By Benedetta Checcarelli


The organic farm of the Bittarelli family was born from a primordial need: the return of man to the land and its goods. A Rousseauian philosophy, if you will, which is the background to the life of a woman, the owner – as well as self-declared housewife – Patrizia Marcelli.


That of ‘housewife’ is actually a role that she much prefers to ‘chef’ and that she wants to highlight. This ancient craft is the beating heart of the recent agri-restaurant, inaugurated in 2019. Marcelli – since birth already practically destined to become a housewife like his grandmother Giustina – has done and continues to do an important work of family economy, managing the kitchen almost in complete autonomy and basing it exclusively on the rural products of the earth.

In fact, the agri-restaurant, accessible only by reservation and functional to close the circle of production, offers a fixed menu that varies according to the season; The goal is certainly to keep alive the fresh flavours of country life, something that today is going more and more to diminish and get lost. Precisely in this perspective, the company’s agriculture moves and wants to move, not only leaving the timing of crops unchanged, but also thanks to a non-intensive mode focused only on territorial products, such as chickpeas, lentils, wild peas, borlotti beans and cannellini, spelled and barley.

Their main resource (of pride), however, is certainly the ‘Fagiolina del Trasimeno’, a species of native bean that grows only in the area surrounding the lake. The evolutionary history of this crop is told to us by Marcelli, and starts from 1998, the year in which young students of the University of Perugia began to take and analyse samples of Trasimeno beans from all the producing companies; From there, they realized that they were all different but with a single DNA, and above all that from the White Beans it was possible to obtain a hybrid species, coloured, but not vice versa. Although both the Bittarelli and the students have made numerous petitions to include the white species, at the moment, only the ‘colored’ Fagiolina del Trasimeno turns out to be a Slow Food Presidium.



The Fagiolina is also the product that is most dear to Marcelli – who from the profession of factory worker until 2007 (shortly before the meeting with her future husband and former owner, Patrizio) has passed to take over the restaurant, reorganizing it according to her philosophy of housewife: cooking with raw material available.

Going from the free-range chicken that bears his name, to the bruschetta of white and coloured beans (of which bread making is fundamental, carried out with its own “bread-pizza” mixtures of ancient and modern wheat flour and seasoned with self-produced extra virgin olive oil), up to one of his signature creations: the ‘Poor gnocchi without potatoes’, with preparation based on boiling water and stone-ground flour with Senatore Cappelli grains, spelled and Verna.

The dough is entirely worked by hand at high temperatures, alternating with a quick rinsing of the hands in a basin of cold water on the side (in proportion we will have 1⁄2 Kg of gnocchi with 1⁄2 Liter of water). The final dressing is given by fresh vegetables from the garden, normally zucchini and cherry tomatoes combined with zucchini flowers, which however may vary depending on seasonal availability.

The kitchen is thus the realm of Patrizia Marcelli, a place where food means variety, sustainability and creativity, perhaps the virtue par excellence. In fact, in addition to the tasting process started in 2013, the Bittarelli company offers the interesting option of educational visits and workshops for children and adults concerning the world of agriculture, and the steps to be taken to bring food from the garden to the kitchen. Marcelli (pre)deals with this aspect also holding cooking classes, in which the resources of the territory of the company and the family are used.

The farm tours end, then, generally with a meal at the agri-restaurant. For those who want or can just eat, you only need one thing: book in advance!



Info: Azienda Agricola Bittarelli Patrizio e Figli s.s., Loc. Poggio del Sole, Vaiano, Castiglione del Lago (Pg) / Tel. 335 5455622 (also whatsapp) / /