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Venice, Florence and Rome -Need Food advice!

Venice, Florence and Rome -Need Food advice!

Old Jun 9th, 2011, 06:05 AM
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Venice, Florence and Rome -Need Food advice!

First of all, I would like to thank everyone on this forum for giving me the courage and the information to book our own trip instead of a group tour!
My husband and I will be in Italy for 13 days in early October!

Day 1 arrive in Venice (arrive in the morning)
Day 2-4 Venice
Day 5 Venice to Florence (Rail)
Day6-8 Florence
Day 9 Florence to Rome (Rail)
Day 10-13 Rome
Day 14 - Leave Rome

This is our first time to Italy and first time in Europe together! We are staying on the Canal and near the train station in Venice in the Santa Croce area, staying near Duomo in Florence and staying near Piazza Navona in Rome!

Now that we got the flight and lodging out of the way.... I need advice on some restaurants! I love food -- I am not a food blogger or restaurant reviewer or anythign like that, but i just love eating and trying new and local food. I have no dietary restrictions and am somewhat adventurous (maybe not compared to the well traveled people here -- but I grew up eating all sorts of stuff -- live octopi? sure!) I am looking for advice on nice restaurants my husband and I can go for a romantic night (nothing too stuffy though) but also just great hole in the wall restaurants with great food that locals enjoy. I know we are staying in somewhat touristy areas but any area within the city would work for us~

and this is for my husband (not that i dont love pizza also!) -- any great pizza place we should go in any of the cities? when we go to nyc my husband literally goes to this little pizza place near bleecker st once a day. If i can find him a great pizza place, he'd love it.

Also, while we are in Florence, we want to go for a day trip to a nearby winaries. we dont want to rent a car but if there's like an excursion type we can do that'd be great.

Finally, I am interested in a cooking class in any of these cities that i can do with my husband (who loves eating but not so much cooking). Any advice? thank you so much in advance!
monkeybutt is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2011, 06:35 AM
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Have you done searches on this forum for "venice restaurants" and also for Florence and Rome? Your question is asked and answered frequently.

To get you startetd, take a look at my recent trip report. We stayed in Venice in Santa Croce for 8 nights so you should get some good ideas.

ellenem is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2011, 07:03 AM
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When visiting Venice, I like using this guide-

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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 07:41 AM
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Love your screen name! I'll leave others to post some recommendations - esp. in Venice its good to have a plan - alot of mediocre, high priced food there. In Rome, IMO,there are alot more decent options. We have really enjoyed wandering thru the Trastavere area and finding a nice outdoor cafe for moderately priced pizza or pasta. And always save room for gelatio!
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 08:50 AM
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Just returned from 4 weeks in Italy. Will recheck some restaurants we ate in but in Venice go to Osteria Oliva Nera for either lunch or dinner. Fantastic ! Need reservations for dinner. Small place and fills up fast. http://www.osteria-olivanera.com

We had really great Pizza in Venice - small bar/restaurant in the Dorsoduro area - think it was artists cafe - seating mostly in the piazza.

We recheck put notes later - we were in Rome and Florence and went to some excellent places.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 09:16 AM
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I too love your name. Perhaps one day you will share its source!

Hub and I so often ate on the run and didn't return to a given area, that it's difficult for me to give some restaurant names that will be convenient for you. We usually had very good luck with out of the way places whose menus were written on a board.

When we did want that one special dinner, our hotel staff members were always very kind about recommending good places and setting up reservations. Did they send us for "genuine" Italian food? Who knows but we were always happy with their choices.

OK, that being said, in Rome, we had a fun lunch at Gino ai Funari, 21 via dei Funari (Piazza Mattei). We were looking for the turtle fountain in the Ghetto area and stumble on it.
A student we met in Perugia recommended Rust and we found it (very near Piazza Navona) but I don't have an address. Other Fodorites like Cul de Sac-also in that area but we never found it even having the address!

