By Lauren Jade Hill
It’s no secret that Italy excels in creating outstanding cuisine, from traditional Italian fare to inspired modern plates. Reflecting this culinary mastery, the country has an abundance of Michelin-recommended restaurants, including 340 with Michelin stars, and eight of these have set themselves apart by garnering three stars. We take a look at five of the most highly rated Michelin star restaurants in Italy that are each noted for the one-of-a-kind experience they provide.
La Pergola, Rome
With the accomplished chef Heinz Beck behind the menu here, La Pergola has become a restaurant visitors plan their trip around. Located within the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotel, the restaurant sits within resplendent surroundings while commanding impressive views over the ancient city. Laying claim to three Michelin stars, the cuisine is exceptional in its creativity while also embracing Italian and Mediterranean flavors. The seven or 10-course menu consists of plates such as amberjack tartare on strawberry ice crush with almond mousse and finger lime, and loin of lamb with wild fennel in cereal crust with goat cheese pearls. Wine pairing is then in the hands of award-winning sommelier Marco Reitano.
Osteria Francescana, Modena
Consistently named one of the world’s best restaurants, Osteria Francescana is celebrated across the globe for its playful modern Italian cuisine created by esteemed chef Massimo Bottura. Voted Chef of the Year in our Top 100 Restaurants awards, Bottura is particularly well known for breaking down the boundaries of conventional Italian cooking and injecting his own sense of humor into signature plates such as ‘Oops! I dropped the lemon tart’. The 12-table restaurant offers diners a nine or 12-course tasting menu, or a la carte plates such as suckling pig tender and crunchy with Villa Manodori traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena.
Le Calandre, Rubano
In this restaurant showcasing the playful cuisine of chef Max Alajmo, the menu reflects the inspiration the chef takes from seeing the world with a childlike curiosity and sense of discovery, as well as his constant search for seasonal ingredients. The three tasting menus Classico, Max and Raf introduce diners to a series of these plates, but guests also have the option of dining a la carte. The menu changes throughout the year, but could include dishes such as saffron and licorice risotto with rosemary powder and apricot drops, and Carmagnola rabbit.
Enoteca Pinchiorri, Florence
Taking pride in creating cuisine that takes the finest ingredients and is prepared with culinary mastery, this restaurant in Florence ensures every detail, from the service to the menu and tableware, is impeccable. With Contemporary and Discovery tasting menus or a la carte options to choose between, the cuisine here pays homage to Italian cuisine through dishes such as croquette of rabbit stew with olives and lettuce cooked on embers, guinea fowl galantine, and pigeon cooked in cocoa beans pastry crust with eggplant chutney and salsa alla diavola.
Da Vittorio, Bergamo
The villa of Da Vittorio hotel is tucked into the hills to the north east of Milan. The restaurant here has earned its three Michelin stars for striving to fuse Lombard tradition with creativity, and continually changing the menu to fit what is available in the market throughout the seasons. Opt for the Carte Blanche, which is designed to provide a memorable experience with an element of surprise, or go for the In the Tradition of Vittorio menu, which brings together the season’s fresh fish and crustaceans. A la carte options then include dishes such as deconstructed scorpion fish and Piedmont fillet steak tartare.
For more inspiration on where to eat on your travels, take a look at the world’s Top 100 Restaurants.