Mouthwatering Italy: 2011
When you take your tongue out sightseeing in Italy, what are its favorite taste treats?
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An Absolute Highlight of Our Trip!
We had so much fun on this food tour of Rome. There is no way we would have discovered Testaccio, a non-touristy yet very historic neighborhood, had we not taken the Eating Italy Food Tour. Had it just been a day of delicious food i would have left a review here because that is all I was expecting. On this tour we tried so much amazing food but it offered a lot more than that. We visited fascinating historical sites as well many of which were related to the story of food in Rome. We even visited one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever seen! What a fabulous tour of Rome's food, the neighborhood, the people, and the cultureof this city. And our guide Kenny brought it all to life. This was an absolute highlight of our trip to Italy!
Miami, FL USA Sat 12/24/2011
Venice - away from the crowd
In Venice, seek out La Zucca, near San Giacomo dell'Orio. Seats only 30 people so make a reservation. Zucca flan melted in the mouth, as did the lasagna con funghi. Pleasant service, great affordable wines, and a lovely atmosphere await you.
Portland, OR USA Mon 12/19/2011
Jimmy our tour guide for Roman Empire tours was fabulous!
We had the opportunity to tour the Vatican with Jimmy. He was super knowledgeable and a great guide. He could answer any question and brought wonderful insight to the different works of art. The Vatican is huge and he was able to show us the areas which were really important. I would definitely book another tour with Roman Empire Tours and Jimmy in particular!
Toronto, USA Thu 12/08/2011
Armandos at the Pantheon is incredible...the real deal. But be sure to make reservations. Just west of the Pantheon near the Clarks shoe store. There is great history and story at http://www.armandoalpantheon.it/
The same is true of La Sacrestia, just east of the Pantheon. Outstanding food, service.
Tacoma, Wa USA Sun 11/27/2011
La Tavola Marche Cooking Class
In October my wife and I took a full-day cooking class with Jason Bartner at La Tavola Marche. Below is my diary entry for the day.
Thursday 13 October:
Cooking-school day, and what a day it was! We worked with and under the guidance of our host and chef, Jason. We began at 10 a.m. and sometime after 10 p.m. we fell into bed utterly exhausted, and exhilarated at what we had achieved. We actually helped prepare a restaurant-quality meal for six other guests of La Tavola Marche, and ourselves. We learned some important and useful things about coking and improved our skills. We also gained some appreciation of the life and work of a chef.
Jason was very good. Not only did he explain what we were doing, he made sure that we were actively involved. In fact, he had us do most of the work and this helped greatly. Perhaps above all else, we learned the importance of tasting and adjusting the food until we were happy to serve it to our guests. It never left the kitchen until Jason thought it just right. Often, when Julie and I thought it right, Jason would suggest a little more of this or that, and while taste is clearly a subjective thing, he had the knack of getting it right that comes from experience. We prepared our own lunch and a four-course dinner. We also had an olive-oil tasting.
For lunch we made a very, very light frittata. Indeed, it was more like what we know as an omelette. And we practised first with supermarket eggs, before Jason let us chance our hands with his free-range jobs! And what yolks they had! Dinner began with antipasti – Jason's own proscuito and salami, paté on toasted bread, pepperoto (a capsicum dish) and a spelt, walnut, pine nut and pomegranate salad. We followed this with a beautiful broth with borlotti beans and black beans using the stock we made. And, yes, we each had to break down a chicken for the stock. The main course was veal shank rubbed with oil, rosemary and other herbs and cooked in red wine over eight hours. We teamed this with a delicious dish of 'smashed' potato and cabbage. This included garlic, the only dish in which Italians actually eat garlic. In all other recipes they use it as flavouring and remove it before it is served.
Finally, dolce! We made tiramisu, which we had also made in 2008 at a cooking class in Sorrento. Jason's tiramisu did not contain any alcohol, was made with the most golden of egg yolks, was ever so light and the best we have tasted. To top off a remarkable day, we received a round of applause from our fellow guests. Thank you, Jason for a superb experience.
Adelaide, SA Australia Sat 11/19/2011
Great food and place to stay in Florence
We loved staying at Katti House and Trattoria Katti. Maria and Katti were wonderful and welcoming. We felt like we were adopted into an Italian family. Maria makes the tiramisu herself and the pastas were great. You have to try this place if you're in Florence.
Seattle, WA USA Thu 11/17/2011
Florence and Montepulciano
Spent 4 nights in both Montepulciano and Florence this summer and want to recomment The Ai Quatrro Venti in Montepulciano where we had the best food we had our whole two week trip. And, in Florence, we had our morning brioche and coffee at the Cafe Marika on Via Del Serragii, in Oltrarno. Fabulous, made on the premises pastries--warm every morning. And two of us had cappucchino and a pastry each for 4 euros!
