In the middle of August there is a bank holiday called Ferragosto in Italy and the whole country pretty much shuts down for the day. This year the 15th fell on a Monday and we booked a table with friends at Taverna Del Verziere in the nearby hilltop town of Montone. It had been a few years since we had eaten at Taverna Del Verziere and we thought the shady outside terrace would make an ideal place to celebrate the Virgin Mary’s assumption into heaven (at least, I think that’s what this holiday is about!).
I chose to cycle the 15km to Montone on my electric bike whilst everyone else travelled by car. It was an intensely hot day and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the lowest gear and highest battery output combined with some pedalling made light work of the long climb up to the village.
The long climb up to Montone means that you can enjoy marvellous views across the Upper Tiber Valley and the outside terrace at Taverna Del Verziere is an excellent spot from which to enjoy them. There was a new roof which provided shade for everyone until about 15:30, however, by then, the restaurant was emptying out and we were able to move the table in.
We had an excellent lunch, most of us had three courses, sharing two large plates of antipasti at the start and a combination of primi, secondi and dlci at the end. The restaurant seemed a little understaffed considering that it was full and we had to wait a little longer than we would have liked for a drink or something to eat, however, once the first plate arrived everyone began to relax into the holiday mood. The wine list was extensive but every bottle that I recognised was marked up nearly three times from it’s shop price, an unusually high mark up in Italy. As a result we ordered the house wine, a red and white from the Pucciarella Winery, always perfectly drinkable, but priced at €12 when you can buy it at €3.50 in the shop.
The view and the food made this a great location for lunch, I would definitely return here for a special occasion, our meal cost around €30 /head. I am willing to accept that our (initially) slow service was because the restaurant was exceptionally busy but the price of the wine would be the only thing that might make me decide in favour of a different location. If you are here on holiday this is likely to be outweighed by the stunning location, the great food and the fact that you probably don’t have a list of local wine prices stored in your head!