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  • Writer's pictureAlasdair Bruce

Michelin star restaurants, Italy

Interwoven into the fabric of Italian culture is its food. The Roman Empire would glower with envy at the global reach of traditional Italian cuisine. It's not only the food that is exported, but the ethos that accompanies it: paired with passion and a side of love. The Italian love of food and the love of Italian food pervade pop culture and film, music and memes, and the shelves and fridges of supermarkets across the world.

Expressions of joy, care and love are most easily expressed through food. Some of our most tender encounters, good and bad, happen during a meal. Family announcements of love and loss, hitherto unmentionable, wait for moments when the family are gathered around the dinner table. To soften the news, or brighten the mood, perhaps? Lady and the Tramp shared their first kiss over a fresh bowl of spaghetti in Tony's Restaurant; Clemenza tells Rocco to "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli" after dispatching Paulie in The Godfather; and Stanley Tucci's character Secondo's true purpose in Big Night is to bestow the pure joy that arises from sharing the food, which is so lovingly made by his brother Primo.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Italy is home to many a Michelin-starred restaurant. In a country where food sits at the centre of family gatherings and mothers laden their children with dishes when they return home, it makes sense to have a number of excellent chefs, restaurateurs, and businesses that wish to impart, expand and experiment with their love of food. Some of these restaurants have been recognised with the highest plaudits and acclaim.


On your luxury Italy holidays, explore these amazing Michelin star restaurants for a flavour-filled exploration of Italy's culinary delights. Italy provides a luxury restaurant experience that will unfailingly nourish with ingredients from the rich soil and flavours from varying traditions. The simplicity lies in this Italian ethos: to share in the gift of food.


Italy has a staggering 371 Michelin restaurants. It boasts the third most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, falling only behind France and Japan. Without this information, people would have guessed that Italy was a great place to visit for gastronomic enthusiasts. But owing to the number of Michelin Stars it has, it makes for a fine-dining haven for gourmands.


Restaurant Mistral

A roundup of the best restaurants on the picturesque shores of Lake Como would be incomplete without a written doff of the hat to Restaurant Mistral. With Chef Ettore Bocchia at the helm, Restaurant Mistral moulds traditional Italian and Mediterranean dishes to fit with the seasonal changes. The tasting menu, which focuses on molecular cuisine, is a scientific art with spectacular results. The expansive cellar brings together a huddle of 400 labels from across the world to be paired with the menu.

I Tigli in Theoria

Top Chef Franco Caffara was credited with the first Michelin-starred restaurant in Lake Como in 2012. The fine restaurant that is I Tigli in Theoria is set in a historic 15th-century building in the city of Como, poised between the lake and the cathedral. Much like the refined setting, a sleek restaurant nestled between ancient walls, the tasting menus bring together traditional flavours with contemporary flair and originality.


Kitchen is a spacious establishment, located in its very own green park with a vegetable garden that often lends the fruits of the season to the kitchen's craft. Having learned from I Tigli's Franco Caffara, Head Chef Andrea was eager to follow his own proverbial north star: to pay due reverence to produce in its raw form. Hence, the cultivation of Kitchen's garden. In the summer months, dine on dishes influenced by the chef's experience with the sea and the south of Italy beneath the sheltering arms of the trees, which seem to lean over to get a closer look and the occasional whiff of the delectable plates.



Santa Elisabetta

This two-starred restaurant is a must-visit in the breathtakingly beautiful Tuscan capital. Located on the first floor of Hotel Brunelleschi, Santa Elisabetta is a celebrated culinary stalwart that brings together the best of Tuscany's finest food in a delicate manner, opting for simplicity and purity. Chef Rocco De Santis endeavours to capture cuisine's contrasts, in flavour, texture and style.

La Leggenda dei Frati

A place of legend, where history and tradition take their seats alongside one another to be pampered by chef duo Filipo and Ombretta, who make each dish with these two revered guests in mind. La Leggenda dei Frati, or the Legend of the Friars, is today located in the stables of the villa that belonged to renowned art connoisseur Stefano Bardini. It is a picturesque setting, where the terrace promises wonderful views of the city.

Borgo San Jacopo

On the edge of the River Arno, with magical views of Ponte Vecchio, Borgo San Jacopo unfailingly produces dishes that reflect the colour, vibrance and flavour of this beautiful city and country. Chef Claudio Mengoni brings together the finest ingredients with the intention of giving them due recognition in the result.



Fine dining at Enoteca Pinchiorri, Florence

There are no corners cut in this creative, innovative and impossibly trailblazing heaven for fine-diners. While the science behind the creations that emerge, in perfect detail, from this kitchen is detailed and particular, the experience will never be the same. Each dish unleashes a rush of passion, despite the focus that is put into executing these pieces of art. This food comes from heart and from the soil, paying tribute to the land from whence each fine ingredient came.

First published in Le Collectionist Magazine


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