Sacramento, CA USA Wed 11/16/2011
I just returned from a weekend in Cinque Terre. I am happy to report that Riomaggiore and Manarola escaped unscathed from the flood damage. The northern half of Monterosso (north of the tunnel) seems to be in good shape. The southern half is badly damaged. Vernazza is totally inaccessible and is badly damaged. The trail between Riomaggiore and Manarola is open and in great shape and the trail from Manarola to Vernazza is blocked about a half of mile from Manarola by a large landslide and there are about 3 other slides visible between Manarola and Corniglia.
In my opinion it could take many months and maybe a year to get the entire trail from Riomaggiore to Monterosso open again. However, unlike many reports in the press Cinque Terre was not distroyed. I believe Vernazza and Monterosso will be restored to it's old self within 1 to 2 years.
I have visited Cinque Terre 6 or 7 times over the last 30 years. It wasn't until this trip that I spend any real time in Riomaggiore or Manarola, because of the closure of Vernazza and sluggish activity in Monterosso. I totally enjoyed getting to know Riomaggiore and Manarola. These towns are real gems which I had previously overlooked.
Cinque Terre is still very much worth visiting if you are planning a trip to Tuscany.
Seattle, Wa USA Tue 11/15/2011
EAyzPJ Yeah, now it's clear !... And firstly I did not understand very much where there was the link with the title itself !!....
OEM software download
New York, NY USA Wed 11/09/2011
We just returned to Ristorante Sorrento after a previous visit about seven years ago. The same owner, Degregorio Bennedetti, again greeted us with wonderful food and friendly, outstanding service. An adjacent wine shop carries a large collection of national and regional wines. This special restaurant is near the centrally located Piazza Tasso - Via P.R.Giulani, 64/66. Tel. 0818783617
Yakima, WA USA Tue 11/01/2011
Florence BEST PASTA EVER
While in Florence Sept. 19-22, 2011, we had the very best pasta of our lives. Upon a late arrival at our hotel we asked for a restaurant recommendation. A locals favorite was suggested, and of course that is exactly what we wanted. Lucky for us it was only 2 left turns from the hotel and we were there. We ordered the homemade pasta, and it just seemed to melt in our mouths.
My sincere comment to our server was that it was the Very Best Pasta I had ever eaten. We had a wonderful experience, totally involved server and felt welcomed as a friend. We returned the next evening, sat in a different area and had a different server, who was very nice but very busy and spread thin. It was still the Best Pasta Ever, but not quite so much fun. Guess the previous night was just one of those magical moments in travel.
Please visit and enjoy Cipolla Rossa Osteria, Via dei Conti 53r, Firenze (Florence.) Tel. 055.214210. Web address diverts to Trip Advisor for some reason. (www.osteriacipollarrossa.com)
San Luis Obispo, CA USA Tue 10/25/2011
Saraceno D'oro in Positano
This family-run ristorante is one of the best on the Amalfi Coast. The locals eat here. Enjoy the singing waiter, and his mother (the owner) who just might sit down at your table if you strike up a conversation with her. The food & wine are excellent, and you'll get a complimentary glass of limoncello with your bill.
Athens, GA USA Thu 10/13/2011
Just got back from 2 weeks in Northern Italy - some standouts were La Cantina Di Miky and Ristorante Miky in Monterosso al Mare, in the Cinque Terre. Cantina is more casual, with what seems to be more informal regional food (and really friendly service, the waitress even wrote down detailed restaurant recommendations for us for Florence)...and her recommendations were right on. The anchovy pasta was to die for.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 10/10/2011
Wine Tasting in Rome
We had a fabulous time with Ettore at Antiqua Tours. We did a group wine tasting tour and had the best time in Rome. This is a great "tour" to do after you've seen all the Roman highlights and want to get to know Rome with a Roman, drinking and eating. The price was right, we sampled five wines, had a ton of food and just had a wonderful experience. Ettore is just wonderful.
Los Angeles, CA USA Fri 10/07/2011
Food in Italy
I just returned from two weeks traveling solo in Italy-north. Ditto the comments on the Il Pirate in Vernazza. Great food and fun. Anchovies in this area. fresh. . Food at the Trattoria Sandro also fanstastic. The Trattoria Papei in Siena was also very good. Ricks sleep recs are great too but I went off the Rick grid in Florence for food and loved it. Wine bar across the Arno and boar pasta. Wow. Anyway, I hid my Rick Steves stuff, covered it with duct tape. Everyone sees to carry it so it is a little embarrassing.
