Trattoria Piè di Castello, a story spanning four generations.
The Trattoria Piè di Castello was established in the late nineteenth century. Located on the road linking Basso Sarca and Fiavé, it provided travellers the opportunity to rest and take refreshment. Eugenio Benini and his wife Giuseppina would offer their guests a hot meal, a place to sleep and a shelter for animals. Even then, the restaurant served what was later to become its trademark dish - carne salada, or salted meat - although at that time it was served boiled.
During the first half of the twentieth century, the Trattoria continued business as usual, albeit suffering the repercussions of the tremendous historical facts of that time. Towards the end of World War II, Eugenio and Giuseppina were forced to close down. In 1947, Lino, Eugenio and Giuseppina's son, and his highly determined wife Lisa, whom he married in 1945, gain permission to open for business again. This was the start of a difficult period of sacrifice, but one that soon saw the Trattoria grow and succeed. Lino dedicated much of his time to cultivating the land, and in particular the vines, to produce wine for his patrons. Lisa, on the other hand, put to work the experience gained in the kitchens of the hotels in Riva del Garda. It was she who decided to accompany the carne salada with homemade vegetable pickles and to develop the recipe for our apple pie, both of which have become the distinguishing trademarks of Pié di Castello.
In the early '60s, their son Giorgio started working in the family business, later taking over the license from his parents. The restaurant thus entered a new phase, consolidating its identity associated with carne salada, now cooked on a cast iron plate in a wood stove. Moreover, with the assent of his loyal patrons and official tasters, George decided to also serve the dish raw. From that moment it became the absolute speciality of the house.
Piè di Castello continued to grow, also in size. The restaurant, which at that time comprised a hall and a kitchen, gradually merged with the adjoining dwellings, which were immediately transformed into dining rooms. This gives the Trattoria its characteristic layout, made up of small rooms leading into one another.
In the '80s, the Trattoria began to avail of another precious and tireless collaborator, Dolores, whom George married in 1983. In these years, the Trattoria went from strength to strength, offering its customers a simple, wholesome menu: homemade cured meats, followed by raw carne salada, then carne salada cooked with beans, and finally Grandma Lisa's apple pie.
With the arrival of the new millennium, the Trattoria decided to pursue the road of innovation, without, however, losing sight of its proud tradition. New variations of carne salada - for example smoked and oven baked - were created. New dishes were also added, drawn from Grandma Lisa's precious and extensive recipe book, which contains many local specialities, revisited with her very own secret ingredients and preparation methods. These include a hot starter, canederli (stale bread dumplings to which a variety of ingredients can be added) and strangola preti (spinach and bread dumplings).
Today, the Trattoria is entering yet a new phase. George and Dolores work side by side with their daughters Anna, Valentina and Gabriella, who are committed to pursuing the family business in the spirit of tradition and innovation.