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.
Trattoria del Tempo Perso