Cheap local places to eat in Italy

Mar 1st, 2008, 05:20 PM
  #1  
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Cheap local places to eat in Italy

Hi all.

My wife and I are going to Italy for 14 days. We're visiting Venice, Bologna, Florence, Sienna, the Cinque Terra, and Milan. Couple of nights in each place on a more laid-back, not really going for the sites, chill trip.

We'd appreciate good low priced dining options in each city as we'd like to keep things inexpensive, especially with the dollar's increasing weakness against the Euro.

Thanks in advance!
rjderama is offline  
Mar 1st, 2008, 06:41 PM
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If you do a search here for each of those cities, you will find many threads that discuss this subject.

Also, please tell us in euros what price you are hoping to pay per person. "Inexpensive" can mean different things to different people.
ellenem is offline  
Mar 1st, 2008, 06:58 PM
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Ellenem et al.

Sorry about that. I'm visually impaired (losing my vision slowly) so I thought I'd take the easy way out But I'll definitely get on it to search the forums. It'll help me practice the low vision computer skills.

As for "inexpensive", we think E75 a day for two for food. Hope it's possible.


rjderama is offline  
Mar 1st, 2008, 07:14 PM
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In most cases, breakfast will be included in your hotel fee, so you won't have to factor that into your budget.

Can you increase the point size of your browser font on your computer for easier viewing? On a Macintosh, all you have to do is press "command" and "+". Not sure abput a PC.
ellenem is offline  
Mar 1st, 2008, 07:24 PM
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yes - you definitely can increase the font size on a PC. Press "control" (Ctrl) and the "plus" (+) twice.

Or put your cursor on "View" at the menu on the top, this opens up the menu, then go to "Text Size" and then you can go to "increase or Decrease" text size.
Johnmango is offline  
Mar 1st, 2008, 08:07 PM
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Hi rj --

We typically eat the breakfast our hotel provides, try to get a sandwich or salami/cheese plate at lunch, and then save our $ for dinner.

I have a few suggestions for Venice where you can eat their version of tapas, called cichetti, around 6:00 pm. It's very affordable and fun because you get to try many different things. Here are a few from my trip report in '05:

Alla Botte - Calle della Bissa 5482, Rialto
We loved this tiny bar and its delicious cichetti (tapas-style appetizers that you can make a meal out of). We ended up eating here on both the first and last nights of our trip. For E15 total, two people can munch on two plates of cichetti with one drink each. We had grilled tomatoes, shrimp salad, fried zucchini flowers, seafood fritters, herbed goat cheese, and breaded potatoes. You can also sit at the tables in the back for no cover. The crowd seemed around our age (early 30s).

Ruga Rialto / Cantina do Mori – San Polo, near Rialto Bridge
We made a meal out of the cichetti offered at these two bars one evening. We ate at both of these places last year and just loved them. The selection is not as broad as that offered at Alla Botte, but both are delicious nonetheless. We chose calamari, veal meatballs, potatoes with sun-dried tomatoes, seafood fritters, and a small sandwich. Again, we spent less than E20 total for dinner that evening.

And one restaurant on Burano:
Gatto Nero – Burano
We had lunch here during an excursion to Burano. It was rather hard to find because it is off the main street a bit, but was worth looking for. For approximately E30, we had grilled eel and spaghetti w/ragu. Both were amazing, especially the eel. We live in the Midwest, so this was a treat for us. The place was filled with locals… even the police were eating there.

Enjoy your trip!
hlocke1 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 02:25 AM
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I can help you for Milan because I was there last week and it was a very nice experience.
At 9 Via San Pietro all'Orto, that is one of the street perpendicular to the pedestrain very famous street between Duomo and San Babila, there is SALSAMENTERIA VERDIANA.
There you can have lunch paying 10 euro more or less and it will be very good if you like typical Emilian food.
Different location, same label is at Foro Bonaparte, the square at the end of Via Dante, close enough to Castello Sforzesco.

In Florence, cheap enough, IMO, Trattoria Cibreino and in Siena Trattoria Papei.

