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San Mamete: Stella d'Italia

Piazza Roma 1, Valsolda , Phone: 034.468138

Closing day: Open from April to early October

Reviewed by: Doru from Canada, review #5

When: 2002

A beautiful, serene location, is the backdrop to excellent food.

Directions: The hotel and restaurant are 15 km. from Lugano, near the Swiss border, or 54 km. from Como. Best access from Menaggio on Lake Como.

As we drive into San Mamete, we find immediately the hotel Stella d’Italia, whose restaurant is our destination for lunch. One of the only three parking spots is being cleared as we arrive, and so we are settled for a few hours.

The restaurant has a spectacular view over Lake Lugano and, from its terrace, life seems to slow down. A couple hug by the dock. Some ducks keep busy in the water, no doubt conditioned and expecting the offerings from guests of the restaurant. We are early and so we ask for coffees. We get our pick of the 7 or 8 tables, which fill later with hotel guests or visitors for the day, mostly German, or more probably German-speaking Swiss from across the border, which is nearby.

The lake in front of us is totally still, a mirror for the small town across, for the trees covering the hills all around, and for the couple on the dock.

The peace and tranquility are only broken by the din of forks and knives and the kids at the table next to us, a beautiful family of three generations. The local bus honks its horn advising arrival.

The two of us have risotto ai fungi porcini, an insalata mista, spada alla marinara, costolette d’agnello alle erbe, tartuffo, cestino di meringa. Only un quartino di rosso, as I have to drive back. All delicious. The final tally, including the coffees upon arrival, €50.

Well worth the trip to an out-of-the-way place.

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

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