A few hours of strolling around the 16th-century villa and astounding terraced hillside gardens and fountains of Villa d’Este had put me in a romantic Italian mood. Loath to leave Tivoli, I wanted to extend my visit as long as possible and be imbued by this city’s spirit. That meant an extended anteprandial visit to the little park that boasts sweeping views of the Campagna Romana, the low-lying countryside that unfolds for miles below the town, before searching for a suitably atmospheric restaurant for lunch. I found the latter at L’Angolino di Mirko.
In business since 1912, the restaurant is housed at the end of Piazza Santa Croce in a putty-colored former palace with a second-story balustraded balcony accessed via shuttered French door. Inside, a more casual room features a mural of columns and arches framing the Italian countryside, and tables with red, white, and green linens; a more formal banquet room conjured very new memories of the villa I had just visited, what with its decorative frieze and tiled floor.
Despite the welcoming interior, the perfect weather lured me to the tented outdoor tables across the street in the piazza, where it’s so comfortable and easy to savor a wonderful meal and to sit back and absorb that incomparable Italian vibe that you never want to dissipate.
Try This: Ease into a long, leisurely lunch with one of the 60 red and white wines available, then start with some antipasti, such as the artichoke pie with mentuccia and pecorino cheese, or the prosciutto and mozzarella. As your main course, you could select from the meat or fish dishes, but I’d recommend going directly to the homemade pastas, such as the ravioli with ricotta cheese, tomatoes, and basil, or the fettucine with either porcini mushrooms or black truffles. For dessert, try the tiramisu, the homemade ice cream, or the bundle of apples with coconut, cinnamon, English cream, and rum.