Stronger than the pandemic: Hosteria di Villalba, from 1600


Stronger than the pandemic: Hosteria di Villalba, from 1600

Hosteria di Villalba in Allerona, near Orvieto, has resisted the pandemic and has recently reopened: this year it will celebrate 4 centuries of opening.

For a hosteria (strictly with the initial h) that was mentioned in a map of the territory of Orvieto dating back to 1620 , a few months of closure due to a pandemic cannot be considered a long period.a hosteria that resists the vicissitudes of history even after four centuriesBut the news of the reopening of the Hosteria di Villalba is one that cheers the heart and stomach. Located in the vast wooded area of ​​the Villalba park, at 680 meters above sea level in the municipality of Allerona, it is in the Umbrian territory but is practically on the border with Lazio and Tuscany. It is a restaurant managed by a social cooperative, as part of a series of projects related to solidarity, integration into the world of work, local assistance to the elderly and support for agricultural and livestock activities in the area. We had a pleasant chat with Adio Provvedi , whose ancestors raised wild horses in these areas already a century and a half ago, working partner and frontman of the Hosteria.

Adio is the archetype of the innkeeper : massive, a smile perpetually imprinted on his lips half hidden by a thick beard, contagious laughter and easy talking. In short, the right type to entrust your appetite to. ” In this period I have rested a little, but in reality in our territories there is always a lot to do – he begins – Now that we start welcoming our customers again, only to supply me with poultry and various meats, vegetables and meats and cheeses I am traveling tens of kilometers a day “. Here the concept of zero-kilometer productsit is respected, but in a slightly broader sense: the trusted suppliers of Adio and partners, in fact, are all small and in some cases very small producers of this territory, from the upper Viterbo to the lower Sienese, as well as in the Orvieto area. Let’s go back to the news:

Fear of Covid 19?
Not even a little. Respect and attention yes, of course. But we know how to protect ourselves and our guests: here the spacing is not a problem and the air exchange is guaranteed by the thousands of trees that surround our house. For the moment, only local customers will certainly arrive, even if an agreement reached between the mayors of some neighboring municipalities allows for inter-municipal circulation between neighboring territories even in different regions. Then starting from 3 June we expect that we can return to travel even from more distant places.

How do you deal with everyday life?
I do some pit stops , sometimes I allow myself a sip of wine. This is what I often do, even during the service, without exaggerating. Even more so now, since we have restored the habit of telling the menu verbally, to avoid putting sheets on the tables to be sanitized every time. We are thinking of taking advantage of the moment of choosing the dishes to inform our customers about the characteristics of a particular vegetable, the seasonality of the products or simply the reason why a dish is called in one way rather than another.

Any other news you think about in this quarantine just finished?
Yes, we have decided to narrow down our proposals a little (limited to Sunday lunch), to direct customers to the dishes that most represent the cycles of the year. Nothing changes for the rest of the week. So do not worry: dishes such as pappardelle alla hare, mushroom and lentil soups, game and the preparations of the fifth quarter will not be missing.

You actually did a zero opening, a sort of dress rehearsal a few Sundays ago. How did it go?
Very good. We further spaced the tables, which were already well beyond the minimum distance required now. Our customers are mainly families, although especially during the season we have groups of friends, even large ones. We have also studied solutions for them. The problem is that here at almost every table there is at least one person who knows the people from the opposite table, and we will have to struggle to avoid the crowds. We will launch the fashion of toast at a distance …

In places like the Hosteria, which this year will celebrate its first four centuries of life , people go not only to eat well (even if this is the main reason) but above all to be well together with family, friends, who you love. “ Ours is a real mission. We reopen to start welcoming again the people who have been well with us. We reopen not to make money: the money is used to make the people who work here live. We reopen because we are givers of well-being and joie de vivre. We reopen to make known and pass on ancient culinary traditions and spread the knowledge of local products. In short, we reopen to go back to living as we like“. For those who want to start planning a weekend, the Hosteria also has 5 comfortable apartments on the upper floor and in the area there are numerous places worthy of a visit: San Casciano dei Bagni and its thermal baths, Allerona, one of the 100 most beautiful villages of Italy, the monumental wood of Sasseto, the splendid Orvieto.


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