Mouthwatering Italy: 2009
When you take your tongue out sightseeing in Italy, what are its favorite taste treats?
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Taste Florence Tour -- Take it!
I regret not posting this sooner. Six of us spent a week in Florence in February, and one of the highlights of the trip was the Taste Florence tour by Toni (tasteflorence.com). We e-mailed her in advance asking if she could tailor a tour without alcohol or coffee and she came through splendidly! A tour of pastry shops was followed by herbal tea and the best hot chocolate I've ever had (extremely thick, like melted chocolate, and spiced with peperoncino). Then we went to the Central Market where we meet many of Toni's friends, tasting cheeses, meats, breads, spiced jellies, and finally olive oils and balsamic vinegars, learning a great deal. As we were renting a full apartment with kitchen (actually the abode of Robert and Elizabeth Browning in Florence administered by the Landmark Trust), Toni then took us around to purchase ingredients for us to prepare a wonderful meal. Tortellini with a pork and cumin mixture, broth made from a huge chunk of meat from a butcher of her acquaintance who was quite a character, sundry vegetables, etc. It was perhaps our best meal of the trip, and that is saying a great deal. Highly recommended.
Valencia, CA, 91355 USA Thu 12/24/2009
Best and worst gelato experiences in Florence
Best: Grom was amazing! My husband and I went back 3-4 times while staying in Florence. Incredibly smooth and creamy. The line out the door on a cold winter night should be an indication of its quality and flavor.
Worst: any place that doesn't clearly post prices for their gelato up front. I think the blood sugar was low when I got suckered into a large cup and a simple waffle cone of terrible gelato for 16 Euro! I had pointed to the only cups visible to me (small ones hiding in the back of the largest size). Before I knew it I was ushered inside and asked to sit and eat. After taking a seat, I looked up to see my cup of gelato was 10 and my husband's cone was 9 Euro - both printed in very small, faint writing, only to be seen after you start eating and are about to pay. Horrified that we were about to spend $27 on what turned out to be mediocre ice cream, I asked for a smaller cup. The woman at the counter and the man running the place were instantly defensive saying that they were merely serving me what I had asked for. They knew that I had seen through their scam so when I told them in my best loud Italian that this is very dishonest and he was not very nice, they decreased the price to 16 Euro.
Please avoid the gelateria/yogurteria on the north side of Ponte Vecchio between #3 and #5 on Via Por Santa Maria. It's easily found on Google Maps!
San Diego, CA USA Sun 12/06/2009
Big vs Small Cooking Schools in Italy
I totally agree I have attended MANY cooking schools in Italy from big name & celebrity chefs to small 2 person classes in little known regions. I must say that the smaller independent classes are best in my experiences - you get much more hands-on practice, one-on-one q&a, ease to shift into other techniques based on level of kitchen knowledge - from knife skills to fish in salt crust. The best cooking school I have visited in Italy is run by an American expat who was an Executive Chef in NYC. Chef Jason at La Tavola Marche Agriturismo is incredibly well-studied & laid-back, easy going Chef that makes it a pleasure to cook with him. (We got into the kitchen only after we picked all our ingredients from their farm). Lots of neighbors stopped by to sample what we were making & joined in for our dinner! That was so much fun having Ashley translate the conversations as we cooked & ate in the kitchen! Get away from the big names & tours - find small family run schools for a more authentic experience for sure! The big fancy places are just that - big & fancy - you don't get to cook much at all as they are mainly demonstrations. Just in case - here is the web site for the Le Marche cooking school - La Tavola Marche http://www.latavolamarche.com
Foodie in Italy
San Francisco, CA USA Mon 11/23/2009
Foodie in Italy, I want to take a cooking class in Florence that is affordable, and won't take up my entire vacation. By any chance have you taken any of the one day classes at in Tavola, in Florence? I'm interested in your opinion, since you seem to have some experience.
EDITORS NOTE: ALL QUESTIONS MUST BE POSTED TO OUR TRAVELERS HELPLINE
Houston, TX USA Mon 11/23/2009
Food Tour of Florence
We just returned from a fabulous 3 day trip to Florence. It should have been 3 months. We focused on food and took a cooking class but the highlite of our trip was a Food Walking Tour given by TasteFlorence. We started out in a pastry shop, then great Chianti, delicious Italian sandwiches, olive oil, cheese, aged balsamic vinegar topped off with 8 different flavors of gelato. I'm getting hungry again just thinking about it. It was the highlite of our trip. Not cheap but worth every penny. Given by a delightful guide named Toni. Learned that in Florence you have to go to school for 800 hours to become a guide. But Toni sure knows her city and it's food.
Britta & Joe
Berlin, Germany Sat 11/21/2009
When I was in Florence, Italy in June. I had dinner one night at a place called "Gustavino" (Via della Condotta) It was just outstanding! A bit spendy, but we did order at will on the wine etc. Don't miss this place if you are in Bella Florence.
Kirkland, WA USA Wed 11/11/2009
best Venice area food
Avoid the Venice chaos by staying on the peaceful island of Murano, home of Venetian glass blowers for generations. The streets roll up after most tourists leave, but Restaurant Bella Vecchia Pescheria is NOT TO BE MISSED. I had the best Italian meal there -- steamed mussels, seafood risotto, and panne cotta for dessert. Our other highlight there was lunch at a tiny local osteria, no sign out front, that served the best spaghetti bolognese I've ever had. DON'T BE AFRAID TO WALK INTO A LOCAL PLACE AND JUST ASK THEM TO FEED YOU!
Columbus, Ohio USA Mon 11/09/2009
Corte Sconta ristorante, Venecia
A five minute walk from San Marco but off the beaten track--definitely not touristy. Our antipasto was a 4-course seafood sampler that included marinated tuna and sea bass, crab and crayfish, baby octopus, baby clams sauted in wine and ginger (not to be missed), scallops, and other delights we couldn't identify. (The menu is all seafood.) We followed that with a very tasty pasta colored with octopus ink, with scampi and spinach. Desert was a warm zabaglione to die for. The house wine is a smooth, delicious still prosecco. The meal wasn't cheap--100 Euros for the two of us. But it was worth every penny--the kind of once-in-a-trip dining experience you save up for. The setting is plain, simple, and charming with rough wooden tables and chairs, and the wait staff is helpful, friendly and conversant in English. Reservations are essential--probably easier to get if you go early. Opening time is 19:00. Credit cards are accepted. On a trip filled with heavenly Italian food, this was the best of them all.
