A rustic inn near Lake Trasimeno serves a fabulous ‘Torta al Testo’

Jun 14 2024, 18:08
A small detour from the motorway (E45 from the North, A1 from the South) promises great satisfaction: the true Umbrian torta al testo is only found at "la Maria’s." Here’s what you can eat at Faliero

Faliero, Torta de la Maria, Faliero Baldoni (who passed away at 81 in November 2023) and his wife Maria have always been a team, even on the signboard, known for their famous torta al testo. At their green oasis on the shores of Lake Trasimeno, you can also find delicious fried perch, garden vegetables, grilled Chianina beef, and fresh pasta. What began as a small kiosk in 1969 has grown into a huge inn with a cafeteria and is the most popular pit stop for motorcyclists in the area.

Torta de la Maria, the best there is

The kiosk, established in the late 1960s along the road to San Savino, has always had the torta al testo as its queen. This local specialty, originally an alternative to bread, is cooked on characteristic terracotta plates called testi, placed on embers. Today, these are mostly replaced by materials like cast iron and aluminium. Maria’s torta is famously "the best there is," as the slogan says. Initially, Maria and her legendary grandmother Pompilia baked all the tortas at home, filling them with herbs and sausage or ham and cheese, and sold them at the kiosk. Over time, the restaurant, hotel, and a growing crowd of passionate fans followed, making Faliero and Maria symbols of Umbrian hospitality.

A Torta al Testo worth the detour

Today, the place is always bustling. The hearth is lit as before, and Luca and Cristiano Baldoni, proud heirs of this glorious establishment, flatten the dough, with Maria still emerging from the kitchen with trays of handmade pasta, beans with pork rind, chickpeas, and panzanella. Another must-try is the fried lake fish, perfect for sharing, perhaps in the large outdoor area equipped with a playground for children.

The portions, needless to say, are more than generous. The atmosphere is simple and relaxed, with large wooden tables to share indoors and plastic chairs scattered on the outdoor lawn. The background chatter, cooks explaining the day’s specials, and the sight of them preparing dishes with a smile make for an inviting experience. It’s honest, simple cuisine you never tire of, with even a little café corner offering homemade desserts. In this little Umbrian paradise, nothing is missing to make you happy.

Faliero – Montebuono (PG) – via di Montebuono, 2 - faliero.it/

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