BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN TUSCANY: LA PINETA, Marina di Bibbona


Michelin star restaurant La Pineta at Marina di Bibbona beach Tuscany
Restaurant La Pineta at Marina di Bibbona beach 

One of Italy's best seafood restaurants can be found on Tuscany's central coast, at the beach of Marina di Bibbona. Walking past La Pineta it's easy to mistake the restaurant for a lovely but simple beach bar and deck chair rental place. And whilst you can still just visit La Pineta to rent an umbrella for your day at the beach, it would be foolish to miss out on the seafood treasures that are prepared in the restaurant's kitchen.

We happened to be in the area for other reasons, but once we realized that we were standing in front of La Pineta we couldn't resist having a look. Timing was perfect, we opened the door shortly before 7pm. No clients around yet and the Michelin starred cook, who - judging from the frenzy in the kitchen - would have had better to do, generously took the time to show us around. 


Luciano Zazzeri - proud owner and chef of Michelin starred restaurant La Pineta
Luciano Zazzeri
Proud owner and chef of Michelin starred restaurant La Pineta

The atmosphere at La Pineta is friendly but the interiors are not as intimidatingly posh as in many other restaurants adorned by a Michelin star.  This may be thanks to owner and chef Luciano Zazzeri's humble past. He started out as a fishermen and still loves to be out on a boat  - so who if not him would know about first class ingredients when it comes to seafood. 

My Tuscan native, who loves food as long as it's not seafood, was incredibly impressed by the famous chef and the pleasant ambiance of the restaurant. So much so, that he was ready to sit down and overcome his childhood trauma of having had a fish bone stuck in his throat. It was about time! 

With the fine scents promising Cacciucco (Luciano's interpretation of Livorno's fantastic fish soup) and other delicacies from the kitchen, we were more than ready to grab a fork. But there's one thing that spoils every meal at a Michelin starred restaurant: the company of our two children. La Pineta's mouth watering Menu di Degustazione will have to wait. But next time we stroll along this beach I'll be sure to have a babysitter in tow. 

La Pineta: Via Cavalleggeri Nord, 27 - Marina di Bibbona. Tel: +39 0586 600 016. Be sure to book in advance.

If you too happen to be in company of two sandy children walk southwards along the beach till you get to the pizzeria Jolly Beach at Marina di Bibbona. Looking for a last resort for two hungry kids and their grumpy parents, we were pleasantly surprised with what we found. Interiors true to Italian design (mainly from furniture producer Kartell) and a TV showing the Champion's league final football game. The kids loved their pizza and watching the spectacular sunset from the beach restaurant made up for the missing Michelin star. Pizzeria Jolly Beach: Piazza del Forte, 5 - Marina di Bibbona. Tel: +39 0586 600 817


Sunset at Marina di Bibbona beach on Tuscany's coast
Sunset at Marina di Bibbona beach


WHERE TO STAY:

If you want to match your Michelin star dinner with the comfort of a superb holiday house on the sea, check out Trust & Travel's Villa Tombolina. Just a bit further down the beach, the house offers every comfort you could possibly think of and all of it in true Tuscan style. 

If you have to save on the accommodation to afford the Michelin star cuisine, check out Il Palazzino B&B, which is located in a historic villa with several rooms on a small hill right next to Bibbona (7km from the beach). Some of the rooms on the upper floors come with a lovely view towards the sea. Il Palazzino is very kid friendly (plenty of cats) and offers a generous breakfast (much more so than most B&B's in Italy). 

Garden and breakfast room Il Palazzino B&B Bibbional
 

Last but not least read our Best Italian Restaurants in Tuscany post if you want to find the names of all the Michelin starred restaurants in the region. 


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