Ripon, WI USA Mon 11/09/2009
Umbria and Anne Robichaud
If you're visiting Umbria, do check out www.annesitaly.com for information on tours, trip planning, cooking and eating. We had a most memorable day with Anne visiting with the locals in Bevagna and Spello, and the best wine and olive oil tasting of our trip.
Olympia, WA USA Sat 11/07/2009
Just wanted to share a great local, gritty and authentic Sorrento dive in Fisherman's Village...be sure to check out The 5 Di Leva Sisters...great pics of Sophia Loren everywhere and I had a great eggplant Sorrento style...cheap and good.
Ann Arbor, MI USA Wed 11/04/2009
Taste treat in San Gimignano
Great food, right inside the main gate, up a flight of stairs to the left: Trattoria Chiribiri. Tiny, tiny place, efficient, warm and friendly. Best meal we had in Italy
Lynnwood, WA USA Sat 10/31/2009
Varenna/Lake Como Ristorante Il Caminetto served the best meal for the money based on Chef's recommendations (beet ravioli, risotto with porcini & pumpkin, veal, dessert made by his mother). We returned the next day for cookery lessons with Chef Moreno using local ingredients (goat cheese & chive tortilloni, risotto with porcini & bilberries, veal scallopini) and really felt his passion for food and teaching. Free ride up the mountain to Gittana di Perledo from Varenna, but great B&B across the street.
Greensboro, NC USA Mon 10/26/2009
Inexpensive (but Good) Eats in Sorrento
For good yet inexpensive Italian food in Sorrento try L'Angolo Del Gusto on Via Santa Maria delle Grazie. It is strictly a take-away place with only two stand-up tables out front, but Bruno, the owner, makes everything fresh and the items available change daily. We ate there several times during our recent visit to the Amalfi Coast.
Dallas, Texas USA Thu 10/22/2009
Gluten free in Florence
We found a great restaurant that had gluten free pasta and other gluten free dishes. Everything we had was great! It's Ciro and Sons and it's between the churches of Santa Maria Novella and San Lorenzo on Via del Giglio 28r. http://www.ciroandsons.com/
Carlsbad, CA USA Thu 10/22/2009
Dining in Siena
The best dining experience during my trip to Italy last spring was at Il Compaccio which is in Siena. My wife had wild boar stew with polenta and I had ravioli stuffed with butternut squash. After dinner the owner brought out two servings of Vinsanto wine!!! Service was fantastic and the owner was a complete delight!
Indianapolis, Indian USA Tue 10/20/2009
A Great Bar in Milano
Just down the street from the Hotel Piacenza, at the corner of Via Crema and Via Piacenza, is Bar Crema, staffed by enthusiastic and helpful people. They have the typical good bar selections as well as a Happy Hour buffet and dinner menu. We had heated sandwiches in the afternoon, and the buffet for dinner. Very tasty food and excellent local wines.
Seattle, WA USA Tue 10/20/2009
Exellent bar in Verona
Try the Bar at the point where Vicolo Morette meets the Via Roma, on your way to Castelvechhio. They serve first class little sandwiches and other food. We had only coffee, so have no idea of their wine selection. Worth stopping in!
Seattle, WA USA Tue 10/20/2009
Good eating in Pisa
I strongly recommend Pizzeria Galileo in Pisa. It was a surprise package that was not listed in our guidebook; our hotel recommended it. The décor suggested an expensive restaurant, but the prices were reasonable. My wife and I ordered different main courses of fish and both meals were simply excellent. Service was also first-rate. What's more, the restaurant was open on a Sunday.
Canberra, ACT Australia Mon 10/19/2009
Try Ceci in Lucca at Pizzeria da Felice
Our Rick Steves guidebook put us on to ceci, a crepe made with chick peas (garbanzo beans)—a Lucca specialty. We followed the book's recommendation and visited Pizzeria da Felice for lunch. It's a desperately busy, tiny café which deserves its good reputation. The crepe was just marvellous. I ordered mine between slices of focaccia, and it made a wonderful, cheap lunch.
Canberra, ACT Australia Mon 10/19/2009
Good eating in central Florence
Trattoria Antellesi (Via Faenza 9r) was not in our guidebook, but it was a short walk from Hotel Centrale and we felt lazy. It was a good choice. The food was most enjoyable, including an excellent lasagne. Also, the service was prompt and unpretentious, and prices were reasonable. We would definitely go there again.
Canberra, ACT Australia Mon 10/19/2009
Easting in Florence: Watch out for service charges
We got a shock when dining at one of your recommended restaurants in Florence: La Congrega. The service charge was 20%! If we had enjoyed the food more (too salty), we might have been less grumpy. Service charges are an undeclared cost; restaurants should reflect their cost pressures through the posted menu prices.
Canberra, ACT Australia Sun 10/18/2009
Vernazza--Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre
Our rooms were just down the street from this great eatery. The twin brothers who run it are friendly and entertaining. They will explain why you may not have canoli or eggs for breakfast. If you are a woman, they will call you "Beauty." Make reservations for dinner, as they are busy.
Longmont, CO USA Fri 10/16/2009
eating in Monterossa
In Monterossa we enjoyed two great meals at Restaurante Belvedere. Each seafood offering we tried was great. The house white wine was wonderful and very reasonably priced. The service was superior, even on a very crowded evening, with our waiter offering very helpful information as well as smooth serving.
Bloomington, MN USA Sun 10/11/2009
honesty and good pizza
When in Lucca go to Pizzeria da Felice, Via Buia 12, for tasty pizza from nice and honest proprietor--she made a point of giving the correct change when I thought I was entitled to less.
Toledo, Oh USA Sat 10/10/2009
Colle Val d'Elsa tour and dinner
I'm still savoring the experience of touring Colle Val d'Elsa with one of the owners of the new restaurant, Officina della Cucina Popolare, followed by a wonderful dinner where we felt like locals...not another traveler in sight! Two young couples opened the restaurant in spring 2009 and in addition to fabulous food(prepared from locally grown, nearly all organic ingredients), the two women give tours of the hilltop town which is a bit off the normal tourist itinerary. See their website or Google the restaurant for info.
Oakhurst, CA USA Fri 10/09/2009
Excellent restaurant in Rome
Had dinner with friends at Spiriti & Forme (not far from the Trevi Fountain). It was so good we all returned the following night as well. Excellent food, great wine list and a very helpful waitress. Small; frequented by Italians but also had English captions. Located at Vicolo Scavolino, 63, Rome; phone 06 69 19 10 86.