I don't have any recent notes for Florence, sorry, but we had a fabulous lunch near the American Express office. In Venice, we had a bad experience in Osteria alle Botteghe. We were double charged for almost everything on the bill and the waiter wouldn't tell us how much the wine was. It was our fault for not getting up and leaving as soon as that happened.

We had a lovely meal at Osteria al Bacareto but I don't have an address. Your hotel folks should be able to help. As a generality, the quality of the restos on the tourist path might be uneven.

What say other Fodorites? Have a super super trip.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 09:26 AM
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Florence - you MUST go to Sostanza and have the butter-poached chicken breasts and (if available) the artichoke heart frittata-like dish.
Our best meal in Venice was at Antiche Carampane, which is saying something because we are into food and had lots of great meals in Venice. We also had a lovely lunch at Gatto Nero on Burano if you are going out to the islands one day.
Rome - our favorite meal was at Roscioli. Amazing food. And you can get stuff to-go at the deli counter.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 09:56 AM
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Don't let anyone tell you that the food is not good in Venice but you must search out the good places, not just happen on a tourist clipjoint (and there are many.)

I recomend

Antiche Carampane (allow plenty of time to find it!)

Algiobagiu (or is it Algiubagio, anyway on Fondamenta Nova, great view and fabulous fish)

Osteria Bocadoro on Campo Widman.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 10:10 AM
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We just returned from a similar trip.
In Venice we liked Il Paradiso near the Rialto Market.
In Florence we had a wonderful meal at our hotel, the Grand Villa Medici, and also we enjoyed 13 Gabbos near the hotel.
In Rome we liked Pietro Vallentini, Even though it was filled (maybe 10 tables) with Americans more locals came in as we were leaving about 10 o'clock. The owner is the chef and everything was wonderful. I had risotto with fresh truffles shaved on top! He served homemade bread, some with cheese, and some with raisins.
Gelato everywhere!

Now, just some other notes. The best thing we did was hire a private guide for the Vatican. We used Alessandra Mazzoccoli and she was great. I don't know how you can do it on your own and a big group seems impossible in the crowds.
We happened to see the Pope when we passed the Vatican on Wednesday morning. He speaks at 10:30.

If you can, take the water taxi from the airport in Venice. We didn't and regretted it. We took the vaporetto which was fine until we had to drag our bags to the hotel. We were just minutes from the San Marco stop but crfossing the bridges with the bags after the long flight was a mistake. It is 100 Euros well spent.

Go to the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice. We went late in the afternoon and it was a great end to the day. Wonderful to sit in the garden and relax.

If you are interested go to the Jewish Ghetto in Venice and take the tour offered by the museum. At the Ghetto in Rome we used Micaela Pavoncell. (JewishRoma.com) who led a small group tour. There is also a beautiful synogogue in Florence.

Have fun!
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 10:17 AM
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In Venice I will second Antiche Carampane, also the wine bar Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi, and Grom for gelato.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 10:55 AM
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Wow. thank you everyone for your advice! I think that's already three votes for Antiche Carampane! and I hadnt even thought about asking the hotel people about restaurants

ellenem- I am really enjoying your trip report! I havent finished it yet but it's saved on to my bookmark to finish later! when you mentioned fresh tagliatelle with duck and chestnuts, I drooled a bit

Tdudette and Dro -- yeah, we will definitely go out to the Ghetto area too! I read in my little guide book that Ghetto area has unique blend of food.

all this is making me hungry!
monkeybutt is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2011, 11:08 AM
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Zio Gigi -- small, family-run place near the Duomo. Moderate prices. Lots of locals eat there.
Buca dell'Orafo -- near the Ponte Vecchio. In a cellar. The last time we were there, it appeared that tourists had discovered the place, but it was still pretty good. More expensive than Zio Gigi.

