When you leave casa di Maul and drive straight up the mountain behind the house, the first town you hit is called Villabalzana. Here you will find one of the best examples of a trattoria serving truly local traditional favorites of the Colli Berici, Trattoria alla Vecia Priara.
Vecia Priara literally translates to mean “of the old cave” in local dialect. Cave dining room (yes, dining room in a cave) open for cooler seating at a constant temperature, natural cave air conditioning, but without the view.
With a romantic setting beneath the church tower of Villabalzana, the terrace offers a scenic overlook for cool summer evenings with a vista the valley and Dolomites beyond.
Vecia Priara serves cuisine typical of the Colli Berici, with a special emphasis on more rustic and gamey choices. Nothing here to be found “of the sea”. It doesn’t get more authentic than this.
After a busy few days packing our lives into shipping crates to begin our new adventure in Uzbekistan, it made sense to celebrate by experiencing something authentically local – great Italian comfort food. We called and reserved a table on the terrace where we could enjoy the view over the hills as the sun sets, and enjoy our meal.
To start, I ordered a crowd pleasing summertime favorite, prosciutto melone. Cured ham served with sweet cantaloupe wedges. The sweet and savory a perfect combination.
A half liter of chilled sparkling sfuso rabosello wine served as the perfect compliment to the meal. A dry but fruity sparkling light red “rosato” wine typical of the Veneto, rabosello is also a summertime favorite.
For a pasta course I chose the fettuccine al colombino – fettuccine pasta with small dove. Packed with flavor, and with generous hunks of meat, this dish easily qualifies as a piatto unico – one course equals a full meal. Sprinkled with fresh grated grana padano cheese was truly delightful.
With no room for dessert, and exhausted from our multi day packing and cleaning extravaganza, we ordered coffee and settled the bill. Downhill is of course easier than up especially after such an amazing meal.