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Going to venice, florence, and rome in september, do you rec ommend making reservations at restaruants or just being spontaneous?

Going to venice, florence, and rome in september, do you rec ommend making reservations at restaruants or just being spontaneous?

Aug 11th, 2006, 02:06 PM
  #1  
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Going to venice, florence, and rome in september, do you rec ommend making reservations at restaruants or just being spontaneous?

Been looking on this forum for a few weeks, and have learned a lot, but wondering about making reservations to restaraunts or not. If so, is there a way that you can do so on line? Is 1 location recommended to do so and not another(i.e. rome)?
lola34 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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Hi Iola34, we have found if we stop in the afternoon or day before, that is usually sufficient in terms of a reservation. It gives you a chance to scope the place out, see how you will get there, etc. We have also done this with places that look interesting to us as we pass by. Enjoy! We will be in Venice on September 19 through the 24th. Shirley
LuvToRoam is offline  
Aug 11th, 2006, 02:29 PM
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Shirley,

Any restaraunts that you liked when you were in venice last time? Any recommendations?
lola34 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2006, 02:34 PM
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I would research so you have some good ideas for restaurants, especially in Venice the wander around until you find a place didn't work very well for us.
suze is offline  
Aug 11th, 2006, 02:36 PM
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Spontaneous up to a point. . make reservations at la Giostra in Florence and think of me when biting into any of their delicate and wonderful dishes. My quote from eating there last summer: "My God, mom! What is this made of? Baby flesh?! (I was talking about my portobello topped steak)

In Venice I highly recommend dinner at La Corte Sconta. I don't have the address, but it is worth finding online. . . a beautiful indoor patio, delicious fish. . . just order "dinner" and they will not let you down. They have a set menu.
laclaire is offline  
Aug 11th, 2006, 02:36 PM
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I think you can do this one online, though we just called the day before and were fine, but whatever you do, don't miss it (in Florence)--it's incredible!

www.ristorantelagiostra.it.

(Also, be careful about ordering too much, as a huge free appetizer comes with the meal)
artlover is offline  
Aug 11th, 2006, 05:22 PM
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Claire,
I see we posted the same restaurant at the same time. As they say, great minds....

(lola, that should tell you something!)
artlover is offline  
Aug 11th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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Depends on what type of places you want. for more casual - either no resies needed - or stop in and make one as you pass during the day.

For a famous place - or a multi-stared one I would reserve in advance - but unless it's ultra famous and small - usually a day or two is enough.

(We rarely reserve - excpet for one special dinner in each city - or may just ask if we see a cute place during the day as we wander.)
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 12th, 2006, 05:21 AM
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Iola34-We have not been to Venice yet. We were in Italy 2 years ago (Rome, Tuscany & Cinque Terre) and return this year to the Lakes region, Dolomites and Venice. Will post restaurant info with trip report when we return. 27 days and counting down! Have a wonderful trip. Shirley
LuvToRoam is offline  
Aug 12th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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I can't remember ever making a dining reservation in many decades of travel. But we don't go to Michelin-starred places.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Aug 12th, 2006, 08:11 AM
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Iola34-Two places we have on our list to try and find while in Venice are Antico Panifico and Al Peoceto Risorto (address for this one is Pialto {mercato del pesce} S. Polo-telephone 0415225953). I have no other info on Antico Panifico, just that there is no english or tourist menu. We usually like simple places. Shirley
LuvToRoam is offline  
Aug 12th, 2006, 08:21 AM
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Hi

My wife and I went to Rome last year. I have written a bit about the restaurants that we went to on my homepage http://gardkarlsen.com/eat_drink_rome_italy.htm . Feel free to check out the Rome trip report too on http://gardkarlsen.com/rome_italy.htm . We didn't make any reservations when we went there but we did have a list of places that we wanted to check out.

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Aug 12th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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artlover- well, I guess our little GTG in Barcelona will be a meeting of the minds.

Oh, and I have changed my opinion about the Picasso museum in Málaga. Top notch in a very different way than I am used to.
laclaire is offline  
Aug 12th, 2006, 08:35 AM
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I much prefer to research restaurants and reserve. If I can't fulfill my reservation, for whatever reason, I call and cancel, but I like to have reservations for places I know I want to visit.