L’Osteria de S. Marina, in Campo S. Marina, in the Castello district. Not cheap (few places in Venice are), but the food and service were good.
Trattoria da Fiore, near Campo S. Stefano. Try the cicchetti bar. Good house wine.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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and to answer some of your questions about my screen name... this all started with me being born in the "chinese monkey year" and grew up liking monkeys (i was intrigued by the fact that they throw feces when aggitated or afraid - im sure my parents had their concerns about me). But no one ever called me monkeybutt until I met my husband in college. He took me to the zoo in philadelphia when we went to visit his folks for thanksgiving one year and i was again screaming in joy at the site of the monkeys at the zoo... and my husband(then boyfriend) being an ass man.... apparently that nickname for me came naturally to him... it's been a little over 10 years and he still calls me that
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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A second vote for Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi for chicceti - our favorite wine bar.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 12:12 PM
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We ate at Pizza Re 2 ...


... twice in our four days in Rome. I've only had better pizza once in my life, at a place in London that later tore out their oven. So not only would Pizza Re be my first choice, my wife had fruti del mar that she still talks about. It's just a couple of blocks from Piazza del Popolo, where you can sit outside a restaurant for a nightcap.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 04:47 PM
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Hi Monkeybutt [what a great name!]

Congrats on your Italy trip! October is a nice time to visit. I too am a huge foodie and have traveled to the areas that you mention. Seems like you have a lot of suggestions for Venice, so I'll weigh in on some favorite wine bars, pizza places, trattorias and info for Florence and Rome.


Il Latini (many complain it's toursity, but it's still a fave)
Trattoria Mario
Trattoria ZaZa
Il Pizzaiolo (pizza)

Here is more info on Florence wine bars:


Wine bars in Rome:

Cavour 313
Al Vino Al vino
Enoteca Corsi
Cul de Sac (near piazza navona)

More Wine Bars in Rome

Don't forget to have pizza al taglio (which is pizza by the slice):

Other Pizza in Rome:
MonteCarlo (near Pizza Navona)
Ai Marmi (Trastevere)
Alle Carrette (Monti)


Armondo al Pantheon
Trattoria Monti
Il Bacaro

I hope that helps! Have a great and yummy trip!
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 05:21 PM
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Bookmarking for our October visit. I too love good food!
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 05:52 PM
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One of our favorite places in Venice is Anice Stellato, quite out of the way in the quiet and scenic depths of the Canneregio. On pleasant evenings, they set tables outside along the canal, but even inside is quite nice. Not too many English-speaking people there, good seafood with a somewhat creative spin.

Found in many Venice guidebooks is Alle Testiere, but for a reason. High-quality food, simply but creatively prepared. The owner and chef are very kind. It's tiny and books up fast.

In Florence, we've eaten at Buca dell'Orafo over the years, but on our last trip, found the number of tourists made it less pleasant to be there. Yes, we're tourists too, but we weren't rip-roaring drunk and being extremely noisy. We found a new favorite place - Il Fagioli. It was recommended by the owners of the B&B we stayed at (in fact, they ate there the same night we did), and was welcome, casual, and felt local.

If you'd like to try white truffles (it might be truffle season when you're there, depending on when in October you'll be there), then take a long walk or a short cab ride out of Florence center to Osteria delle Tre Panche; it's so small that the seating is, almost literally, three benches. Great Tuscan food, many dishes with white truffles (liberally shaved). One of the ultimate pleasures in life is soft-boiled eggs with white truffles on top. The place is apparently listed in a Japanese guidebook (we saw it in the restaurant), so other than us and 6 Japanese, it was all Italians. It was an amazing meal, both for the food and the ambiance.

In Rome, for a romantic meal, go to Il Drappo. If the evening's pleasant, or sit inside in the very romantic interior. The food is very good, as well. We preferred it to Il Bacaro.

Ditirambo is a good Sunday-night place, when many restaurants are closed. Also a modern, creative take on traditional Roman dishes.

