I TRE RE restaurant
by Connor Scott Noble – USAC Intern
For any tourist making their way through the Via Francigena the question will undoubtedly arise of a place to rest, and if you choose to make an occasioned stop in Viterbo, there is one restaurant worth stopping at for local tastes and relaxing environment. Located in Viterbo, the Tre Re claims a remarkable age, even for Italian standards. Tucked away in an alley just a stone’s throw from the central Piazza Del Plebiscito, the Ristorante is perhaps an easy spot to miss judging by the outside. However, the interior of the restaurant is warm and foregoes extravagance with a dining room that’s feverishly intimate, seating fewer than 20. Brown wood beams, painted and repainted enough to bear a lived in, albeit cared for feel, with the comfort of a lodge. Hanging in the back of the house, and overlooking the dining room is a massive painting of three kings, a painting for which the restaurant gets its namesake. The story of this 1080 Viterbesi original is recited on the back of every menu in the restaurant, which details the painting’s role as a good luck charm to Allied soldiers who ran their hands over the art while passing through Viterbo during the second world war. The front of house is manned by a family, a mother, father and son who claim to be the ancestral family of the Tre Re, and the proprietors of the famous painting. They speak with pride and candor about the histories of the restaurant, claiming it to have opened in 1603, and to be one of the oldest surviving restaurants in Italy. Speaking of the Tre Re’s food, the multi course meal I received was excellent. A starting dish of Prosciutto Crudo, with bread and oil, perhaps a bit pedestrian but a palate preparing starter for a wonderful “Primo Piatto” of Ravioli with spinach and ricotta, in a creamy black trufﬂe sauce. A wonderfully delicate and rich dish, served in a ﬁttingly moderate portion, this was the standout star of the meal, and without a doubt the best pasta I have had in Tuscia thus far. The main course was a local specialty, Pollo alla Viterbese, a crisp baked chicken breast served with roasted potatoes and olives. To ﬁnish off the meal with an espresso and a warm tart was a wonderful compliment, and allowed me a chance to truly relax in such an intimate surrounding. While it may not be the cheapest choice for the passing pilgrim or tourists in Viterbo, the Tre Re’s historical stories, intimate comforts, and delicious local specialties are not to be missed.