In Rocca d’Orcia, nestled among ancient stone houses, Cisterna nel Borgo is a real gem for romantic and gourmet spirits. An intimate gastronomic osteria where you can rediscover traditional Tuscan recipes prepared with the best local products.
In the heart of the ancient village of only 18 souls, after a panoramic walk alongside the fortress built at the beginning of the year 1000 by the Aldobrandeschi, you reach an intimate square dominated by the splendid medieval cistern from which the restaurant takes its name.
Here Marta, an extraordinarily welcoming “landlady”, and Federico, an excellent chef and her life partner, have given life to their dream by creating a place that enriches the best Tuscan tradition, based on typical recipes and also many, very tasty, vegan and vegetarian options.
I was Latin and born from a great Tuscan: Guiglielmo Aldobrandesco was my father; I don’t know if his name was ever known to you.(Dante Alighieri, Purgatory)
The experience begins upon arrival as Rocca d’Orcia is truly an enchanting village with a thousand-year history that is worth a visit: the imposing fortress of Tentennano was, in fact, built by the noble Aldobrandeschi family between 1100 and 1200, thus becoming an important control center of the via Francigena.
The ancient cistern is its “gem”, decorated with coats of arms carved into its sides and enjoyable, in all its beauty, from the dehors of the restaurant which overlooks the charming little square.
The furnishings are the delightfully rustic ones typical of rural Tuscany, with white tablecloths and an essential mise en place that leaves room for Federico’s colorful dishes. Inside, the large room is embellished with a fireplace and an imposing vaulted ceiling that recalls the ancient taverns of the past, where wayfarers could stop by during a trip or in the coldest days.
Among the tables, we find fabric creations resulting from the artistic imagination of Federico’s mother, also the author of the original Cisterna’s menus. Masterfully presented by Marta, with the extraordinary verve of a theater actress, the culinary proposals are based on typical traditional dishes, from homemade pasta with wild boar ragù to tomato soup, up to grilled meats.
The menu also offers many vegan and veggy options such as marinated vegetables and pecorino cheese with quince jam or honey and cinnamon.
The wine list is also excellent and explores the Tuscany region, from its most famous reds of Montalcino and Montepulciano, to Bolgheri and the classic Chianti, with some forays into the national territory too.
Cisterna del Borgo is much more than a restaurant, it is one of those precious addresses where you always return with pleasure, welcomed by Marta’s beautiful smile and the certainty of a treat that never disappoints expectations.
In the municipality of Castiglione d’Orcia, of which Rocca d’Orcia is part, there are many unique biotypes. Starting from the silver fir, an example of the primary forest present here millennia before, to the splendid specimens of holm oak and the many orchids. Consider that in Italy there are 86 types of which 50 specimens, even rare ones, are found in this area.
Soups: 12 euro
Home-made pastas: 14 euro
Main courses: 18 — 22 euro
Fiorentina meat: da 6 euro/hectogram