EXQUISITE CUISINE - Record! 385 Michelin stars for Italy

A shower of stars for Bella Italia. In the new Michelin Guide, more stars than ever before go to Italy. Almost 400 Italian restaurants have been awarded. Where it tastes particularly delicious...

Lombardy is Italy's culinary number 1, with 60 starred restaurants in this region alone. Campania is in third place with 48 restaurants, and the small region of Piedmont comes in third with 44 excellent restaurants. Lombardy has the most new additions to the Michelin Guide with 7 establishments, while Tuscany and Sicily have each added five new starred restaurants.

Mamma mia, mangiare: Food in Italy

With three (!!!) Michelin stars, twelve restaurants in Italy belong to the absolute top of the culinary world! Three stars are only awarded to restaurants that are so outstanding that their cuisine alone is worth a trip. By the way, the best Italian restaurants are almost all in the countryside, outside the big metropolises.

Eleven Italian restaurants among them were able to defend their three stars, Villa Crespi in Orta San Giulio in Piedmont is now one of the top restaurants. So much quality has a price: a tasting menu in one of the three-star restaurants starts at around 200 euros, without drinks.

Italy's world class: The 3-star restaurants ***

***in alphabetical order

"Da Vittorio" in Brusaporto in Lombardy

  • Brusaporto has 5,591 inhabitants and is located in the province of Bergamo in Lombardy.
  • Click here to visit the restaurant's website (external link)

The restaurant is the perfect example of a welcoming family business - with a helipad. Elegant, but not over the top. The menu offers dishes that focus on taste and are prepared with selected ingredients. The dishes impress with their presentation and with their intense flavours. At "Da Vittorio", the focus is on "tradition and products", as the impressive cheese trolley at the finale also proves.

stars restaurant
Photos: Screenshot
This is what the menu at "Da Vittorio" looks like...
menu, star restaurants
menu, star restaurants

"Dal Pescatore" in Canneto sull' Oglio in Lombardy

  • Runate is a village with 31 inhabitants. Runate is located in the province of Mantova in Lombardy.
  • Click here to visit the restaurant's website (external link).

Italian family spirit combined with top cuisine and its own vegetable garden - and that for 100 years, now run by the fourth generation. The 100-year-old "Dal Pescatore" is a world-class family business. Chef Giovanni Santini (46) is in the kitchen with mum Nadia and grandma Bruna, father Antonio is head of the dining room, where daughter-in-law Valentina also works and son Alberto, who is a sommelier.

The focus is on traditional dishes prepared to the highest standard. Traditional dishes include pumpkin tortellini, risotta alla pilota (with salamella sausage, a rice workers' dish), pigs' feet with crispy cabbage and white watermelon mustard fruit.

star restaurant, dal pascatore
Photo: Screenshot
This is what the menu at "Dal Pescatore" looks like...
stars restaurant
stars restaurant

"Enoteca Pinchiorri" in Florence, Tuscany

  • Florence is the capital of the region of Tuscany and has about 383,000 inhabitants.
  • Click here to visit the restaurant's website (external link).

A cuisine like fireworks, where each course is more impressive than the last. The cuisine of the "Enoteca Pinchiorri" impresses with its opulence without being too over the top. In the kitchen, Riccardo Monco (50) whets the appetite for more and more. The service is also world-class, as is the wine list.

The restaurant is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, but there is no sign of cutting back. Co-owner Annie Féolde: "We must always remember the culture of the country we live in, because it is our identity. But we must try to improve and keep up with the times".


"Enrico Bartolini al Mudec" in Milan, Lombardy

  • Milan is the second largest city in Italy with about 1.4 million inhabitants and also the capital of the Lombardy region.
  • Click here to visit the restaurant's website (external link).

Italy's record champion in the kitchen: No chef in Italy has received more Michelin stars in Italy than Enrico Bartolini (43) - worldwide he is in third place. His credo: "The love of life is also the desire to eat it."

The restaurant "Enrico Bartolini" is located on the third floor of the Museo delle Culture in Milan. The chef calls his cuisine "classic-contemporary". Just like the interior of his restaurant, modern, simple, but with an aura. Guests can choose three or four courses from two tasting menus. For wine fans, there are more than 7,000 wines to choose from.



"La Pergola" in Rome, Lazio

  • Rome is known to be the capital of Italy, as well as the capital of the Lazio region. With more than 2.7 million inhabitants, Rome is the largest city in Italy.
  • Click here to visit the restaurant's website (external link).

Welcome to Rome's most famous rooftop garden and Italy's most international restaurant. Italians and visitors from all over the world get on the waiting list to get a table at La Pergola. From the restaurant's terrace, Rome seems eternal and incredible. The ambience is elegant, with carpets and armchairs, silverware, flowers and paintings.

The heart of the restaurant is the cuisine of Heinz Beck (59), which fluctuates between bold and international on a Mediterranean basis.

"Le Calandre" in Rubano in Veneto

  • Rubano is a small town with about 17,000 inhabitants in the province of Padua in Veneto.
  • Click here to visit the restaurant's website (external link).

Chef Massimiliano Alajmo (48) puts the ingredients centre stage and allows their essence to shine. Exciting combinations, careful presentation and perfect preparation methods. Many of his dishes have had a great influence on the cuisine of Italy. His "cappuccino di seppia" (octopus cappuccino) is one of the most copied dishes in Italy, while the risotto liquirizia e zafferano (risotto with liquorice and saffron) was one of the Michelin inspectors' favourites.