Bakersfield, CA USA Sat 10/03/2009
Authentic Food in Sorrento
If you're looking for authentic Campanian food in Sorrento (hard to find) check out Le 5 Sorelle De Leva at Marina Grande. These ladies cook like my Neapolitan landlady who's spoiled me to the point where its difficult for me to enjoy eating in restaurants anymore. Make sure you try the Alici Marinate! Here's their website: www.ristorantedileva.com
Pozzuoli, Campan Italy Mon 09/28/2009
2 of Rick's picks, 1 of ours
We had 3 particularly terrific experiences during our visit a few weeks ago: Guidoriccio in Siena, where the owner's service was amazing, food was great, and wine (Chianti Vendemmia) was even better; Terra Rossa in Corniglia: charming owner, nice snacks, great wine; and Enoteca Il Pirun in Corniglia with its great local wine - must have worked, because the boyfriend proposed there!
San Jose, CA USA Sun 09/27/2009
Great food in Orvieto
Just came back from our second trip to Italy. We took a day trip to Orvieto, and ate again at Tipica Trattoria Etrusca (www.argoweb.it/trattoria_etrusca ). Food is great and well seasoned. We had the fresh pasta with white truffles and the followed it up with the wild boar – Yum!. The pasta was covered with fresh thinly shaved truffles. Go there and spend some time. Rick is correct about the best Gelato right by the church. Enjoy!
Covington, WA USA Tue 09/22/2009
Rome, tail of two places
Good and pricey food; but bad atmosphere in Rome. We returned to a very little Taverna in Rome only to be disappointed. Three years ago the food was wonderful and moderately priced. This time the food was wonderful but very pricey; AND there were nothing but Americans there. I inquired from our server; and found out Le Taverna dei Fori Imperiali www.latavernadeiforiimperiali.com was written up in the Wall Street Journal and Food & Wine. They will be closed in October 2009, and will reopen in November just a few doors down into a newer and bigger place. They are a victim of their success.
Instead eat at Osteria della Suburra on Via Urbana 67-69. Great food, wonderful value, just a few tourist there. Just around from the Metro stop.
Covington, WA USA Tue 09/22/2009
Best Meal in Italy is Made by an American in Le Marche
Best meal in Italy was made by an American expat! Visit La Tavola Marche Agriturismo & Cooking School in Le Marche. Seriously!! No one can believe it - but hands down this American Chef, Jason Bartner knows what he is doing - the freshest ingredients (from their farm), most delicious seasonal local dishes & a fairy tale stone farmhouse! They serve a "four course feast" for 30 Euro - TONS of food a feast for sure! I would visit & eat again in a heart beat!!
eating it up
brooklyn, ny USA Sat 09/12/2009
Great meal in Venice
We visited Osteria "Alla Botte" Cicchetteria for dinner located near the Rialto Bridge. The only Americans that would be here would have a RS guidebook in hand. The menu was written on a chalk board. Our waiter was great, giving us a discription of each meal in his best broken English. I had the salmon lasagna, very good. We also stopped by the wine shop on the way back to our room and was amazed that for 2 euro we got 1L of greate Italian wine.
Baltimore, md USA Fri 09/04/2009
Taste of Florence
I would highly recommend the Taste of Florence tour if you are a foodie and interested in Italian products - balsamic vinegar, olive oil, wine, cheeses. I was lucky enough to have my own private tour guide for 4 1/2 hours of tasting, walking through the city getting lots of historical information, and just enjoying the great tastes that Italy is known for.
minneapolis, mn USA Thu 09/03/2009
Wonderful Meal in Tiny Tuscan Town
After many trips to Italy we recently discovered a great new spot in Celle sul Rigo a tiny town near Chuisi. It's La Primavera. Fabio is the charming host and owner. We had some of our favorite meals here. Pay him a visit if you are in the area!
San Francisco, CA USA Thu 09/03/2009
Bar Zero in Lucca also has the aperitivo.You just pay for your drink(cappuccino is 1E, a glass of wine 3E) and the little buffet is free. Bar Zero is on Via San Paolino right across from the church. I was there in May/09.... once we discovered the free buffet, we would stop there for a bite in the evening and rub shoulders with the locals.
Whitby, USA Fri 08/21/2009
Hi Rick, We just came back from Tuscany and were wondering why you hadn't mentioned anything about "aperitivo" in the Florence and Tuscany book. This Italian concept is a great way to unwind after a long day of sightseeing and to eat for cheap: in most bars, for the price of a drink, you get to eat a buffet of finger foods (not only peanuts and chips but also cooked food, cold meats, pasta, etc.).
A few places we enjoyed: - in Florence: Negrino (Via dei Rennai, 17) - in Pisa: Bazeel (Piazza Garibaldi), Salza (Borgo Stretto), Caffeteria Vettovaglie (Piazza Vettovaglie)
Anyone else want to add to this list?
LILLE, France Tue 08/18/2009
We just returned from 3 weeks in Italy. I wanted to let readers know that in Orvieto Osteria San Patrizio has closed and another restaurant is in the same building. We ate there and it was quite good.
In Siena we ate at Ristorante Guidoriccio, recommend in your book, and it was one of the best meals we had in Italy. The owner was quite gracious and attentive.
In Florence we happened across one of the best restaurants ever near the train staion, maybe 10-15 minutes walk. Al Pescatore Trattoria Pizzeria is located at Via Ponte alle Mosse 54/r. Try their seafood pasta!
Vancouver, WA USA Sun 08/09/2009
Rip off in Corniglia
We used your Italy and Rome 2009 guide books extensively for our 1-month trip to Italy. We are a family of 4 from Issaquah.
We had good luck, mixed luck and some not so good luck at some of your recommended restaurants/hotels.
Two items that stand out: 1. Great luck at Il Nido in Sorrento --- value was fantastic! 2. But this email is really about Corniglia restaurant Osteria Mananan. i think the onwer was "agostino" (not sure). Here is where we were ripped off (150 euro) for a dinner for 4 where we had house red wine for 2 adults and 2 family members were vegetarians and just had pomodori and cheese salad for meal (main course --secondi). So how much did this cost? About 150 euros! How? Well he said he will take care of us and gave us 2 antipasti dishes and 2 fish main courses (for the 2 non-vegeatrians) and said they were no on the menu. Then he charged us 29 euro for each antipasti etc. When we objected (it was 10:30 pmish) he got belligerent and we had no choice but to pay as there was only 1 train left to levanto.
This news item below brought back the memory.
Cinque Terre area, WA USA Sat 08/01/2009
Trattoria "da olinda" - this was FANTASTIC. Very cheap, excellent food. Prompt and nice service. Huge portions. Did I mention the food was fantastic.
Boulder, Co USA Sat 07/25/2009
We agree with another posting. The Nuovo Fagianetto Ristorante 2 blocks south of the train terminal in Rome was very good. Pasta, Calamari and reasonable prices. Max was born in New York and is very personable.
