Lunch at Cavallino Bianco in Benabbio

I had heard that there was a good restaurant in Benabbio so on a quiet winter Sunday I made my way to the hilltop village. Benabbio is about 5 kilometres uphill from La Villa. Take the road towards Abetone, turn right at the Benabbio sign and follow the winding road.


The road to Benabbio.

There are some lovely buildings in Benabbio and some spectacular views, even in winter.









It was easy to find the restaurant. It is right on the tiny piazza in the centre of the village


The restaurant was full for Sunday lunch….a good sign.


The menu was not written, but the very cheerful owner told me what was on offer for the day. I started with delicious antipasto.




These little pillows of deliciousness are pasta fritta. It is a bread dough that is fried rather than baked.

For those who don’t like pigeons, here is your revenge, risotto al piccione. I do like pigeons, but I pushed my guilt aside.


I was also given some home made pasta to try…..and it was very good.


I watched some wonderful looking dishes being delivered and eaten very quickly at nearby tables. I clearly need to come back to try some of the other choices.

Dessert was too good to refuse.


There is a downstairs bar as well as the upstairs restaurant.


Here is the lovely man who served me. I didn’t catch his name. I really will have to go back.


Cavallino Bianco, Piazza S. Maria, 13. Benabbio
(+39) 0583 804089

41 thoughts on “Lunch at Cavallino Bianco in Benabbio

  1. I have heard there was a place up there but never stopped-we use this road to get to Pinocchio Park…I am so glad you tried it. What time are they open on Sunday for lunch? Hope the weather is warming up for you. (We had terrible tornados this week)…the pictures are great-I am starving! ha

    • I have heard about the tornados. I hope you are OK.
      I’m not sure about the opening times. I was told they were open all day, except Monday, but I’m not entirely sure what that means. If you go at 12.30pm you should be fine.

  2. Oh Benabbio….No longer a well kept secret! Lovely pictures of a great town. I have wonderful friends there and look forward to spending time in Benabbio every year. We’ve had some of the best meals ever at Cavallino Bianco. Can’t wait to get back there. Thank you for a wonderful blog.

  3. The other place (name escapes me now) is also very good AND has it’s own parking…a premium for sure in Benabbio.

  4. “Il Cavallino Bianco” used to be located in a town, a further up the mountain, called Boveglio. We rented a place in that town a couple of times and we almost bought a house there. It is a beautiful place, but very lonely. There is a bar and not much more. It apparently gets busy in summer, but it is rather dead the rest of the year. I guess that this is the reason why they moved the restaurant to Benabbio, as, although they were always very good and had a reputation, they did not have many customers with the exception of weekends and summer. Last year, we found out that they had moved to Benabbio and we went there. It is much better than their old place; however, I would recommend everyone to go and visit Boveglio. There is also another town, called Colognora, where they still speak a language related to Longobard. Almost impossible to understand!!!!!

    • Dear Shona and Michael,

      This is Debra’s blog. I’m just a major fan of living through the wonderful blogs of others. It’s the only way to survive Philadelphia at this time of year!
      I’m counting on a visit from you and Michael….and a major fig mangiata!
      Ciao per ora!

  5. The walk to Benabbio looks just as delightful as the food.
    All the photographs an information in your posts about places, restaurants ,transport
    and even the locals. is going to make our holiday in Bagni di Lucca
    so much more enjoyable that would have been other ways.
    Thank you so much!!!!
    PS. you should be in the payroll of the Italian Tourist Office

    • I drove to Benabbio. 5 kilometres uphill is not for me, but I did walk down the hill a bit to take some photos. I hope the blog helps you to enjoy your holiday here. That is partly why I do it. I want people to love Bagni di Lucca as much as I do. I hope the tourist board is listening.

  6. I’m sure you meant especially in winter. Those muted colours and soft light….swoon! I’m an winter girl. You have a brilliant eye and a palate to match! Brava!

  7. It always makes me proud to read a positive story about Benabbio!I have my roots there!And indeed Alessandro is a special one!

  8. Just read this part of your blog on Facebook, don’t know how I missed it! I ate at Cavallino Bianco 3 times in 2 weeks when I stayed with my family in Benabbio. It is a wonderful restaurant and Alessandro does a great job. It is just another gem in my beautiful Benabbio!

  9. Pingback: Benabbio | Bella Bagni di Lucca

  10. This is one of the best places for real Tuscan mountain cusine.
    My family is from Colognora and Boveglio and when we visit from the States they always try to give us the special meals prepared as our ancestors did. This is the very same food and style anyone can get from Alessandro at the Il Cavallino Bianco. It’s just the best. Honest, fresh, wholesome and served with friendly sincerity.
    Doug Petroni

  11. I love reading all of these posts. My father was born in Benabbio and I visited many times.
    Thanks you for sharing all the wonderful photos of the food.

    • I too love to read about Alessandro’s wonderful Cavallino Bianco and also the comments on the enchanting mountain road from Collodi to Bagni di Lucca. On this route one will pass by/through the birth towns of both my grandfather and grandmother; Colognora and Boveglio, respectively. Alessandro’s food is for me amongst the best of Tuscan country food I’ve had and perhaps the most unique in style and service. It’s wonderful. I hope Alessandro continues on in good health and in preparation of his excellent cuisine. I long for a return visit to part of my heritage and the wonderful people and my parenti in this part of Tuscany.

      • I saw Alessandro in the piazza at Ponte this morning. I will go up to Benabbio again soon to enjoy some of thus delicious food. I will also visit Boveglio and Colognora to take some photos. Since I am here for the summer I will have time to visit some more local places.

      • Oh, how wonderful to be able to be in Lucca Province for the summer. Enjoy, enjoy. I await my next visit, whenever that may be, with great expectations. If you see Alessandro and think of it, please give him and Claudio my very best regards. He may remember me as I am the American cousin of Lorenzina Consani of Boveglio. He’ll definitely remember her. We’ve dined with him several times both in Benabbio and at the former “albero in casa” restaurant in Boveglio. Grazie and again best wishes for an excellent summer……Doug

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