Mouthwatering Italy: 2004
When you take your tongue out sightseeing in Italy, what are its favorite taste treats?
Just got back from visiting Florence in October and a local friend reccommended Coco Lezzone, a restaurant specializing in Florentine food "the way it used to be." What a meal! The food is superb and it was the only restaurant where we found white truffles among the half-dozen restaurants that we visited. It's a bit hard to find, being located in a narrow alleyway: Via del Parionvino 26r, Tel: 055-287-178. Buon appetito!
Brookline, MA USA Wed 12/29/2004
Doesn't Compare We found the Ristorante Scanderbeg in Rome was just average, at best. Had a similar meal in Florence at La Spada, roasted meats, and it could not compare. When it comes to meats, Florence and the Tuscan region are the best. They knew we were not happy with our meal at Scanderbeg,lamb and pork tough and overcooked, because they gave us a free after dinner drink.
Other food finds: Lake Como, Bellagio - San Giacomo, great food and wine. They don't serve Brunello by the glass anymore.
Venice - Trattoria alla Rivetta, rissoto with porcinis, good house wine, antipasto, all good.
Verona - Brek, almost any Brek. But sitting in Piazza Bra with good food and wine, and watching half of Verona pass by was great. Jack, Raleigh, NC USa
USA Sun 12/12/2004
Delicious dining in Rome
I finally found the great italian meal I was looking for in Rome! Il Gabriello on Via Vittoria 51 (near Spanish Steps) served up delicious, fresh cuisine. The buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto where out of this world. Claudio graciously gave us great recommendations and treated us like extended family. I'm not trying to downplay the great food elsewhere, but this dining experience left me with a big smile and enough enthusiasm to write this message a week later!
San Francisco, ca USA Wed 12/08/2004
Restaurants in Rome
I went on the Rick Steve's one week tour of Rome in October and want to recommend a couple of restaurants that are not in his book.
Ristorante Scanderbeg: This restaurant has been recommended before on this board and I want to add my comments. The food was delicious and the service very friendly.
Dino & Tony: The address is via Leone IV, 60 within walking distance of Vatican. It was definitely my favorite restaurant of the whole trip. When you go in, don't order off the menu, but let Dino decide what to bring you, you won't be disappointed. I and two other women from the tour ate there. For our dinner Dino brought us 8 different antipasti, two pasta dishes, deep fried artichokes and small portions of 8 different desserts. Small portions because we said were full and only wanted a "little" dessert. It was the best tiramisu I had ever tasted. The whole bill including wine was 78 euro.
San Crispino: We were treated to gelato here as part of the tour, but it was so good I returned as often as possible. I also tried Giolitti's and while the gelato was just as good I preferred San Crispino's because of the lack of crowds. Giolitti's was just too crowded.
Portland, OR USA Wed 12/01/2004
Good eatery in Siena
Osteria Enoteca Sotto le Fonti on Via Esterna Fontebranda is worth a visit.Good food & a great wine selection. Britta is great and speaks English, German & Italian. For a great meal at a good price, check it out.
Eric & Judy Goodwin
Cornwall, PEI Canada Mon 11/29/2004
Restaurant find in Rome
My wife and I were recommended to a great restaurant in Rome,Il Giadino(?)della Albino, not mentioned in rick's book. Great fixed price menu with incredible antipasto items which just kept on coming. Pasta was incredible, and the housewine was their own private label. Very reasonable. Closed Sundays. Easy to find, it is on a tiny street Via Zuchelli between Via Sistina and Via Trinitone. They have a guitarist/singer, the waiters are very cordial and fun. Tour groups were there but so were the locals!Mangia!
Denver, Co USA Sat 11/27/2004
Rome restaurant & supermarket
Great restaurant near Piazza Navona. Zucca Gialla (the Yellow Pumpkin) on Via Governo Vecchio, steps from the Pasquino statue. I expect to have culinary peak experiences once every few years. Four times in two weeks at this place. Last meal there the two of us split an appetizer, had an entree apiece, split a liter of wine, had espresso and limoncello after. Bill was 23 euros, as I remember. If you're in Rome on a pilgrimage and want a foretaste of heaven, skip the vatican. Go to Zucca Gialla.
