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  • Writer's pictureStefania Gioia

Caprini: Pasta Classes and Culinary Traditions

In the heart of Valpolicella a 100 year-old trattoria preserves the culinary traditions and arranges amazing home-made pasta classes.

It was 1907 when Silvio and his wife Lisa opened Caprini tavern and pistoria in Torbe, a village of 400 inhabitants located right between Valpolicella vineyards and Lessini mountains. Like more than 100 years ago, today the place stands in front of the church, overlooking a beautiful landscape. Back then, it was furnished just with an oven made of local tuff where Silvio used to cook the bread (pistoria is the Venetian word for bakery) and a few tables where customers would enjoy a simple meal with a glass of Valpolicella. Lisa, an excellent cook, was asked by her fellow villagers to prepare traditional recipes at family events such as weddings and other celebrations. An occupation that nowadays would be called “catering”.

Later, it was the turn of Pietro and Teresa, who had as many as 8 daughters: among this little feminine army, Pierina, along with her husband Francesco, was destined to manage the Trattoria Caprini as it’s become.

These days, advanced in years, yet bright and energetic, she still oversees her 3 sons’ work at the place, that is recognized as a real home-made pasta and Valpolicella wine temple. As a matter of fact, the most requested dish is probably lasagnette with Pierina’s ragu’, made of beef, veal and pork.

Called lasagnetta, this kind of pasta resembles more a traditional tagliatella: "rich and eggy with a slightly tough texture that ensures that it doesn't turn sloppy when cooked" is the description of The Guardian, that listed it among the 50 best things to eat in the world. The dressing changes according to the season, ranging from asparagus, peas and mushrooms to black truffle, rabbit gravy and hare salmi’. As well as lasagnette, tortelli are stuffed seasonally, while a few second courses mostly consists in local meat, expertly grilled or prepared according to timeless, traditional recipes.

Rustic and essential, yet elegant and comfortable, besides the main dining room the trattoria boasts a terrace on the valley and a small, intimate space with a couple of tables nearby the historical oven. The same room also hosts a cellar, where a great number of wines is classified and shelved, ready to be selected by the most discerning palates.

Recently the family launched some successful home-made pasta classes, where guests can learn how to knead flour and eggs, roll the dough, cut it into the desired shape, finally taste it in 3 different versions, in 2 hours of culinary joy.

Savouring the combination of the most genuine ingredients will make them appreciate the honesty and simplicity of a 4 generation family that, thanks to these values and to its hard work, was able to keep Venetian traditions alive: universally the only way to preserve people’s cultural identity.

Have a Glass in Venice is happy to recommend and include this wonderful spot into its Valpolicella wine region tours.

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