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Barga: L'Altana

Via di Mezzo 1 , Phone: 0583.723192


Reviewed by: Fiona from Scotland, review #2757

When: 2007

Honest trattoria cooking with fresh ingredients, friendly staff and very good value for money

Directions: Just on the left past the main city gate

We were a group of six looking for somewhere for lunch on a grey autumn day in Barga. Most of the restaurants were closed but l'Altana was full of customers and I was clutching the Slow Travel review, so was determined to try to get in. They had to squeeze us into the back room.

There are no antipasti and the menu is promisingly short. Every main course we had was good, although the desserts were a bit more mixed. House wine was extremely drinkable. The bill came to 92 euro, which we thought more than reasonable.


Reviewed by: madwing from CA, review #2069

When: 2005

Delicious food, sweet service, very local, inexpensive...

Directions: Just inside the old gate of Barga, ahead on the left of the piazza, where Via di Mezzo begins.

We stayed in Lucca for three weeks, and wanted to get to Barga and see the Cathedral, the views, and...anything else. We stopped at various places on the way up along the Serchio, and so it was just before lunch we got to Barga's ancient gate. Once inside we decided to look for a place to eat, and smelled wonderful smells coming from this little trattoria just off the piazza behind the gate. My wife peeked in, asked if they were serving, and was told to come back in about half an hour when they'd serve us lunch. We looked around for that long and found nothing remotely interesting for food, and so went back there to eat.

The restaurant has three serving areas; it's long and relatively narrow, and steps up between two of the serving areas. The first one, by the front door, has a couple of round tables and a counter for transactions. Just past an archway, was the first serving area, with maybe four or five tables inside. We took the first table, and could watch the comings and goings of the locals in and out of the front door, and the kids of the owners who were playing and drawing pictures with crayons at one of the little tables. From time to time a local (construction worker, architect, painter, etc.) would come in, pick up food or sit for a glass of wine and chat with the owners.

We started with two litres of acqua naturale, and two salades misto. We shared the two plates between the three of us, and there was enough for all to enjoy. Fresh greens, tasty vinaigrette. My wife had a bowl of fragrant zuppa di frantoiana, our son had a plate of patate fritte and some veggies fricando, which I shared with him along with my farfalle con gorgonzola. We also drank a half-litre of house white wine, which was very tasty, and complimented the food well. All this for e27...

Everything was excellent, and made a perfect set up for the wander we did up to the Cathedral...what a Cathedral! The views and surrounding garden were beautiful, and the walk back to town and the car after were leisurely and satisfying. We bought some delicious nut brittle from the vendor just outside to the left (facing the gate); it too was superb. We'd highly recommend L'Altana on all counts.

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

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