Also, if you room on Via Firenze, as Rick does, walk south on Via Firenze until it ends, turn right a few steps to Via Napoli(?) and you find a supermarket, or what passes for one in Rome, in the basement. After lunches at Zucca Gialla, we had dinner at the hotel on what I could forage. Once I found this place, our dinners averaged 2-3 euros apiece. Wine included.How could anyone not love Rome?
Woodstock, IL USA Fri 11/26/2004
Pizzeria Ercole in Vernazza....Fantastic!!
We traveled to Vernazza earlier this fall and found the most wonderful place....Pizzeria Ercole, in fact I couldn't believe it wasn't listed in Rick's book (until I learned they had just opened this past summer.) Although fairly new on the scene, after speaking with both locals and fellow travelers "In the know" this place is already gaining quite a reputation for having some of the best Pizza and the very best Farinata along the Ligurian Riviera (Farinata is a chick-pea cake, traditional ligurian fare...and is yummy!) You can either purchase by the slice or made to order with the toppings of your choice...and can even watch as your Pizza is prepared and cooked in a wood-burning brick Pizza oven. It just doesn't get any more authentic than this...or more delicious! Very reasonable prices as well. Vernazza has many good restaurants, but Pizzeria Ercole definitely should not be missed!
CA USA Tue 11/23/2004
Buca of Delights
Florence: "Buca del Orafo", on via dei Girolami between the Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi, is a delightful hole which you descend to via a precipitous staircase much like dropping into the hold of a ship. There you are greeted by Lamberto who proceeds to feed you such delights as ribollita, and yes, fired artichokes and calf's brains! Other less adventerous florentine delights are also available.
Novato, CA USA Tue 11/23/2004
Monte Reggione, a completely walled village, 8 miles north of Siena, and mentioned in the XXXI Canto of Dante's Inferno, is home to Il Pozzo with some of the best food we tasted in Italy. I had quail stuffed with sausage, and my wife feasted on "Cinghale (wild boar) al agro/dolce. The "agro" being balsamic vinegar and the "dolce" chocolate! Worth a luncheon on your way to the hill and Chianti country
Novato, CA USA Tue 11/23/2004
The best meal I've had in Europe, not just Italy, was at Mamma Gina's south of the River. It's not in Rick's book, but was a real find. We ate there the first night in Florence and saw no reason to go anywhere else our second (and last) night. Great food at reasonable prices. I had a great dessert the first night (pear poached in port), but the second night's dessert was the best I've ever had, ever. The chocolate cake is unbelievable, rich but light with a hint of liquor. Frankly, at my age (50), it was better than sex!
Phoenix, AZ USA Tue 11/23/2004
The Rick Steves' recommendation for La Rusticella in Rome was right on the mark. They feature a multi-item antipasto buffet (must be 30 items) for about 8 Euros, nearly a meal in itself. A second trip to the buffet was only an additional 2 Euros owhen you order the first pass through. Our bill for the first visit to La Rusticella was only 28 Euros, for one buffet trip (shared), two pasta dishes (porcinis had just come into season, and were heavenly), and a carafe of table wine. The second time we went, taking two other couples, we did the two-trip buffet, and again ordered pasta dishes, along with wine. That proved to be a bit too much food, but it magically disappeared. You can eat quite healthfully there, the place is large enough not to feel crowded, and the staff is cheerful and efficient.
Seven Lakes, NC USA Sun 11/21/2004
Must-Visit Restaurant in Florence
The best meal we had in Italy was at a fantastic family-owned restaurant called Tratoria Tirovino. It wasn't touristy (although they speak English), and we ended up meeting all three brothers (waiter, server, and cook) AND both parents by the end of our meal - just great people. The food was simply exquisite! Zucchini flowers perfectly done, and a meat sauce on the taglietelle that was to die for. The Italian local who recommended it to us eats there once a week! It is located at Via Ghibellina, 70 (just past Michaelangelo's house). Tel. 055- 263-8940 http://www.tirovino.com/
Valencia, CA USA Wed 11/17/2004
When in Florence....
In Florence, don't miss a delightful small family-operated restaurant (about 6 tables) called I' Paci, on Via de Neri, just a block from Neri gelateria (also yummy). Homemade dishes such as lasagna and different pastas with great sauces, fristo misto, lured us to return several times. Good wines, too, and fabulous mom and pop doing the cooking and serving.