There are a load of mediocre restaurants, and I prefer not to visit them. If I have a list, I can work from it and call for reservations that day, or a day or two ahead.

Of course, some places reguire reservations, and some highly recommend them. Some don't take them.

But there are alwasy places that I prefer to reserve, even if only earlier on the same day.

This requires research and reading, to know where I want to go, and to get the phone number and address. Many of my favorite simple places need to be reserved. They're small, not expensive, and popular.

Some people don't really care where they eat. Some people, like me, REALLY care where they eat. Which kind of person are you?
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Aug 12th, 2006, 10:06 AM
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LuvToRoam

One of the keys to good eating in Italy is to avoid little local places with English menus (unless it looks like it was translated by the junior high son as a school exercise).

Except for true tourist places - like Harry's bar in Venice - menus should be in Italian only. (After all, the food has the same names in Italy and in Italian restaurants at home.)

If you're not comfortable get one of those little menu readers so you can translate anything you don;t know - Berlitz has a good one that describes the most popular dishes in each region. (I adore those artichokes in Rome!)
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 12th, 2006, 10:12 AM
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Nytraveler-we do try to avoid the traps (english menu that is different from the regular is a good sign it isn't authentic food you'll be served). When in Italy we travel with the Herbach & Dillon guide which really helps on deciding what to eat. Shirley
LuvToRoam is offline  
Aug 13th, 2006, 07:57 PM
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We generally go with recommendations from locals.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Aug 14th, 2006, 07:53 AM
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I don't know if you need to go so far as to make reservations, but I would seek out recommendations from trusted sources and focus on those. When in Italy, we ate at recommended places about 1/3 of the time, and at places we just happened upon about 2/3 of the time. The food tended to be average - not awful, but not great.

I've been thinking about this, and started thinking about what a tourist would find if she was visiting my town. If she wanted good Tex-Mex food (for example) and just walked into any Mexican restaurant, she'd have about a 25% chance of getting a bad meal, about a 65% chance of getting an average meal, and about a 10% chance of getting a fantastic meal. All of these places would be crammed full of locals on a Saturday night.

If you think about your own city, I bet the odds are similar. If you think of all of your local restaurants, I bet a few are terrible, most are okay, and a few are terrific. For some unknown reason, some of the terrible places still draw crowds and stay in business year after year.

So from now on, I'm going to assume that the odds of a bad/fair/great meal are about the same in a city I am visiting as in my own city, and I will try a little harder to eat at recommended restaurants.
missypie is offline  
Aug 15th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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What great suggestions. tuscanlifeedit, I am the type of person like you who cares where I eat. I love food(probably too much) and I'm a little picky, but have tried many new things often. I'm keeping an open mind when my husband and I go to Italy. I don't want to miss out on something wonderful. Did anyone find that you could eat a great meal without costing too much?
lola34 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2006, 08:01 AM
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I've learned (while complaining about high restaurant prices in Italy) that prices in the US vary widely. I live in Dallas, and I can get a perfectly good meal at a local or chain restaurant, with fresh ingredients, tender meat (and a free salad!) for between $8 and $12 per person. (Not gourmet, but perfectly acceptable.) I found that meals slightly above that price range in Italy were bad - canned ingredients, etc.

Of course, folks who live on the coasts of the US can't believe that I can get a decent meal for that price, and were not surprised at all at restaurant prices in Italy.

Here's a point of reference. Our lunches in Florence were "on the go" and were not always at the ideal time to eat lunch in Italy. One day, our family of 5 stopped into a local "lunchonette" and had 5 pastas or paninis and drinks (admittedly, three Orange Crushes in cans) and paid 43 euro. The next day, after a 3 pm arrival from Pisa, we ate at the McDonalds across from the train station. Five combo meals - 27 euro. That will give you an idea of the prices at the absolute lowest end of the spectrum.

For nice meals, but without all courses ordered, with house wine for the grownups (and our youngest two still eat light), we'd pay in the 120-150 euro range.
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