Buongiorno e bienvenuti a Innsbruck – here you can find original Italian pizza and pasta come in Italia. Innsbruck has gradually developed its little Italian scene. Restaurants, bars and cafés in the original Italian style make the hearts of Italy lovers beat faster. Come with me! I’ll take you to my five favorite Italian restaurants….
Let’s start in the Höttingergasse in the former smithy. The small trattoria and pizzeria “Due sicilie” is a real insider tip. Since 21 December 2012, the young team from Calabria conjures up the best specialties of the region. For Francesco and Federico Compagnino – brothers and owners of the restaurant – it is above all “harmony, freshness and originality” that create the Italian ambience within the four walls of the trattoria.
Il regno delle due sicilie. The name refers to the then Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, today’s southern Italy, which at that time united the island of Sicily (“Regno di Sicilia ulteriore”) with the Kingdom of Naples (“Regno di Sicilia citeriore”) and, after the Congress of Vienna in 1816, with Austria. Federico emphasized with this glorious past on the early bond between Italy and Austria.
As an appetizer Vincenzo served me a plate covered with small filled dough balls – “le zeppole” molto piccante – the spicy Calabrian insider tip.
Calabria is also famous for its volcano Stromboli. Nicola – il maestro della pizza – has created the fiery-piquant “Pizza Stromboli” – hot salsiccia and burning peperoncini. A taste experience that is probably equal to the eruption of a volcano.
As for the pasta: a hot tip “Fileja Tropeana”. This is curved pasta – of course al dente – refined with capers, black olives and fresh and dried tomatoes.
The hunger had been satisfied for a long time, but there is always room for a dolce . Gelato tartufo, creamy truffle ice cream dusted with cocoa, is just fantastico.
On to the rose garden – Isola d’Ischia
In 2006 Sonja and Marco Formisano came from Ischia to Innsbruck. Initially, together with Marco’s brother, they took over the Rosengarten, which was already well-known in Innsbruck, and which they have now been running alone since 2012.
The food? Everything that Italian cuisine has to offer: pasta, pizza, meat and fish.) )
The highlight par excellence: spaghetti della casa. Suddenly a decorated serving trolley pulls up in front of my table, on it a huge parmesan about a metre in diameter – hollowed out halfway – filled in the middle with spaghetti, which is gradually mixed with parmesan shavings until it lands nicely garnished on my plate.
For wine lovers, there is a varied selection of fine bottled wines from different Italian vineyards. One floor below, Marco and Sonja have created a small wine cellar where they collect their personal favorite wines.
As a degistivo , be sure to try a sip of Ruccolino. Marco travels all the way to his homeland of Ischia to make this herbal liqueur, which he then offers as a small digestive aid at his Isola in Innsbruck.
Station number 3: the Sapori
At the Sapori we find ourselves in the middle of bella sicilia – Claudio Cirabisi, originally from Trapani (Sicily), and his team of 8 have created an authentic piece of Italy at Fallmerayerstraße 12.
“We don’t play Italian music, we don’t have an Italian flag stuck to the window. What makes Italy with us comes on the plate. And the flair in the evening – just like at home. The concept works because we are all Italians.” (Claudio Cirabisi)
Italian for advanced learners. The guest should feel at home in his own living room and experience some nice moments. The restaurant scores particularly well with its own interesting creations: the fluffy, soft stracciatella mousse – my personal MUST at Sapori.
Or the Prosecco Elder: Mint is often hard to come by, especially here in Innsbruck in the wintertime. That’s why Sapori simply serves Prosecco elderberry – who needs mint? As the saying goes, it’s only for the Hugo anyway 😉
And then there’s the famous Toscanino, a popular aperitivo at Sapori – as Claudio’s little revolt against Aperol Sprizz, which everyone has by now. You have to guess what’s inside, and with a sharpened sense of taste, that’s possible. It’s just two crucial ingredients, that much Natascha (restaurant manager) and chef Gino reveal.
Otherwise – meat, fish, pasta and pizza – everything that Italian cuisine has to offer. The truffle spaghetti has been a big hit over the last three weeks.
