From restaurants to secret bridges, here’s a roundup of all the best parts of Sacile, Italy!
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One of the strange parts of living in a foreign country is that you discover things differently than you do in your hometown. So many of your initial housing decisions are made based on word of mouth, meaning you’re limited to what your coworkers know and what you can google in English. When you’re scrambling to find housing, you don’t have time to do the deep dive on each of the 10+ towns Americans tend to choose.
To that end, I’m putting together guides for each of the major towns surrounding Aviano Air Base. Think of these as partly PCS guides but also just a list of great spots to eat and what to look for when spending a sunny Saturday afternoon!
First up: my beloved town, Sacile!
I’m biased, but I think Sacile has the best of all worlds when it comes to small-town Italian living. We have a central piazza with gorgeous architecture and the ruins of city walls. But walk 15 minutes out of the city center and you’re surrounded by farmland.
Sacile is small enough to walk anywhere, but big enough to have plenty of options for restaurants, bars, and shopping. We have a train station on a major line, meaning we can get to Venice in an hour and just about anywhere from the Venice train station or airport.
Sacile is known as the “Garden of the Serenissima” because in centuries past, Sacile was a popular vacation spot for rich Venetians. The river through town connects to Venice, so back in the day it was an easy boat ride. Napoleon also passed through and had a garrison stationed here for a while, so you find a lot of French last names on your neighbors.
My Favorite Things About Sacile
Sacile’s weekly market is Thursday, and it’s one of the bigger ones in the area. It’s full of clothing shops and plant stalls as well as the traditional produce, seafood, and cheese options. There’s a fresh pasta stall and a baker who’ll help you pick the right bread for your meal, but a surprise favorite is the nuts and dried fruit stall. They have baskets of olives, nuts, and dried fruits, as well as a good selection of spices sold very affordably. I plan my meals around what’s available!
Sacile’s train station is a huge draw for me. We can walk 10 minutes to the train and not have to coordinate parking or leaving far in advance of travel – it’s perfection for travel when that becomes an option again!
A favorite afternoon activity when I first moved here was to hunt up the bridges! Like a miniature Paris, the piazza technically sits on an island. One of my favorite things the first few weeks was discovering all the tiny footbridges scattered through town!
During non-pandemic times, Sacile has several festivals through the year. The biggest one is a bird festival every September, which has been going on for over a century! And the Christmas markets are so much fun – not every small town has them, so we love that they’re only a few steps away.
Macelleria Lot is my favorite macelleria (butcher) and Latteria di Roverbasso is my favorite latteria (cheese and dairy shop). Both keep Italian hours, so don’t be surprised if they’re not open all the time, but generally, mornings are good.
- Trattoria Cavour is seriously underrated in my opinion. The place feels nice but not formal, perfect for catching up with a friend. The staff is gracious and friendly, and the menu changes regularly so there’s always something new to try. At lunch, their outdoor seating is beautiful.
- Le Contrade is a favorite for special occasions. The food is elegant and delicious, and I’ve heard fantastic things about their tasting menu. If you have a group of 6 or more, you can reserve their wine cellar for a private dinner!
- For big groups, Cellini is a good bet. They’re delicious, they have lots of menu options – both pizza and traditional primi/secondi, and they’ll split checks.
- Want a cheap lunch? Try Pizziwine. They offer panini and pizzas as well as traditional Italian bar snacks for really reasonable prices.
Like any good Italian, I have different spots for different pizza needs:
- In general, our go-to pizza spot is Pizzeria Dodo. They serve traditional Neapolitan pizza, and it’s delicious. It’s better in person than takeaway, but you better believe we still get it to go all the time when we’re craving some really good pizza.
- The best takeout pizza is Due Punto Zero. It’s quick, it’s delicious, and I love the staff so much! My favorite is the Paesana. They’re super friendly and we’re there so much that they ask about my dog every time I don’t bring him with me.
- Pizza Amore also merits a mention for two reasons: one, it has a great pizza with an entire burrata served on top. Other restaurants do this, but it’s the best one and also super reasonably priced. Also, the seating over the river is gorgeous when not under construction, as it is now.
Bars & Cafes
These are grouped together because in Italian, a bar is where you go for coffee in the morning. They also almost always serve alcohol.
- Antica is my favorite. It sits in the middle of the piazza and is always popular. Their coffee drinks are good – my favorite is the macchiatone – and so are their Aperol spritzes. You can also sit there and order food from Doppio Zero next door, which has the best burgers I’ve had in Italy.
- Farmacia Trentatre had idyllic seating next to the river at the edge of the piazza. It’s a dreamy spot for an apertivo with friends.
- Pasticceria Berardi is my favorite pasticceria, pastry shop. Everything they make is beautiful and delicious, and the views out the windows are stunning!
- Le Lanterne Bistro has great beer selection! Their burgers are just okay but their bar snacks and panini are good!
- Ladri di Biciclette, which translates to bicycle thieves but Americans just call it bike bar. Whatever you call it, it’s the most traditional bar vibe for a Friday night.
- Weiss Cafe is another good weekend night spot. It has cool outdoor seating along the river, so it makes for a great afternoon spot on a warm day too!
Again, not a simple answer. We typically rotate through three favorites:
- My favorite has to be Botega del Gelato. I’ve yet to try one I didn’t love here, and the staff always say hey even when I’m just walking by! If you only go to one spot, go here 100%.
- Il Gelatone gets a mention because they have this mind-blowing creme brulee flavor that I’m obsessed with.
- Il Dolcefreddo this one is a bit further out of town, so we go less often, but it’s so good. I love it too.
There are in fact a few restaurants that serve something other than Italian food. Here are my favorites:
- Indian Masala is largely thought the best Indian food in the area, not just Sacile.
- Jin Sushi is a great sushi option. Don’t expect what you’d get in Japan, but it’s quality.
- I already mentioned Doppio Zero, but their burgers rate a second mention.
- People will refer to the kebab place in Sacile, and they mean Doner Kebab. It’s soooo good and so cheap. Another bonus: one of those rare fast food options that’s packed with fresh vegetables. Cash only.
Shopping in Sacile
I’m not a massive shopper, preferring to spend my money on food and travel, but here are my favorite shops in town!
- Grosmi primarily sells amazing coffee beans, but they also always have great seasonal treats and edible gifts!
- Cartaostrie is where I buy all my birthday cards and paper goods. She sells handmade paper, cards, and seasonal decor, and somehow everything is still super affordable!
- L’utile Il Dilettevole is my favorite shop in town. They’re mostly kitchenware and house decor, but have a little bit of everything. It’s a great place to head for inspiration when you need a birthday gift for someone.
- I love getting bouquets at Millefiori Sacile. She makes beautiful bouquets to order!
Whether you’re on the hunt to find a place to live or just looking for fun in Sacile, I hope this helps!
This will become a series here – what town should I feature next month?
In the meantime, if you want more of local Italy, follow me on Instagram!