The drive through Basilicata Region opens up to a charming little surprise. Concealed in the Lucanian Dolomites at an altitude of around 1000 meters is the town of Castelmezzano, a peaceful jewel with a breathtaking landscape of the mountain ranges. Its undisturbed tranquility and resplendence has enchanted anyone who crosses its path. In fact, it is among the towns comprising the Borghi Più Belli d’Italia (Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages) and The Telegraph’s list of Italy’s 19 Most Beautiful Villages in 2017.
The town of Castelmezzano presents itself like a typical welcoming southern Italian town. Just off its main road, Via Michele Volini, to the right is a door you wouldn’t miss for the stickers of recognition and recommendation from various food guides dotting it.
Becco della Civetta is a small hotel and restaurant that’s gaining prestige for its commitment to high quality local dishes.
Chef Maria Antonietta Santoro, proprietor of Becco della Civetta, contributes to the town’s allurement by presenting the age-old traditional gastronomic cuisine of her region. The restaurant opens to a dining room with glass doors giving a fantastic picturesque view of the Lucanian Dolomites. It is the most conducive atmosphere to discover a rich culinary tradition in the hands of a talented person.
Chef Maria Antonietta Santoro adheres to the Slow Food Alliance project, committing her kitchen in procuring the products of small local producers who are custodians of biodiversity. The recipes from the territory come from ancient traditions of the region, passed on from generation to generation, while some are given delightful revisions by the chef. In her kitchen, they are given the honor they deserve and they are remembered and recreated on the tables to keep them imprinted for the future generations.
It is the ideal place to discover the genuine Lucanian cuisine.
The menu amplifies inspiring dishes from the region starting from the Appetizers (€5 – €10), First Dishes of Soup and Pasta (€8 – €10), Second Courses of Fish and Meat (€9 – €15) down to the Desserts at around €5. There is also a Tasting Menu of 7 courses at a very reasonable price of €35. Local wines of renowned regional producers are present in the wine list with emphasis on their excellent Agliano wines.
To build up your appetite, start your meal with a plate of Peperoni Cruschi (dried and fried red sweet peppers) which is a must if you are in Basilicata. The pasta, all handmade, should definitely be tried namely the Cavatellini con Salsiccia Pezzente e Pomodorini (cavatellini pasta with sausage filled with pork meat typical of the Lucanian cuisine and tomatoes). Agnello delle Dolomiti alle Erbe del Parco di Gallipoli Cognato con Patate Saltate al Finocchietto Selvatico (lamb from the dolomites with herbs from the Gallipoli Park and potatoes sautèed with wild fennel). Leave room for the dessert. They are worth the extra calories.
Becco della Civetta
Vico I Maglietta 7
85010 Castelmezzano (PZ), Italy
Tel: +39 0971 986249
Open daily for lunch and dinner from April to November