Walking in Trento with Alfio Ghezzi

Locanda Margon’s chef takes Goethe for a walk, discovering the best restaurants in town (part I)

Locanda Margon’s starred chef Alfio Ghezzi, from

Locanda Margon’s starred chef Alfio Ghezzi, from Trentino, +39.0461.349401, imagines that he’s showing the author of the Italian Journey, who at the time only spent a few hours in Trento, the best establishments in town

I was in Milan, cutting the butter into pieces in order to cream the amaranth. I was only a few steps from one of the most fascinating squares in the world, with a simple, opaque window separating me from it. Indeed, it prevented me from seeing it but it wasn’t stopping the sense of grandeur and universality that this place imparts. Still, I started to think that the “polentina” I was preparing would have been more suitable for the palate and the taste of mountain people: simple, rich and flavourful like the cuisine of Trentino!

That dish brought me back to my territory, to the dishes of my adolescence, but also to a Trento I had experienced 20 years ago, a city made of authors and books. I was happily dreaming of going back there, imagining I was the eager comrade-in-arms of Goethe who in his Italian Journey dedicated only a few hours to Trento. So I imagined inviting him to a fantastic place, one that is dear to all the people of Trento, one from which you can enjoy a unique view of the city, from North to South and to Vallagarina while in front of you, you have the imposing oriental side of Mount Bondone.

The dining room of Scrigno del Duomo

The dining room of Scrigno del Duomo

I can imagine his enchanted expression and his stupor. And I’m sure that these would have been his words: «Ah! What I say here, I’ve known it for a long time, ever since I suffered under an inclement sky; and now I like to experience this joy as an exceptional fact, while instead we should enjoy it as an eternal natural necessity ». Here in fact there’s an unexpectedly well-finished refuge/restaurant, what with its tablecloths, the glasses and especially the food, which is typical of Trentino, prepared with lots of good taste: it’s called Rifugio ai Bindesi (strada dei Bindesi 15, +39.0461.923344) and it is also Emma and Lisa’s – my daughters – favourite restaurant. When we’re on the terrace, we often play at who is the first to spot Locanda Margon.

I go back to town, passing in front of Casa del Diavolo (palazzo Galasso), which Goethe defines - together with case Rella - as the only houses with good taste he saw in Trento. To keep to the topic of good taste, I would have brought him to a restaurant just in front of these houses, called Scrigno del Duomo. It’s a restaurant full of charm and rich in history – for over ten years chef Alfredo Chiocchetti has been in charge, and he’s a point of reference for all the chefs from Trentino and not only for us. His sweetbread is unique, but I’d say that the same goes for all the meat he prepares, always served with excellent sauces.

1. to be continued


Chefs' life stories

Men who, for a moment, leave pots and pans to tell us their experience and point of view