It is nice to see that the Association’s initial spirit has remained unchanged over the years: the excellence that has always been one of its prime features remains alive and continues to grow stronger over time, providing the worthy protagonists who laid its foundations with young professionals, bringing prestige to Italian catering.
Fausto Arrighi, former director of the Michelin Guide Italy
Le Soste is a way of life, and a way of thinking and thus a way of doing things: professionalism, culture, courtesy and expertise ensure an exquisitely warm welcome and surprisingly friendly atmosphere combined with that typically Italian refinement that sets us apart from the rest of the world and that everyone envies.
Francesca Romana Barberini, author and TV presenter, food writer
In this Italy of divisions and corporate associations, conversely we have a worthy symposium – with a little rivalry, a little shared dialogue and a little experimentation – that has brought together the excellence of Italian cuisine for thirty-six years. With its 94 members, Le Soste represents the history, the present and the future of our culinary culture.
Camilla Baresani, author, food writer
A stop at one of Le Soste is never a forced stop. It is rarely by chance and almost always intentional. Pursued for weeks and sometimes for months. Renewed from season to season. They are all tempting stopping points on one’s trip through Italy in pursuit of excellence. Goethe and Stendhal, wandering geniuses without a guide, envy this time of ours.
Maurizio Bertera, Gambero Rosso
The concept of an enjoyable stopover (Sosta) contains much of the intrinsic value in restaurant catering: making guests feel at home and providing comfort. This is what Le Soste has succeeded in doing in recent years, raising this concept to its highest level. Because Italian catering means excellent cuisine but, even more than others, it is also synonymous with an excellent welcome. And it is all about the human touch.
Twenty-five years ago I took my first tentative steps towards discovering haute cuisine. I still remember what I must have looked like – I do not know whether I was more moved or thrilled – as I crossed the threshold of that temple of restaurant catering, with its symbol on the wall that I would come to know as a well-being guarantee.
Marco Colognese, food and wine critic
When the Association was founded thirty-six years ago, there were 19 restaurants, a group of chefs and restaurateurs, all friends united in the name of a stylish, refined cuisine of the highest quality. Today it has grown from every point of view, true to its initial spirit, yet dynamic in its capacity to overcome passing fashions, retaining the sense of hospitality as its credo and respect for the local territory as its method.
Eleonora Cozzella, journalist at Repubblica
Share a dream: this is what members of Le Soste have always done. The dream about excellent Italian Cuisine, born from quality and research, proud of its own nature, a common dream pursued day by day. If special thanks – among many thanks – should go to Le Soste, it is exactly for this: bringing the best together to forge great dreams.
Carla Icardi, director of Italian Gourmet
From its founders to its highly famous contemporary performers, Le Soste has represented a niche of unquestionable quality and absolute values for Italian Cuisine over a period of more than thirty-six years. The 94 exponents are all great friends, but above all true craftsmen over a hot stove and witnesses of our culture.
Alberto Lupini, director of Italia a Tavola
Stopping at Le Soste is a pleasurable experience – no doubt about it. Whatever the location you choose from this guide and whatever your pace at work and in your private life, the Associazione Le Soste was conceived to offer the very best in food to those visiting and those living in Italy. There are no places for a quick bite to eat and off. You need to take the right time, enter the world of the chef, his family and his staff; you need to drop down a gear or two as you approach the table and turn off your phones and computers. Every stop at Le Soste will be a wonderful, tasty time.
What makes this partnership so pleasant to us is the word friendship. Because friendship means years of sharing views, a desire to work as a team and sometimes a tacit or explicit plan to make Italian cuisine even more successful in the world. This is what the restaurateurs of Le Soste have achieved. Long live Le Soste
Paolo Massobrio, journalist
Mutual respect and friendship. A desire to grow and experiment. Awareness of a tradition that deserves defending, and of excellent products that deserve promotion. These were the aims behind the creation of Le Soste in 1982. Those who founded it and those who are now part of it are restaurateurs who embody the very best of Italian cuisine. And the history of Le Soste is one that tells their tale. And, in the words of Giuseppe Prezzolini, one that “makes all of us who love Italy extremely proud.
Gianluca Montinaro, Le Guide de l’Espresso
If I think of all the members and the many friends in the Association, my thoughts do not dwell only on the pleasant times that customers spend at their tables. The reference to the Latin verb “substare” in the name “Soste” also means remaining firmly, because the chefs from Le Soste are creators of refined modern cuisine, while remaining firmly rooted within their culture and among the magnificent produce of Italy.
