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San Quirico d’Orcia: Trattoria al Vecchio Forno

Via Piazzola, 8, , Phone: 0577.897380

Closing day: Wednesdays

Reviewed by: Doru from Canada, review #2774

When: 2007

Beautiful setting, great pride of ownership, excellent food. A pleasure.

Directions: In the San Quirico d'Orcia Centro Storico, from Porta Cappuccini straight and then a right turn into Via Il Vecchio Forno.

The garden of Il Vecchio Forno in San Quirico, photo by Doru

Our trip to the old part (Centro Storico) of San Quirico d’Orcia was timed so that we will have lunch at the celebrated Trattoria al Vecchio Forno. We left the car in the parking lot near the town gate, Porta Cappuccini, and have hardly made it up the stairs and beyond the gate when the first street sign we saw attracted our attention: Via Il Vecchio Forno! Sure that this is not a simple coincidence, we followed a couple of right turns and found ourselves in front of the entrance to the Trattoria. A sign directed us through yet another turn and we found the entrance to the Trattoria’s garden.

The beautiful, well shaded garden conquered us immediately. We were met at the gate and seated. We looked around the garden: a rustic setting, with each table covered with checkered table cloth in happy colours and having its own carefully pruned and shaped little plant, vines grown above offering a quiet retreat from the streets and houses surrounding us. San Quirico’s Centro Storico is quiet anyway; here it becomes peaceful.

In the background Italian pop music. The music and the voice seemed to us familiar. As the waiter came towards the table, we asked who is the singer. “Io”, said the waiter. For a moment we were tempted to believe that he is indeed the singer but there was a smile hidden in his eyes, and then we insisted and found out that the singer was Roberto Vecchioni (later, in Rome, we will buy a Vecchioni CD at the Feltrinelli, in Largo Argentina…). There was another joke going on us that we will be aware of after leaving the restaurant: the beautiful woman who greeted us at the entrance and the handsome waiter are actually Cosetta and Roberto, the owners of the Vecchio Forno!

We were questioned in turn from where we came. After teasing Roberto that we live in Pienza, we told him about Toronto and its Greater Metropolitan Area which are home to over half a million inhabitants of Italian descent. The service was relaxed, the surroundings charming, the garden filled up pretty quickly. We ordered a frittata di patate (potato omelette with herbs); gnocchetti di patate ai fiori di zucca e zafferano (small gnocchi with pumpkin flowers and saffron); arrosto misto del vitello e maialino (a mixed grill of veal and piglet); patate arroste (fried potatoes), mineral water, coffees.

Everything was delicious, the service attentive but not intrusive. The final cost for two was an incredibly low 38 euro, in fact in line with restaurants of similar level in the region.

We said good-by to Cosetta and Roberto with the clear intention of coming back sometime.

Highly recommended.

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

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