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Picking restaurants

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Do you think it is best to use guides like Fodors or Frommers to choose restaurants or just ask the people at the hotel what they would recommend? Are the guidebook restaurants the most touristy? What have been most people's experience? What is the best way to judge a restaurant that is not too touristy. The problem I found just recently is that I want to eat by 7:30PM and that is when most of Italy's restaurants open for the evening, and therefore usually empty. I would be apprehensive going in thinking it is a bad restaurant because no one else is eating there. By the end of my meal, the place would be starting to fill up. I think I read that Rick Steve's said to avoid restaurants that have menus in several languages. Thanks, Lisa

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