For more historical information about the city's history CLICK HERE.
Now the castle complex includes several museums and galleries, while the old roads and tunnels continue to provide pedestrian access through the city.
Although Vigevano's monuments and history seem largely undiscovered, this charming city is famous throughout Italy for ...
|Rice fields near Vigevano. Image from here|
RICE. Specifically, arborio and carnaroli rice.
The Po plain surrounding Vigevano has been famous for rice production since 1482 when Leonardo da Vinci was employed by the the Duke of Milan to design a network of irrigation canals to ensure a consistent water supply for food production. Since then rice has been grown in this area and with it came the staple dish of northern Italy, risotto.
Stefano loves cooking risotto, so the goal of our visit was to taste risotto in the city which is famous for producing the best quality rice in Italy. But where to eat risotto in Vigevano?
|L'Oca ristorante Vigevano|
L'oca Ciuca, a small restaurant off the Piazza Ducale was suggested by a woman at the tourist office. We arrived just before one o'clock and already the colourful front courtyard was full of families enjoying lunch. Encouraged by the local crowd, we were happy to be seated inside feeling quietly pleased with ourselves as the restaurant recommendation seemed like a winner.
Choosing from the menu was easy. Risotto made with local Bonarda wine, fresh bortolli beans and topped with grilled goose sausage immediately caught our eyes. Not only did it feature local produce, but there was a caption below stating that risotto could only be ordered for two and it would take at least 20 minutes to prepare. Perfect! We seemed to have found the right place to taste this famous dish.
Although we didn't order an antipasti course, the Maitre D', concerned that we might starve, arrived at our table with a complimentary appetiser of home-made toast topped generously with goose liver pate'. What a delicious surprise. The pate' was sensational, light, creamy and very moreish. Another lesson learned about how seriously Italians take their food - restaurant patrons shouldn't wait in hunger.
Stefano's risotto verdict?
Perfetto! He was delighted to discover that this risotto was cooked with a light red wine giving it a slightly pink colour, which although tasty, wasn't photogenic. We learned that Bonarda grapes are grown in the hills around Pavia, so not only did Stefano discover a new risotto recipe, but he is now planning a weekend drive to explore another wine growing region close to Milan. Yes, he was just a little excited!
Corso Vittorio Emanuelle II 33
For more reviews CLICK HERE
Taste test summary
Gelateria Susy doesn't sound very Italian, but their gelato tastes autentico. The nutty flavours are dotted with large crunchy bits just as I've come to expect at the best gelaterias in Italy. I was tempted by the peanut crunch, but in an effort to maintain a rigorous taste comparison, I chose the standard nocciola flavour which was very good, as was the caffe'. It was an excellent combination and I must add that the wafer cones were possibly the best I've tried.
Gelati ranking ****
Worth walking off the main square to find this spot.
|Sue and Tim back in Milan after their day in Vigevano.|
Questa settimana il tempo a Milano ha cambiato. Autunno ha arrivato. Ci vediamo prossima volta.