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Michelin Starred Restaurants in Italy: What Travelers Need to Know 

November 9, 2019

The 65th edition of the MICHELIN GUIDE ITALY 2020 was just released at a ceremony at the Teatro Municipale in Piacenza (in the Emilia Romagna region). Thirty-three new restaurants in Italy were added to the guide: 30 of them one-star, 2 two-star and one three-star.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MICHELIN STARS

What do the star ratings mean? (Credit: Michelin Guide)

Compared to other countries, how does Italy rank in terms of its number of Michelin stars?

As of 2020, there are a total of 374 Michelin starred restaurants in Italy, a country loved around the world for its cuisine. 

With the new stars, Italy is now the second most starred country—although Japan holds the title of having the largest number of three-star restaurants, 31 of them (Italy only has 11 three-star restaurants). 

Which restaurants in Italy received three stars for the first time in 2020?

Only one: Enrico Bartolini al Mudec. The newest of Italy’s three-star restaurants is located on the third floor of the Museum of Cultures in Milan. 

Michelin starred restaurants in Italy include Enrrico Bartolini at Meduc

Meduc Museum of Cultures in Milan (Credit: Meduc/Stahlbau Pichler)

Commenting at the celebration announcement, Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin guides, said, “…the chef’s personality stands out for research and experimentation, blending perfectly with Milan’s dynamism and giving an artist’s touch to the rich Italian gastronomic heritage.”

Where are the two new two-starred restaurants located?

One is La Madernassa, located in Guarene, in the province of Cuneo in the Piedmont region. The second is Chef Bartolini’s restaurant in Venice, Glam by Enrico Bartolini, located in the Veneto region.

How many one-star Michelin restaurants are there in Italy?

Italy now has 328 one-star entries (which includes the 30 new ones).

Chianina Beef Tartare at one-star La Rocca di Castelfalfi

Chianina Beef Tartare at La Rocca di Castelfalfi

Which region of Italy has the most Michelin starred restaurants?

Lombardy is the most starred region in Italy, with 6 new entries. It has 62 Michelin starred restaurants (three with 3 stars, 5 with 2 stars and 54 with 1 star).

Piedmont takes second place with 46 stars, Campania with 44, Tuscany with 40 and Veneto with 37. 

The Emilia Romagna region, which partners with Michelin to host the annual guide presentation, has the largest number of Bib Gourmand establishments, 33 of the 266 in the country.

Five Ages, Textures and Temperatures of Parmigiano Reggiano at Osteria Francescana in Modena

Five Ages, Textures and Temperatures of Parmigiano Reggiano at Osteria Francescana in Modena (Credit: Jerome Levine)

Where are the three-star Michelin restaurants in Italy located?

Here is the list:

1-  Da Vittorio

Located in Brusaporto, a commune in the Bergamo province of the Lombardy region; listing in the Michelin Guide

For reservations

Michelin Starred Restaurants in Italy - Da Vittorio

Credit: Da Vittorio


2-  Piazza Duomo

Located in the town of Alba, in the province of Cuneo in the Piedmont region; listing in the Michelin Guide

For reservations

Michelin starred restaurants in Italy: Piazza Duomo

Credit: Piazza Duomo


3-  Dal Pescatore

Located in the village of Runate, in the province of Mantua in the Lombardy region; listing in the Michelin Guide

For reservations

Michelin starred restaurants in Italy: Dal Pescatore

Credit: Dal Pescatore


4-  Enoteca Pinchiorri

Located in Florence, in Tuscany; listing in the Michelin Guide

Reservations

Enoteca Pinchiorri - Michelin restaurant

Credit: Enoteca Pinchiorri


5-  Le Calandre

Located in the commune (municipality) of Rubano in the province of Padua in the Veneto region; listing in the Michelin Guide

For reservations

Le Calandre in Italy

Credit: Le Calandre


6-  Reale

Located In the city Castel di Sangro, in the Province of L’Aquila in Abruzzo; listing in Michelin Guide

For reservations

Reale - three-star

Credit: Reale


7-  Uliassi

Located in Senigallia, in the province of Ancona in the Marche region; listing in the Michelin Guide

For reservations

Uliassi MIchelin Restaurant

Credit: Uliassi


8-  St. Hubertus

Located in the frazione of San Cassiano/Sankt Kassian, in the Bolzano province of the Trentino-Alto Adige region; listing in the Michelin Guide

For reservations

St. Hubertus

Credit: St. Hubertus


9-  Osteria Francescana

Located in the city of Modena, in the Emilia Romagna region; listing in the Michelin Guide

For reservations

Michelin starred restaurants in Italy: Francscana

Credit: Jerome Levine


10- La Pergola

Located in Rome, in the Lazio region; listing in the Michelin Guide

For reservations

La Pergola - Michelin starred restaurant in Rome

Credit: La Pergola


11- Enrico Bartolini al Mudec

Located in Milano, in the Lombardy region; listing in the Michelin Guide

For reservations  

Enrico Bartolini

Credit: Enrico Bartolini at Mudec

Who is the most starred chef in Italy?

With five restaurants totaling nine stars, Enrico Bartolini holds the honor of being the most starred chef in Italy. Based on his newest achievement, a recent article in WineNews called Chef Bartolini the new King of the Italy Michelin Guide.