Ciao, Vincenzo
vincenzod is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 04:16 AM
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ttt for tips on venice as we are off there in lesss than 3 weeks. yippee.

i think we're staying near alle botte which is looking like a good choice.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 04:20 AM
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I should have added that when we wre in siena, we came across a very good restaurant where the fare was not the usual tuscan style, but was italian nevertheless. [does that make sense?]

it is called ristorante le Campane, in via delle campane [near the duomo, sort of]. the food was really interesting, and very good. for 4 it cost E120 including wine and water, so it might be good for a special meal.

in Venice, look out for the many snack bars which do great sandwiches you can take away. in florence, there are a number of self-service cafes which are good value.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 05:22 AM
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In Florence, a moderately priced standby for rustic local fare in the Oltrarno is:


La Casalinga
Via dei Michelozzi, 9/r

closed Sunday

And the classic budget lunch would be at Nerbone in the Central Market. Their boiled beef sandwich is world famous but they have quite a few others dishes as well. Open until about 2pm. Seating at shared tables.

You really should search here, as suggested above by Ellenem.

ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 06:15 AM
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One way to keep costs down: don't sit at sidewalk cafes. Most coffee bars offer the same beverages and snacks for half the price if you stand at the bar. You can find the price list posted on the wall, usually near the cash register.
ellenem is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 06:39 AM
  #12  
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Thanks everyone so far.

I've got the zoom all the way up on my 17" MBP. So now it's a 3" screen But I'll keep searching. Thanks all for your tips - food and computer!


rjderama is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 06:16 PM
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Cinque Terre:

We loved eating here.

Breakfast was included at our hotel

In Cinque Terre you will find wonderful foccacia. Buy it buy the slice, then walk and eat or plan a picnic. We bought some for our train trip to Milan. Wonderful fresh fruit stands for dessert.

For dinner, pesto is the local sauce for pasta. So much better than what we have here in the states. The servings are huge.

GranthamMommy is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 11:26 AM
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Thanks GranthamMommy! We're looking forward to our visit to Cinque Terra especially.
rjderama is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 11:41 AM
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Another general tip for saving money: Eat your big meal for lunch. It's healthier for you, anyway
StCirq is online now  
Mar 14th, 2008, 01:06 PM
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Another great place we found suggestions for inexpensive meals were in the Rick Steves Italy Guides. He recommended an amazing little Pizza place in Venice that we would grab slices for lunch and eat on the bridge overlooking the canal.
travel_princess is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 01:11 PM
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I just posted a suggestion for Florence: Pallotino. Click on my name; it should be easy to find that one.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 01:17 PM
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In Bologna, one of my favorites for nicely priced, excellent pizza is Pizzeria Ristorante La Brace Bologna. There pizza is delicious and they make a frutti di mare cold salad that is HUGE for a great price.

Also eat at the wine bar at Tamburini. For 18 euros we had a good sized cheese and meat tray with 2 glasses or wine and a free bread basket. We were stuffed and it was heavenly. You can also eat the Tamburini cafeteria, their menu changes daily, it's tasty, fresh and affordable.

Both places are located in the city center and reasonably priced.

Also, you'll find if you really want to eat on the cheap, the small grocery stores in Bologna have excellent, premade foods (pastas, lasagnes, meats, etc) for a very good price. We bought food at one little market near San Domenico on a few of the nights when we wanted down time. It was memorable, and that's coming from a grocery store! Hey Toto, we're not in Albertson's anymore - LOL They dont' call Bologna la grassa for nothing, it's fabulous for eating!

PIZZERIA RISTORANTE LA BRACE BOLOGNA
Via S. Vitale, 15, Bologna, Italy
Tel: +39 051235656

"A.F. TAMBURINI"
ANTICA SALSAMENTERIA BOLOGNESE
via Caprarie, 1 - 40124 Bologna
tel +39 (0)51 234726
GiuliaPiraino is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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Bookmarking.
a_cafe_of_dreams is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 03:25 PM
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Author: wondering
Date: 06/13/2004, 08:43 pm
this was from honeybrown's trip report last sept.:
"Dinner that night was at Al Carugio in Monterosso, which had the best calamari I've ever had and an absolutely amazing caprese salad. 3 course meal with wine for one person, 37 Euro." we took her advice in october and i would have to agree regarding the calamari...it is simply incredible......i will never forget that first mouthful.......
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