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Restaurants for Vegetarians in Florence, Siena, Italian Riviera, Venice and Rome

Restaurants for Vegetarians in Florence, Siena, Italian Riviera, Venice and Rome

Old May 3rd, 2005, 09:59 PM
  #1  
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Restaurants for Vegetarians in Florence, Siena, Italian Riviera, Venice and Rome

Our family will be in Italy in June and my wife is a pure vegetarian. (No fish, no eggs, no meat). How difficult will it be to find vegetarian stuff on the menus (other tha pizza)?

Any suggestions for restaurants?
shawncarr is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2005, 10:19 PM
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It should be fairly easy to eat vegetarian in Italy. All that lovely antipasti, artichokes, beans, pasta with mushrooms or tomato sauce, salads. There's lots to eat w/o meat, fish, or eggs in Italian restaurants.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 10:51 PM
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First of all, in Florence, there is Il Vegetariano
http://www.frommers.com/destinations...ce/D34475.html

No eggs? That would leave out pastas = egg noddles?
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Old May 4th, 2005, 05:50 AM
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ira
 
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Hi S,

In Florence, we liked Salaam Bombay, Via F. Rosselli 45r
Where the locals go if they want something exotic. A good, inexpensive Indian restaurant. Excellent nan.

There are also deep-fried artichokes and stuffed zucchini blossoms.

Your wife might also like another of the local favorites. The Italians put various toppings on dough and bake it in an oven. They call it pizza.


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Old May 4th, 2005, 05:52 AM
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ira
 
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OOOPS,

Please forget that last remark. It was supposed to have been deleted.

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Old May 4th, 2005, 06:56 AM
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Most Italian menus have a section called Contorni, which are vegetable side dishes, usually big enough for people to share. Your wife will have many choices from this section as well as the Antipasti listings.

By the way, one typical recipe for stuffed zucchini blossom includes an anchovy, so these might not be the best choice.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 07:52 AM
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Studying up some Italian and/or having a phrase book for food and menu words would help. Knowing bolognes means meat sauce and pomodoro means just tomato, for instance. The separate vegetable side dishes as ordered on a restaurant are a good idea.

I think the trick will be more (as mentioned above) when a meat stock or tidbit is included in what sounds like a vegetable dish. Bacon that cooked the green beans, chicken stock used in risotto, or whatever.

Do you speak any Italian? If not, it might be worth having a little card with the requirements written in Italian... like people with allergies or special needs carry to show the waiter.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 08:11 AM
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It was 2 or 3 years ago but we noticed a veggie restaurant with a very nice sounding menu on the Piazza della Maddalena, not far from the Pantheon. We were going to try it but were put off by a slight smell of drains outside (& of course we wanted to sit outside).

We have eaten several times at the vg neighbouring Clementa alla Maddalena restaurant which isn't veggie, but when we took veggie friends they seemed happy with what they got.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 08:18 AM
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Sorry, that should have been Clemente alla Maddalena, and perhaps I should have said I was talking about Rome.

Also just noticed "no eggs" - do you mean she is a vegan, i.e. no dairy either ? That will be more difficult.

Perhaps it will be best to go to restaurants where they have an antipasto buffet - there's an OK one at one end of the Campo di Fiore (also in Rome) but can't remember its name. Its antipasto buffet table is very extensive & it makes a meal in itself.

Not sure I'd recommend choosing from the contorni, unless she'll enjoy a plate of e.g. totally plain spinach at room temperature. Most restaurants don't have many contorni - often just mixed salad, green salad or spinach.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 08:27 AM
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Don't forget to hold back on the Parmesan. It conatins animal renet (stomach lining).

As does the majority of other cheeses.

Wine also is a stumbling block with the use of gelatine(ground bones) or isinglass(fish bladders) in its production.

I'm a vegetarian, and whilst I have my principles, when on holiday I go with the flow a little more than I would at home.

Italian food lends itself very well to vegetarianism, as long as you relax a little with your rules.

