Prepare yourself to travel through time and to be pampered by the Visconti family in the Bergamo countryside. Among the ruins, farmhouses and fields be transported to a more relaxing time in the Trattoria Visconti Ambivere, just outside Bergamo.
Managed since 1932 by the family, the Trattoria Visconti is located in Via De Gasperi 12, in the heart of a small rural village which has survived a violent history. Among the Romans, the Lombards, Guelphs and Ghibellines that have waged war in this area, Ambivere and its proud residents have survived and preserved the soul and serenity of the surrounding country which includes such beautiful valleys as the Val Tallegio and the Valle San Martino and by the rivers Adda and Brembo.
Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, Leo Visconti, a bold visionary from the village of Genestraro, bought a building in the town center, with adjoining land and the right to operate a restaurant, all for the price of 38,000 lire. And so it came to be that the Trattoria Visconti, the pride of three generations, was opened. Today it is managed with the same care and professionalism by Leo Visconti’s niece, Maria Fiorella.
Under Fiorella’s direction her team has moved far beyond the concept of a simple tavern. Five star service is offered, with staff attending to every detail from taking your jackets and coats, to suggesting the specials and helping you choose a wine to match, to telling you the beautiful history of this place.
A journey through past memories is told with beaming pride. Even in the furnishings of this beautiful restaurant can you see tradition happily preserved. Tables, chairs and the crockery are all decorated in the rural style, but with an element of professionalism. Everything is inch-perfect. Pieces of history decorate the walls, flat irons, curling irons, a mobile, a hat, a birdcage and an old inscription used to preserve the excellent selection of family wines.
The menu continues the theme of history, land and wine, boasting items produced with ingredients from the local gardens, as well as ingredients that come from the surrounding valleys including a selection of fine oils. You cannot beat the ‘Casoncelli Ida’, Grandmother Ida’s ravioli recipe, nor, if you are a true connoisseur, can you miss the house bollito, made with seven types of meat. For cheese-lovers there is a trolley for sauces and jams with homemade honey to match.
As for the desserts, there are a range of baked cakes and desserts to try, all made with seasonal ingredients, of course. The only flaw? With all this attention paid to preserving the recipes and showcasing the rich culinary offerings of the land, the bread could be improved. With all the work used in adhering to the rules of the Slow Food movement, we would have loved some home made bread. Still, the experience is near perfect.
To close a good meal, you might want to take the opportunity to relax on the back porch of the restaurant, soaking in this secret paradise during the summer, or perhaps a warmer winter afternoon, smoking a cigar and sipping a fine brandy, as you observe the green valleys of Bergamo and dwell on its flavors and smells.