All the places mentioned are generally in the middle of the price range (except for Alle Testiere).
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 06:34 PM
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Via Salaria, 215
(Owner of PontiSisto)

Brasserie Ristorante
Aperto tutti I giorn
Ore 19,30-1,000

Da Checco *****
Via Benedetta 10-13

Da Marco e Gloria
Via della Scrofa, 31

Cucina Romana
Da ot ello in trastevere
Via della Pelliccia 47
Pizza S. Egidio 53

Via Filippoturati 21

Forno *****
Campo De’ Fiore, 22
Bakery & Pizza

Gino ai Funari ***
Via dei Funari 21,
(Piazza Mattei)

Grappolo d’Oro
Piazza della concelleria, 80-81

Harry’s Bar
Via V. Vento 150

La Piazzetta Ristorante
Vio del Buon Consiglio 23/A

L’Antica Birreria Peroni
Via S Marcello, 19
(tuna & beans)

La Romanella Ristorante
Borgo Pio, 124

Mille Panini
Via Eudossiana 20

Bakery / Panella *****
L’Arte dei Pane
Via Merulana 54-55

Pierluigi Ristorante ***
Piazza de Ricci 144

Pontesisto *****
Via di Ponte Sisto, 80

Al Tavolino
Via G Fara 23

Ristoranto Asador café Veneto
Via V. Veneto 116

Ristorante Il Drappo
Vicolo del Malpasso 9

Il Ristorante delle Due Colonne
Via del Seminario 122

Tre Pupazzi *****
Borgo Fio 183
Via dei Tre Pupazzi 1

Trattoria da Luigi *****
Piazza Sforza Cesarini,24
06 6865946


La Cova *****
Via P.F. Calvi, 20 Piazza Cavour

Osteria Dal Capo *****
Via degli Obizzi, 2


Camp S. Filippo E Giacomo
Tel. 5224292

Alla Madonna
S. Polo 594
Tel. 041-5223824

Alle Testiere
Luca Di Vita
Castello, 5801
Calle del Mondo Novo
Tel. 041 – 52 27 220

Anticlea Antiquariato
Castello 4719 / A
S. Provolo
Tel. 041/5286946

Antica Sacrestia
Calle della Sacrestia 442,
Tel. 0415230749

Trattoria da fiore
Cucina tipica veneziana
Santo Stefano 3461
Tel. 041/5235310

Friggitoria Cleopatra
Castello 3983
Tel: 041 5227696

Osteria alle Testiere
Castello 5801
(Calle del Mondo Vovo /
Salizzada San Lio

Pane Vino San Daniele
Campo dell Angelo Raffaele

Snack Bar Borsa
(near Europa)
Via XXII Marzo
Tel. 041-5225017

Trattoria Antica Mola
Di Ma Franzin
Cannaregio, 2800
Trattoria da Remigio *****
Maitre D – Joseph
Waiter - Stephen
Castello 3416
Tel. 041.5230089

Vino E. Vini *****
Enoteca in Venezia
Al N 3301 DiCastello
Fondamenta Dei Furlani
Tel. 521018


Trattoria Marione
Via della Spada 27R

Trattoria al Trebbio
Via delle Belle Donne47/49 R

Ristorante Pizzeria Dante Trattoria *****
Piazza Nazario Sauro 12 R

Acqua Al 2
Via Della Vigna Vecchia, 40
(Angolo via Dell’Acqua)

Coffee Shop
Via Guicciardini, 43

Osteria Santo Spirito
Piazza S Spirito, 16

Ristorante Pizzeria Lorenzo De’ Medici
Via del Giglio, 49/51r
Via del Melarancio 10r

Trattoria Garga
Via del Moro, 48

Trattoria Sostanza – Troia

Via del Porcellana, 25r

San Giamigano

Bruschetteria Wine Bar *****
Antica Taverna
Vicolo Mainardi 10
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