The chef oversees restaurants in Milan, Bergamo Alta (in Lombardy), Castiglione della Pescaia (a resort in Tuscany), Venice, Monferrato (in Piedmont) and Borgo San Felice (in Siena). In addition, the chef has three restaurants outside Italy, in Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. 

Chef Bartolini earned his first Michelin star at Le Robinie restaurant when he was only 29 years old and the second when he was 33. In November 2017, the chef earned the distinction of garnering four more Michelin stars (all in the same year), two for his restaurant in Milan, one for the restaurant in Bergamo and the third for his restaurant in Castiglione della Pescaia.

Were any restaurants downgraded in the 2020 guide?

Casa Vissani in Baschi lost one star as did Locanda Margon in Trento, the Ristorante al Sorriso in Soriso (Novara), and the Locanda Don Serafino in Ragusa.

What is the basis for garnering stars?

Psychedelic, spin-painted veal at Osteria Francescana in Modena (Credit: Jerome Levine)

Psychedelic, spin-painted veal at Osteria Francescana in Modena (Credit: Jerome Levine)

An article on the Michelin website dispels the widespread impression that the guide’s anonymous inspectors look for outstanding service and decor. Their focus is primarily on the food.

It reads, “…It’s the food on the plate—nothing more. One of the great misconceptions of our guide is that we are somehow concerned with the color of the curtains or the style of the service. But really, it’s just the food—the restaurant could be the swankiest, most comfortable place in the world but if the food isn’t that great, we aren’t going to have it in our guide. Similarly, if the food is wonderful then we don’t care if we’re sitting on plastic chairs or have been queued outside for an hour.”

Where can I find the entire list of Michelin reviewed restaurants in Italy?

Michelin starred restaurants in Italy

The 2020 guide includes 33 new Michelin starred restaurants in Italy.

There are two ways to look through the entire list of Michelin starred restaurants in Italy, either in the Michelin Guide or online on the Michelin website. In addition to identifying and describing the Michelin starred restaurants in Italy, it includes information on 2,700 restaurants and 2,300 hotels.

Of course, some of the starred restaurants are so appealing that they are destinations in themselves, generally requiring reservations to be made long in advance. Others may be places that culinary travelers will want to stop at while touring a region. 

The red print guide, MICHELIN Guide Italy (Italia) 2020 (available on Amazon), offers an especially handy format if you are planning a road trip through one or more regions of Italy. 

The Michelin website offers the convenience of being able to sort the entire list by region, distinction (number of stars), types of cuisine, and classification (including comfort level, services and facilities. So, for example, if you are traveling in a particular area, you can easily identify nearby top-rated restaurants and read their reviews. Here is the link to the Michelin Italy site

How do I make reservations for one of the Michelin starred restaurants in Italy?

Understandably, snagging a reservation at any three-star Michelin restaurant in Italy or elsewhere in Europe can be difficult, especially during peak seasons or holidays. Reservations may need to be made many months in advance. Some restaurants close for all or part of the month of August; others have winter or holiday closures. Most are closed at least one day a week; the particular day varying among them.

Each listing of the three-starred Michelin restaurants in Italy (above) has a link to make reservations. Some ask you to fill out a form requesting a reservation; others have online calendars. Some prefer direct calls by phone. If you do have trouble making a booking, it can be helpful to request to be placed on a waiting list.

Also, be sure to check the restaurant websites regarding policies for dress codes, and bringing children or pets.

Bear in mind, too, that these restaurants are pricey and many only have tasting rather than a la carte menus. Wine pairings add an additional cost. Some may require a pre-authorized deposit to ensure a booking. But for many culinary travelers who can afford it, these experiences can be priceless.



Read more on Forbes: Michelin Announces 2020 Starred Restaurants in Italy 


Disclosure: MoreTimeToTravel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.


SAVE TO PINTEREST!

GUIDE TO MICHELIN STARRED RESTAURANTS IN ITALY


 

  • Reply
    Doreen Pendgracs
    November 10, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    Superb post, Irene ! i had no ida that Japan was top In the world for 3-starred Michelin honours! Not surprised about Italy. Have pinned this post for future temptations.

  • Reply
    Rose Palmer
    November 12, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    YUM! Will be in Italy in March-will have to try and eat at one of these restaurants if I can snag a reservations.

  • Reply
    jane
    November 12, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    OMG. I’m heading to Lombardy! And that Michelin Chef Bartolini isn’t too tough to look at, either! I don’t really need another reason to love Italy, but you gave me about 400 of them!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      November 16, 2019 at 9:47 am

      Have to admit…it’s hard to beat Italian cuisine although French cuisine gives it a good run for the money!

  • Reply
    Lori
    November 13, 2019 at 10:21 am

    We’ve always found that even when we can afford such an adventure, securing a reservation that coincides with our travel time always seems problematic. However, given the sheer number of Starred restaurants in Italy we always have options. Love the article.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      November 16, 2019 at 9:48 am

      Seems like one of the keys is advance planning! Although sometimes travelers can be lucky at the last minute!

  • Reply
    Marilyn Jones
    November 15, 2019 at 11:04 am

    What and interesting and comprehensive guide!! I never realized Italy had so many Michelin restaurant offerings! Excellent article.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      November 16, 2019 at 9:48 am

      Glad you enjoyed the article….Italy offers so many different types of food options!

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