s edge. If this was purgatory than all those sinners out there should be relieved.
This was one of those places where they really didn’t speak English so we ordered with a general idea of what we were getting and figured that we really didn’t care what actually came out of the kitchen. I should preface this by saying that my daughter Isabel is basically a fish-eating vegetarian like me, though she truly doesn’t like meat. Even as a baby she didn’t like it every much. On this trip she has been in fish heaven and especially loves the fried local fish from the lake. So, she ordered the fried fish. Well, instead of small pieces of fried fish what came out was a huge platter of tiny whole fried fish – heads, and tails -the whole shebang. My husband and I looked at each other and sighed when we saw that pile of whole fish thinking great, now we’ll have to order her something else. Isabel looked at them, said, “Yum! I eat the whole thing?” We replied, “Well you don’t have to eat the head.” She asked, “Why can’t I eat the head?” And with that popped the first of many into her mouth. Sophia didn’t want to be left out so she grabbed a couple too. If nothing else this trip has opened up a world of eating to these girls.
After that eventful lunch we headed to our favorite beach on Lake Bolsena and hung out in the shade while the girls swam and created a “sand Venice” on the shore. Sophia has also switched to getting granitas instead of gelato at the beach bar. Basically a really good Slurpie.
After the beach we went to town to our favorite pasta shop, got these huge triangular pastas filled with porcini mushrooms and the best chocolate, hazelnut tozzetti we’ve had yet. (Another tip from our Bible) We then headed home to make dinner and enjoy the little time we have left.
This is an original beccarama.com post