Need to refresh your senses, more importantly your taste buds?

Fassina Ristorante and Pizzeria in Fontanafredda might be just the thing to stimulate more than one of your senses.

Fontanafredda means cold spring, and Fassina is located next to its very own cold spring, which is home to a goose that has become a sort of mascot for Fassina. The goose has been there year-round for 20 of the 30 years that Luciano Fassina has owned his restaurant.

With winter on the wane, the outdoor patio beckons diners with the fresh scents of spring mingled with the mouth-watering smells of fresh pizza.

We began our evening earlier than most Italians do, arriving at 6:30. We’d made reservations, which, while not required, is recommended. Even with one diner, it’s wise to arrive early to allow time to find parking, because the lot behind the restaurant is small.

From the moment we walked in until we left, a steady flow of customers filled the entryway waiting for pizza orders to go.

Although not all of the wait staff knows English, they have a desire to ensure your visit to Fassina will be enjoyable. Children are welcome; the staff was attentive to the needs of my 18-month-old twins.

To start, our group shared three orders of olive ascolane, deep-fried stuffed olives that were priced fairly at 4 euros for six olives. If you love the taste of olives and enjoy fried foods, the combination should be inviting.

One of my fellow diners ordered scallops with radicchio and warm polenta as an appetizer and scialatielli, a fat, long pasta, with sea urchin and zucchini for his first course.

I stuck to the more traditional appetizer, pancetta croccante con scamorza alla piastra, which is ziti pasta doused in a creamy mozzarella-like cheese and covered with bits of crispy grilled bacon.

For the second course, I chose sliced beef, very juicy and slightly pink, cooked with radicchio and grilled onions and served with a side of warm, crispy steak fries. Another in our party sampled smoked bacon wrapped around a creamy cheese that seemed to melt in your mouth, followed by a pan-seared steak smothered in mustard for a second course.

We were all enthralled with the list of homemade desserts rattled off by the waitress from memory. The bill for a group of four, including appetizers, main course and dessert, was 110 euros.

Fassina’s menu is constantly changing. The restaurant prides itself on making fresh homemade desserts daily. Thus, the chances to enjoy would appear deliciously endless.

Fassina Ristorante and Pizzeria

Location: Via Grigoletti, 33, 33074 Fontanafredda (PN).

Directions: From Aviano, take the AP highway, SP7/Via Roveredo, and turn right on SR251/Via Montereale, make another right on SS13/Viale Venezia and follow to Fontanafredda, where you’ll turn right onto Viale Grigoletti and arrive at the restaurant.

Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 6 p.m.-12 a.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday.

Food: Italian food and pizza with an emphasis on vera napoli, which is a thick pizza, and seafood, including whole fish stuffed with vegetables.

Clientele: Primarily locals from the village or surrounding countryside.

Dress: Casual.

Prices: Prices range from 6-16 euros for antipasti, 7-13 euros for first courses and 9-20 euros for second courses. Pizzas range from 4.5-10 euros depending on what you order. The restaurant accepts Visa, American Express and Master Card.

Information: Menus are in Italian only, but the staff is eager to help, and some speak English. If you enjoy beer or wine, Fassina has an array of choices. Parking lot in rear, street parking or local city parking one block south of the restaurant.

Reservations: Call (+39) 0434 99196. and

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