Encinitas, CA USA Sun 11/14/2004
La Scogliera, Manarola, Cinque Terre
If in the Cinque Terre be sure to dine at La Scogliera in Manarola. We just returned from our third trip to Italy and the Cinque Terre in six years and La Scogliera was our "best find" in dining. Recently opened (this year?)with wonderful food and great people who try hard. Linguine alla polpo, spaghetti alla scogliera; chicheal pesto all fantastic and reasonably priced. Stay in Vernazza or Riomaggiore if you wish, but get to La Scogliera in Manarola for dinner. Well worth the effort.
Milwaukee, WI USA Wed 11/03/2004
Cinque Terre, Monterosso restaurant
Just returned from a trip to Italy. Best calamari ever at Ristorante Pizzeria Maxi in Monterosso. They've only been open 8 months. Good prices for Italy and as I said, great calamari (or fried flying squid) as it is advertised on their flyer.
Des Moines, Wa. USA Wed 11/03/2004
Rome - Don't miss "da Otello in Trastavere"
Our first night in Rome, the concierge at our hotel put us in a Taxi and told the driver to take us to "da Otello in Trastavere" for dinner. There is a FANTASTIC "help yourself to all you can eat" antipasti bar at this charming Osteria/Pizzeria ...something I did not see anywhere else in Italy. The fare was so varied and delicious that I kept returning for more and made this my entire meal. My husband and I agree that this was the best meal we had in Italy. He had a veal dish and fresh pasta with porcini mushrooms.
It may be advisable to have a taxi driver find the place for you though as the area called Trastavere is a very old section of the city with VERY narrow, winding streets. Our driver even had a bit of trouble finding the restaurant. An exceedingly charming area for an evening walk-about after your meal though! Address is: Via della Pelliccia,47/53 - Piazza S. Egidio,53 Telephone: 06/5896848 Reservations recommended.
West Hills, CA USA Wed 10/27/2004
Canolli in Rome
The best Cannoli we found in our 3 days in Rome was located at the Pasticceria located right next to the Trevi Fountain. We couldn't get enough! Not sure of the name, but when facing the fountain, it's immediately to the right.
Santa Barbara, CA USA Sat 10/23/2004
Lunch by the Vatican
When you visit Vatican City (which you MUST do) be sure to get lunch at Hosteria Pizzeria "Da Vito E Dina". Great food and great service by the owner himself. It is located at 50 Via degli Scipioni about 2 blocks off the corner of the Vatican wall on Via Leone IV.
Santa Barbara, CA USA Sat 10/23/2004
San Gimigniano and Corneglia
You must try the gelato in San Gimigniano! The place is on the main square and is called Gelateria di piazza OR Pluripremiata Gelateria Artigiana. (It had both names...whatever it's called, it's great!) Try the cappucino rum and the coconut. Unbelievable!!
Also - if you're looking for a very cheap but delicious meal/snack in Corneglia, try the take-out pizza place on the main drag. $5 Euros for "dinamite" pizza (pepperoni, sort of) and it WAS dynamite!!!
Dallas, TX USA Tue 10/19/2004
We just got back from being married in Positano - here are some of our favorites from Rick's books:
Rome - the Gelateria San Crispino on Via della Panetteria 42 near the Trevi Fountain - we split two scoops of cinnamon ginger and hazelnut merengue - YUMMY! Also, the Hostaria Romana on Via del Boccaccio at Via Rasella was delicious and you get a lot of food. The antipasti dishes are out of this world.
Antonio's Hostaria dei Bastioni at Via Leone IV 29(corner of Vatican city, about halfway between the entrance to the museum and St. Peter's sq: a lot of good food, and Antonio & his staff are lovely people.
And the Osteria Enoteca al Bric at Via del Pellegrino 51 was probably the best dinner we had there for the food/atmosphere combo. Our tounges were very pleased with Rome.
In Florence, we had a lot of good food, but feel Ristorante Il Latini (see prior entries) is worth the waiting & the fact that the early seating is full of other tourists. It's a party atmosphere with really great food. They now take reservations, but that doesn't stop their teasing people beforehand. Don't eat very much on the day you plan to go, there's no way you can eat everything they give you. Also, you can save a chunk of change if you ask to skip the slab 'o meat segundi. The meat is good, but we were already stuffed to the gills, and could have done without - the soups are so delicious, spend your stomach space on those!
