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daria Feb 2nd, 2004 08:08 PM

Osteria d'Italia? English speaking foodies what do you think??
Hi there,

My husband and I are foodies who love to cook and consider good meals a central part of any vacation, particularly one to Italy. So, has anyone used this book who does not read Italian? If so, were you able to use it effectively? We don't read much Italian at all and I'm worried, but I've read this is the foodie bible for Italy. . . .

Thank you.

carrom Feb 3rd, 2004 05:21 AM

I suggest the Guida dell'Espresso as the best restaurant guide for Italy but that's in Italian too. Osterie d'Italia I think is a Gambero Rosso publication. I know GR do some of their guides in English and they are good too. Check out the website They've recently opened a whole 7 floors in Rome with 2 restaurants, bar, shop, cookery school, wine tasting etc

Grinisa Feb 3rd, 2004 05:31 AM

Osteria d'Italia is a Slowfood publication. I read limited Italian but have used this book extensively. Every place we've tried listed in the book has been exceptional. Use it to find a place to eat, the specialties are in the listing and you can find them on the menu once at the restaurant with no problem.

daria Feb 3rd, 2004 11:18 AM

Thank you. Even though I know some Italian, I guess I am a little intimidated by the book being in all Italian. Also, I understand that the Osteria d'Italia is not available in the U.S. (unless ordered through slow food), so I wouldn't be able to look at it before buying. I guess I just need to think about it.

Does anyone else have an opinion?

jgita Feb 3rd, 2004 04:04 PM

Funny, I just got my copy of Osterie d'Italia in the mail today! Ordering it was a leap of faith and I don't know yet if it will pay off. It's pretty easy to translate if you are menu fluent--I am a beginner in Italian but think I'll certainly be able to use it. Two downsides: It weighs a lot! I am thinking I may tear out the pages for the areas we will visit and leave the rest home but that feels wrong to me. Also there are ads in it like a magazine. It's pretty expensive when you add the shipping from Italy. It only took 2 weeks to get here (Florida) though.
I wish we could share...
Keep this thread going.

Has anyone gotten "Eating and Drinking in Northern Italy" can't remember the author but I think it has an art reproductuion of a woman on the cover.


daria Feb 3rd, 2004 04:53 PM

Thanks so much for your reply jgita! I'm going to Northern Italy too.

How much did you end up pay for the book with the shipping? Did you order it from slow food? Maybe I'll just suck it up and buy it. Eating well in Italy is so important to us, but I wanted to be sure I could understand the book! I haven't heard of "Eating and Drinking in Northern Italy." Where did you hear about that?

Btw, I never take guide books with me anymore. I can't stand ripping the pages out, so I xerox those pages that relate to the places I am going. It really cuts down on the weight.

rbrazill Feb 3rd, 2004 06:39 PM

Daria: you can read Osterie d'Italia for free on the Slowfood website and see if it's any good for you. Before my last trip to Italy I downloaded some pages to my Palm Pilot to bring along. Here's the site:
From the opening page click on "Osterie", then on the next page select a region, then on the third page, click on "Osterie d'Italia." You'll get a list of Slowfood reviewed osterie in the area and you can go click on any one for details.

daria Feb 4th, 2004 07:39 AM

thank you very much rbrazil! that is great to know!!

Tommaso Feb 4th, 2004 03:29 PM

We have used Eating in Italy by Faith Willinger on all of our Italian trips. She gives great recommendations, and has a lot of local knowledge, as she lives in Florence. Her book also has good info on specialty stores, markets, and wine bars.

jgita Feb 4th, 2004 04:20 PM

Hi Daria,

I'm actually not sure how much $ it cost. The book is 20 Euros and, I am embarassed to say, shipping was almost that much ( i think 13)but haven't yet gotten the credit card bill. I'm really willing to share by copying some pages, if the download thing doesn't work for you. I was about to put my email address on here; is that a safe or wise thing to do? If you post yours, I will respond.
When is your trip?

daria Feb 5th, 2004 09:22 AM

Hi jgita,

Thanks so much for your message. I'm going to Italy in May. That is so generous of you to offer to share. Email me and we can talk about it. I've given out my email address here before, so I don't mind. It is: [email protected].

I took a look at the slowfood website and followed rbrazil's instructions. It does look like you can sort-of decipher the book if you know a little Italian. One thing I am curious about however is whether, for large cities (like Milan and Venice), the book separates the restaurants out into the different sections by neighborhood. In other words, do you have to figure out yourself based on the address given whether a restaurant is near the Duomo in Milano or in the Dosoduro in Venice, or does the book list the restaurants by neighborhood? Listings by neighborhood are obviously a lot better when you are not familiar with a city.

Thanks again to all of you who have provided so much helpful info here.


jgita Feb 5th, 2004 10:15 AM

I'll email you later today or tomorrow.
The city listings are not divided up by neighborhoods but the neighborhood is noted at the top of each page just below the city name. There are 10 pages for Milano and many different areas represented.

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