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Great Food at Great Prices in Cortona

Great Food at Great Prices in Cortona
01 June 2016 0 Comment

“Now that’s what I like to hear and in Cortona no less!”

As in life I am not a fan of elitism and when it comes to food the modern day snobbery surrounding it makes me cringe and grumble. And it seems that Italy has become the battle ground for food snobbery or elitism (call it what you may) as well-heeled foreigners enter the fray to secure their slice of a culinary Italy which automatically gives them bragging rights at their next dinner party upon returning home from what is usually a brief holiday. My God if they are well connected to the media they might even secure a book deal or a radio gig, describing in great detail how to cook Italian food! Meanwhile the greatest patrimony of history and art in the world becomes a pretty backdrop as film crews and celebrity chef’s drool over a truffle or a mushroom in the obligatory stone farmhouse somewhere in Italy, ready to inflict upon an “over-ripe” western world another TV cooking program on things Italian.

Over many years of living in Italy I’ve eaten in hundreds of different locations and the best of them transform the moment for me, making me feel as though I’m an extra in a Pasolini movie – where the food is unadorned with the cackle of Slow Food adoration and the only sounds you here is the laughter and eating of grateful locals, washing the whole affair down with a splendid house wine and who cares what year it is! Where food is just part of the patchwork quilt of life and not the principal player; where the wine has you giggling like a gert and the company and those at the other tables have you feeling good about life even if life is driving you crazy.

Just recently I discovered another place, not quite rustic in appearance, where the food is better than good; where the house wine had me asking for more and the prices will have me coming back again. What if I told you that eating at Taverna Il Gozzoviglio in Cortona will have you paying no more than 6 euros for any dish on the menu. And what if I told you that every second Friday on each month Matteo and Lorenzo, the brothers who will be serving you at their family tavern will present you with a special menu that has 100 dishes for you to choose from. Their father is cooking in the kitchen and he does an excellent job of it to be sure and their mother, outside of her nursing hours is second chef and bottle washer and it works. Yeah, I’m a fan and my pici alle briciole (pici with bread crumbs, anchovies and garlic) was perfectly prepared – I could smell the aroma of the anchovies before the plate reached my table which is a very good sign and I ate every last morsel of it! I started the meal with a Tuscan appetizer which made more expensive restaurants in this same village look positively sick, with ingredients so fresh the mouth sang when I munched down on each offering.

Il Gozzoviglio opened in August 2014 and has a growing following of local people, and me of course, the token foreigner. But when you’re next in Cortona and eat here, tell me I didn’t send you on a wild goose chase!

Taverna Il Gozzoviglio – Via Guelfa, 9 (centro storico), Cortona

Telephone: 0575 601778 – closed on Tuesday

Peter Kilby
About the Author

Peter Kilby is an artist, writer, story-teller, journalist and avid traveller who has lived and worked in Italy since 1987. He created Perfect Traveller to bring the world of art and history closer to you. Download the “free” Perfect Traveller app and enjoy the best audio tours available; about Italy today and yesterday. Sign Up to this website and submit your travel stories and become part of the Perfect Traveller community.

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