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
Beautiful Italy; delicious foods and amazing photographs from a beautiful eyes… Thank you dear Debra, with my love, nia
It was a delicious lunch!
I have not been to this restaurant yet! Next on my list! Thanks for the tip!!!
It is very good, I’m sure you will like it.
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.
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.
It was my first time, but I will be back. There is another restaurant in Benabbio as well that I would like to try.
The “other restaurant” has been closed for years.
The other place (name escapes me now) is also very good AND has it’s own parking…a premium for sure in Benabbio.
I will find it.
The other place in Benabbio is our pizzaria “Aqualina in
Boca” and that was Alessandro that served you! I live in Benabbio!
Thank you for the information. You can tell Alessandro that I was very impressed with his friendly service. I will try the other restaurant too.
“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!!!!!
I have not heard of Boveglio or Colognora, but I will investigate. Thanks for the tip.
Hi, did you say you live in Benabbio, because my name is Richard Benabio I
live in Cranston, Rhold Iland USA
I don’t live in Benabbio, but nearby in Ponte a Serraglio. We like the restaurant in Benabbio.
what a lovely post Diane – I didn’t know you had a blog!! I am looking forward to some stories of your youth in Pieve dei Monti di Villa and Bagni di Lucca!
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!
haha how lovely – and it was a beautiful post of Debra’s. But maybe you should have a blog too – I love listening to your stories. And you will definitely have a visit from us in the summer! Ciao ciao!
You post the most tempting photos!
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.
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!
I love winter here. Today it is raining and misty. Wait until you see the spring views!
Love the gate photo. Those tarts look yummy! What was on the crostini? I’m puzzled over the pink one.
I don’t know what the pink one was, but it was good.
great post. will pass to Camillo for when he is making his plan. That is Plan with a capital P.
I love Crostata for breakfast. and for me just antipasto please. and wine of course.
It always makes me proud to read a positive story about Benabbio!I have my roots there!And indeed Alessandro is a special one!
I had a delicious lunch there and Alessandro was charming. Please pass the blog on to your friends.
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!
Cavallino Bianco is a great restaurant. I can’t wait to get back there in September.
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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.
I have been a few times and it is always good.Alessandro is always friendly and helpful.
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