Freeburg, ILL USA Wed 07/22/2009
Our fav's in Italy
My husband and I just got back from a 9 day trip to Rome, Florence and Venice. Our favorite restaurant by far was not recommended by Rick Steves, but he should definately check it out. It was in Florence on Via Nazionale called Birrifico Mostodolce - a brewery combined with a restaurant. We had a caprese crostini, pasta with tomatoes and mozzarella, and a mezaluna - half pizza, half calzone. All were incredible... we ate every bite! And according to my husband, the beer was good too. We also had biramisu for dessert. Tiramisu with beer instead of liquor. Yummy! We also liked Ristorante Ricchi in Florence (again, not a RS recommendation, but recommended by our tour guide). It was down a narrow street in front of the Pitti Palace. Try the cheese crepe! In Rome we went to Miscellanea by recommendation of Rick Steves. It was our second favorite of the trip. We ate outside just across the street from the Pantheon! Be sure to try one of their rice salads. The one we tried was rice, lettuce, turkey, dried beef and tuna with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Really great! Of course it's hard to find a bad meal in Italy... just steer clear of the "tourist" menus.
Bristol, VA USA Tue 07/21/2009
Eating in Sorrento
Our family's best meal in Italy was at Il Bufalito in Sorrento. We think Rick should include it in his next guide. The food was local, tasty and interesting. The service was great. The prices were great. The atmosphere was relaxed and the owner treated us to a bit of education about the food and the area. It is located a block or 2 off of the Corsa Italia towards the Mediterranean at Vico 1 Fuoro, 21 - 23.
Albuquerque, NM USA Tue 07/21/2009
Phenominal Food in Firenze
We were tired on our first night in Firenze, so we found the Rick Steve's recommendation closest to our hotel, between the train station and Plaza Goldoni. The food was so good at the Tratorria 13 Gobbi ("13 Henchmen") that we scrapped our plans the next night and went back a 2nd time. Got to try the pastas,expecially the rigatoni and the gnocchi verde. Chocolate cake for dessert was to die for!
Wilmington, MA USA Sat 07/18/2009
Rome Osteria Gusto
We found this place recommended in Rick's Rome 2009 guide book. We decided to try out this place as it had small tapas like portions for 3 euros. When we walked into the restaurant we were ignored. We asked if they were open and they told us to come back in 10 minutes, which we did. Our waiter, who was the manager, did not come by and take our order even thought the menus had been closed for 10 minutes and the restaurant was empty. We were told the small dishes were not available so we ordered full courses. Our food was below average and the prices higher than other places. We have had much better Italian food in North America. Even that would have been fine had the waiter not been so rude. We were ignored and treated rudely. The restaurant was only 10% full. We were not even given bread as other tables were. The tables all around us were served and checked on as they were Italian. Gratuity of 15% is automatically added. This restaurant left a bad taste in my mouth. Granted it could have been the management.
Calgary, AB CAN Wed 07/15/2009
Horrible Dining at La Tavernella
Yesterday we went to a little place in between the Vatican and the heart of Rome off Via Cola di Rienzo on Via Ezio. The place, La Tavernella, looked local so we tried it out. It was one of our worst dining experiences. The waiter was rude. We were told that they had run out of most of their dishes, but we could order spaghetti with parmesean cheese which we happily did. The food was disappointing. We asked the waiter twice if we could have cheese and he ignored us. We finally asked a table of American travellers beside us and they too mentioned they were being treated badly. At the end of the meal we were given the bill and actually told by the waiter to tip him extra. The bill was scribbled on a ripped lined piece of paper and was wrong. We were overcharged. We showed the waiter and he argued with us. He couldn't tell us what the extra dish we were charged for was so he finally said it was for bread, which we had not ordered. This is my second trip to Italy and Rome. When I told him that he removed the charge. I wish I had not eaten here.
Vancouver, BC CAN Wed 07/15/2009
Italian Menu Translator
The best menu translator I have found for dining in Italy is Eating & Drinking in Italy. It's an easy to use book that is thin and small enough to fit in your pocket. Good restaurant recommendations and tips on budget dining, too. The book is by Andy Herbach.
Chicago, IL USA Tue 07/14/2009
Borgovino, best fish & drinks in Varenna
In Varenna, on Lake Como, don't miss Borgovino, a small nicely decorated bar/restaurant. It's on Via XX Settembre next to Rist. il Cavatappi. Giovanni the owner(?) and chef, and staff Bruna & Valentina were a lot of fun. We spoke our 8 words of Italian, but communicate beautifully with them! Giovanni's white lake fish, Laverella, was the best we had on Como (and we tried it at 6 different places). They also have 3 euro drinks all evening long. Don't miss Borgovino!
Bellevue, WA USA Sun 07/05/2009
Guided Wine Tasting in Rome
We booked a guided wine tasting in Rome with Sarah May at firstname.lastname@example.org based on reviews on this forum. It was FANTASTIC. We learned so much about Italian wine and how to "taste like a professional" all while in the most beautiful setting, wine bars in the center of Rome.
Diane, i have also been to the wine bar near the patheon. i can't remember the name, but it was lovely and relaxing.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 07/04/2009
Il Pozzo Trattoria - Sorrento
Il Pozzo - Sorrento. We ended up having dinner here several times in the week that we based in Sorrento. It is a terrific little place in the old quarter with great food and really reasonable prices and a nice mix of tourists and locals. If we don't have a recommendation and are just wandering around looking for a dinner spot, our requirements are nice friendly atmosphere, good/interesting menu and absolutely no hawkers. This place fits the bill, even though most of the restaurants around it are hawker places. Antipasti, wine and a couple of pastas (including my favorite – spaghetti alla vongole), and we were out for about €60. Even though most trips to Italy we easily slip into the habit of a pasta and a main course each for dinner, it is just too warm to do that here, and we noticed that almost everyone around us is doing exactly the same thing as we are with just an antipasti and a pasta. The pasta is fabulous, and the plates are huge, and we are stuffed. Later in the week we returned several times, sometimes ordering a pasta and a fish course, but mostly settling into a habit of an antipasti (or even splitting a big antipasti - their proscuitto e melone plate was huge) and a couple of seafood or clam pastas and a nice bottle of wine and we were averaging about €50 per meal. I almost felt guilty about not ordering more, but I truly couldn't eat another bite, and most of the others in the restaurant (even the numerous locals that I saw in there each night) were doing the same.
