During my travels through Italy, I found myself wondering what the difference was between the many types of dining options available. I’m not talking about food, rather, the places you eat the food at. I saw various names for what appeared to be the same thing: trattoria, ristorante, taverna, osteria, cucina, pizzeria, tavola calda – the list goes on. In Rome and Venice especially, there seemed to be more trattoria than any other type of establishment and I became curious to find out more.
What is a TRATTORIA?
Traditionally, the trattoria was family owned and served rustic, local food in a casual and humble setting. Often the food is specific to the region and based on recipes passed down the generations. The trattoria was not as formal as other places, namely the ristorante, and as such the food was generally cheaper.
In my experience a trattoria had a more homely and cozy feel while ristorante were an ever so slightly more formal affair. These were the two most common types I saw. Today I don’t think there is as much distinction between the types of eateries across Italy as there once was. The lines have become blurred and they have the same purpose, which is to serve food.
- family run
- regional food
- comfortable and practical interior decoration
- more expensive
- more formal
- cohesive interior decoration
- inventive dishes
- professional service
- Rural Hotels Tuscany. “Difference Between Trattoria, Osteria, Ristorante and Enoteca.” Accessed February 11, 2017. http://ruralhotelstuscany.com/difference-trattoria-osteria-ristorante-enoteca/
- Tinglof, Christina Baglivi. “Trattoria? Osteria? What’s the Difference?” Chow Italy. November 3, 2013. http://www.chowitaly.com/2013/07/trattoria-osteria-whats-difference.html?m=1
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