Positano - Le Tre Sorrelle on the beach has delicious pizza and affords great beach views. Our favorite was eating milimeters away from the street at Da Vincenzo (Viale Pasitea 178). Great folks running that place, and one of our two favorite meals (zucchini with fettucini, to die for!).
At Da Costantino (they send a van, it's way up the mountain phone 089-875-738) we recommend the calzones or pizza. Again, great people.Added bonus, despite eating like there was no tomorrow the entire time, neither of us gained a pound with all the walking we did.
San Rafael, CA USA Mon 10/18/2004
In Venice, make sure you try the Taverna San Trovaso, a five-minute walk from the Accademia Bridge, at Dorsoduro 1016. Great restaurant at very reasonable prices. pasta dishes are great as is the fish. Reservations required. We walked by in the afternoon when they were closed and slipped a piece of paper under the door with our reservation request and returned at 7PM when they opened to find a table ready for us.
Hanover, PA USA Mon 10/18/2004
Festival del Gelato is the best in Florence. Also Gli Spagetteria has 3 course meals for 11 Euro including 1/2 liter of wine and 1/2 liter of water. Located 1/2 block from Hotel Aberdeen (Rick's book) on the opposite side of the street. The staff doesn't speak English, but who cares about that? My friend said the food tasted exactly like her Italian grandmother made! I ate there 3 times.s Each was excellent.
Ooltewah, TN USA Wed 10/13/2004
Venice: Trattoria di Acqua Nera, excellent service and food, just east of the Rialto Bridge tucked away in a romantic alley. Get directions from locals
Castelrotto: Dining room in the Cavallino d'Oro (our hotel, which was superb)and Tony's, near the 3-way intersection as you come into town. Great service and food! Tony's is crowded and fun. We saw the most fantastic waitress deftly handle about 50 diners. She was quick, efficient, funny...a treasure to any restaurant owner!
Varenna: Nilus Bar, good pizza. Try to get a reservation for dinner at the Villa Cipressi, great menu and reasonable prices!
Vernazza: Il Pirata della Cinque Terra...don't miss this place for morning coffee and pastries. The brothers are a riot! Gianlucca is a pastry magician and puts out 25 different pastries every morning. They do a decent dinner, lots of fun because of all the Stevies that show up. Dinner at Gambero Rosso was great, as was dinner at Trattoria Baretta on the main drag. Be sure to try the local items like fried anchovies. MMMMM!
Siena: Osteria la Chiacchera below Albergo Bernini..great first night dining; make a reservation or wait an hour for seating; try the pici, local pasta. Also Osteria Nonna Gina (in Rick's book); good food/service, lots of locals; friendly family-run with pride. They put a bottle of grappa and an apricot digistivo on the table after our meal...no charge! We had coffee and pastries every morning at Bar Monte, just off Piazza Monte.
Rome: Ristorante Regina, just around the corner from The Beehive. Great first night dining in Rome. Friendly, fast, caring, family-run, reasonable, yummy food. Ostaria da Giovanni ar Galletto (in "the book")..great ambiance, food, service, just off Campo di Fiori on Piazza Farnese. The French Embassy shares the piazza. Be sure to do the night stroll that Rick recommends...truly magical and very safe. Rome shines at night!
Along the way get gelato at Blu Ice Gelateria just off the Trevi Fountain on Via dei Muratte...2 huge scoops of gelato for E2.00...worth it! For coffee/pastries Bar Dei Mille does the job nicely, next door to Ristorante Regina near The Beehive.
For fast food pizza slices, the well-lit pizza place just west of the Termini across the street does it good! We left for the airport about 22:30 so it made a good last night place to enjoy an Italian pizza.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 10/11/2004
We found the most wonderful gelato flavor in Verona- Cassata Siciliana. It is a custard base, with candied citrus peel. As you walk from the center of Verona to the Castle, the shop is on the street. It is about halfway down, on the right hand side. There is a small, decorative pushcart in front of the shop. Sorry I don't remember the name of the establishment, but that flavor is worth looking for. Happy slurping!
Danville, CA USA Wed 09/29/2004
Restuarant - Sienna
Great restaurant in Sienna called Guidoriccio at Via G Dupre just off the main square.Owner spent a long time explaining the menu and addressing vegetarion options. Nice setting in old wine cellar style room. Excellent food.
San Clemente, CA USA Wed 09/29/2004
Bellagio, Italy,Trattoria San Giacomo
This trattoria is special. Fresh shaved porcini and parmesan salad, osso bucco w/ polenta, Brunello di Montalcino '98 by the glass, one of the best chocolate cakes anywhere.
Dallas, TX USA Sat 09/18/2004
In rome: the Gelateria della Palma was absolutely fantastic!!! Instead of the gelato, I tried their sorbetti, and never in my life have i tasted such intense fruit flavors - so incredibly refreshing and TASTY!!
Also, on Capri, if you are looking for something quick and delicious (but by no means healthy), you should try Sfizi di Pane which is just a little ways of the main Piazzetta (ask where it is - everyone should know). Choose from among the many fried and deliciously decadent treats. We had rice balls (arancini), a biscuit-wrapped hot dog and french fry concoction, pizza rustica, and a couple of other things. Get a soda in a salumeria and sit to eat your feast fit for a king (but on a pauper's budget!)
Also, and this may be a horrible thing to say, but the best pizza in Italy is in Perugia. Now, it's made by a guy from Naples, so that explains it....FANTASTIC margherita pizzas (and a full menu of other goodies), reasonably priced wine, etc. I think a Margherita was 3 euro, bottle of wine 5 euro...you get the picture. The place is called Pizzeria Etruschetto, and it is located on Piazza Garibaldi near the Universita' per Stranieri.
One more restaurant in Perugia, across the street from the pizzeria, is Dal Mi Cocco. You need to make reservations in advance and I'm pretty sure none of the staff speaks english. You get served a fixed menu - no choices - of umbrian specialties. We had appetizers, two fresh hand-made pasta dishes, two fresh secondi (meats) and vegetables (the spinach was to die for), two desserts and wine for a total of 25 euro for two people. FANTASTIC!!!(can you tell I'm a food-lover?)
washington, dc USA Fri 09/17/2004
When in Italy my dessert is always gelato. Try the many wonderful gelato stands. Most are excellent . RS always posts what he thinks are great and I always agree with him. Pistachio is my favorite flavor.Also the price is always fair about 1-2 euro.
CA USA Thu 09/09/2004
Italy by Car -- July 2004
I can't believe we ate the whole thing!!! we spent 3 weeks touring italy by car and i would like to recommend the following restaurants to all---
(1) Bellano (Lake Como)-- Albergo Ristorante All'Orrido: the parma prosciutto and melon and all pasta dishes were terrific
(2) Florence (actually Sesto Fiorentino)-- Piccolo Trianon: easily the best food of the entire trip. outside restaurnat with great view, homemade raviolis, bistecca, and all of the desserts were terrific.
(3) Rome -- (a) Hostaria Romana (near Piazza barberini, see Rick's Rome book): everything was good, but pay particular attention to the build-it-yourself, eat as much as you want appetizer buffet, including homemade riccotta, mozzarella in water, and lots of Italian antipasti.
(4) Also in Rome -- Da Meo Patacca (in Trastevere, Piazza de' Mercanti, 30, need reservations, 39 06 5816198): very touristy, but wonderful food and a band which wanders through the outdoor tables playing requests. the wild boar was great.
(5) Sorrento -- Hotel Ristorante Il Nido (Via nastro Verde, 62, tel 39 081 8782766). Quite a ways outside of town, and way up the hill) the food was great, but the view was fantastic (head on view of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius)
(6) Venice -- Taverna San Trovaso (Dorsoduro 1016, just off Accademia bridge, tel 041 520 3703): reservations needed. seafood was great, as was everything else.
USA Sat 08/07/2004
Dining in Florence, Italy
I ate the most amazing meal in Florence! The restaurant is Buca Mario located at Piazza Degli Ottavianni. They have perfected the Florentine steak like no other. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is romantic! Enjoy!
San Francisco, CA USA Thu 08/05/2004
Dining in Rome
Ristorante Scanderbeg near the Trevi Fountain has some of the best Italian food I have tasted in my life. I went multiple times with a friend and can recommend many dishes. Highlights included: ravioli with ricotta and spinach in a butter sage sauce; cannelloni; steak with green peppers (capers actually) and cream sauce; and beef with tomatoes and rocket. The chef is a magician.
Washington, DC USA Wed 08/04/2004
Eating in Florence
Trattoria Za-Za...near the central market. FANTASTIC.. steaks. The best steak I have ever eaten! We ate there 2x! FANTASTIC!
Ellicott City, MD USA Tue 08/03/2004
Eating in Sorrento
If you're looking for excellent home-style cooking while visiting Sorrento, walk, take the bus or taxi to Marina Grande, and eat at a little place called Di Leva Ristorante Snack Bar. You'll be most pleasantly surprised by the delicious meals prepared by one of the 5 Di Leva sisters. During our short stay, my husband Tom and I ate there three times! The hospitality was also wonderful--so if you take our advice, please say hello to Tina Di Leva from Tom and Dinorah Costa from San Diego, California.
San Diego, CA USA Mon 08/02/2004
Hot Chocolate in Siena
Best hot chocolate EVER!!!! At Café A. Nannini in Siena. I'd heard about the luscious, rich hot chocolate of Italy, and this was the only café that really lived up to the hype. There are several Nannini branches, but this particular one was between Il Campo and our hotel at Cannon D'Oro (I can't vouch for the others).
USA Tue 07/20/2004
Varenna on Lago di Como
In Varenna: Albergo Milano had a delicious local fish & veggie lasagna that was absolulely delicious! On the opposite end of the passerella, Il Molo on the waterfront had a fabulous ravioli of ricotta and artichoke. Both of these still make my mouth water with the memory.
USA Thu 07/15/2004
Delightful Siena Osteria
In Siena, hike downhill and off the beaten path to Osteria Enoteca Sotto le Fonti on Via Esterna Fontebranda. Quiet neighborhood, few tourists, cozy atmosphere,and fabulous food. Britta is the hostess/waitress/wine steward and her husband, Roberto, is the chef, so this is truly a family affair. Roberto honors his German wife with the occasional hint of German cuisine fused with the Tuscan fare. Try the chef's special antipasto misto to see what I mean. Britta will happily help choose the perfect wine. All this, with a reasonable price. You'll love the young couple and the food they proudly serve.
Kennewick, WA USA Wed 06/30/2004
GREAT, GREAT LE MARCHE
Just discovered the Le Marche Region - around San Ginesio. Taken over completely by the Olive Ascolana (large stuffed olives, done with breadcrumbs and deep fried), The Truffles! in fact all the mean we ate was locally reared and the produce locally grown. Everything was stunning and I haven't even got on to the wines yet! Do try it - we stayed at a country house, Villa Sibillini - can't wait for the return trip - more still to try.....
London, UK Wed 06/30/2004
I had tasted my way starting from Florence, Siena, Pesa, and Rome, and hands down, the best Gelato is this shop in Rome called Il Gelatone, near San Pietro in Vincoli. (Not to be confused with Rick Steve's favorite-Il Gelato in Florence). I even tried Rick's favorite favor-Rice (kind of like a frozen rice pudding)in Il Gelato, but nothing beats Il Gelatone in Rome. The reason my sister and I tried this shop was because there were 2 local police officer standing outside the store eating their gelato. We thought if the local policemen eats there, can't be bad, right? It was so good that my sister and I had to make the 60 minute round trip trek from our hotel to the store the next evening. And to top this, we saw most locals came in to buy the gelato in TUBS. They sell their gelato for 6 euro per 500gm. They sell the whimpy cups and cones (by the way, the servers do not level the cups like 99% of the other stores, they pile it up and adds whip cream to the top) to tourist, people in the know buy by the TUBS or in gms.
West Valley City, UT USA Tue 06/22/2004
Eating in Rome
The best restaurant we found on our trip to Italy was Ristorante Santa Cristina in Rome (Santa Cristina al Quirinale Via della Cordonata 21-22). It is a small, family run restaurant. They make their own bread and pasta, both excellent. The Gruyere & Onion Lasagne and the Chicken with Gorganzola were to die for. The staff is very friendly and helpful.
River Falls, WI USA Tue 06/01/2004
Varenna on Lago di Como
Il Molo Cafe in Varenna was a delight. We especially liked the mushroom risotto and the humongous roasted red pepper bruschette. We stayed at Albergo Milano with the most romantic and inspiring views of the alps and Lago di Como. Varenna is the perfect place to relax and wind up a busy sightseeing week.
Baldwinsville, NY USA Mon 05/17/2004
Good restaurant in Florence
Del Fagioli: address Corso dei Tintori 47 in Florence. This was the most delicious meal we had on our trip. It is traditional Tuscan food with the white beans, tender roasted meats, delicious mashed potatoes, wine, dessert. You need reservations, though.
San Francisco, CA USA Sat 05/15/2004
Just returned from two weeks in Italy and all our meals were great. We followed most of Rick's suggestions and the only problem is we saw and met so many Americans! All delightful people!We usually drank the house wine and it was cheap and great - try some limonchella!
Rome - not in Rick's book but should be - Taverna Urbana - all homemade, reasonable, deserts and pasta excellent - sit in front room and watch the kitchen. Ate there 3 times! Near Viminale hotel, not far from Santa Maria Maggiore-on Urbana.
Florence - Trattoria Nella - gnocci and panna cotta best ever! La Mossacce - off Plaza Antinori - reasonable bistecca ala Florentina
Vernazza - what a delightful place! Stayed with francamaria - beautiful view - lunch at castle - wonderful frita mista and view cant be beat. Dinner at La Vuleita and was excellent. Blue Marilin is cool - and great cappuccino.
Siena - Restaurante al Porte - casual - fantastic risotta and grilled meats - reasonable. Osteria Castelvecchio - not much English spoken but they have a big dictionary! Friendly waiter and wonderful pasta - fettuccini carbonara. Osteria Nonna - small, casual, excellent gnocci and steak with lemon and greens/tiramasu - friendly service.
Thanks Rick and to all of you for your suggestions - we can't wait to go back!
Roswell, Ga USA Sun 05/02/2004
La Spada in Florence
Rick was right on the money with La Spada in Florence. We ate there twice which I hate to do when traveling, but it was worth it. They had excellent Arrosto Misto. I have to say that their Tiramasu was out of this world.
Tulsa, OK USA 04/05/04
Il Pirata in Vernazza
Twin brothers from Sicily run this awesome little place in Vernazza. One of the brothers is a pastry chef of 20 years. We went for 2 breakfasts and a dinner.
The canoli's were to die for - and the rest of the pastries made fresh daily were also great. After sampling almost all of them we didn't need any lunch. The hot chocolate was like nothing I've ever had - thick as hot fudge and delicious.
Dinner was also a great experience - offering a full meal with desert and desert wine all included.
Dan & Jennifer
Carlsbad, CA USA 03/31/04
While in Riomaggiore,we discovered a wonderful bakery, Panifcio Lori at 188 Via Colombo. Just follow the morning line for out of the oven Pandolei Genovese. A sweet bread filled with nuts and fruit.
Seattle, Wa USA 03/13/04
Great cafe in Florence
We found a wonderful new cafe in the Oltrano district of Florence named OIO. Techno decor, great jazz, a wonderful staff and consistently excellent and affordable meals, especially a pasta with a ragu sauce of chicken, rabbit and pork. My vegitarian friends were thrilled with the fresh salads and the pasta pesto - replete with fresh pine nuts sprinkled over the top. We rented a little apartment just up the street so OIO became our neighborhood haunt and it will become yours too once you've been there.
Springfield, va USA 03/04/04
Yummy Food In Roma
Ristorante alla Rampa is wonderful, especially for carnivores. It's in Piazza Mignanelli at the bottom of the Spanish Steps. We went back twice and can definitely recommend the Beef Stroganoff, which is basically a Filet Mignon that melts in your mouth. The pasta ai fagioli is the best we tasted in 13 days. Panna Cotta is yummy also! It's family owned, and can be on the expensive side but worth it. Can be reached by all forms of public transportation.
Also in Rome is Navona Notte in Piazza Navona. So, so good! The best polenta, made me feel like I was back at my Grandma's house. After travelling for over 2 weeks between Rome, Naples and Venice, returning to Rome for food was pure happiness.
Venice is really rough for food; Naples is tasty, but can be difficult for sensitive tummies. On the flight from Venice to Rome all we talked about was finding a steak somewhere in Roma!
Montara (SF), CA USA 02/08/04