___________________________________
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http://www.colin-julie.com/travel.htm
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Old May 4th, 2005, 10:19 AM
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>>Not sure I'd recommend choosing from the contorni, unless she'll enjoy a plate of e.g. totally plain spinach at room temperature. Most restaurants don't have many contorni - often just mixed salad, green salad or spinach.

I disgree. Perhaps my restaurant choices are different from Caroline's. Here's just a few of the contorni I enjoyed on my October 2005 trip to Italy, all served hot :

sauteed spinach
grilled radicchio
grilled mushrooms
grilled eggplant
sauteed mushrooms
roasted potatoes

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Old May 4th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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shawn, be aware that most of the soups have some meat broth base to them. I had sauteed spinach with almost every meal, be aware of hidden cheeses too.

Ellenem, you have just made my mouth water. I could live on the Italian prepared vegetables alone.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 11:06 AM
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I had the pleasure of dining at Il Margutta in Rome. (It is sometimes known as Vegetarian Margutta.) It was a delightful experience, but as someone who's lived in Italy, I think it is very easy to follow a vegetarian diet there.

Please see this link:

http://www.deliciousitaly.com/ilmargutta.htm

Buon Viaggio & Buon Appetito,
BC
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Old May 4th, 2005, 11:19 AM
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KT
 
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L'insalata Ricca is a small chain in Rome that has a variety of all-veggie mixed salads. Not fancy, but useful.
http://www.linsalataricca.it/
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Old May 4th, 2005, 11:40 AM
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Below are some links that might be helpful for Florence, Rome, and Venice. I'm lacto-ovo and found it very easy to eat in Italy. However, if your wife is vegan I think it will be more difficult but not impossible.

http://www.happycow.net/europe/italy...nce/index.html

http://www.happycow.net/europe/italy/rome/index.html

http://www.happycow.net/europe/italy/venice/index.html

This International Vegetarian Union's site (www.ivu.org/phrases/westeuro.html) offers phrases and sound files stating that you're vegetarian, what you'll eat (or not), etc.

Good luck.

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Old May 4th, 2005, 09:04 PM
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Thank you all. Will check all the places out. Fortunately, my wife does take diary products so hopefully that will make it easier.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 11:49 AM
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jgg
 
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In Rome I would suggest Obika - The Mozzerella Bar. (Piazza Firenze on the corner of Via de Prefetti - near PIazza Novona). It is a newer restaurant that serves many different kinds of mozzerella. Excellent tasting options. Very little meat on the menu, if any as I recall. The vegetarian lasagna was also excellent.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 05:07 AM
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You don't have to eat pizza & pasta the whole time you're in Italy! I used the "Lonely Planet" Condensed Guide to Rome & found two dedicated vegetarian restaurants in Rome to which my husband & I returned several times last June (2004). Our first day in Rome we had lunch & dinner at "Margutta Vegetariana" (Via Margutta 118), an elegant restaurant located just off a lovely piazza near the Flamino metro (subway) stop. We also liked the "Naturist Club" which is on the 4th floor of what looks like an apartment house near the Spanish Steps. The address is Via delle Vite 14 & you can take the metro to the Spagna stop. You have to climb up 4 flights of stairs but you will not be disappointed! They are also a dedicated veggie restaurant (although they do serve a few fish dishes). Both of these restaurants are reasonably priced. And don't be afraid to use the metro while in Rome! It's safe & convenient! Outside of Rome I had no problem finding veggie foods. Most of the Trattorias have extensive menus & they have a lot of meat-free options on their menus. In Florence there is "il Vegetariano", at Via dell Ruote 30r (closed Monday) a dedicated veggie restaurant about 1km NE of the train station (also recommended by Lonely Planet). It is very be helpful to learn how to say you're a vegetarian in Italian & ask if they have any vegetarian dishes (plates): "Io sono vegetariana. Aveti dei piatti vegetariano?" goes a long way. Have a great trip!
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