Time in Purgatorio

Every year, we eat at Purgatorio, a lakeside restaurant in Capodimonte, about 40 minutes away. It’s magical. We usually do the Sunday afternoon 2:00 seating (There’s a pm seating, too.), and it lasts several hours. Some guests arrive via boat, and many bring their dogs. Italians love their dogs.

The menu is not huge, which we’re fine with. Too many choices is completely unnecessary. We always get corregone, the fish from the lake—Lake Bolsena, a huge and very deep volcanic lake with black sand. The fish is pretty bony and comes with its head still on, but it’s GREAT. And the bones keep me from inhaling the meal, which I tend to do. :) There are probably 15 tables, all full on this particular day, of families, from babies to the very elderly. We’re all under a tent (with no sides), and several stray cats roam around us, looking for discarded fish bones. 

The lunch menu goes something like this:  two antipasti, one with frutti di mare (seafood), and the other more typical—paté and meats. A pasta course—alla vongole (clams), pesto, ragu, etc.) Finally, a simple salad or maybe grilled vegetables. 

The Faculty.

The two Irish-American (but very German-looking) profs.

Liters of wine (red and white) and water (with and without gas) litter the table by the time we’re sated. Some of the other guests have gone for a swim, while others lounge around on the grassy area or play with their dogs.

Purgatorio. Its name belies its character because nothing about this experience can be even remotely associated with punishment.