Florence’s Cammillo Trattoria: Revisiting an Old Friend

My mom called me on Sunday to tell me that “Cammillo” was in The New York Times. I hadn’t thought about this Florence restaurant in a long time and wondered what made it newsworthy to appear in the paper now. You see my mom and I ate at Trattoria Cammillo in 1995 on our first trip to Italy. We went back several times in the late 90s but with my transition to editor of Dream of Italy, it became necessary to try new restaurants on every trip and to be honest I fell in love with a new Florence find, L’Osteria di Giovanni.

But being reminded of Cammillo was like connecting with an old friend. Turns out the author of the article, Mimi Sheraton, feels the same way. She has eaten at the trattoria every time she has visited Florence since 1953. (The restaurant opened in 1945) She hadn’t been in 15 years when she recently revisited the place. It was as she remembered despite the time that has passed.

“Through the years, however, Cammillo’s came to be shrugged off by local cognoscenti as too touristic and old-hat. Never mind that the rustic wine canteen setting was always packed and alive with a multilingual din, through which the Italian language clearly held its own. Never mind also the enduring appeal of the simple, soul-warming food, the still moderate prices and the hectic but convivial service,” she writes.