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Chiusure: Il Pozzo di Chiusure

Phone: 0577.707103
Closing day: Tuesday

Reviewed by: kaydee from TN, review #1660

When: 2005

New restaurant in the tiny unspoiled village of Chiusure, near Mount Oliveto Maggiore. Unique outdoor dining in the small village square by the well (pozzo).

Directions: The tiny village of Chiusure is about a mile from Mount Oliveto Maggiore. Follow the signs to the village.

We spent a month in the tiny village of Chiusure in the "Crete" region of Tuscany. The village is on a hilltop about a mile from the wonderful Mount Oliveto Maggiore. Chiusure has a population of about 150 people and is quite a contrast to most of the busy tourist-oriented villages that we visited.

In the center of the village is a small square, and "Il Pozzo in Chiusure" is right on the square by one of the old wells (pozzos). Our landlords told us that the restaurant is new. We ate here twice during our month, and probably would have eaten here more often except that our 11-year old daughter didn't really find anything she liked on their somewhat limited menu except for steak, which was outside our somewhat limited budget! But I enjoyed our two meals here and would recommend this restaurant to others. It's also a chance to also experience a different kind of Tuscan village.

There are several tables out on the little square, shaded by big umbrellas. This was where we chose to eat on hot summer nights in late May and early June. The website also shows a very attractive tavern (and says that it is air conditioned), but we never went inside and preferred to eat al fresco. The atmosphere outside was very congenial, and you can also watch the routine of small-village life around you.

On our first visit, Charley and I shared bruschetta. For our main courses, I had a delicious pear and peccorino ravioli, Charley had a steak, and Kelly had risotto that she didnít like. She ended up eating part of Charley's steak, which they both enjoyed. I actually thought her risotto was very good. We had a carafe of house wine and Kelly had a Coke. Our bill was Ä59.

Our second visit was at lunchtime. Charley and I shared a substantial antipasto platter. Charley had pasta that he didn't care for, and Kelly took a safe route and asked for pasta with butter. I ordered my good ravioli again. We had a couple of cold beers and Kelly had a coke. Our bill for this lunch was Ä42 for the three of us.

I'm not sure how "new" the restaurant was last May/June, but I think they were still working some kinks out. I know it is hard for a small place like this to staff when they have no idea if they'll end up with two tables or ten tables. On our first visit the service was quite attentive and efficient. On the second visit, the place was packed (including a table of eight Germans), and the staff was very pushed. Our waiter had just started two days before our first meal, coming from Columbia, South America of all places. He was very helpful and eager to please, though very much still learning. During the rest of our month, we continued to see people filling the outdoor tables and seemingly enjoying their meals.

We encourage people to find their way to this tiny village and enjoy a meal at Il Pozzo, the nearby small cafe or the pizzeria just outside the village. Walk to the small park at the top of the village and enjoy the views of Mount Oliveto Maggiore and the surrounding countryside. (You will pass the little house we rented, built into the old castle walls.) Just don't expect any fancy wine shops, though you can buy a postcard at the little village general store.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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