italian lexicon for curious travellers

a small guide to the italian names of places that could't be translated, without omitting some of their meaning.
i hope it could be useful to the rural traveller, or anyone who wants to travel into the real italy. and, of course, for any curious readers, that want to know more about the places i sometime mention on this blog.

osteria antica serravalle, Vittorio Veneto

osteria, bottiglieria, enoteca

an osteria is a business serving wine and, in many cases, food. a good place to try local specialities, with short menu, and cheap prices. very informal, usually every town has at least one.
a place to gather, not just for meals, but to chat, play cards, meet friends, have a glass of wine after dinner.
"osterie vary greatly in practice: some only serve drinks; some have retained a predominantly male clientele whilst others have reached out to students and young professionals. some provide music and other entertainment. similar to osterie are bottiglierie, where you can take a bottle or flask to be re-filled from a barrel, and enoteche which generally pride themselves on the range and quality of their wine"
source: wikipedia

read the posts with the tag osteria

malga preghena, Val di Non


cows usually spend the summer in the mountain pastures, from the end of may to the end of september. during these months, the herders live in a mountain hut with a stable and a dairy. this place it's called malga. in the past, a malga's only purpose was to be a place where a family and their cows live, but now most of them also sells dairy products, and many of them serves food and beverages.

read the posts with the tag malga

marco outside rifugio costapiana, Valle di Cadore


as the malga, a rifugio is located in the mountains. but, if the malga has been originally conceived as a home for the herders, the purpose of a rifugio was, and still is, to provide food and accomodation for hikers. they can offer a range of service, varying in practice. accomodation is usually as cheap as an hostel, in shared rooms. some of them offer a trattoria-style cuisine, with generous portions of local specialities.

read the posts with the tag rifugio

bivacco marsini, Refrontolo


a free structure for hikers, unsupervised and without service included. the rule is first come first served. the place is usually small,it can be with or without beds, the best have a fireplace.

the owner of agriturismo al cucco making ricotta, Valdastico

"an agriturismo in very general terms is a working farm that takes in travelers as guest. no two are the same. each has its own charming idiosyncrasies: rusic architecture, livestock roaming freely about, and always the
smell of something fresh being baked. mix in the uncertinty that your hosts will speak english, treacherous
mountain roads to get there, and the relative lack of other tourists in sight, and an agriturismo becomes about
as real of an italian experience as a traveler could hope for."
source: austin salisbury, kinfolk magazine, spring 2013

read the posts with the tag agriturismo

the owner of agriturismo cascina rosso shows me the raspberry he grows, Roccaverano


a trattoria is a place to eat that is less formal than a restaurant {ristorante}, but not as rustic as an osteria, even if the difference somentime is blurry. unlike an osteria, trattoria is usually a place to have lunch or dinner, not to hang out or just have a glass of wine. like an osteria though, the service is casual and the portions generous. definitely cheaper than a restaurant, and usually has its regular customers. 

maso and my sister


typical rural house of trentino alto adige. structure traditionally consists of a barn, a stable and a kitchen or dairy. it used to be the home of the farming family during the winter (the malga was during summer).
now most of them are restored, fully equiped, and used as a summer or second house. it is not uncommon for tourists to rent them.

read the posts with the tag maso

osmiza gabrovec, Prepotto


an osmiza (or osmica) is an informal and cheap place that serves food and beverages, opened temporarily from a farm to sell its products. it's typical of Trieste's surroundings and all the Carso area. originally, the opening period was eight days, which in slovenian is said osem, so they're called osmize, even if the opening time is longer nowadays. 
they're mostly located in the backyards of the farmers homes in tiny villages, and indicated by arrow hanging above a bunch of leafy branches (a frasca). many kinds of salami and cheese are usually the main dishes on the menu, with a side of hard boiled eggs, pickled vegetables, olives and, of course, local wines.

read the posts with the tag osmiza

a typical sagra meal in Treviso province: ribs, polenta, beans, fries & house wine


a sagra is a festival which usually takes place annually in a small town or in a city's neighborhood. it could celebrates a saint, or a peculiar tradition (or both). sometimes there are market stalls, shows, food stands. the food served in each sagra reflects the local tradition. in Treviso province, the classic sagra food is pork ribs, sausages and polenta. most of the sagre are held in summer.

read the posts with the tag town festival

sagra in Vittorio Veneto




  1. What a great idea!!! I think it is fantastic :)

  2. é un'idea fantastica!! Sicuramente i tuoi lettori stranieri ne saranno entusiasti. :)
    A proposito..tempo fa ti chiedevo consiglio su un futuro acquisto..Pur tentata dalle analogiche in finale ho preso una digitale, la Nikon D7000. A marzo inizio un corso base di fotografia all'associazione Dopolavoro ferroviario di Treviso. Sempre a marzo mi laureo. Finalmente.

    1. grazie marika! ottima la D7000, impegnativa come entry level! ho avuto occasione di provare quella di un amico, complimenti per l'acquisto (e per l'imminente traguardo!)
      fammi sapere come va il corso :)

  3. Patricia H. Newton9 February 2017 at 14:15

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Visited there last weekend with a group of friends, and had all the fun we could handle. I really like the ambiance at this Chicago event space. There's a decent draft beer selection at a reasonable price and the bartenders are good at what they do.


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