Arlington, VA USA Fri 07/03/2009
Osteria Sotto le Fonti
A wonderful place to eat in Sienna is Osteria Sotto le Fonti. Aside from the amazing food, it is off the beaten path and away from all the regular "Tourist Trap" locations. The owner speaks English!! and they have a nursery section. (WOW!)
Valleyview, AB Canada Tue 06/30/2009
wonderful in siena
We had the best meal of our Italy trip at Ristorante Guidoriccio in Siena. Small and friendly, beautiful arched brick-walled room, food and wine were great, and reasonable prices. Highly recommended!
ellisville, MO USA Thu 06/25/2009
enoteca in Rome
My Roman friend introduced me to a newly opened enoteca/bookstore near the Pantheon in Rome. It has comfortale sofas, great air conditioning, and is in a beautifully renovated room. An amazing place to relax, get away from the crowds, and have a nice glass of wine. Libreria Enoarcano Via Delle Paste 106 00186 Roma
hartford, ct USA Thu 06/25/2009
Cinque Terre Restaurant
Heaven in Vernazza! I didn't know that in addition to the world famous scenery and hikes of Cinque Terre there is also another slice of heaven in Vernazza... the Il Pirata restaurant! It's at the top of the hill high above the train station and crowded harborside area, fitting for a place that offers truly heavenly food. We were all over Italy for the last 12 days and ate at some wonderful places. But, really, Il Pirata is in a class by itself. My family sampled their pastries, coffee, grilled sandwiches, even their dinner-time pastas and appetizers--simply cannot say enough good things about their high quality and consistency. I gladly gave up our Vernazza first night's "table with a seaside view and OK food" (Al Castello) for our subsequent nights' Il Pirata truly sublime meals! Frankly, we had all the gorgeous Cinque Terre views during the days but for breakfast and dinner, I let my inner food snob reign and repeated our visits to the top of the hill for amazing food!
Naperville, IL USA Thu 06/25/2009
While staying in Mira Italy (near Venice) we found this yummy restaurant. We ate 2 nights in a row at the Trattoria Alla Vida. The lady owner was very kind to us. trattoriaallavida.it
Miami, FL USA Fri 06/19/2009
The Za-Za Pizza Shop and Restaurant off the city market in Florence was excellent - both inside and outside seating - and it's flooded with locals so you know it's good. And it's in Rick's book.
Lewisburg, PA USA Wed 06/17/2009
Il Pirata - Vernazza
Fantastic pastry, dinners. Fun. also a quiet refuge when Vernazza is crowded since it is not on the tourist side of the train tracks. Don't go for bacon and eggs, they don't serve them. The chocolate is something to experience. The evening dining is fantastic. We have spent a total of nearly 20 days in Vernazza. This is our #1 place to eat.
Chandler, AZ USA Mon 06/15/2009
Antico Pignolo Restaurant
If you're in Venice, check out the awesome restaurant Antico Pignolo. The name sounds a little weird but this restaurant was the best one we ate in during our 2nd trip to Italy. I had the best lasagna I've ever had and my wife had a wonderful peppercorn steak. Even the wines that the waiter chose for us were excellent. A bit pricey but well worth the stretch. The restaurant has a great shaded courtyard in which to eat.
Venice, Italy Sun 06/14/2009
If you are staying in Siena, don't miss eating at the Osteria Il Campaccio. It is a great little place, food,atmosphere,prices,top notch. If you are staying at the Hotel Alma Domus,it is right around the corner. Very convenient,we ate there 3 nights in a row!!
Manchester, NJ USA Sat 06/13/2009
Best pastries--Il Pirata
Il Pirata in Vernazza
My husband and I took Rick's suggestion and went for pastries in Il Pirata. We had some of the best pastries of our lives. They were fresh out of the oven and the puff pastry dough was so amazingly flaky. We shred 4 the first day and 3 the next and also came back for my husband's birthday dinner. We enjoyed the freshness of the food and real pure ingredients. Lucca and Massimo were always there chatting and joking with guests. It is a true family-run, foodie place.
Weiru and Jeff
Phoenix, AZ USA Fri 06/12/2009
Unforgettable meals in Umbria
Romantica Pucci in Bagnoregio (Umbria) was the most fantastic restaurant we ate at during our visit to Umbria and Tuscany. They work magic with truffles and prepare dishes you will never taste in the US! What a treat. We are still talking about the truffle steak and truffle taglialini. The service is fantastic and very personal, all lead by the charming and English speaking owner, Pucci. ENJOY!!!
Philadelphia, PA USA Fri 06/12/2009
Best Gelato in Rome
The best gelato is at Old Bridge by the Vatican....it's pretty cheap, they give you a lot and of course its delicious!
USA Tue 06/09/2009
Rick's restaurants in Venice,Florence, and Rome
It seems that Rick is now so popular that we may need a new back-back door. I saw so many Rick Steves-ites in restauarants that he recommended, that we may be supplanting the locals! But once again every reference we used in Venice, Florence, and Rome from his book was as good as he described. One other hint: The more passionate his description of a restaurant the higher I would priortize it.
Nashville, TN USA Tue 06/09/2009
Chinese food in Italy
OK, so why on Earth would anyone go out for Chinese in Florence? How about because it's good? Fresh ingredients straight from the farm makes good food anywhere you go -- and, face it -- after several days of wonderful Italian, maybe a change of pace would be nice? Anyway, Mom and I have had Chinese in good places -- Seattle, San Francisco, Beijing -- you know, places with good Chinese food. This was as good as any:
Ristorante Cinese Hong Kong, Via dei Servi, 35/r, Firenze
It's only two blocks from the Duomo.
Try it if you like good Chinese for a very good price. (The fried noodles and the Chicken with Ginger were favorites...)
Ebensburg, PA USA Mon 06/08/2009
Tips for finding great gelato
An easy way to find great gelato is to look at the Pistachio. The color should be muddy and olive green. The brightly colored gelatos are usually not hand made in the store but shipped in. Best in Rome: Creama near the Ponte Sisto bridge.
Tucson, AZ USA Sat 06/06/2009
The Oil Shoppe in Florence
Rick recommended The Oil Shoppe in Florence. It's a few blocks away from the Duomo but completely worth it. The sandwiches are outstanding and freshly made to order. It's popular with the student crowd and therefore relatively inexpensive for what you are getting. Great lunch spot, I would definitely go there again and recommend it to all of my friends.
