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There's room for just two at Italy's romantic Solo per Due restaurant

Down an illuminated path, past Roman busts to a 19th century villa is the intimate restaurant Solo per Due
Solo per Due: One table, two chairs, art, statues and flowers for you and your dining partner
There are the couples on first dates and ones on last dates before the divorce is final

It's easy to reach the self-proclaimed world's smallest restaurant. Its Ferrari with the leather interior picks you up and takes you along winding roads 40 miles north of Rome high into the green Sabine Hills.

Here, the heat of the city gives way to a cool breeze rustling through cypress and palm trees.

You walk down a path illuminated by torches, past Roman busts to a 19th century villa. Walk in and you'll understand the meaning behind the restaurant's name: Solo per Due, which means Only for Two.

Before you is one table with two chairs. That's it. The rest of the room is art, statues and flowers you selected, along with your meal and music, when you made your reservation.

You summon the tuxedoed waiter with a silver bell.

Solo per Due serves one couple at dinner and one at lunch. It is arguably the most romantic dinner in Europe.

"There isn't a better emotion than working to give happiness to somebody," said Giovanni di Claudio, 46, who co-owns Solo Per Due with his father/waiter, Remo.

"If you are a doctor, you can treat somebody. It's a great emotion for you. In this case, this emotion is not felt in the end of your job, but at the beginning."

Some of the diners' stories are moving; others are different. A woman brought an elderly man here to dine. He had but months to live. Another couple brought a tattoo artist who emblazoned the man's marriage proposal on the lovers' arms.

Then there are the couples on first dates and the couples on last dates. The latter sometimes come in before their divorce is finalized.

"The last supper," Remo says.

You pay for the privacy: 250 euros (about $330) a person; credit cards are not accepted. But the price does include the flowers, music and one of 10 wines. Transportation from Rome is an additional 250 to 590 euros ($330 to $780). You can request three levels of fireworks, which will add 1,900 to 3,200 euros ($2,500 to $4,220) to the tab. They can be set off the moment a marriage proposal is whispered (or some other pronouncement is made).

If the couple can't wait to get cozy, a cottage nearby is 90 euros per person — and presumably, there will be two of you, so that figures out to about $240 for two. You must reserve ahead.

Solo per Due already has bookings for 2016.

Info: soloperdue.com. Reservations may be made only by email: info@soloperdue.it

 

travel@latimes.com

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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