Carlo Ottaviano, journalist at Il Messaggero
It’s already an enormous success having survived unscathed through thirty-six years of tumultuous growth in the sector, while preserving its original fundamental principles. For the future we hope that Le Soste will continue to grow as a major player, not only with the beautiful volume that it publishes every year, but also through events and in-depth studies on issues relating to the sector.
Luigi Cremona, food and wine critic
Time is always a gentleman, goes the old Italian adage. And cuisine, like all arts, is no exception in an era where every phenomenon is born to be consumed at the speed of light and where appearance, alas, seems far more important than substance. Therefore, a well-deserved round of applause must go to this initiative which from its outset portrayed itself as an “institutional” body, and that is how it has remained over thirty-six years, unscathed from philosophical ebbs and flows, but especially from the media tsunami that today imposes competition as an absolute value even in the field of cuisine. Keep it up!
Mimmo di Marzio, journalist and painter
I can only remember one other association of restaurateurs which has had the interests of Italian style at heart: it was called “Linea Italia In Cucina” and many of the Le Soste restaurateurs were members. That same vision has been a constant element in the history of Le Soste and today we can say that Italian catering style, thanks to the international customers of the restaurants in the volume, is in demand and highly successful throughout the world.
Luigi Franchi, director of sala&cucina
We are accustomed to media clamour regarding haute cuisine, to the names of wonderful chefs on the lips of everyone though known to few, and to the exponential growth in good food guides. In addition to the prestige of those who represent it (and that’s no mean feat), Le Soste also has something reassuring and even “homely”. Hurrah!
Marisa Fumagalli, journalist Corriere della Sera
A taste for Beauty, a passion for providing a warm welcome to guests in restaurants where no detail is left to chance and ongoing research aimed at achieving quality cuisine and marvellous dishes. These are the characteristics that have led us to love and admire Le Soste: true Italian excellence!
Marco Gatti, journalist
When we think of the Associazione Le Soste, even before we put pen to paper to describe its laudable culinary successes, we are reminded of intimate, cosy moments, a seamless, unceasing pleasure that is repeated in a constant evolution in step with the times..
Andrea Grignaffini, food and wine critic,
director of Spirito DiVino
There are evaluation guides (the most common and most controversial ones) and information guides that are divided into paid advertising publications, or those by associations, that are sometimes the most bizarre ones. Right from the start, the Le Soste guide was a compendium of top flight Italian restaurants, and over time it has continued to include only the very best, contradicting an all-Italian commonplace occurrence. A useful guide to those who want all the details for choosing a quality restaurant.
Davide Paolini, Il Gastronauta
Before the current media storm surrounding cuisine, Le Soste had understood the importance of telling a story about the traditions and culture involved in the Italian restaurant scene. The secret of Le Soste is this: excellence that is constant over time. Something beyond fads and fashions.
Roberto Perrone, journalist and writer
With this issue, the publication of Le Soste marks an important milestone confirming its own position as a benchmark for connoisseurs wishing to find their way around top quality catering and hospitality establishments in Italy, and includes its usual attention to conviviality, but also to the culinary traditions inherent in the places reviewed.
Carlo Petrini, Slow Food
My generation missed out on a number of historical events: too young for the Resistance and too old for the unrest in 1968. But I was there in 1982 at the founding of Le Soste. But I did not realize at the time that it was an historical event that would change the destiny of Italian restaurants.
Cesare Pillon, journalist
Those looking for a special restaurant start from a few assumptions: that the cuisine has a style of its own, that the atmosphere is pleasant, that service in the dining room is empathetic and not over-the-top and that the experience, as a whole, will be highly reasonable. The restaurateurs of Le Soste amply meet these expectations.
Alberto P. Schieppati, director of Artù
Thirty-six years have already gone by since the fated dinner that gave rise to the association. Its objective? Setting the foundations for Italian cuisine and sharing them in generous style. The ideals from that time still shine brightly today: culinary culture, graceful hospitality, good taste and quality catering. Values that go beyond time and fashions. That is where the strength of Le Soste lies.
Roberta Schira, journalist and writer
Food. Excellence. Culture. Three concepts that summarise Italian identity, while also representing the three souls of Le Soste. An association that came to be in a country that has always treated food as their forte, inevitably would dedicate itself to selection, experimentation and discovery, thanks to the chefs and to a publication such as this one. Together, they bring culture into the world.
As I scan through the volume of Le Soste, I see familiar faces and places – from Ca’ Vittoria, the first in order of appearance, to Talvo by Dalsass – and my belief is confirmed that all the very best are there: the classical ones and innovative ones, the young ones and the veterans, those in the city and those in the provinces, the mountains and by the sea… It’s a good thing there are only 94, otherwise I might as well give up doing my Guide.
Enzo Vizzari, director of Le Guide de l’Espresso