New York, NY USA Sat 06/06/2009
Avoid La Rustichella in Rome
We found this place recommended in Rick's 2009 book. The antipasto bar is 8 euro, not 7 as in the book and it's not for a meal sized plate as mentioned in the book, it's for a small appetizer plate, maybe 6" accross. The buffet itself was very heavy on fried potatoes, fried vegetables and things swimming in mayo. It was the only place in Italy that we saw cold fried food served, or heavy mayonaise sauces. Additionally, if the owner thinks you put too much on your plate, he doubles the charge to 16 euro without any warning. When we questioned the extra charge we were treated very rudely and told we must speak with the owner, who refused to come over and talk to us or for that matter even make eye contact. Fortunately we had cash and put the correct amount we owed on top of the check and walked out. This was the first time we've ever used a restaurant in the Rick Steves book where we didn't have a great meal, and the first time in 5 trips to Italy that we've had a problem like this at any restaurant. While the food was good but not great, the house wine was very good. The service was good, until the waiter was so rude about the overcharge, and evasive about what we'd been charged for-- but the total scam of claiming that you'd put too much on your plate AFTER you'd finished eating and had no way to defend yourself puts this squarely in the "tourist trap" category.
St Louis , MO USA Sun 05/31/2009
Best pizza in Rome
Best Pizza in Rome is Massenzio at Largo Corrado Ricci,2-6 at the corner of Via Cavour and Via dei Fori Imperiali right around the corner from the Coloseo. Quattro Fromaggio Bianco is to die for and also excellent Spaghetti alla Carbonara.
Miami, FL USA Mon 05/25/2009
Restaurants, Roma and Lucca
Trattoria Da Leo in Lucca, as recommended by RS and an acquaintance, provided the best two dinners we had in Italy. The food was fresh and made "from scratch." Our waiter was excellent. We had a repeat of this food and service at Ristorante Abruzzese, via dei gracchi 27/29, Roma. (near the Vatican.) However, we were taken advantage of by the wait staff at La Isola Della Pizza, (also near the Vatican,) where they brought us much expensive food we had not ordered. The bill was discounted after much discussion with the manager. We did not understand how bread could cost 7 Euros. A word to the wise...
Phoenix, AZ USA Sat 05/23/2009
Eating in Cortona
My husband and I and our two children just returned from Italy with one of our stops being Cortona. Rick mentions Ristorante Dolce Maria in his book, but the description does not do it justice. The pastas were amazing, the secondis were even better. But we thought the atmosphere was delightful. Luigi the owner, was so personal and we enjoyed chatting with him so much that I had to spread the word. It was one of our best dining experience, as the food was not only fabulous but the hospitality was the best of our 11 day trip! I am married to a foodie, so I can assure you he is picky! Dolce Maria in Cortona is a true gem!
Boston, MA USA Thu 05/21/2009
Napoli Pizza The Best
Big mistake to miss out on the pizza in Napoli (where pizza originated and the best in the world). Napoli has a bad reputation but there are great museums and a beautiful setting on a bay with Mt. Vesuvius in the background. You can visit Pompeii and Pasteum on a day trip.
My favorite pizza place is Da Michele, about a ten minute walk from the train station. Under five euros with no cover charge for a simple pizza margarita. They don't use buffalo milk mozerella (which is a waste of expensive cheese) but a wonderfully tasty fior d'latte. The crust is wonderful, baked in a brick oven.
Pizzeria Brandi is a nice setting but the pizza is more expensive and you pay a cover but it is still worth it (they use buffalo milk mozerella so you can compare the difference).
There are other pizzerias, many and people differ on which one is best. I visited the Archelogical Museum and down the street was the famous Lombardi. Not wanting to take too much time and also to save the cover, I got a pizza to go. Less than four euros and I ate it sitting on a park bench with a drink.
The food in Napoli is the best in Italy, I believe. Ridiculously simple pasta dishes with tomato sauce (best tomatoes are grown in this region) and fresh ingredients.
Don't miss out on Napoli.
New York, NY USA Wed 05/20/2009
Pizza in Rome
While the debate over the best pizza in Rome will rage on forever, we think we found it. Don't miss Pizza Magi on Via Salaria N. 70, near the Galleria Borghese! They make award winning pizza, and have a large framed plaque on the wall explaining the reason it is so wonderful...a 72 hour slow-rise dough. Absolutely fabulous! And our 6 choices (yes 6) were sliced with smiles and laughter! They were the hands-down winners of our extensive research into the best pizza in Rome and Florence ;-)
Houston, TX USA Tue 05/19/2009
Caffe Giacosa. Unbelievable pasta. Unbeleiveable. Go for lunch. Great wait staff too. Kind. Also, cappucino is heavenly. On vie della Spada, near via de Tornabuoni.. walk west 20 paces...on right.
Boulder, CO USA Tue 05/12/2009
Rome Restaurant:Target Grill
Avoid this one: Target Grill in Rome, near Hotel Adler, off Via Nationale. They do not like Americans. We could not get waited on, though all the Italians around us could and did. It was very blatant.
Portland, OR: USA Mon 05/11/2009
Great Siena Restaurant!
My Wife and I had a wonderful lunch and felt the need to share with others. Nello la Taverna is mentioned in Rick's book (Dinig in the Old Town, Siena chapter), and is about a 1-2 minute stroll up Via Porrione from the corner of Il Campo. We highly recommend this restaurant for a change from the traditional Tuscan fare. Mauro is an very enjoyable guy, and quite the music enthusiast. We enjoyed the extremely wide range of music on a very clean system, and being a music head myself had fun sharing different artists (via my ipod). The food is out of this world and made us sorry we were leaving the next morning. Mauro knows his wine... upon asking what type we enjoyed (full bodied red), he smiled and said "I have a great Chianti Classico I found that you should enjoy...20 Euro for the bottle") It was fantastic, and I couldn't find it in any of the many wine shops after we left. We were in Italy for 3 weeks and this quiet little place in Siena was a definate highlight.
Salute Mauro! and Thanks Rick!!
Shenandoah, Iowa USA Wed 05/06/2009
Italy- Vernazza food rave
Vernazza rave- Il Pirate delle Cinque Terre My husband and I just got back from our belated honeymoon and spent 3 nights in Vernazza. The first night we ate at a restaurant near the water which was so-so. Egi (who we rented a great room from) suggested we check out the above restaurant owned by his wife's twin brothers. We decided to have breakfast there the next morning and ended up eating there for the remainder of our stay. There was no view, but the food more than made up for it. Everything was fresh and absolutely delicious.
Gianluca (the looks) and Massimo (the brains) were an absolute delight- I am teasing about the looks and brains as they are twins.
We can't wait to go back to have another panzerotto fresh from the oven.