In 1981, the restaurant was opened by Erminio Alajmo and Rita Chimetto. In 1994, they handed over the business to their sons Massimiliano and Raffaele, Max in the kitchen and Raf as general manager. In 2003, the restaurant was awarded three Michelin stars for the first time. Massimiliano was the youngest chef in the world to receive this award.

le calendre

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"Osteria Francescana" in Modena in Emilia-Romagna

  • Modena has just under 187,000 inhabitants and is located in the province of the same name in Emilia-Romagna.
  • Click here to visit the restaurant's website (external link).

Specialities from Modena and Emilia, ingredients such as Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, tagliatelle and tortellini, but also classic Italian dishes that chef Massimo Bottura (60) playfully reinterprets. The restaurant dispenses with lavish décor, instead opting for simple elegance and impressive works of art (the chef is an art lover). The "Osteria Francescana" is one of the most famous restaurants in Italy.

Massimo Bottura learned his passion for cooking from his mother, grandmother and aunt. After school, he first decided to study law, which he dropped out of in 1986 to concentrate fully on cooking.

"Piazza Duomo" in Alba, Piedmont

  • Alba is a town with a good 31,000 inhabitants in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont.
  • Click here to visit the restaurant's website (external link).

Ingredients from Piedmont are at the forefront, including the region's famous hazelnuts. In addition, chef Enrico Crippa is constantly on the lookout for special products and culinary styles. The restaurant also includes a vegetable garden and greenhouse where crops are grown according to his wishes.

The presentation of the dishes is meticulous and particularly aesthetic. Like the unusual pink dining room, frescoed by the painter Francesco Clemente. Looking out of the window onto Piazza Duomo, you get the feeling you're sitting in a particularly delicious film.

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"Reale" in Castel di Sangro in Abruzzo

  • Castel di Sangro is a town of about 6,500 inhabitants in the province of L'Aquila in Abruzzo. The "Reale" is located in a monastery outside the town.
  • Click here to visit the restaurant's website (external link).

The surroundings are magnificent, but the cuisine is even more excellent. The "Reale" is located in a converted 16th century monastery, somewhat secluded with a panoramic view. The cuisine is now so internationally famous that many people come just for it. Chef Niko Romita focuses on seemingly simple dishes that are, however, often the result of complex preparations and different cooking methods.

When the siblings Niko and Cristiana Romita took over their late father Antonio's trattoria in 2000, they had no idea about gastronomy. Niko dropped out of his business studies and taught himself to cook. In 2007, the restaurant received its first star, and since 2013, the siblings have had three stars. Besides the monastery complex, they also run a cooking school and a restaurant lab.

niko romito

"St. Hubertus" in San Cassiano in South Tyrol

  • The restaurant "St. Hubertus" is located in the Badia Valley in South Tyrol in Upper Italy. The village is called San Cassiano in Italian, Sankt Kassian in German and San Ćiascian in Ladin (a language of Upper Italy that is still spoken by about 30,000 people in certain areas). About 400 people live in the village.
  • Click here to visit the restaurant's website (external link).

The mountain calls! Norbert Niederkofler (61), the chef at "St. Hubertus" in South Tyrol, describes respect for the product and knowledge of the right cooking method to bring out the best in taste as the central point of his art. The focus is on local and alpine ingredients. Niederkofler is also a co-founder of the "Cook the mountain" initiative to give South Tyrol a sharpened culinary identity.

An open fireplace in the foyer of the St. Hubertus, only eight tables in the dining room: guests quickly feel at home in such an intimate atmosphere, which is also due to the extremely warm service, as the Guide Michelin praises.



"Uliassi" in Senigallia in the Marches

  • The restaurant "Uliassi" is located in the city of Senigallia in the province of Ancona in the Marche region. Almost 40,000 people live in the city on the Adriatic coast.
  • Click here to visit the restaurant's website (external link).

Between the beach and the harbour, the "Uliassi" restaurant in Sanigallia surprises with excellent cuisine - right on the beach. The mountains meet the sea here: fish and seafood come first, along with traditional game dishes from the Marche. Local ingredients combined with culinary tradition.

The "Uliassi" restaurant is a joint project of the siblings Mauro and Catia Uliassi, which began with a lot of enthusiasm in 1990. Mauro (64) has been the chef ever since. Today, 30 people work for the business.

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Villa Crespi in Orta San Giulio

  • The restaurant "Villa Crespi" is located in Orta San Giulio in the province of Novara in Piedmont. About 1,100 people live in the small town.
  • Click here to visit the restaurant's website (external link).

Even visually, Villa Crespi is an extravagant showpiece. In 1879, Cristoforo Benigno Crespi had this villa with an oversized turret built in Moorish style. A lavish décor with exotic charm. It has been preserved and carefully renovated to this day. The real jewel of the Villa Crespi is actually the kitchen...

... Antonino Cannavacciuolo (47) cooked up three stars for the first time this year. The chef's lifeblood comes from this kitchen. The star chef even named one menu "Soul". Technical skill and precision, plus clear and distinct flavours. And then there is the attentive service and a selection of wines from all over the world.

When it comes to Italy, even the international director of the Guide Micheln starts to rave. "385 Michelin-starred restaurants with many different cooking personalities and great geographical diversity. The record for Italy underlines how outstanding tradition and innovation go hand in hand with culinary experiences full of emotion, history and conviviality," praises Gwendal Poullennec at the presentation of the Michelin Guide 2023.

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written by Annie Kayser, first published 25 November 2022

Source: own research, Guide Michelin, company websites