Federico and Tommaso Vatti. The two brothers, the latter in charge of the wines, the former of the culinary offer, shine at La Pergola in Radicondoli, in the countryside of Siena
Charmed on the way to Radicondoli. Indeed before arriving in this lovely hamlet on the metal-rich hills of Siena, we were rather sure that any talk about connections with the territory, with local gastronomic roots, had to do with restaurants, from trattorias to fine dining. Pizzerias instead followed other "schools", different techniques and approaches to dough, while for toppings – except for single cases, some ideas that are perhaps linked to a single excellent local product – it was all a matter of classic and creative recipes, that is to say evergreens –Margherita, Marinara and so on – and variations "based on the pizzachef's whim", in this latter case often the same or at least comparable between Bressanone and Agrigento. Without a specific, clear, local character.
Tommaso Vatti is different. Tommaso Vatti, following the road that has the world of baking connected to that of fine dining with determination, is shaping an alternative model, with a strong territorial identity, more than anyone else. He makes contemporary pizzas – and indeed he's a Petra Selected Partner – and trained in Veneto with Simone Padoan. His pizzas speak the local language in terms of topping. Not that his colleagues don't do so: it's just that this is his signature approach. We like it, that's why he stood out.
View from La Pergola
Radicondoli is earthy Tuscany, far away from the sea of other pizzaioli we appreciate like Massimo Giovannini or Antonio Polzella, who look at the waves from their restaurants. It's even distant from Giovanni Santarpia's Florence. Vatti has come to terms with the local history and geography and as a consequence has made the choices of style of which we're speaking, and which charmed us, out of faithfulness to his origins, rather than strategy. In the past he said to Identità Golose: «Since I was born in a trattoria, it came natural to think of presenting our Tuscan tradition and some local products on our pizzas».
Those who follow us know that we pay little attention to the obsession to local identity: we believe that the quality of a product is more important than its origin. Vatti makes pizzas of the highest quality – in terms of dough, topping and location, his La Pergola has a marvellous terrace with a breath-taking view of the surrounding countryside, a breeze that freshens up your thoughts on a hot summer's day – but then shows he's surprisingly faithful to his region, to the culinary culture that surrounds him.
Pizza Tagliata di Cinta senese
Pizza Cinghiale sfilettato alla maremmana
His menu is deeply carnivorous. An absolute masterpiece is pizza Tartare di Chianina Igp (from the great butcher Simone Fracassi) with mozzarella fior d'Agerola, a fabulous maionese all'aglione from Valdichiana and misticanza, a Roman-style dough made with Petra flour: elegant, perfect, in the winter version there's also black truffle, but the aglione won't make you regret it, it is known they have similar aromas.
The list is a triumph that will have any Tuscan trattoria envious: pizza Cinghiale sfilettato alla maremmana (with baked olives, lardo from Cinta senese and pecorino from Podere Paugnano in Radicondoli), very rich, the dough is with Valrhona cocoa; pizza Prosciutto crudo di Cinta senese Dop; pizza Prosciutto crudo di Grigio della Montagnola senese "Il Nieri" from Capocasa; pizza Tagliata di Cinta senese (from organic farm Spannocchia); pizza Tagliata di chianina; pizza Roasted carrè di chianina; pizza Cinta senese liver with baked onion from Certaldo, wild fennel, mozzarella and pancetta from Cinta senese pigs; pizza Chicken livers...
Pizza Prosciutto crudo di Cinta senese Dop
Bread from Autoctona
Post scriptum: in the post-lockdown uncertain times, Vatti opened Autoctona, a new multifunctional place a few steps from La Pergola. It's an artisanal bakery and a place where guests can stop to have a cocktail and aperitif before dinner, or a drink after the pizza; or you can buy bread, pizza cooked in a baking tin or food at “real km”. As well as a some bottles of precious extra virgin olive oil selected by Associazione Italiana Ristoranti dell’Olio.
Because in Radicondoli, Vatti wants to create a real food district. And we support his choice.
Via Giuseppe Garibaldi 22, Radicondoli (Siena)
tel. +39 0577 790717
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journalist born in 1974, for many years he has covered politics, mostly, and food in his free time. Today he does exactly the opposite and this makes him very happy. As soon as he can, he dives into travels and good food. Identità Golose's editor in chief
Luca Doro with his mother and grandmother. The pizzaiolo from Doro Gourmet in Macerata Campania has now landed in Friuli too, with Impronta Doro in Cervignano (Udine)
All photos are by Brambilla-Serrani
The pizza at Mani in Pasta, pizzeria in Milan: three locations in total, the latest in Via Giovanni da Procida 1