Restaurants in Italy – Suggestions!

posted 3 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
Member
1179 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

No advice, but I definitely need to watch this thread… we’ll be in Florence/Venice/Cinque Terre area for our honeymoon in October also!

Congrats to you!

Post # 4
Member
2562 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I did a six week study abroad in Italy in July-August 2009 (like an architectural pilgramage haha) and did a lot of eating… and a lot of walking. 🙂

Rome: Most of the food in Rome is good. We particularly liked a place across from our hotel (Hotel Derby) called “Trattoria Romana” BUT this is two things – kind of a hole-in-the-wall place, and really out of the way from the main part of Rome. Their food was delicious though, and eating outside was wonderful. There are certainly hundreds of other options other than that, it’ve really out-of-the-way most likely. I will look up my receipts and stubs from there – there is this awesome gelato place in Rome that I was on cloud 9 after… lemon basil gelato? Heaven!

Naples: We stayed here the shortest amount of time, only two days. The area around Naples is known for mozzerella di bufalo, which I did not really care for. BUT pizza in Naples was delicious. BTW, all pizza in Italy is thin-crust… and sometimes sold by the length (have you ever ordered pizza in Whole Foods? Like that)

Florence: I only visited here and didn’t stay – though in a non-food related notw, I DID sleep overnight on a bench in the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, which was a crazy adventure!

Venice: I am going to warn you right now, Venice is one of the most tourist-y parts of Italy I saw. I didn’t particularly care for it, but in order to find good food you’ll need to get away from the tourists and walk through some of Venice’s streets. Better bakeries, gelato, cafes, and shops are to be found on the road less travelled in Venice. Pick up a city map (I think they’re free?) and keep track of where you are AND especially mark down where you’re staying – it is so unbelivably easy to get lost in there.

Cinque Terre: We walked through the trails between almost all the towns in August, and if you are planning to do the same I reccomend bringing supportive shoes (not flip flops), a bottle of water, and wearing a bathing suit underneath your clothes. Once you hit a town, you will want to head straight for the docks to jump in the water. It’s HOT. You wear your bathing suit underneath so that you can also take off your shirt on the trails and not worry about modesty too much… it’s so freaking hot (not really on the Via del Amore, though – wonder if out padlock is still up?) We stayed in La Spezia and ate most of our food there. Cinque Terre food for us was sort of eaten as small snacks between hikes. That area is famous for their pesto, and it’s much easier to find in the smaller cities – Monterosso is somewhat tourist-y and doesn’t have the same quality of handmade-looking pestos and limoncellos, among other things.

Siena: Stayed here for a month. There is tons of good food here, but we did cook at home a lot. There’s a little restruant in the Contrada Civette (If I remember correctly) that was divine, but I need to ruffle through my things to find out if I have the name…

Some tips:

  • Learn how to at least order food in Italian if you want to have good service. Italians love it and they are much more patient if they see you trying.
  • Steer clear of McDonalds and any other non-Italian fast food joints – food is overpriced and (apparently) not very tasty.
  • If you’re staying somewhere for a week or so, think about taking a trip to the grocery store. Not only is it super fun to grocery shop in another country, it saves you a bit of time and money too. Oh, and blood orange juice is delicious.
  • Figure out your water preference – naturale (still) or fizziante (sparkling mineral). I liked them both, but when you order water they WILL ask you which you want.
  • Usually, a carafe of house wine is delicious, so you don’t need to splurge on bottles at resturants.
  • The cost of a carafe of wine = the cost of a carafe of water. No joke. (at least when I went)

Ask me anything you like, I tend to remember better when I have to narrow it down! 🙂

Post # 5
Member
2018 posts
Buzzing bee

I hope you don’t mind me resurrecting this–I found it while doing a search on my favorite cities.  I can speak to both Florence and Venice, but I’m in a bit of a hurry so I’ll talk about Venice first.

Venice poses a bit of a challenge when it comes to food.  I have just never been thrilled with most of the mid-range places I’ve tried and I’m less apt to use the “wander around and find something” strategy here than I am elsewhere in Italy.  My favorite approach is to eat cicchetti throughout the day and then eat at a more expensive place (well, more expensive from my perspective!) for dinner. For cicchetti everyone recommends All’Arco near the Rialto market and it’s absolutely a safe bet and a great place to start.  There are tons of bacari all over the city (the antiquarian Do Mori is another famous, and generally reliable, spot) and since they are pretty darn cheap, it is less risky to experiment–if you see a crowded place in an out-of-the-way area, go see what all the fuss is about!

My dinner recommendations are not terribly original–I am headed to Venice in December and will be booking for myself at Alle Testiere, Antiche Carampane and Il Ridotto, which are three establishments that pop up on many “best of” Venice lists.  You won’t necessarily get the rush of feeling clever or having discovered a secret, but you will get good food.  If you are looking for a restaurant on the sometimes tricky days of Sunday or Monday, Al Covo is not a bad place to look.  I don’t like it quite as much as the three others I’ve listed, but their chocolate cake is ridiculously good (and I never really get excited about dessert). 

Like I said, I’ll come back and write more about Florence later.  I’m also happy to take general questions about things to see (and, more critically, how to see them) in either city.

Post # 6
Member
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@MarriedToMyWork:  I know its not original and Venice isn’t exactly known for having the best food, but I really liked Il Ridotto when I went too!  I also went to Osteria San Marco and the food was actually really good there as well. 

 

 

@ajillity81:  I had a lot of misses in Rome because my family often just settled for pizza, but the most memorable restaurant we went to was Da Pancrazio near the Campo di Fiori. I still think about the amazing oxtail i got. 

If you like meat, you should try Florentine steak in Florence.  We went to this place called I due G and when we stepped in we were a little concerned because it was empty and didn’t look super high end.  Within the hour it was packed with locals, the steak was absolutely insane, and the atmosphere was loud and happy.  It was awesome.  Also enjoyed Osteria De’ Benci in Florence, which had nice Tuscan food.  It also got very packed at night and had good energy and even better pasta.

 

 

 

Post # 8
Member
2018 posts
Buzzing bee

@ajillity81:  I would be very surprised if your trains weren’t the frecce: Santa Lucia to Santa Maria Novella is about 2 hr; Santa Maria Novella to Termini is about 1 hr 30 m; and I don’t know the distance between Termini and Napoli Centrale off the top of my head (Rome’s usually as far south as I end up being able to go). 

There are no cars in Venice proper and an automobile would be a hindrance in Florence and Rome.  Florence is very walkable and Rome is easily managed through a combination of bus, tram and foot (and there is a Metro that manages to be useful from time to time).

As for what to do–do you and your fiancé enjoy art, churches, etc.?  Or, are you interested in other types of activities? 

 

Post # 9
Member
22 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@ajillity81:  You NEED to go to Giolitti! It’s the oldest gelateria in Rome and it is fabulous! Their nutella gelato is out of this world.

We probably went to Popolo Caffe just outside of Piazza del Popolo at least five times when we were there (2+ weeks). Their spaghetti carbonara is to die for.

Post # 10
Member
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I lived in Florence, Italy. 

Gusta pizza. Best Tuscan pizza ever! 

Napoleon awesome restaurant (not touristy) this is where the locals eat

also buy a bottle of wine and go drink on the steps of any church, piazza,duomo, it’s what all Italians do. 

i would also take advantage and go to cinque terre. Lovely place!

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