Many restaurants stand out for their distinguishing factors, from rare ingredients being sourced to Michelin-starred chefs preparing the courses. Others boast of a striking ambiance accompanying the meal or theatrics when food is served at the table. This unique property, trumps them all by setting itself apart for its size. Solo Per Due is located in the Province of Rieti in Italy and has found global fame for the number of customers it can accommodate; which, believe it or not, is only 2. Its tiny dining room is less than 500 square feet and is a structural part of a rural 20th-century stone mansion, where vestiges of its ancient Roman framework are visible. Situated close to the Vacone village in the north of Rome, it has been renowned since 1983 as an exclusive experience for lovers, which is tucked away in the Italian landscape.
The gate of the restaurant opens up to a magnificent garden, planted with palm trees originating from the Canary Islands to California. Surrounding the property is a panoramic view of the valleys where olive trees and vineyards grow in abundance. Summers at Solo Per Due can include a walk through the property, where fragrance from the strawberry grape pergola abounds. In winter, rainy evenings can be cosily spend indoors around the fireplace. The structure is renovated from what was originally the country house of the Latin poet Horace, so rustic elements and stone walls are very much present. The spring of Bandusium is a stone's throw away near the ancient ruins and is particularly significant for its reference in Horace's Odes III, which is one of his most famous poems.
With a name that translates from Italian to mean 'just for two', Solo Per Due is designed for lovers. The idea sprouted from the fact that the owner was frustrated with the general hospitality and demeanour of crowded restaurants, complete with bustle and queues. It led to his creation of a dining experience that offers solitude and exclusivity for a couple with the best of food and drink. Besides seating only a pair for an intimate meal, it also features a 'Book Of Thoughts'. The collection of heart-warming words and romantic memories is compiled by lovers who visit the restaurant from far and wide and take pen to paper in order to share their love stories from across the world. Walk into the 20th-century origin villa and you will cast your eyes on a resplendent dining room complete with red seating and a table adorned with candelabras. Sink into the chairs and let the diffused lighting and intimate setting allow sparks to fly. You won't have to worry about interruptions to order your next course or a drink refill either as a waiter can be summoned by ringing a silver bell, as and when you desire. After all, privacy comes first when you're at a restaurant made for two.
Expectantly, the cuisine at Solo Per Due is strictly Italian with a curated menu using fresh ingredients, which are available on a daily and seasonal basis. Clink your glasses of vino together, supplied by only the highest quality of Italian wineries. Though it is open every day of the year for both lunch and dinner; bookings can only be made by telephone in the afternoons and are sometimes required to be placed months in advance. Once booked, a confirmation 7 days before your dining experience is also necessary. Doing so enables you to personalise the finer details of your event. Additionally, it also allows for a personal firework show or floral display, if you'd like to make your grand gesture of love even grander, that is. The restaurant recommends arriving punctually as, the garden is illuminated with torches at the established time; only further adding to its charm.
Solo Per Due may claim to be the smallest restaurant in the world but everything apart from its size, is maximalist. The cost of dining at Solo Per Due is €500, which is approximately Rs 44,000. While the price excludes champagne, a booking at the exclusive restaurant entitles you the freedom to choose everything, from your menu to your floral setup to even the background music played on your romantic date.