WORDS & PHOTOS –  Julia Latkins

IT WAS ALMOST SUNSET. Weve been driving to the top of the hills to explore a tiny town of Artimino, as weve planned to have a lovely dinner with a view in one of the best local restaurants. Ive tried to make a reservation in advance but no one ever responded to my text. Eventually, we decided to try our luck with no reservation at all.

It was around 7pm. The restaurant opens its doors to the visitors at 7.30pm precisely. The staff was already getting prepared for the new shift. I was all dressed up, wearing heels, a silk sleep dress with makeup on. Clearly, they told us that the place was fully booked way in advance, but giving up on that wasnt on my to-do list just yet. Ive explained the ignored text situationand said that I was extremely upset as this was our last day here. My friend Nastya ended up smiling and begging them to let us in and it worked out! The restaurant management did their best and there we were!

What a lovely evening it was! Everything was literally impeccable: the vibe, the sunset, my mushroom ravioli, rose, our dolce, and complementary watermelon…

Oh, and undoubtedly short talks with the next table guests (the local family and a couple from Florida). If you are ever around, dont hesitate to book a table at Da Delfina.

Da Delfina

Tuscan restaurant

Address: Via della Chiesa, 1, 59015 Artimino PO, Italy

Phone: +39 055 871 8074

Instagram: dadelfina

ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 12th, at 3 pm, to be exact, we were driving from Tuscan farm to the mountains. It was our second local farm visit, in the province of Parma this time. We made several attempts to stop by local restaurants, however, their kitchens were closed. Italians are quite strict with the lunch time openings and its a well-known fact. Unfortunately, as visitors, we didnt know that. By that time we were starving and mentally preparing ourselves to get just some snacks at a gas station again. Meh!

Just for the record, the food stands at Italian gas stations are much better than American.

Luckily, later we found a tiny road cafe that was open according to Google! Boom!

The owner was a middle-eastern man in his 50s. He was having lunch inside and smiled when he saw us. We took a seat outside at the old faded red plastic table waiting for the menu to come. We were charged an extra 1€ for each course (apparently, he didnt have a chance to renew his menu with new prices. Definitely, lets pretend I bought that), but we didnt care much as we got a pretty good veggie pizza and grilled veggies on the side.

Il Golosone

Pizza restaurant

Address: Via Porrettana, 349, 40037 Sasso Marconi BO, Italy

Phone: +39 051 675 2089

IT WAS ONE OF THOSE DAYS when we had barely something planned but everything just worked perfectly and smoothly for us. Weve been driving through the fields in the bright morning light to get un caffe. The weather was just incredible. The little town we’ve arrived at was absolutely charming. People were biking and riding their beautiful Vespas and it filled the place with an even more stunning look. I was navigating us to the Caffè Centrale located across the street from the old Castello del Duca. Everyone was having espresso, greeting each other, smiling, and discussing something loudly. It was noisy but in a very good way, like music for our ears. Most likely, it was just one of those regular mornings for locals. But it was definitely something special for us. For a moment, I had a flashback from a similar perfect morning in New Orleans while visiting Cafe Beignet on Royal Street.

THE NEXT HIGHLIGHT OF THAT DAY was our lunch at Ristorante Il Caseificio. We planned to stop by on the way home. The drive took us a little longer as we decided to have a quick stop at Castello Di Tabiano on the top of the hills. It was like a cherry on top when the owner of the gorgeous villa, a stylish and handsome Milanese, offered us an unexpected private tour. But that is a completely different story, let’s get back to the food. We wanted to have a short stop at Ristorante Il Caseificio just for the view and the castle. However, somehow we ended up sitting in the shadows of aged stone walls, chatting about the priceless beauty of Italy, and waiting for our pasta. Italy doesn’t stand rushing and appreciates simple pleasures, like leisurely conversations and good food. Impromptu decisions are the best sometimes. Initially, we had a completely different plan, but now we can definitely recommend you to taste semifreddo with red wine sauce when you’re at Ristorante Il Caseificio! This is an incredible gourmet experience.

Caffè Centrale


Address: Via Sanvitale J., 1, 43012 Fontanellato PR, Italy

Phone: +39 0521 822302

Facebook: Caffe Centrale Fontanellato

Ristorante Il Caseificio

Italian restaurant

Address: Via Castello 1, 43039 Salsomaggiore Terme PR, Italy

Phone: +39 0524 565676

Instagram: castelloditabiano

IT WAS A LATE MORNING in Verona. We got there to send a letter to Giulietta. Yeah! Thats correct. A letter to Giulietta. It was a spontaneous and perfect end to our trip. Weve parked quite far from the city center, about 30 minutes walk to our destination. My friend was on the phone, trying to find and book us a camping spot for the night. Eventually one of the roads took us right through one of the pasta spots I had on my list, so…

Food comes first, we both agreed on that. We made a stop, enjoyed our pasta, and sent our letters as a grand finale after a long long entrance line.

The pasta was a little too oily, but still good. The restaurant alley was quiet and cozy and we totally loved it. Espresso was as good as usually in Italy! Well definitely come back again!

Il Punto Rosa

Italian Restaurant

Address: Via Fratta, 12/A, 37121 Verona VR, Italy

Phone: +39 340 624 2139

Instagram: hosteriailpuntorosa


Editor – Julia Shinkareva