In the meantime we have arrived at Boznerplatz:
In his pizzeria, Cingiz Überbacher has reconciled three important aspects of the dolce vita italiana :
- Den aperitivo
- The dinner
- The after dinner drink
Accordingly, the restaurant is also divided:
Let’s start in the bar area – well looked after by Matthias Eder. He recommends his self-created Negroni Falso as an aperitivo. I can only say – magnifico!!!
He even told me how to prepare the drink:
“Boil grapefruit peels in sugar and gin, add Campari and vermouth and continue to reduce over low heat. Add freshly squeezed pink and yellow grapefruit juice and remove from heat. Chop oranges with peel and chill all together in the refrigerator for 3 days, let steep, strain and top with Prosecco if desired.” (Negroni Falso – Matthias Eder)
We walk one door further into the restaurant area. Here Marco, a pizza maker from Lecce, welcomes us and takes some delicious pizzas out of the wood-fired oven. The pizzas are large and original Italian: no pizza cheese, real mozzarella! I’m already looking forward to the autumn pizza that Marco will be conjuring up from the oven from now on.
Then it got especially exciting. I was allowed to look over the chefs’ shoulders a bit and accompany Marco Hilber (Marco number four on my Italy tour) as he made pasta. From making the dough, to cooking, to garnishing – voilà – ravioli neri with monkfish and saffron
With my belly full, I took a seat in the bar once again and had the famous Ginger beer served. The gentle burning note of the ginger gives the beer the kick it needs!
My last stop – the Beretta at the Hotel Nala
Francesco Beretta (former chef at the pizzeria) opened his own Italian restaurant at Hotel Nala on August 29, 2014. The place is very welcoming: beautifully decorated, colourful and modern.
Smokers can even have their own “room” – just close the door.
During my visit, I was allowed to be there live as Francesco, together with Loris (the second chef), prepared one of his favorite specialties from his homeland, Lombardy:
Un Risotto alla zucca with mascarpone and candied fruit.
First, he cooks a pumpkin in the oven for one and a half to two hours. Then he can easily peel off the skin and the pumpkin is “shrunk” to a juicy cream. Then Francesco mixes the risotto with the pumpkin cream and adds the necessary spices. Finally, he forms a small mound of the risotto and places the mascarpone with the included fruit on top. The heat of the cooked risotto slowly melts the mascarpone over the rice and disperses the finely chopped candied fruit into the pumpkin cream. This gives the risotto a gently sweet note.
Francesco and Loris offer a varied menu that includes new delicacies every week. Fish, meat and pasta – with extra love and Italian cooking:
“I was allowed to gain experience as a chef in various restaurants in France, Italy and Austria, which I incorporate into my dishes. I work with my hands, my head and my heart. There is poetry, passion and positive energy in my dishes.” (Francesco Beretta)
From now on Francesco invites you to brunch on Sundays in his little Italian island. This is not to be missed!
Innsbruck’s little Italy
At one or the other corner of Innsbruck you can find a little piece of Italy. Original Italian pasta and pizza. The dolce vita probably reveals itself even in the middle of the mountains.
Höttingergasse 15, 6020 Innsbruck
+43 (0) 512 936 729
Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 16.30 – 23.00 h, Friday, Saturday and Sunday additionally 12.00 – 14.00 h
Claudiastraße 8, 6020 Innsbruck
+43 (0) 512 58 33 62
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 11.30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. – midnight, Sunday off
Fallmerayerstraße 12, 6020 Innsbruck
+43 (0) 0512 587 530
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11.30 – 14.00 h and 18.00 – 23.00 h, Monday, Sundays and holidays closed
Bozner Platz 6, 6020 Innsbruck
+43 (0) 512 583 796
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 11.30 – 14.00 & 17.30 – 01.00, Sunday day off
Müllerstrasse 15, 6020 Innsbruck
+43 (0) 512 584 444 75
Opening hours: Restaurant open daily until 22.00, bar until 01.00
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Sabrina is a speaker, voice actress, presenter and performer, and the voice and face of the Innsbruck Podcast. She hits the road for us in the Innsbruck region to tell you the most exciting stories from this area.