Anchorage, Alaska USA Mon 04/27/2009
Excellent Roman Trattoria
For an excellent dinner or lunch in Roma I highly recommend Armando al Pantheon. This high quality Roman trattoria is located right next to the Pantheon. The food is superb and the service is wonderful. I loved the pastas and veal with roasted potatoes. Make a reservation as it is busy with regular customers and very small.
New York, NY USA Thu 04/23/2009
Another recommendation for Quattro Leoni in Florence
I want to second the vote for the restaurant Quattro Leoni in Florence. It is in a small square just off the main drag near the Pitti Palace. Out family was staying near there and it was recommended by our host at our apartment. It was so good, we went back for a second night in a row. We only had pastas and appetizers but everything was delicious and our waitpeople were so kind and charming. Our kids were wild about the gnocchi. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Pamela Van Dalfsen
Seattle, WA USA Sun 04/19/2009
I just got back from Tuscany. I stayed in Pisa at Alessandro della Spina Hotel. This was very nice and convenient to the airport. They suggested a restaurant, Scaccianoci about 2 blocks away on Amerigo Vespucci. Starters 7 Euros, pasta 8, fish and meats 10-15. This was very good. The restaurant is very tidy. Limited English, but menu in English/Italian.
albert a chambers
cincinnati, ohio USA Fri 04/10/2009
Favorites in Rome, Orvieto, and Siena
Just got back from Rome, Orvieto, and Siena and I have a food recommendation for each, all from the 2009 Rick Steves Italy book. Rome: best gelato was at Giolitti's near the Pantheon. Orvieto: Trattoria del Moro Aronne and Torre del Moro are the same place. There is a mistake in the guidebook/map. They moved to the location just under the clocktower. They serve nidi with pecorino and honey. Not life-changing, but yummy and new to me. Siena: Taverna San Giuseppe. I don't think the write-up in the guidebook does this one justice. Best pasta ever. I had the gnocchi with spinach and pecorino, and the trofie with sausage, broccoli, and cheese. They are Michelin rated. In 3 days we ate there twice. The No Name Bar Gelateria in Siena which is in the guidebook isn't great. For better gelato on il campo, walk straight across the campo towards the southwest end of the museum/tower to the gelateria there. Buon appetito!
Midvale, UT USA Thu 04/09/2009
Roma fine dining Campo di Fiori
March 28, 2009 ROMA Pier Luigi Trattoria off the Campo di Fiori, ask for Giorgio, a charming English speaking waiter. Every bite was exceptional, all seafood: fried smelts, fried baby calamari, warm calamari and potato salad, carpaccio of swordfish, salmon and tuna, fried artichoke, ricotta filled canneloni, unsauced, these were the appetizers! Followed by a homemade Napolitano style large square pasta with tasty bits of zucchini, swordfish, cherry tomatoes and a touch of ginger. We had no room for a fresh fish entree. Sicilian Caseta sweet ricotta cake with marzipan icing to share for dessert, two bottles of wine, water, cover charge, worth it for delicious bread and foccacio, all for E170 for 2 Was it expensive? yes, was it worth it? YES.
San Jose, CA USA Sat 04/04/2009
Good restaurant 2 blocks from Rome Termini
We had two great meals at this place just a couple blocks south of Termini rail station. It is called al Nuovo FAGIANETTO, at Via Filippo Turati, 21. The owner was born in New York, and his family moved back to Italy when he was 8 years old. He and the wait staff were very friendly and spoke good English. The food was very good, especially the roasted vegetable mix. Prices are reasonable. Walk past a couple fancier places to get here.
Boise, ID USA Sat 04/04/2009
Great Florence Restaurant
Quatro de Leoni (sp?) (4 Lions) restaurant in Florence was outstanding, best meal we had in Italy. A few blocks over the Ponte Vecchio.
Washington, D.C., USA Fri 04/03/2009
Two restaurants in Italy
We had several great dinner places in Italy. First Rick Steves recommended Il Gabriello in Rome near the Spanish Steps on Via Vittorio. We loved it so much we went twice. We had our last night there in Rome and each time the food was amazing- the bread was fabulous.A definite must. Then in Monerosso al mare the Cinque Terre area we found this great restaurant. I think Rick Steves was there before the new ownership it is called Ristorante L'Ancora Della Tortuga. It is superb! From the homemade bread sticks down to the decor it is just wonderful. It is right over looking the sea and I bet during the season it will be packed.We were there in March and it is pretty quiet. The food is presented like an artist had created it and the taste is fabulous. I want to go back to the area just for this restaurant.We also ate there both nights we were there. The branzino was wonderful and the shrimp and avocado antipasti were the best. I also had the pumpkin ravioli with porcini mushrooms which was also fabulous. The house white wine was great. Enjoy.
Anaheim, ca USA Thu 04/02/2009
Gelato in Florence and Rome
Gelato!! I had gelato daily while in Italy. The all time best which was not in Rick Steves book but our hotelier in Florence recommended it for the chocolates they make there. They also serve homemade gelato and we compared the others and Vestri is by far the best. Vivoli is pretty good but in Florence go to Vestri and try their gelato you will not be disappointed. In Rome the one by the Pantheon -- Cremaria Monteforte was my favorite there.
Anaheim, ca USA Thu 04/02/2009
Best lunch BY FAR in Rome
We just got back from 8 days in Rome and discovered the "Rivadestra" restaurant in Trestevere. (You can Google it if you need a specific address.) We went there for lunch. The food was the BEST we had all 8 days of meals!! Our bill was only 17E for 2 people!!! I had a herb chicken meal and my wife had a pasta dish with a reddish cream sauce that had tiny tiny tiny bits of ham in it. it also had mint in it. IT WAS FREAKING DELICIOUS! She had another pasta that was just as good the second time we went. I can't say enough about the place for lunch. Plus, they only charged 0.50 E for water and I think only 1E for bread so that was terrific!! It was a classy joint too. Very clean & quaint. We didn't get to go there for dinner, but we looked at their dinner menu which was of course more pricey and much more variety than the lunch menu. We were so impressed that we went back a second time for lunch even though it was way out of the way from our hotel in the Spanish Steps area. Sadly, (or not sadly, depending on how you look at it) we were the only people in there both times we went. I purposely want peopleto go to this place so when we go back it still is around so we can go to it again. We couldn't believe how lucky we were to stumble upon it. The bar tender/owner I think was a very handsome, very nice guy. They definitely are a diamond in the rough. We also went to Sor'Eva twice for dinner. They are located very near to the Vatican. (A little south of it to be more specific.) They had really good meals too. Price for 2= 38E for dinner. (One pasta one meat dish and 2 salads. Another time we had desserts instead of salads, and it still was around 38E. La Gallina Bianca was very good too. (We had dinner there, and like the guide book says, if you get there after 7:30 you will wait for a table.) We got there at 7 pm and got a table right away. It filled up very fast. My wife had the marsallis steak and it was great. I had the speghetti carbonera, but I didn;t like the fact that it was so "eggy" not like we make it in America. I was expecting more of a cream sauce. That's just a cultural menu thing and not the restaurant's fault. Anyway, Rivadestra ROCKS!
