Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Going to venice, rome, and florence, where's good places that won't break the bank and I'm not eating things like pigeon or other stange things that I've heard about?

Going to venice, rome, and florence, where's good places that won't break the bank and I'm not eating things like pigeon or other stange things that I've heard about?

Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 05:56 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Going to venice, rome, and florence, where's good places that won't break the bank and I'm not eating things like pigeon or other stange things that I've heard about?

My husband and I will be going to Venice Florence, and Rome for 10 days in the fall. We've never been out of the US. I'm somewhat of a picky eater. I want to experience some traditional Italian food, but I don't want it to be too off the wall. I would also like the comfort of atleast 1 meal to be more of an americanized Italian food. Help!
lola34 is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 06:01 AM
  #2  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dear lola,

Actually, Italians eat pretty much what we do in the US. (Or we in the US have gotten used to eating Italian.)

I've heard that you can get reasonably good pizza and spaghetti with meatballs in Italy.

Don't fret.

If you don't care for pigeon, try rabbit.


ira is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 06:02 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 23,624
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is nothing remotely wierd about the large majority of Italian foods. I really think you ought to loosen up a bit. If you don't care to experiment even a little bit, you can find spaghetti with marinara sauce in virtually any restaurant. Most places will offer meatballs, although they will not be exactly the same as in your home town. Get yourself an Italian menu translator and stick to the dishes you are able to eat. You are not going to see much pigeon, in any case. And what do you mean you want "Americanized" Italian food? Like at Olive Garden? Not sure where you would even look for that in Italy.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 06:13 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks ekscrunchy!

I am not so picky. I do eat various types of fish and seafood, love chicken parmagiana. Not crazy about veal, but will eat it if prepared well. Do you know of any great places to eat where you went that wasn't too expensive? What are the average prices for meals there?
lola34 is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 07:37 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,165
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
lola--I recommend going to restaurants that feature antipasta bars where you can pick and choose from a huge array of wonderful looking (and delicious) items. Nontypical meats do not appeal to me either. Tried rabbit on the last trip to Italy and did not care for it.
nini is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 07:44 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I heard from someone that Italians don't combine their meat and pasta together, have you heard that?For example chicken marsala, would only have the chicken and mushrooms without any pasta.
lola34 is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 07:45 AM
  #7  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi lola,

If you enter <Restaurant AND 'city name'> in the "search this forum" box, you will find many suggestions.


Rabbit is quite good. Tastes like chicken.

ira is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 07:52 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, I had heard that about rabbit also. I remember trying that a business dinner of my husband's and I thought it was good. Thanks for the suggestion about entering location and restaraunt name to get suggestions.
lola34 is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 08:43 AM
  #9  
MaureenB
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I recently posted my trip reports from those three cities, including details on some restaurants we liked and how much the dinners cost. You can click on my name above to find them. If you can't find them, say so, and I'll cut and paste them here.
You will do fine in Italy, finding food is not a problem! Unless you're hungry between about 3 pm and 7 pm, when most restaurants are closed.
 
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 08:51 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are many Italian pasta dishes that have meat in them -- although I cannot recall ever get chicken and pasta in the same dish. Duck and pasta, yes (in the Veneto) but not chicken and pasta. Cheese, rather than meat, is the usual protein in a pasta.

The Italians don't eat a lot of chicken, actually, in my experience. And when they do, they eat it prepared very simply: roasted.

In general, however, combining meat and pasta into the same recipe would be similar to our combining potatoes and meat in the same recipe -- instead of serving them separately, as is our custom. It's more common to find a small bit of meat used for flavoring in a pasta sauce (proscuitto, pancetta, liver) than chunks of meat. Stuffed pastas -- like ravioli -- sometimes have meat in them, but seldom chicken.

I think the suggestion of favoring restaurants with a large antipasta table, where the foods are on display, is a good one.

In Venice you will encounter lots of seafood, but in Rome and Florence you will more likely encounter beef and lamb.

I think you'll find real Italian cooking is fantastic.
nessundorma is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 08:53 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
PS: And most everywhere you go you will encounter cured pork.

(If you are hungry between 3 and 7, eat pizza.)

In Rome, it's worthwhile to try fried artichokes, if you like artichokes. In the Jewish quarter, where fried artichokes are most readily found, fried fish is another very good dish.
nessundorma is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:13 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,470
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
just for the record,it's antipasto(or antipasti as the plural)-not a political group that hates pasta,ha ha
massagediva is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:14 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
MaureenB,

I can't see your posting about your Italy trip, could you please cut and paste? Thanks!

lola
lola34 is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:21 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 23,624
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lola: Here is my trip report from January with information on Florence and Southern Tuscany, as well as Bologna. There is a lot of detailed food description contained within the report, with prices. Never mind, the link does not seem to work...I will brint it to the top so you can find it easily.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...nchy&fid=2
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:23 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,717
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Two basic facts:

1. There is no "Italian food" in Italy. The food in Italy is all regional, and what you get in Florence will be quite different from what you get in Venice or Rome.

In Rome, lamb and veal are probably most often offered; in Florence, veal or beef (most often grilled); in Venice, fish is often the best choice.

You will, of course, find pizza and spaghetti everywhere, but Roman pizza is different from Neapolitan pizza, and you should not expect to eat a good pizza in Venice, where it is not part of the regional cuisine.

As Ekscrunchy has noted, you will be hard put to find "Americanized" Italian food in Italy, unless you eat only in the tourist traps clustered around the most important monuments. Those restaurants will sometimes cater to tourists and serve things that no Italian would consent to eat.

2. No, you will not get pasta served with your meat. That is not how it is done in Italy.

An Italian meal is composed of a) an antipasto (broiled vegetables, ham and salami, prosciutto and melon, etc.); b) a primo piatto, which is generally soup or a pasta dish; in Venice, it might be a risotto; c) a secondo piatto (which is generally meat or fish - and only meat or fish) with a contorno (or side dish that is ordered separately: vegetable, potato, salad, etc.); d) dolce (or dessert).

You do not have to order all the courses. It is perfectly acceptable to have only two.

And bear in mind that Italian portions are not the super-size portions served in the U.S.
Eloise is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:25 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 23,624
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=34743272
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:25 AM
  #17  
E_M
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 308
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In fact, it is advisable to only eat two courses, else there will be no room for desert.
E_M is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:27 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 23,624
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well I certainly take exception with that...we almost always order a first course, a pasta, and a second course in Italy....many places will offer half orders of pasta and even if the order is not halved, the portions are much more sensible than they are in some Italian style places in the US.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:32 AM
  #19  
E_M
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 308
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Alas, with 3 courses I find it difficult to eat the chocolate torte at the end.
E_M is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:37 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,717
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ekscrunchy, I think you and I eat the same way in Italy, i.e., right through the menu, including antipasto. It never seems too much to me, and I certainly never get the overstuffed feeling that I sometimes get at home (and Canada is a bit more sensible about portion sizes than the U.S.).
Eloise is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -