Mouthwatering Italy: 2006
When you take your tongue out sightseeing in Italy, what are its favorite taste treats?
Packing an extra guidebook
I pack the pocket guidebook Eating & Drinking in Italy. It's a small menu translator and has some good restaurant and market recommendations throughout Italy. I recently used it in Venice and had some good dining experiences. The most recent edition is the 4th edition. It's funny, too. Sort of the same humor as you find scattered in Rick's books.
Chicago, IL USA Wed 12/20/2006
I couldn't agree more with Rod's comments on Piedmonte. We've found that the region has the finest and most varied food in Italy. In addition to great food in Alba and Nieve, the village of Monforte d' Alba has two spectacular restaurants: Da Felicin (one of several in the area feautured in a 2005 Wine Spectator) and Trattoria de la Posta.
Seattle, WA USA Thu 12/14/2006
My girlfriend Mary runs a wine restaurant so the basis for our trip in October was wine and food, tough job. We followed Rick's direction on most of trip and it was great. One area he doesn't cover is Piemonte and in particular Alba and a small town Neive. In beautiful Neive is an incredible gourmet restaurant Lacontea with lodging at their winery. This prime wine country with the towns Barbaresco and Barolo a stone's throw away. Don't miss this area. www.lacontea.it
Rod Burleson and Mary Jay
Coeur d Alene, Idaho USA Tue 12/12/2006
Pizza in Vernazz (Cinque Terre)
While traveling with my friend and his wife (who was never without her Rick Steves guidebook) we stopped at a great little pizzaria just before the jetty area with snapshots on the wall of the owner and Rick Steves. Being the off season, not many restaurants were open and the tourists were far and few between. But, it was funny when we walked into the pizzaria that there was another couple, traveling with their son, and sure enough, they had their Rick Steves guidebook in hand. But the pizza along with the hospitality and beauty of the town made for a perfect lunch.
Orlando, FL USA Sun 12/10/2006
Packing an extra guidebook
Usually I make notes from 4 or 6 guidebooks to pack and only carry the local Rick Steves - but on this last trip, I found i was taking WAY too many notes from the food books, and decided it would be worth carrying a few with me.
"The Food Lover's Guide to Florence, with culinary excursions in Tuscany" - listed not only (well known as well as out of the way) restaurants, enotecas & gelaterias, but also food-related markets, shops and specific vendors at the Mercato Central & Mercato Sant'Ambrogio.
The other: "A Culinary Traveller in Tuscany" lists scenic backroads to popular sites, notes food stops along the way, and includes many recipes, too. We took the twisty backroad to San Miniato, and were delighted.
At the truffle festival we sampled and bought truffles, chocolate, oil, wine and cake from local producers (The locals had the booths near the front - the more commercial vendors all seemd furhter back in town)
We opted away from the 100 Euro prix fixe dinner at the view restaurant - and ate at the festival booth - 2 plastic cups of house red, a white truffle pizza with truffled sausage, fresh crisp polenta fried in truffle oil, and a "bomboloni pallottole tortulalata " - a truffle doughnut! odd - but surprisingly delicious! a full dinner, a good story and only 12 Euros!
Larkspur, CA USA Sun 12/03/2006
Places in Bologna
Just got back from a week in Bologna. Highly underrated!! Hotel Roma is a great place to stay. It's on Via D'Azeglio and the staff speaks English. Single room was respectable for 90 euros. Its also only 50 yards from Piazza Maggiore, the main center of the city. Good places to eat include La Mela, on Via D'Azeglio, typical Italian dishes and pizze at very reasonable prices. Also if you want to splurge go to Ristorante Grassilli, via del Luzzo 3. Very small, only about 10 tables, that a great waiter takes care of all of them. Only open up during the middle of the week. Awesome atmosphere and the best risotto I ever had. Buon giorno!
Waterford, MI USA Wed 11/29/2006
Fabulous restaurant in Florence
On our last day in Florence our local friend, Adel, took us to his favorite restaurant. It was the best meal we had our entire trip! It is Osteria de' Macci on Via de' Macci, 77r - 50122 Firenze. Tel. 055 241226 www.osteriademacci.com
Park City, UT USA Sun 11/26/2006
Spent 10 days traveling about Italy and had our best meal in Monterosso (Cinque Terre). Tiny little restaurant on the "old" side of town called CIAK. The portions are HUGE and the seafood is mouth-watering fresh. You can't go wrong with a bottle of house white and an order of mussels!
Severna Park, MD USA Mon 11/20/2006
This is a wonderful little restaurant that was close to the Colosseo and just a 3 minute walk from Il Rosario convent. All the food, wine and bread was great and resonablt priced. Seating is limited. We ate there in Sept. 2005. Via Madonna dei Monti 79, 00184 Roma Tel. : +(39) 0 64 74 53 25
Merrimack, NH USA Mon 11/20/2006
Anima Bella...Wonderful Venice
Venezia....Trattoria Anima Bella...wonderful...you will be asked, "Pizza or pasta?" Then you get the day's specially prepared dish or pizza...wonderful...small place with limited seating near a side canal, not far from Piazza San Marco. We sat at the corner table with windows on both sides...yummy pasta dish, wine, and windows on the world of Venezia..just a lovely experience.
Sour Lake, Tx USA Sat 11/18/2006
Best Food in Florence
We just returned to our hotel from the most amazing meal I've ever eaten! Osterio Vini e Vecchi Sapori in Florence is listed in "Rick Steve's Florence and Tuscany," but the review doesn't do it justice. I had the pasta with wild boar (cinghiale) and it was divine. My traveling companion had potatoes with meat balls after the ribollita, also divine. The tiramisu, served with raspberries, was the best I have ever had. The place is very small, only 5 or 6 tables, and packed with locals. I cannot recommend this restaurant strongly enough.
San Ramon, CA USA Wed 11/15/2006
Il Vino Nuovo
Just returned from a week in Florence. Not only was the weather beautiful (i.e., not rainy), but also the new wine from this year's harvest is now available. We had a delicious bottle to celebrate our last evening in that wonderful city. Enjoy!
Boston, USA Mon 11/13/2006
Special places Siena and Rome
If in Siena, seek out the shop called Pizzicheria de Miccoli for tastes of proscuitto, cheese, freshly roasted pork, thimble sized glasses of wine (even at 10 a.m.)and then be sure to buy a "torta rustica"--a muffin like thing with many bits of proscuitto and cheese throughout. In Rome, we went to "Colors" cucina mediterranea, via del boschetto 73 two nights in a row. They take Italian and give it a twist. Best (tomato) bruschetta of our entire trip as well.
SANTA ROSA, CA USA Wed 11/08/2006
Restaurants in Siena and Florence
Correction the little osteria/ wine bar is on the left down the lane towards the via della condotta (not the right).
Mystic, CT USA Mon 11/06/2006
Restaurants in Siena and Florence
A while back someone posted a comment that Locanda Garibaldi was closed down and looked like it was deserted. We were in Siena at the end of October and the restaurant and inn were open and still operated by Marcello. We were happy because this is one of our favorite, inexpensive, little restaurants in Italy. We found a terrific restaurant in Florence just off the Piazza della Signoria. If you head to the back of the square away from the Via Calzuoili and take the little lane on the left, there is an osteria / wine bar on the right just before the via della condotta. There is a sign on the menu that says "no pizza, no bisteca, no ice" - meaning if you want the real thing this is where to eat. It was absolutely wonderful - fresh pasta, wonderful desserts. No coffee, however. It was very reasonably priced. Only about 18 seats in the restaurant. Very traditional tuscan menu.
Mystic , CT USA Mon 11/06/2006
Cinque Terre Anchovies
Cinque Terre Teriffic! We stayed 2 nights (at Rick's suggestion) in Riomaggiore, the southernmost of the Cinque Terre villages. From the train station, we went through the tunnel to the "main" part of town, and stopped at the first cafe on the left, as you walk up into town. It was great, and very reasonable. Anyone visiting Cinque Terre MUST try the local anchovies in lemon sauce! Don't think of it as the American idea of salty little fish- it is heaven on a plate! Even if you "don't like fish" you will love this choice for your primi plati.
Cedarpines Park, CA USA Mon 11/06/2006
Lonate Pozzolo, Italy
Lonate Pozzolo is a small town near the Malpensa Airport. It is the hometown of my husband's family before they moved to San Rafael, CA. To our surprise in this small town we found a gourmet restaurant. It is Osteria degli Artisit. It has a website www.osteriadegliartisit.com to see a map of its location in the town. You will not be disappointed in the food, but you might need your Italian dictionary since they speak only Italian. We had 2 great meals there and left feeling like we had been eating with friends.
Los Altos, CA USA Sun 11/05/2006
Fine Dining in Florence, Italy
For those of you with a taste for fine dining experiences... Like a fine wine, Barbara and Daniela, co-owners, along with Chef Rosie, have created a perfect blend of outstanding food, ambiance and artistic vision to make Mangia Fuoco a truly one of a kind restaurant/bracerie. I am not sure which impresses me more: the seemingly endless choices of Tuscan fare on the menu; the masterful presentation of these culinary delights; or the impeccable personal treatment and attention given to every last detail by the hosts.Whether you decide on the simple yet elegantly prepared polenta, creamy and soft inside with a crispy outer crust topped with sauteed mushrooms, the homemade gnocchi floating on a decadent formaggio cream sauce drizzled with crispy bites of pancetta or the traditional Napalitana dish of panna alle pommodoro, your gastric juices will be flowing and begging for more scrumptious treats...and Barbara and Daniela will meet your highest expectations! Their flawless execution of table side filleting of the whole sea bass or perfectly grilled and seasoned bistecca fiorentina, sliced into succulent slices of heaven, not to mention the grilled tender rack of lamb and other delights, proves that Daniela and Barbara have introduced to Florence what could very well be a sophisticated fine dining experience I may find in San Francisco (my previous place of residence) with the warmth, comfort and pampering of what I love about the trattorias and restaurants of Florence (my current place of residence). Mangia Fuoco pleases all of my senses and I am so grateful that there is finally a restaurant that actually combines my American and Italian culinary needs and surpasses my every expectation. 5 stars to Daniela and Barbara ! Grazie and BRAVA !
Florence, Italy Tue 10/31/2006
If you every get anywhere near Passignano, a small town on the north side of Lago Trasimeno (Tuscay-Umbria border), eat at La Locanda del Castello. It is our very favorite restaurant in Italy. The owner-chef, Giuliano, is a wonderful host and the cuisine is out of this world.
Stanford, Ca USA Mon 10/30/2006
Dining in Lamporecchio
Lamorecchio is a great take-off point for Vinci and other towns in the Florence-Lucca-Pisa-Siena area. There are 3 excellent restaurants in Lamporecchio - Sciu Scia, Il Vino Veritas and Il Canniccio, which is just across a small piazza from the Hotel Antico Masetto. Il Canniccio has the best pizza in Italy- or anywhere else. Great for a quick, light meal.
Stanford, CA USA Mon 10/30/2006
We stumbled across a great resturaunt in Venice: Ostaria Boccadoro in Campo Widmann. Seafood only, and delicious. We were the only tourists there; everyone else was local and well-known to the staff. Phone # is 041 52.11.021.
Olympia, WA USA Fri 10/27/2006
just back from a week in Rome.for a really good meal try Le Fric on Via San da Tolentino 23. tel 06/4814845.its not overpriced,try any of the d'alba wines-you wont be dissapointed.By St Peters -the food gets better and the prices cheaper the further away you get.pizza/lasagne,large drink and ice cream for 7 euros.tour buses pick up just after noon,so eat early to get into the Vatican Museum and Sisterne chapel line before 1330
Plymouth, Devon UK Sun 10/22/2006
Food Surprises in Italy
We just got back from 8 days in Italy and ate some fantastic foods. What we paid ranged from 12 Euro to 90 Euro for two, and to be honest, the best pizza was the cheapest, the pasta was all good, and the sandwiches from a place called "Mr. Sandwich," just across the sidewalk from Venice's Rialto Vaporetto stop, were served on rolls to die for. Mine also had the best Italian salami I have ever tasted, anywhere, including Mulberry Street in New York City's "Little Italy." It was a self-serve place and my counterman looked like Sean Connery, and after hearing three words of my halting Italian, spoke fluent English. He also poured a great cup of coffee.
I was amazed by the freshness of salad ingredients everywhere we went. The tomatoes invariably were just at or prior to their peak and had flavor only available at farmer's markets here in America's heartland.
In North America we're used to supersized portions. In Italy, the Antipasti are often twice as large as the American counterparts, the pasta courses ("Primi") invariably enough for a full meal, and only the entrees ("Secondi") a little on the small side, but plenty big enough after the antipasto and primi.
Northfield, MN USA Fri 10/20/2006
Oh my goodness- I agree with one of your guests who praised La Cantina di Ninco Nanco. They had the best appetizers I have ever had in my life. I came online searching for the recipe and ended up here. The service was the best we have ever had anywhere and the Lucano cuisine was a welcome departure from the Roman cafe' style foods. Ninco Nanco is not cheap though. But in this case, you get what you pay for. This elegant cellar restaurant is located near the Pantheon. We enjoyed our 29th anniversary there.
Houston, Tx USA Wed 10/18/2006
Don't even think about going to Osteria Bella Donne in Florence. Noone was there. Food was bad. Service was indifferent. Overpriced.Take it out of the book!
Fairhope, AL USA Wed 10/18/2006
If you love chocolate, you must have the tartufo in Rome. Had it at Tre Scalini (Piazza Navona). 4 euros (to go) and worth every eurocent!
It's a ball of wonderful chocolate ice cream with slivers of dark chocolate covering it. Topped with fresh whipped cream before being served.
Detroit, MI USA Sun 10/15/2006
I've seen few comments on Le Fric Restaurant in Rome. We would agree it is fabulous. I sits between two other eating establishments on the same street both the others were almost empty. We had to wait an hour with no reservations.It was worth it! The owner served us champagne outside because he felt bad we had to wait. I had the Carbonara it was so good! My husband had Arriabiata ( sp) I wish I could duplicate it at home! Really unique small place. Very nice!
Newport Beach, Ca USA Tue 10/03/2006
Trattoria Trebbio in Florence was great. Had a nice fresh menu and the outdoor seating area is real nice. We opted to eat inside in the downstairs "cave". We had great service and the food was excellent. On a side note, try going to JJ's Catherdral bar in the main square of the Duomo. There is a balcony for 2 with a birds eye view of the church, tourists and gypsy's begging for money. Great for people watching.
San Jose, CA USA Fri 09/29/2006
mmm...panini from heaven
First, let me say all food in italy is amazing. With that said, the best meal you can get is at Vito's Ristorante in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre. I recently got back from an unbelievable trip around Europe with Contiki Holidays. While staying in Florence I had the opportunity to take a trip to Cinque Terre, where I experienced the best artichoke and prosciutto foccacio of my life. It was the best. Check out my blog of the trip at www.alfio-contiki.blogspot.com. and check out the rest of my story and the awesome food I ate, just don't be jelous.
Tampa, FL USA Wed 09/27/2006
When traveling with three couples, how do you pay for your meals, do you ask for separate checks, split the bill on three separate cards or what?
Houston, Texas USA Fri 09/15/2006
Rick missed one!!
So I found a great place in Italy that Rick must have overlooked. I was actually trying to find one that he recommended near the Pantheon but got a little lost on the way over. One of the restaurants had a man who was soliciting tourists to sit and eat at a restaraunt named PUMMAROLA. If you take the street on the left side walking straight away from the front of the Pantheon it will be on your left. Usually, I don't fall for the solicitors, as some are a little pushy and I wonder why they have to solicit passing tourist. Is the food not good enough to get people to stop and eat?? But there were three of us and we were hungry and it looked good enough. Well, most of our meals were running over 70 Euro total with wine. This one was around 50 and got a much larger carafe of wine than most gave us and also had two glasses of lemoncello on top of that and the service was excellent. The food was better than any of the 70 euro meals as well.
Dublin, Ireland Fri 09/01/2006
Best Gelato in Rome
We found the best gelato in Rome, perhaps all of Italy, near the Trevi Fountain. The place is called "Della Palma" and I believe it's on Via del Forno (of course, the napkin I wrote the info on is lost!). The fruit flavored gelato tasted better than the actual fruit, and the chocolate...ah!
We also sought out Carabe in Florence, recommended by John S.--wonderful!
