Scenes and stories from a small town in the hills of Italy's Le Marche region

Mama mia, great food at the trattoria

by Melissa Masar
July 2006

For the past 70 years, the Strologo family has owned and operated the Trattoria Strologo in the center of Camerano. From spaghetti bolognese to coniglio alla cacciatora (braised rabbit) to a chilled carafe of vino bianco (white wine), the meals served at the trattoria are homemade dishes from this Italian family’s tradition.

Restaurant customers

Loyal patrons give Trattoria Strologo a healthy business during both lunch and dinner. Photo by Patrick Weatherly.

The current trattoria owner, Gianfranco Strologo, has been working for the family business since 1975. He became the “true boss,” as his sister Matilde, refers to him, after their mother died in 2001.

Although Matilde says family involvement working at the trattoria is complicated, all seven children in the Strologo family have lent a hand. “A little contribution is given by everyone,” she says.

The current family contribution comes from Matilde as the cook and brother Roberto as waiter, after his retirement from restoring rugs in the nearby city of Ancona, Giancarlo Strologo runs the family business and wait on customers as well.

Paintings and old photographs of Camerano line the paneled walls of the trattoria, located in a distinctive triangular-shaped building at one end of the Piazza Roma. Conversations hum throughout the room at lunchtime where patrons sit at tables draped with white linen underneath the white and red-striped paper napkins inscribed with Buon Appetito. While a liter of white wine and water are placed on the table, the dishes of the day, which are chosen by Matilde, are conveyed to patrons.

White wine is readily available in a carafe. It comes from the Silvestroni Winery, about 20 kilometers away. Giancarlo Strologo claims red wine is also offered, in bottles, but not commonly ordered because it is more expensive. However, some customers--and others in the community -- say the trattoria does not serve red wine because the owners think that spilled wine would stain the white tablecloths.

While the Trattoria Strologo is not the only trattoria in Camerano, the long-standing family business attracts regular customers as well as tourists. The trattoria, according to Strologo, mainly serves people from Camerano and visiting salespeople.

Matilde says the seasons also affect the business. During the vacation periods in the summer, people do not work and go to the beach with their families. In the winter, the trattoria becomes busier, serving many groups of customers.

While the Trattoria Strologo serves dishes of the Italian family tradition, the business does not serve dessert. Fruit is served, but not traditional desserts. When asked why he does not serve dessert, Giancarlo Strologo responds, with shrugged shoulders and a laugh, “Because it’s a trattoria!”

Strologo also describes service at a restaurant as a luxury and more refined than at a trattoria. Although a trattoria is less expensive than a restaurant, the menu is more limited.

Although a wider variety of meals cannot be found at Trattoria Strologo, a selection of dishes of Italian family tradition will always be served fresh, homemade and delicious.

Trattoria Strologo
The Trattoria is located at the end of Piazza Roma. Photo by Patrick Weatherly.
Cook at the restaurant
Matilde Strologo is the genius behind Trattoria Strologo's many delicous dishes. Photo by Patrick Weatherly.

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