Monday, July 18, 2011

A trip to Porto Ceresio, Italy

The weather so far has been kind of crappy this summer. Yet, I try to make the best of it, because really, there's enough people moaning and bitching and crying about it, I seriously believe we don't need one more whiner in town. Sure, it would be greatly appreciated if it didn't rain on the weekend every once in a while... but what can we do about it? Nothing. Other than move to Spain, maybe. Since that is kind of out of the question right now, I try to enjoy the sunny (and even the overcast) days when I can by traveling around Lake Lugano, exploring little towns I've never been to before and, of course, trying whatever specialties they offer in restaurants, osterie and grotti (grotto being the Swiss Italian word to describe an informal, family run restaurant).

Porto Ceresio is one of those cute little lake villages. It's located on lake Lugano, on the Italian side of the lake, which makes it an ideal destination if you are trying to save some money. Switzerland is a wonderful country, but eating out is extremely expensive, which is why many that live near the border like to take trips into Italy to dine. I know because I do it at least once a week and let me tell you: 15 minutes by boat or car are totally worth it.  

 When I was in Porto Ceresio last weekend I ate at Trattoria del Tempo Perso, right across the street from the Lake. Tempo perso means "wasted time", although in Italy it doesn't necessarily have a negative connotation. Wasting time leisurely, slowly enjoying food and wine, is considered a rather positive thing there and, if you happen to taste the food the owner makes there, you'll understand why. She literally makes everything from scratch, including the olive ascolane (picture below), a specialty of the Marche region in Central Italy. Large green olives are pitted, then filled with a meat filling, breaded and deep fried. Seriously, what's not to love about them? Mind you, they can be horrible and soggy and greasy. But not at this little Trattoria. There they are crunchy and delicious and perfect. 
 Also amazingly good where the fried zucchini blossoms (photo below), something yours truly just cannot resist. I was practically in heaven, with the Trattoria's menu proposing pretty much all my favorite dishes. Besides the two appetizers, the main course I chose — stuffed veggies — was also very good. A zucchini and a red bell pepper filled with a meat and cheese filling was just what I had in mind for my Sunday lunch. The tagliatelle with meatsauce my friend ordered also scored high.
Too bad we had to leave in a hurry because the weather — surprise, surprise — was getting ugly and we had arrived there by boat. My consolation is that Porto Ceresio, and the trattoria, are only 15 minutes away from Bissone where I live, so I can already see my self going back there to try more of their homemade specialties.

Trattoria del Tempo Perso
Piazza Bossi, 17
21050 Porto Ceresio (Varese)
0332 917136


  1. What do you mean enough people complaining? When it comes to the weather, there is never enough complaints! It's either too unbearably hot, or rainy, or not enough sun, or hail and strong winds. Really Chiara, I've not been able to get things done because of this crazy weather, so I'm already making plans for fall and winter. When do we get to bust out the heavy coats?

  2. hahaha... I'm still trying to get something summery done. It seems like summer is flying by and I'm not getting enough of it, with the exception of the free concerts in Lugano. Other than that, I can only hope this weather will straighten itself out...
    What's on the agenda for fall/winter?

  3. Thank you for this post! I am Lugano right now for my first time and about to take a boat to Porto Ceresio. I will be certain to look for this yummy spot! :D



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