Restaurant Il Principe

Best dining in Pompeii

By far the best place to dine here is the one-star Il Principe, about half a mile from the excavations in the center of town. The dining room is decorated with framed frescoes in Neoclassical style, and some of the dishes on the menu—for instance, vermicellial garum (an anchovy paste) and cassata, a goat cheese and dried fruit dessert—are actually based on recipes used in ancient Rome. (Cassata, in fact, appears in a fresco in the dining room of the Villa di Poppaea at Oplontis, the imperial home of Nero's wife in nearby Torre Annunziata.) Should you want the complete classical culinary experience, the restaurant will oblige with a 17-item menu of ancient Roman dishes. If the modern world suits, then just order the fried baby calamari with scallions, black cuttlefish risotto, or the scallops of sea bass al cartoccio—all excellent. $110. 8 Piazza Bartolo Longo; 39-081-850-55-66; fax 39-081-863-33-42.