Champaign, IL USA Tue 03/31/2009
Roman Forum Drink Cart
One summer, my husband and I huffed and puffed up the stairs after an amazing yet hot and dusty trip to the Roman Forum. Like an oasis, we saw a cart with snacks and drinks of every type. We each grabbed a gatorade and while my husband went up to pay, I cracked the seal to take a swig. The vendor charged 5 euro each. I wanted to spit it out... I had already opened it, so it was too late.
Alameda, CA USA Mon 03/30/2009
cooking classes in Levanto Cinque Terre
Just come back from Cinque terre, Italian riviera. Fantastic staying: the plus was a cooking class in Levanto, near the Villa Margherita Hotel were we stayed. The owner Frederico suggested us to try the courses at Taverna Garibaldi, that's in RS's guide. The pizza maker, Thomas provide a special experience to those who want to do the real italian pizza and liguria's specialties look at www.cinqueterrecookingcourses.com
S. Diego, USA Fri 03/06/2009
One day cooking class in Rome
A highlight of our recent Rome trip was a one day cooking class with Daniela del Balzo. We booked through Context Rome, but I believe she books on her own as well. The class, limited to six people involved shopping at the Testaccio market and cooking in her lovely flat. This day comes highly recommended.
Lexington, KY USA Sat 02/28/2009
Best Gelato in the world
Recommended by RS and it's true! Get to GROM immediately. I went to the one in Florence, but have a look at their site at www.grom.it and there are many stores. You won't be disappointed.
Portland, OR USA Sun 02/22/2009
We had a great wine tour on Rome with a sommelier,Sarah May(email@example.com). She guided us through our tasting, but also gave us lots of historical and cultural information regarding wine in Italy. We tried wines I have never heard of before, but enjoyed thoroughly. It was just a fun night going to various wine bars and getting off the tourist trap path and enjoying Italy's great wines. What i really enjoyed most was that wine is part of everyday life in Italy. We really felt like we were locals, even though we were only there for 6 days.
NYC, NY USA Mon 02/09/2009
Charges in Italy restaurant bills
In Italy, many restaurants add a "coperto" to bill, ie, cover charge - to table cloth laundering, bread. "Servizio" charge (added by some) is used to pay the salaries of waiters and is NOT a tip given to them. If you wish to tip, leave about 10% on the table in cash, never adding to credit card.
Assisi, ITALY Wed 02/04/2009
While in Rome recently we stumbled upon a great restaurant a few blocks from Trevi Fountain. The name is Trattoria Scavolina and it was fabulous! We also enjoyed all of the recommended places for the evening walking tour of Rome. The pizza from Forno was excellent,and the gelato on the tour was incredible. I also highly recommend Al Bric Oseria Enoteca.
Baton Rouge, LA USA Sat 01/31/2009
Extra charges-Watch out!
I just wanted to let everyone know who is traveling to Italy to be mindful when going into restaurants that there is a 'servizo' charge and sometimes even a 'cover' charge of 1-3euros per person. We never had a bad meal in Italy but we were getting tired of #1 being 'accidentally' overcharged-they would charge us 9euros instead of 8 for pasta and #2 having additional charges on our bill that is only stated in FINE print on the menu. READ YOUR RECEIPTS. It happened too many times to be a coincidence. Otherwise-enjoy the food because when you get back home you will miss it!
Anaheim Hills, Ca USA Mon 01/26/2009
Siena Restaurant - Campagnia dei Vinatierri
On our honeymoon, my wife and I found one of the best restaurants on our entire Italian tour...just by chance!
If you are in Siena, you must give Campagnia dei Vinatierri a try. Not only is the food excellent, but the service is even better. I recommend getting the "full meal deal" (5 courses + wine, prefix). Even though we didn't have reservations, the owner gladly sat us at a nice and romantic table.
Hands down best meal of the entire trip!
Portland, OR USA Sun 01/18/2009
Great little restaurant in Rome
I was in Rome on Dec 2, 2008. My wife and I ate at a very small restaurant on Via Repetta, only a couple hundred feet south of the Ara Pacis. This was one of the last shops before the Ara Pacis. I don't recall the name but heading north on the street it was on the left (Tiber) side of the street. About 6 tables maybe. They had a stand-up sign for their lunch special - 8 Euros for a large salad, fresh bread, a large entree (I had pasta Carbonarra) and a glass of wine. A great deal and very tasty. Friendly service.
Mill Cree, WA USA Fri 01/16/2009
The Best Seafood Meal Ever!
The best resturant we have visited during our 4 month trip to Italy was in Pozzuoli, a small town outside of Naples. The small restorante, Don Antonio, is outstanding and affordable. My family and I went on a Sunday afternoon and it was crowded with locals. We knew we were in for a treat. Don Antonio's does not have menus and the waiters did not know any English so ordering was somewhat difficult. We went with his suggestions smiled and nodded. We are a family of five. We had soft drinks, water, a bottle of white wine, 5 plates of pasta e vongola, bread and a large family platter of fried shrimp (gamberetto). The total price was 68 euros! Oh Yeah...you can never go wrong with pizza in Napoli. It is the best in Italy.
huntsville, al USA Thu 01/08/2009
BEST RESTAURANT IN ROMA!
While living in Rome, I discovered the best restaurant in the entire world (at least in my world). It's called Gattabuia and it can be found on a small side street in Trastevere far from the hustle and bustle of center city. It's located on Via del Porto and is close to the Tiber.
It's a family-owned place (like most in Rome) but it's located in an old underground prison (hence the name Gattabuia - which means "the clink" in English).
While living there I got to know the staff very well and they always surprised my guests and me with little treats and drinks on the house. Try your best to find this place instead of choosing one of the many over-priced tourist menu places scattered throughout the city. I'd suggest getting either the gnocchi or the pasta with sausage and mushrooms. If you ask for the English menu (which they had to create for me upon my arrival), plan to laugh at their translations!
The best way to tackle this amazing restaurant is to go with a couple friends and all split one pizza, one pasta, and one meat. It sounds like a lot of food, but when it's as delicious at Gattabuia, you'll have no problem getting it all down!
Here is a link to their website http://www.lagattabuia.it/
Rock Hill, SC USA Sat 01/03/2009