Rochester, NY USA Sat 08/26/2006
Restaurant= San Gimignano
We are in San Gimignano and tried Chiribiri's which was listed in your book.We found it the most charming restaurant with great food and excellent service(Beatrice). We have been back 2x this week and probably will return before we fly home on Sunday.
Bellport, NY USA Thu 08/24/2006
dining in Rome & Venice
While in Italy in May we had some fantastic dining experiences which I would like to share. In Rome these two places are not "tourist traps". They have delicious, affordable food. Dino & Tony is near the Vatican. Via Leone IV 60.Tel.06 184.108.40.206 Found this on Rick Steve site. Piccolo Abruzzo was recommended by a bar tender. Via Sicilia, 237 In Venice our all time favorite was Ostaria al garanghelo san polo 1570-1571 calle dei boteri telephone 041.721721 The mushroom risotto was to die for as was every other entre. We would have eaten here every night in Venice if they had been open every night we were there! The food was reasonable and delicious and the owners are delightful!
Madison, CT USA Thu 08/24/2006
Remembering Italy in Food
Instead of souvineers, we decided to put all of our money towards trying new food! It was a wonderful time... the local wines, the fresh seafood, the pesto... we would go to the restaurants and try to see what the waiters would recommend, and if they didn't speak any English at all, we would just laugh and point at the menu and see what we'd be surprised with. It was always fantastic, and the food will be a memory that will last for a very long time.
Maple Grove, MN USA Wed 08/23/2006
Diner in Rome
We read about Zucca Gialla on this site. Our first night in Rome we tried to get seated and were turned away. We spent too much money that night at the Piazza Navona. We returned two days later and again at the end of our week. These were the best two meal we had in Rome. We found that once we were seated we were seated for the evening. They had reservations for buses that took up most of their restaurant. Go early and don't take it personally if they can't seat you in what appears to be an empty restaurant.
Powell, Ohio USA Sun 08/20/2006
Correction to my prior Post, where I was looking for the "Sexy Wine" The restaraunt name I mentioned was incorrect and that was really the address. The name of the Bar is "Miscellanea"- Sorry for the error.
I am still looking for this wine in the U.S if possible.
Minneapolis, MN USA Sat 08/19/2006
Food in Italy
Having just returned from spending a month in Italy with my family I would totally disagree with the comments made regarding the lack of "variety" at any restaurant. I found that not only was there plenty of selection for my children and my husband and I, I also felt that portions were ample. Whenever I am in North American the portions are very large and usually go to waste. We definately don't travel to eat like North Americans, we travel to eat like locals.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada Sat 08/19/2006
Cooking classes/wine tasing
Tania, If you're still interested in cooking classes in Rome, check out journeywoman.com I'm positive that I've seen stuff about cooking classes & wine tasting. Good luck.
charleston, wv USA Fri 08/18/2006
Food In Europe
I disagree with every single thing DL said about food in Europe and, specifically, in Italy.
Charles M. Luther
USA Fri 08/18/2006
I am looking to see if anyone can tell where I can either find the "Sexy Wine" (Strawberry Wine) recommended in Rick's Italy/Rome 2006 book. The bar was called "Via Della Paste" near the Pantheon in Rome. A free glass was given to you free if you showed his book. We purchased a bottle to take back home but now I am looking for more to purchase. Does anyone have any idea if we can purchase this online or do they have a website? Otherwise, I will settle for something comparable but I cannot remember if it was sparkling? red or white wine? etc.
For anyone who has been and has tried it or know what I am talking about.....PLEASE HELP!!!
Minneapolis, MN USA Tue 08/15/2006
Food In Italy
Food in Italy (and throught Europe) is mostly food for conessuires by American standards. By this I mean it's fine quality rather than the typical American "pig out" standard. Most Americans who go to Europe have a wider acceptance of taste so can appreciate the food but most Americans would not, I believe, like the food in Italy. For example, I ordered liguini. The portion was very small by Americans standards, maybe 1/4 the size. The pasta was in a lemon butter sauce and while I really liked it I know many people in America who would not. Usually a lunch or dinner is 2, 3 or 4 small courses. Not just an appetizer and main course. Another thing you should know is that in Italy you get almost all Italian food. You don't find the diversity you do in the states. I did not see any Mexican, steak houses, etc..
USA Tue 08/15/2006
Vertuno wine in Oriveto?
I'm just back from a semester abroad in Rome and I'm trying to track down some wine I had while visiting Orvieto. Less popular that the Orvieto Classico, this wine was known as "Vertuno", white with an unusual anise flavour. I've had no luck so far finding any mention of it online. Any help would be very much appriciated!! Thanks!
Boulder, CO USA Sun 08/06/2006
Excellent Food in Rome and Siena
Just back from 2 1/2 weeks in Italy. Our two favorite restaunts were both RS recommendations. In Rome, Osteria da Mario, near the Pantheon, served up a rigatoni carbonara to die for. In Siena, Osteria la Chiacchera was our favorite. Fresh, inexpensive food with a menu that changed daily.
Corona, CA USA Sat 08/05/2006
Eating at fresh fish places in Italy
We found a restaurant in Taormina that had diplayed the fresh fish of the day. We were excited to see fresh live Lobsters. The Lobsters price was according to weight. It didn't dawn on us to have them weigh it in front of us so imagine our shock when the bill came and the Lobster we had ordered was $162 Euros. Lesson learned. When you order fish that's sold by weight, make sure they weigh it in front of you.
Granada Hills, CA USA Sat 08/05/2006
I am trying to find day or half day cooking classes or olive and/or wine tasting in rome. thanks
kansas city, mo USA Thu 08/03/2006
I am in Florence right now for the second time (and staying in a Rick recommended hotel) and the first thing I did when I got here today was to walk down the street to Gelato Carabe.
I read about it last year in Saveur and when we visited last June, my wife and I were so blown away by their gelato and granitas that we went there twice a day for the entire week.
Carabe makes the best frozen desserts I have ever eaten, and I eat them all the time. I even make them at home and I have yet to figure out hopw to match their quality.
From what I gather, they use only milk, no cream or eggs or fillers, and fresh fruits, nuts, and top quality flavorings. Apparently their recipies are Sicilian and require constant churning and maintenance by the staff to keep them scoopable.
In fact, when I was there today, there was a stack of fruits in the kitchen waiting to be turned into gelatos and granitas. Their chocolate is obscenely rich, their crema is redolent of lemon peel and rich milk flavor, and their almond granita is great on a really hot day.
What really blows my mind is that there should be a line out the door for this place, especially since it is across the street from the Ufuzi.
I have tried every one of Ricks recommended gelato places in his guide book as well as some other recommendations, but none even come close to Carabe. It is like the difference between driving a Hyundai and a BMW.
Their address is 50 Via Ricasoli.
San Francisco, CA USA Thu 08/03/2006
A must try is a Chinese restaurant in Siena and their names starts with Shanghai. It is a couple blocks off of the Campo towards the soccer field but is extremely good and inexpensive. The house wine was three euros and chianti was ten euros. Menu items start at just over one euro up to four euros.
It sounds weird getting Chinese in Italy but well worth it!
Bellevue, WA USA Wed 08/02/2006
Star Frutta Positano address
My wife and I just returned back to Michigan from a wonderful trip in Europe. We visited Spain, France,and Italy, and they are all spectacular. One of your reader's posted on this site wanting the address of "Star Frutta" We atually stopped and bought some produce and spices while on our trip from Sorrento to Almafi. The Address is Star Frutta Positano Via Chiesa Nuova,64 Positano ( SA ) Telephone .089.875381 Fax .089.812099 Hope this helps.
Grand Rapids, Michig USA Wed 07/26/2006
Restaurants Rome: Piazza Barberini and Piazza del Popolo
For food in the Bolognese tradition try LE COLLINE EMILIANE (via degli Avignonesi, 22 -- near Piazza Barberini). Wonderful homemade tagliatelle alla bolognese. Quiet street. Serious yet gracious watiers. Indoor dining only. For indoor/outdoor dining, on a quiet side street is a restaurant called EDY(Vicolo del Babuino 4, near Piazza del Popolo). Wonderful gnocchi, light as a feather, won't fill you up. I had them followed by a salad of grilled beef strips, roasted potatoes, arugula and tomatoes -- AND dessert (tiny strawberries -- fragoline -- with homemade whipped cream) -- and I had no digestion problems! The wait staff here has a light touch.
Old Saybrook, CT USA Sun 07/23/2006
In Florence we stayed at great place (see my comment under B and B's, www.ilvillino.it) and literally around the corner is a hole in the wall place: Caffellatte at via degli Alfani, 39/r where Casati Vanna runs an organic vegetarian cafe. She has great food, the largest cappuccino I've ever seen and speaks english quite well and best of all is a character. Ask her about her place and she will tell you/get out old photos offer to let you take pictures etc. I'm not quite sure how she keeps the place going but it appeared she has a following within the community. Do give a visit as she really improved our view of another way of life! AND, the food was great (even if you're not vegetarian-vegan-which I'm not)!
Seattle, WA USA Fri 07/21/2006
Pizzarita Pastarita near the train station. Unique restaurant where you can choose your sauces and topping for pizza and your pasta and sauces. Also they have great risotto where you can choose you flavors. Very clean and inexpensive. A lot of students eat here as well as military personnel when we were there.
USA Mon 07/17/2006
Panneteria in Pisa
There's a great place in Pisa called simply "Panneteria" near the tower. It's on the main road to the tower about a block or two from the garden area. Going to the tower it will be on your left. Drink and a sandwich is only 2 euros and the bread is incredible. I think it is family run, the younger guy with the glasses is the only one who speaks (broken) english. Perfect for lunch on a short stop.
PA USA Sat 07/15/2006
Great Food in Venice
As a New York Foodie who has been here the last 2 months i can state the following categorically.
Best Gelateria: Alaska no other is even close. Try the Almond with little bits of orange or the Pistachio
Best Pastry: The crostella at Pupa. The single most delicious non-chocolate pastry i have ever had.
Really good, casual, reasonably priced restarant near Piazza San Marco: Cavatappi
Really good sit down cicheti restaurant:
Trattoria Ca' d'Oro
New York, NY USA Thu 07/13/2006
While eating in Italy, my family stumbeled across a small, tucked back sandwhich shop close to many of Rick's hotel recomendations. The two owners, a brother and sister, were extremely nice, offering my family multiple tastes of everything from meat to cheese. The food was excellent and the small shop was frequented by locals picking up their daily needs. Best of all, my whole family of four could get hearty Italian sandwhiches for 5-7 euros. It is locales on Via delle Quattro Fontane, which is near the four fountians. Metro stops are Barberini or Repubblica, it's a walk from Trevi, but hardly a block from the opera house or the national museam. Enjoy!
Normal, IL USA Mon 07/10/2006
In Venice, to find the creperie, go North after the Rialto.
Chicago, IL USA Sun 07/09/2006
Favorites in Rome, Riomaggiore, and Venice
We just got back from a wonderful honeymoon in Italy, and here are the things that are sticking in our taste buds' memories:
~ Rome: you MUST go to Tre Scalini for Tartuffe (don't bother sitting down, most of meals are frozen - go to the ice cream shop to get this dessert.) We went three times!
~ Riomaggiore - La Lanterna: We had a great meal here, but if you don't like seafood, you'll be hard-pressed to find something else.
~ Riomaggiore - Bar Centrale: We were really confused and frustrated the first two times we went here. The Bar and the Gelateria both serve food in the same area, but are two different establishments. Go up to the counter, place your order, and go sit outside with your coffee or wait for your food to be served. The Cappuccino is the best we had in Italy.
~ Venice - crepes: There is a wonderful creperie in Venice (and the only one we found), just between the San Marco and Canareggio districts. If you are in the Campo San Bartolomo west of the Rialto bridge, go south out of the square, over a bridge, and its just past the Coin store. Makes up for the small hotel breakfast!
Chicago, IL USA Sun 07/09/2006
Focaccia Bread in Cinque Terra
Focaccia Bread in Cinque Terra IS amazing! NOT to be missed. Thanks Rick!.
New York, NY USA Sat 07/08/2006
Volterra - Trattoria Il Sacco Fiore
We just returned from a wonderful tip to Italy following RS books all the way. We did stray from the books occassionally and happened upon the best tasting meal we had during our week and a half. This was at the Trattoria Il Sacco Fiore. It is a small cafe just down the street from the Etruscan Museum. A bottle of wine, bottle of water, complimentary champage, 2 antipasto, 2 primi pasta, one secondi and a salad for a mere 56 euros. Fabulous regional specialties. I hope that Rick sees fit to add them to next years book, I think they deserve his recommendation. Benissimo
Wolfeboro, NH USA Sat 07/08/2006
Offended at Il Pirata Delle Cinque Terre
Unfortunately I can't agree with the praise for Il Pirata. I found the cafe and pastries to be average, but I found the owner's anti-american banter to be so offensive that I would not encourage any other americans there. His humor is very antagonistic and intent upon degrading americans: long winded dialogues about all the things americans don't know or don't do well. Interesting as in the same breath he is touting his success with the americans visiting Vernazza. I tried to keep my sense of humor, and would have refrained from posting this criticsim if, when I left with a polite "ciao, grazie", he had not responded "bye beautiful...give my hello to George Bush!"
Brooklyn, NY USA Thu 07/06/2006
Vinandro in Fiesole
We honeymooned in Italy... our favorite restaurant by far was Vinandro in Fiesole (just outside Florence). A night trip to Fiesole is a treat in itself pair that with dinner at Vinandro and you'll find heaven in Italy! Rick this is a must add to your Fiesole section!
Branford, CT USA Tue 07/04/2006
Trattoria da Leo, Lucca
I thought the food at Trattoria da Leo was mediocre...surprising, since Rick recommends it.
Richmond, CA USA Tue 07/04/2006
Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre
The pastry is the best I have ever eaten, and Massimo and Gianluca are so fun and welcoming. I also ate dinner here...eggplant parmesan that was out of this world!
USA Tue 07/04/2006
Just got back from 14 days in Italy. If you like wine and are around the Florence area, you should try Tuscan-wine-tours.com Rebecca was our guide (speaks English) and it was a very enjoyable day. Met the wine makers themselves and had lunch at one of the wineries (outstanding lunch). If in Bellagio there is a lovely little wine bar. It is a couple of blocks south of boat dock and up a side street. I cannot recall the name, but it is worth looking for. The owner has over 100 wines to taste and over 1000 stocked to purchase. Speaks pretty good English and has been to the States before, so is ok with Americans. Was very helpful with what wines to taste.
Visalia, CA USA Mon 07/03/2006
Rick, we enjoyed the smoothies at Il Pirata & even more the charming antics of Max and Lucca. The smoothies were as good as an outstanding gelato, maybe even better. We didn't find them through your book (just our own exploring), we did have that, but we found out that you had been there just 2 weeks earlier. This is definitely a great place to stop and visit. We will do so again.
Reedley, CA USA Mon 07/03/2006
Lucano cuisine in Rome
We were blown away by the food and service at La Cantina di Ninco Nanco in Rome (via Pozzo delle Cornacchie, 36) near the Pantheon. It's Lucano cuisine (never heard of it before) with freshly made pasta, dishes like "wild boar pasta", great wine selection, fantastic desserts. Great value, great service, wonderful experience
Lake Forest, ca USA Mon 07/03/2006
Wedding dinner at Ristorante Dal Falco di Pienza
My husband and I just returned from our son's wedding in Pienza. It was our pleasure to host the rehearsal dinner for the 40 guests who had travelled from all over the world at the Ristorante Dal Falco di Pienza. They did an amazing job and worked extremely hard to make our evening special - from the beautiful sunflower and fruit centerpieces on each table to the incredible 8-course meal they prepared for us. We were all absolutely delighted by Silvana and her staff and we would recommend this restaurant enthusiastically to anyone headed for Pienza!
Redmond, WA USA Sun 07/02/2006
Gelato in Rome
The best gelato we found was the Old Bridge Gelateria located Via dei Bastioni di Michelangelo, 5. The price was cheap, the serving size large and the taste the wonderful. The young men working the counter were friendly and spoke English. There was always a small line to be served.
Leucadia, CA USA Tue 06/27/2006
Restaurant in Siena
Wanted to recommend a wonderful restaurant in Siena. It is called Cane e Gato. Probably the best meal I experienced in Italy (although most were very good). It's a set menu and ran about 60 Euro per person (was my birthday dinner). The wine selection was also wonderful. The family that runs the restaurant were so friendly. Enjoy!
NJ USA Tue 06/27/2006
La Trappola in Chianti
La Trappola is in the Chianti region near Siena. We stayed in Castle of Selvole in Castella in Chianti and from our accommodations, walked about 2 km to a tiny town with a wonderful eatery. The food and prices were fantastic. The "chef" made everything fresh and even allowed us to watch him and take pictures of him doing his work. Out of all the places that we ate in Italy and Austria, this was by far the best!
Mt. Juliet, TN USA Tue 06/27/2006
Good eats in Rome and Tuscany
We just returned from 10 days in Italy and enjoyed the food tremendously. The gems of our trip were: IL QUADRIFOGLIO in ROME (on a side street near the colliseum); LA CARBONARA in ROME (Campo de Fiore - sit outside); FUFLUNS PIZZERIA in CORTONA (side street off main square); OSTERIA DE TEATRO in CORTONA (side street off main square); and PERSEUS in FIESOLE (downtown piazza). All of our meals were good but these were especially excellent; both the food and the atmosphere. Mangia!
NH USA Sun 06/25/2006
Arezzo Fine Dining
If in Arezzo, I recommend Le Tastevin. I enjoyed a very tasty meal.
Santa Barbara, CA USA Tue 06/20/2006
Cinque Terre, great restaurant in Vernazza
If you are lucky enough to make it to the Cinque Terre, be sure to stop off at Il Pirata (a RS recommendation) in Vernazza. It is just up the hill from the train station. The food is just fabulous and the two brothers running the place are a comedy act--entertaining and very kind. We stayed in Monterosso, took the train there for breakfast, then 2 dinners! The dinner was fantastic and the desserts are to die for.
houston, texas USA Tue 06/20/2006
Restaurant in Deruta
If you are in Deruta (where they make the famous ceramics), eat at Tavola e Favola, via Tiberina 190, tel 075-9710276, closed Tues. Via Tiberina is the main north/south street in the lower part of Deruta. The restaurant is just north of the only traffic light on this street; on the west side of the street. The restaurant is known for its fish, but the menu has no fish on it. You have to ask for the fish. The owner, who speaks English, asked if we ate like Americans or Italians. Unfortunately, I said like Italians. He brought us so much food that we did not eat another full meal for two days. Consider telling him you eat like Americans. Everything was wonderful, highlighted by a whole baked fish at the end. We found out about this restaurant from Giuseppe Biondi (www.beppe.italy.com). The best way to describe Giuseppe, is that he provides everything you need to enjoy your trip to Umbria. If you use Giuseppe, make sure he takes you to the gold jewelry factory in Arezzo where you can buy gold jewelry at the outlet store at unbelievably good prices.
Dallas, TX USA Sun 06/18/2006
Dining in Florence
If you are in Florence, I definitely recommend Olio & Convivium! They have limited seating, so make a reservation. The food and service was wonderful...my best meal in Italy, hands down!
Houston, TX USA Fri 06/16/2006
Rome: At the Spanish Steps take Rick's advice and get the self-service antipasto spread at Ristorante alla Rampa. With bread, wine and water it is all you need and keeps the price down.
Verona: Bottega del Vino near the Piazza Erbe was pricey, but food and atmosphere were excellent.
Brentwood , TN USA Thu 06/15/2006
Great food in Italy
16 days in Italy and we did not have a bad meal anywhere. I don't think we even had a mediocre meal. We had many good meals, several great meals, and a couple of meals so fantastic I will remember them forever. And I couldn't believe how inexpensively we could eat well. Many days my wife and I spent under 50 euro for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a couple of gelatos, a couple of extra espressos and a snack here and there, for both of us. If you are in the Cinque Terre you must go to Il Pirata for at least one meal. Some people don't go here because there is no view. You don't need one. The great food and the brothers Gianluca and Massimo more than make up for the lack of view. I can't remember when I've had more fun at dinner.
Carmichael, CA USA Wed 06/14/2006
A Florence Favorite
By accident came upon a great osteria convenient to the Central Market area of Florence. For no more than 33 Euros, my husband and I enjoyed a generous shared antipasto, 2 delicious primo piattos, and a 1/4 litre of house wine at I'Tozzo di Pane, 48 Via Guelfa in Florence. In addition, waiters were friendly and helpful and there was no pressure to order additional courses. Ask to be seated on the cozy rear patio if you enjoy dining al fresco.
Pittsburgh, PA USA Thu 06/08/2006
Italian restaurants- Monterosso-Via Venti
Via Venti, located in the old section of Monterosso, is a gem. The food is excellent, and the owners are charming. We liked it so much, we ate there twice.
Denver, CO USA Thu 06/08/2006
BAD- La Lanterna Restaurant in Riomaggiore
La Lanterna Restaurant in Riomaggiore, down by the water, was recommended by a local and was very busy. We had to wait to get in - even in early May. The menu seemed reasonable and as advised by the notes on the menu, we asked about the "daily catch" which appeared to be reasonably priced. The owner jovially said we should simply leave ourselves in his hands for a great dinner of the local "catch of the day." We concurred and enjoyed the other courses that we had ordered. Our main course evolved to be a whole sea bass - it was ok, but certainly, nothing special. We ate it; it was mediocre. Imagine our shock when the bill arrived - a 45 Euro fish (APPROXIMATELY $55 US) and this was in addition to the rest of the items on our bill. We were robbed! We think you should avoid this place like the plague - not a good experience!
Boise, ID USA Thu 06/08/2006
Ristorante Belforte in Vernazza
Ristorante Belforte in Vernazza - DO NOT MISS THIS PLACE!!! We came in on the boat from Monterossa, so saw this place perched on the cliffs from the ocean side. If you are walking down to the waterfront from town, you might miss it unless you go ALL THE WAY TO THE WATER and look back! The restaurant is hanging on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean. There are tables on the ocean side with incredible views of the sea and the rocks with dark blue tablecloths and umbrellas that echo the blues of the sea. We had an incredible afternoon here, enjoying drinks and watching the sunset. Then we came back later for dinner. The views were incredible, the service was excellent, the wait staff was friendly, the food was delicious. This restaurant was the best of our entire ten day trip to Italy! This 1000 year old building is full of charm and romance and I would love to hear the stories it could tell!
Boise, ID USA Thu 06/08/2006
Restaurant in Florence
We asked our hotel manager for a restaurant suggestion for typical Florentine food, in particular steak. L' Osteria Di Giovanni was wonderful. Great atmosphere, service and food. A little more costly than most places we went, but well worth it. Huge T bone steaks for 4 (two steaks shared as our waiter suggested), side dishes and wine for 150.00 euros. Complementary Proseco, appetizer, unlimited water included in the coperto, and dessert. Highly recommended. We saw other guests form our hotel there who also raved about it.
McGregor, TX USA Sun 06/04/2006
AMAZING and CHEAP meal in Florence!
Trattoria Antichi Cancelli on Via Faenza 73r, not far from the train station in Florence is a MUST EAT.
I lived in Rome for 4 months and travelled around Italy, and this was by far my favorite.
Family, run with a friendly and helpful staff (our waiter steered me away from the tripe with a smile and a mime so that I would understand I was ordering stomach and not fish as I had mistaken -but if you're braver than I am try the tripe!).
They offer a fixed menu for 12 Euro including service where you choose from a few selections for each of two course including DELICIOUS bread soups and veal. Bread, wine or water, and a dessert (gelato or fruit) are also included.
Ordering seperate dishes is slightly more expensive but allows you to savor some of Italy's best tiramisu and my FAVORITE dish - veal in a white wine and mushroom sauce.
The place is small, charming and fills up fast so expect a wait- BUT WORTH IT.
I do believe it was closed Saturdays, however.
Fayetteville, AR USA Wed 05/31/2006
Taverna Divina Commedia
We've always loved Il Grotto del Teatro di Pompeo in Campo di Fiori, Roma- the food is excellent, the prices reasonable, and the waitstaff is consistent, year to year- Diego is one of our favorite waiters in all of Italy!
We found a "taverna" in Firenze that was outstanding as well. It is called "Taverna Divina Commedia", just off the Piazza Signoria on Via Cimatori 7/r- We found it one afternoon while searching for a 5PM snack, and Giuseppe (the manager) provided us with such excellent service (in addition to the vino and appetizers) that we made reservations for the next two evenings there. We let him set the menu- and were very happy with the meal, (in both cases, with a bottle of Rosso de Monatalcino, cost less than 60 E)
We're wondering if it is still open, and if Giuseppe is still there- if anyone takes this dining suggestion, could you email me an let me know? Thanks.
Denver, CO USA Wed 05/31/2006
Food in Rome
Ristorante Grotte del Teatro di Pompeo (recommended in the Rick Steves' guidebook) was our favorite restaurant in Rome. Good food, good fun service, and good prices.
McGregor, Texas USA Sun 05/28/2006
Superb dinner in Siena
Antica Osteria da Divo. Close to the Duomo and Piazza del Campo. 29 Via Franciosa, ph. 0577 284-381, open daily. This place was recommended to us by Roberto Bechi who is the "Super-Tuscan" of tour guides. I had a fantastic pecorino and saffron risotto. They finish the preparation tableside with the risotto in a hollowed out round of percorino. They then scrape the sides of the cheese round to add cheese to the risotto. The service was friendly and helpful.
Des Moines, WA USA Wed 05/24/2006
Wine tasting in Rufina
If you are going to the Chianti regions of Italy don't miss Rufina. We had great tastings at Frascole,Selvapiana, and Nipozzano /Frescobaldi. The servers were delightful and the wines are terrific. The restaurant LaCasallina that I mentioned in the previous message is a perfect stop on a wine tasting day.
Vallejo, California USA Wed 05/24/2006
Great Restaurant in Siena
Just returned from a two week stay in Italy. Felt compelled to write about a great little trattoria that we discovered outside the Porta Roma in Siena. What's nice is their scrumptious buffet that you can order for an appetizer. For 6.5 Euros, you get a sampling of up to 25-30 different dishes depending on the night. It was a great learning experince to determinw what was appealing, then head back for more! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. The place is called Ristorante Fuori Porte, and is located on Via C. Tolomei 1 just outside the city wall in Siena. In addition, the head wait staff is a very friendly fellow. On a different note: Driving the Si-Fi, the road between Siena and Florence, in early to mid-May, keep your window cracked. Along the way, you will enter a valley with about 15 minutes worth of "perfume" from nearby flowering trees---Pure Heaven!!
San Deigo,, Ca USA Wed 05/24/2006
Great food in Italy
Just back from three great weeks in Italy. Terrific finds in restaurants: 1- Don Pedro- A family owned rest. up the hill from Sorrento near the Il Nido Hotel and rest. that was also good.Address Vill Nastro Verde 77. 2-Kisho- an amazing japanese rest. in Milan. A great change from all the posta. Via E. Morosini 12. 3- Near Rufina in Chianti region- La Castellina. Via Colognolese 28. in Montebonello. Young chef owner a kick. The Rufina wineries a treat to visit. 4- Vico Equence near Sorrento a delightful seafood rest named Mustafa at Via Marina d'Equa. Best seafood we had in Italy. 5- In Veronna The 12 Apostles. A wonderful rest. in a 13th century building. Enjoy!!
Vallejo, California USA Fri 05/19/2006
Eating in Florence
Two wonderful restaurants in Florence: Trattoria Casalinga in the Oltrarno District. Very inexpensive, excellent service and AMAZING food. Also, Trattoria Mario near San Lorenzo (even though many tourists will go), the food is absolutley incredible and again, very inexpensive. Word of warning: We had one of the worst meals ever in our lives (and it was really expensive) at Acqua Al Due. We got the assagio of salads and one of the salads was canned corn with some olives! We also got the assagio of pastas and left before the last two came out because the other ones were so bad. While we could tell it must have been good at one point, it is over now. Expensive, major tourist trap. Don't do it.
San Francisco, CA USA Thu 05/18/2006
Roman Dining Experience
Spent seven days of May 2006 in Rome. My wife and I usually walked-in to the ristorante/ cafe/ osteria just before eight every evening. It was a little unsetteling to be nearly the first ones arriving for dinner, but with a little Italian speaking effort, the ice was quickly broken. With seemingly extra time on their hands, the serving staff, without exception, appeared to be overjoyed to have us at their table! All of their dinner suggestions were fabulous, the wine delicious. Each experience unique from the last. We tipped regardless of servicio inclusive. On our last evening, our server, Federico, nearly tripped over the chairs chasing after us - we were already outside the entrance. He was exuberant in thanking us for the tip (11 percent)! We experienced 14 separate dining establishments - most relatively near the Medieval section of Roma. It's a shame we couldn't try them all! There's always next time, right?
Citrus Heights, CA USA Fri 05/12/2006
Watch out for Meal Prices
My husband and I just recently returned from a trip to Rome. The one thing I *wish* I had known prior is a bit of a catch-22, but one which I would advice other tourists in Rome to be on the lookout for. We disliked eatting in restaurants with many languages on the menu (that automatically shows they cater to tourists rather than locals!) so we thought we would eat at some places that quite literally had no menu (and thus no prices). Unfortunately, our first night near the Spanish Steps we ate in one such place and ordered 3 slices of pizza and two glasses of the house wine. When we paid, the owner charged us 60 Euro to our shock. While we might have bickered with him, we decided it best to pay, leave and learn our lesson (as there really is little that might have come of a debate). So, in short- there are a plentitude of places to eat in Rome that I would highly recommend, but watch out for tourist traps and see if you can't discover the pricetag upfront! :)
Bonnie Boglioli Randall
Seattle, USA Fri 05/12/2006
Dining in Florence
Vinie Vecchi Sapori, on Via dei Magazzini--tiny place, they can seat maybe 16 people, but fantastic food and excellent attitude towards tourists.
Rifrullo Caffe' Ristorante--weird music, but great food. Sit in the back room to avoid the noisy young people.
Hostaria del Bricco, on Via S. Niccolo--again, fantastic food, family run place, nice folks.
USA Thu 05/11/2006
Trattoria Anita in Firenze
Trattoria Anita in Florence is inexpensive and the food is absolutely delicious. My husband, son and I ate like kings for less than $75 USD. The tortellini alla Norcina is heavenly! This gem is around the corner from the Hotel Bernini.
Berkeley, USA Sun 05/07/2006
dining in Rome
Ask to see the kitchen first. Some classy looking restaurants in Piazza Navona microwave your ho-hum but expensive meal. Make sure the restaurant has a kitchen and a cook who is actually cooking. I've found the best food in small, family owned and operated restaurants off the tourist beat.
Bolingbrook, IL USA Sun 05/07/2006
Take in the gelato at Tre Scalini on the west side of Piazza Navonna in Rome. It was everything that Rick's guide book said that it was!!
Lake Park, MN USA Thu 05/04/2006
Pizzeria Giardiniello (recommended in Italy 2006) overcharged us by 12 Euro and then short-changed us by 30 Euro. Watch both your check and your change here.
On the other hand, Sant'Antonino's is a jewel. Beautiful garden, varied menu and large portions of well-prepared food served by friendly and efficient staff. Highly recommended.
Glenwood Springs, CO USA Tue 05/02/2006
The best gelato in my opinion is MENTA! Try it next time, not all Gelaterias make it, it can be hard to find.
USA Wed 04/26/2006
We were referred by our concierge to Le Fric, near Piazza Barberini. Definately worth the visit for reasonably priced, exquisite presentations.
Wethersfield, CT USA Tue 04/25/2006
Eating in Italy
We did the cooking class with the Accidental Tourist company-it was so memorable! It was great to get out of the city and just enjoy the beauty of the Chianti countryside. Lunch-handmade ravioli-was one of the best in Italy. Christiana and Elizabeth were wonderful. Just do it-you will say thanks. Suzanne B. Lake Stevens, WA
Lake Stevens, WA USA Mon 04/24/2006
My husband and I had an awesome meal in Rome at Papa Giovanni, the food melted in your mouth. The pear salad was great, wine list was incredible. Enjoy!http://www.ristorantepapagiovanni.it/indexing.htm
Ca USA Sat 04/22/2006
Correct times for eating out
This may be a silly question but what are the "correct" times to eat lunch and have an afternoon aperitif (sp?), dinner in Italy? When I was last there,(first-time)I found myself eating late lunches, because of sightseeing reservations, etc. Thanks in advance.
Cody, WY USA Sat 04/22/2006
I made a point to eat gelato at least twice a day, regardless of city. There were so many flavors that it seemed criminal to only eat it once a day. My mom and aunt loved to mix limocello (the liquor) with limon gelato!
IN USA Sat 04/22/2006
While in Rome with my family and some friends, we stopped to eat at the Miscellanea near the Pantheon in Rome. It was my brothers birthday and Michelangelo surprised us with a strawberry cake and a bottle of champagne. It was wonderful and when we think of Italy, we always think of him. But... We want to send him something, but we don't have his address. So, if anyone knows the address of the Miscellanea, we would greatly appreciate it if you would e-mail it to us. Thanks, Sabine
East Bay, CA USA Mon 04/17/2006
Porchetta in Siena!
As we were walking around beautiful Siena with a Florentine friend, we happened upon a pizzicheria. Thank God we stopped and tried the porchetta sandwich! The roast pork was filled with whole cloves of garlic, marinated artichokes and rosemary. If you go to Siena, stop by Antico Pizzicheria, Via di Cittą 93-95, Cittą, Siena.
Berkeley, California USA Sat 04/15/2006
Il Vecchio Frantoia in Sicily
I should have done this months ago, but better late than never. We stayed at Il Vecchio Frantoia in Sicily after seeing your video. It is a gem. The food was spectacular with local specialities like wild boar,local wine, and, course, their own olive oil. The fresh antipasto and lunch were also fabulous, but it was almost impossible to eat lunch & dinner - there was so much great food to eat.
The owner was great and shared much about the place with us with a friendly after dinner drink. The location is also great not far from Palermo & Cefalu with good access to many Sicilian hill towns.
Rooms were nice and the whole atmosphere felt like we were really experiencing Sicily, not just tourists. The mountain-side location is spectacular.
Wading River, NY USA Sat 04/15/2006
Mouth Watering Amalfi Coast
On our climbing trip to the Torre dello Ziro on the Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy we stumbled upon the Ristorante San Giovanni in the hilltop village of Pontone near Ravello and Amalfi.Great inexpensive food served on an awesome terrace http://WWW.ristorantesangiovanni.com
USAF, UK USA Wed 04/12/2006
Ditto on the Accidental Tourist
My husband and I also keep reminiscing about the perfect day we had in Chianti with fun friends, EXTREMELY delicious food, and unlimited wine. We did the cooking class and enjoyed our wonderful guide Elizabeth. It was worth every cent...a must if you can spare a Florence day.
Honolulu, HI USA Tue 04/11/2006
The highlight of our week in Florence was a sunset dinner through the accedental tourist web site found in the Rick Steves Tuscany book. We ate a hand made, fresh 13 course dinner in a 1000 year old farm house. The food, the company, the views were all outstanding. Cannot say enough good things about it.
Dallas, tx USA Sat 04/08/2006
We stayed in Positano for 3 days at the Albergo California. Nice place.
We ate at three different ristorantes. Max is a combination of art gallery and restaurant. Atmosphere is like walking into someones private residence. Beautifully set tables and the food was exceptional. This is a dress up place with prices to match but so worth the experience.
L'Incanto is right on the beach. Wonderful service and the price is just perfect for a lovely meal served with care.
The last place is right under the Hotel California. Maria won't suggest it but our meal was a perfect ending to our lovely visit to Positano.
Petaluma, CA USA Thu 04/06/2006
Lo Scoglio Ubriaco(the drunken rock) in Cefalu,Sicily-Sea facing terrace ,Attentive,friendly service with genuine ,kind people.Try their speghetti alla Norma and their house dessert,an ice cream pie with almonds.Via C.O. di Bordonaro 2-4[you can't miss it in Cefalu.)--closed Tues.in winter.
Lihue, Hi. USA Tue 04/04/2006
My tongue very much loves the taste of sugary substances. Food items that would fall under this category would be delictable cakes and soft, airy brownies.
San Francisco, CA USA Mon 04/03/2006
food in Italia
The gellato was wonderful, but we were SO disappointed in the food. It was expensive, bland, & did I say expensive? Our tastiest/cheapest meal in Rome was at Hard Rock Cafe. Thank heavens we could buy cheese, bread & citrus fruit, all fresh & good.
Salt Lake City, Utah USA Wed 03/29/2006
Bottega Vini in Verona is amazing - great food and an endless selection of wine. Service is top notch; they provided us with a complimentary glass of prosecco to start of the evening! It is off of Via Mazzini (?) near Piazza Erbe.
Boston, MA USA Thu 03/23/2006
Restaurant in Florence
When in Florence don't miss 'Acqua al Due" on Venga Vecchia near the Bargello. It is amazing - try the "Assigi del "whatever" - a tasting form everything from salad to pasta to desert. You will love it! The chef, Stefano Innocenti is amazing. Buon appitito.
Fort Worth, Texas USA Sun 03/19/2006
Dino and Toney's in Rome
When in Rome, don't miss Dino & Toney's on Via Leone IV near the Vatican. We had so much fun there, the two gentlemen who greeted and waited on us were charming; we let them decide what to order and had a mix of various antipasti and several other courses, and at the conclusion of our dinner, one of them brought out a digestif for us to try as well. We were the only English speakers there, and we were treated royally. More food than we could eat, drinks, dessert, etc. came to about $20 each, Via Leone IV is easy to locate, but look sharp for the sign above the door or you'll miss it.
Indianapolis, IN USA Sun 03/19/2006
Best food I ever had in my life was in Rick's favorite, Monterosso, in Cinque Terre. No particular place. Just every place.
manhattan beach, ca USA Wed 03/15/2006
Rome Dining Experiences
We just returned from a week in Rome and have a few favorite dining experiences. We enjoyed a long, lingering dining experience on Sunday night at L'Arcano, Via dei Pastini near the Pantheon. We had a bottle of wine, and acqua con gas while we enjoyed every course. I was surprised that the portion sizes of each course was so large, but the excellent service staff paced the service perfectly. Everything was pleasant and cozy, with other diners close nearby. Surprisingly, we didn't feel like we were stuffed at the end of the meal but relaxed and satisfied. We also enjoyed a nice meal at Baccalane in Campo dei'Fiori. I had the best steak and fries of my life there, and loved the carbonara. We also enjoyed late night drinks there unhurried. The best outdoor experiences were when we stayed close to the heat lamp, and on a windy day, stay as close to the building as possible while still remaining outside. We highly recommend sampling gelati at least once while you stroll. We enjoyed some on an after dinner walk one night around the Campo. Pizza Rustica is my favorite pizza shop- we went to one in the neighborhood across from Piazza del Popolo. It's fun to order and enjoy while strolling or sitting and taking in the sights. We found it fun to choose a local cafe for the breakfast cappuccino and espresso. Popping in to other cafes while sightseeing, standing at the bar with the locals, is essential. We had meals outdoors at the locations around Piazza Navona, and in the future I would choose that location to sit with coffee or an afternoon cocktail instead.
Jayson & Leslie Wild
Hatfield, PA USA Tue 03/14/2006
Seductive meal in Venice
When my husband and I were on our honeymoon in October we did a lot of amazing eating throughout Northern Italy. Sometimes it was very casual; a slice of pizza and a glass of wine and other times it involved several courses and a bottle or two of wine. It was a dream trip in many ways because it involved everything we love to do together. When we were in Venice we ate a tiny little restaurant called La Zucca (The Pumpkin) I do stress that it is a good idea to make reservations. (Which you can do the day before) Even though it may only seat about 30-35 people they fill up quick and you don't want to leave. It is a meal that encourages you to take your time and appreciate the moment. You dine amidst bottles of wine and views that look right onto a canal and bridge. When we ate there I began with their pumpkin flan which has ricotta cheese, spices and pine nuts. It had a velvet smooth flavor and texture. There is a sophisticated balance of savory and sweetness. My husband chose their pate which was easy to gobble up with their bread. For our second course my husband had wanted to try their rabbit but it is a popular dish and they had run out so he chose the pork that came with a mustard sauce. It wasn't terribly exciting and it was as if they drowned the pork in the sauce. I had the duck cooked in a port wine sauce with marinated prunes. The only way to describe this dish is sexy. It was rich, succulent and seductive. I felt bad that my husband didn't care for his dish so I just shared half of my meal with him. He said if we should come back he would order this every time. While we had eaten quite a bit it would almost seem rude not to have dessert. I went for simplicity with a chocolate mousse which can't disappoint. My husband had a raspberry torta that was equally crumbly and moist. It is ideal with a very strong cup of espresso or digestif. As for wine they have an extensive collection that can suit any palate or wallet. We had a bottle of pinot noir (I can't recall the name now) that was chocolately and had hints of cinnamon. The service is attentive but not intrusive After that romantic meal we walked around all the narrow streets getting lost, looking into shop windows and then finding ourselves tempted by late-night gelato. Wandering nowhere in particular is the best way to work off any meal in Venice. The restaurant has a website: http://www.lazucca.it/index.htm (which has an English language choice) so you can take a look at their offerings and restaurant. It is appealing if you are with a mixed crowd of vegetarians and omnivores. The chefs have a real talent for creating dishes that lure in everyone.
Seattle, Wa USA Thu 03/09/2006
Best two restaurants in Rome. "Il Gabriello " near the Spanish Steps and " Il Chianti " about 50 yards to the right of Trevi Fountain.
Marietta, Ga USA Thu 03/09/2006
The best service and dining in Roma!!
My husband and I visited Rome on our honeymoon 02/2006 and are so thankful for a referral to Le Fric, a small restaurant by Barberini Plaza. We cannot begin to describe how exceptional the food was and how delightful the service. Our waitress, Claudia was wonderful and friendly. We also chatted with the charming owner. Our food was the best in Rome, better than Al Bric with superb, warm, family-like service. Onion soup, meat and cheeses, grilled eggplant and zucchini, lobster with linguini and tomatoes that were extraordinary!! We received help from Claudia in selecting wine,entrees and then...the dessert--A thick, white chocolate creme with blueberries, raspberries and cognac. Simply the best dessert we have ever had! We cannot encourage enough other visitors to Roma to indulge a little at Le Fric!! San Nicola da Tolentino, 23 and the phone is 06/48.14.845.
Mark and Catherine Nicastro
Fairview Park, Ohio USA Sat 02/25/2006
Osteria in Dorsoduro
Dining with the locals in Venice
While wandering through Dorsoduro my wife and I saw the dinner preparation at Do Frari just off the Piazzale Roma, and decided to give it a try. We sampled the house antipasta special of raw sea bass with salt, olive oil,lemon juice and prosecco. Chef Stefano described its effect as drug-like and he wasn't far off. It was a nice clean taste that would be worth the return trip. The rest of the meal was traditional and excellent especially dessert.
Clark and Tammy Heindel
Milledgeville, Ga. USA Mon 02/20/2006
Cooking class in Tuscany
Last September I took a cooking class at Il Falconiere outside of Cortona. It started in the afternoon and then we were served the meal in a private dining room. It was one of the highlights of my trip.
I think they have longer cooking classes available as well. We ate there two nights before I took the cooking class and they were offering a trip to a working farm to see cheese made, but I was afraid to ask what that cost and I didn't go.
If you haven't rented a place to stay yet, we have rented from Classic Tuscan Homes four times now and have been very satisfied with them.
MS USA Sun 02/19/2006
Looking for cooking classes in Tuscany area
We are going to be in Italy for 15 days and renting a villa (?) in Tuscany area. We would like to take either one or 2 days of cooking classes while there. Anyone done that?
Houston, TX USA Sat 02/04/2006
Dining in Rome and Milan
The best dining experience my husband and I had in Rome was by chance. Il Rampo two doors to the left of the Spanish Steps is amazing. Its only open for dinner starting at 6:30pm. They have the entire inside of the restaurant filled with hot and cold antipasto; from grilled or marinated vegetables to the most tender calamari we had ever eaten. When in Milan, go to Via Washington for a real neighborhood experience. Il Pesce ( just fish) and down the street is Il Capriccio. Both were small and very friendly and by the second visit we were regulars!
Scottsdale, AZ USA Fri 02/03/2006
Great birreria in quiet corner of Trastevere
Big Star is a quiet, alternative corner bar at the intersection of Via Goffredo Mameli and Via Luigi Santini known for its unusual Belgian and German microbrews that are regularly changed. Food/ snacks are pretty basic, but it's worth it for the friendly staff and great jazz (sometimes live).
Big Star birreria
Rome, Lazio Italy Mon 01/30/2006
Restaurant in Ravella
If you are fortunate enough to see the mountain town of Ravella above the Amalfi Coast try the Cumna Cosimo Pizzeria Trattoria for a meal. It is a family run restaurant with great pastas and they make their own house wines and Lemoncella. Our driver Tonino Mirone took us their and he was also a great driver to see the Amalfi Coast.
Surrey,B.C., Canada Sun 01/22/2006
Great Restaurant in Florence
We would like to recommend Risorante Buca Poldo on Chiasso degli Armagnati, 2/R 50122 Firenze Tel. 055 2396578.near Signorina Square and Ponte Vecchio. Our group of 10 went back for 2 meals while in Florence and the Osso Bucho was great and the waiters very friendly. The meals were very reasonable even with wine.
Surrey,B.C., Canada Sun 01/22/2006
Please name the city
We are planning a trip to Italy and are devouring the comments on Rick's graffiti board. There are some great recommendations! In some cases, however, the author may mention the street location, but doesn't name the city/town in which the restaurant was found. Please be sure you do for those of us who aren't yet familiar with street names and landmarks. Thank you so much!
Denver, CO USA Thu 01/19/2006
Must to the
Just returned from Italy and Paris- used Rick's book like a bible! If you want to venture away from tourists do the Pub Crawl that he describes in Venice. My husband an I were the only non Italians in 2 of the bars reccommended...we had a "spritz"- I recommend the sweet (dolce) one as opposed to the bitter one- and we ate fabulous fried goodies on skewers and I had a glass of the house red wine that was 60 euro cents (that's $0.72!!!) and it was pretty good.
If going to Rome one MUST go to Il Gabreillo- one of the best meals I have ever eaten in my life. Most of the staff speaks English and the menu has translations on it. We went twice! I cannot understand how they made a simple dish of Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Garlic taste soooooooo good. I miss it already.
P.S. You must not leave any part of Italy without having Gelato
Los Angeles , CA USA Thu 01/12/2006
I also agree that Il Pirata in Vernazza is a must! We were there for only 2 days, but we ate each meal there, and enjoyed Massimo and Gianluca's company. The breakfast pastry selections are wonderful, especially the one with the ricotta filling. Yummy! Il Pirata was one of our favorite restaurants that we visited while in Italy. We also enjoyed Cul de Sac (near Piazza Navona in Rome)...
Port St. Lucie, FL USA Wed 01/11/2006
Trastevere, ROMA: The Asinocotto restaurant
For New Years Eve celebrations to remember, the Asinocotto in Roma's Trastevere district is a must. My partner and I dined there-5 courses with the midnight lentils and panetone accompanied by spirits, Italian wines and French champagnes. It is a cozy atmosphere with international clientele. It is also gay-friendly. Check it out! The Internet address is: http://www.giulianobrenna.com/
Louisville, KY USA Sat 01/07/2006
Two outstanding restuarants in Venice and Florence
There were four of us originally fron New York. We travelled from Venice to Positano. Two restuarants were outstanding. In Venice we loved Anima Bella. The four of us enjoyed top quality home cooking for $54.00, including wine and incredible pastries. We also loved Trattoria Za-Za in Florence.
Forest Hills, N.Y. USA Fri 01/06/2006
Ristorante Montevecchio, Piazza Navona
Fabulous family owned restaurant near Piazza Navona. Just opened up, food was all made from scratch and to die for. Wine fabulous. Service friendly, my kids ate everything in sight. On Piazza Montevecchio, 22A.
Louisville, CO USA Tue 01/03/2006
Roman eating binge
Was in Rome third week of December and had an incredible time. We loved the food and had an almost perfect eating experience. The highlights- Dino and Tony's on Via Leone IV near Vatican was incredible. The two owners were so fun and aimed to please. They treated us like royalty; the Carbonara was to die for. Ristorante 34 and was also tremendous. We were very dissapointed with Enoteca Al Bric which is a RS recommendation. The waiter was very rude. As soon as we sat down I asked politely for the wine list and he shrugged an plopped down a huge tome and walked away; no recomendation, no help. I inquired as to any special he recommended- again he just said no and said are we ready to order after being there for two minutes. We ordered a cheese plate and left- I think all the good reviews maybe have gone to their heads- the prices were astronomical and the service rude.
Austin, TX USA Mon 01/02/2006