Springfield, MO USA Wed 10/05/2011
Fabulous restaurant in Rome (Near Coloseum)
La Vaca Griglieria at Via Urbana, 29 in Rome was so good we ate there 5 days in a row. Wish we had found it the first day. Alesio speaks perfect English and is a fabulous chef. Getting off the Cavour Metro, turn right and walk up Via Urbana and it is on the right. Spotlessly clean and you can watch Alesio cook. I think this is the best restaurant I have ever eaten in in Rome and I have been going for 40 years. Reasonable prices as well.
Dallas, TX USA Thu 09/29/2011
The best food tour in Italy to take a chef on
My fiance and I had the one of the best experiences in Rome through Eating Italy Food Tours. We booked our tickets online, and I was really worried about finding a food tour that would impress my Italian chef of a boyfriend. This tour was a huge hit with him! We got to meet a "tomato whisperer" while visiting a farmer's market, we are still talking about it. I can't recommend it enough! http://www.eatingitalyfoodtours.com/
Atlanta, GA USA Wed 09/28/2011
Ristorante Plinio is great (Lake Como)
Just returned from a week in Lake Como. We stayed in Varenna, and took the mid-lake ferry to several other towns. Our best pasta of the trip was at a lakeside restaurant at Albergo Plinio in Lenno - fantastic!!!
Pottstown, PA USA Sun 09/25/2011
My favorite lunch in Italy is Due Fratellini in Florence. It is in RS's guidebook and it is fabulous. Get a great sandwich, inexpensive glass of wine and a great seat on the curb!
Narragansett, RI USA Sat 09/24/2011
Trattoria Katti and Katti House Florence
I can't say enough about how wonderful Katti House and Trattoria Katti are in Florence. Everything is infused with each member of this family's personal touch, warmth and friendliness. The location is superb on a pedestrian-only street just a few blocks from the Santa Maria Novella train and bus stations and the Duomo. I was there for the opening day of this fabulous and stylish restaurant, all designed by Maria herself with her brother as chef and her daughter Katti as hostess. I ate there every day of my stay and loved everything! The restaurant was a very comfortable place for a female traveling alone to dine.
Mountain View, CA USA Sat 09/17/2011
I agree wholeheartedly! I stayed in Katti House in 2010 before the Trattoria Katti opened and loved the hospitality and friendliness of Maria, Franco and Katti. The location was perfect. I also enjoyed the gelato shop just down the Via Faenza run by Enrico...freshly-made gelato and great crepes.
Mountain View, CA USA Sat 09/17/2011
Katti House and Trattoria Katti
In Rick's 2011 Italy Guidebook he comments that at "Katti House" in Florence; 'Maria is the Italian mother you always wanted' or something like that. I can report that she is still the efficient mother to all of her guests. I can also report that the "Katti House" namesake, daughter Katti has grown into a very pretty young lady and has inherited the wonderful work ethics of her father Franco and mother Maria. The family has opened Trattoria Katti at the same location as Katti House. Maria's brother (frattello de Maria) is now the chef at Trattoria Katti. This family restaurant is brand new, bright, and air conditioned. Chef Mario's immaculate kitchen is a modern stainless steel wonder. Chef Mario is no stranger to Rick Steve's Guide Books. His Trattoria Sostanza-Trola appeared in Rick's "Florence and Tuscany 2010 " Guidebook. I can also report that the food is delicious. We had two lunches and two dinners. The grilled vegetables were especially good. And the patatine fritte (french fries)...if you just have to have them...as my husband Robert did (twice with catsup and mayonaise no less...go figure) were every bit as good as in the States. But the highlight is at the front of this house; the bellissisima Katti, the very lovely daughter of Maria and Franco. They are rightfully proud of their charming an hard working daughter. She is absolutely a delight and runs the front of the house with authority, efficiency, and charm. We were welcomed with open arms, and left feeling like we'd left family. We can't say enough nice things about Katti House. Quiet (no cars or skooters) on the street and close to the Duomo, Acedamia, Uffittsi plus close to Bar 85 for after hours revelry and a laundrymat right across the street.
Seattle, WA USA Sun 09/11/2011
Casa linga in Florence
Casa Linga in the Oltrarno of Florence was delicious and the people were very friendly - I read a previous post here that was negative and have to say my husband, kids and I had 2 terrific meals there. My husband left our credit card the first night and they saved it and called out his name the minute we returned the next day to pick it up. Our waitress from the first night came over to say hello the next day, and the food was great and inexpensive. Crowded with locals and wonderful food - go early and often!
Swampscott, MA USA Sat 09/10/2011
Our most memorable experiences in Rome and Florence
Il Profeta in Florence was the best meal I've ever had in my life. I had the "John Travolta pasta", which is apparently his favorite dish when he comes to this place, and I can see why! It's like...a liquid ham sauce, which may not sound so appetizing, but I got every last [INVALID] of it off my place with a piece of bread! The waiters were lovely and friendly, even if they do say the same darn thing to every American who walks through the doors (they ask you if you know what tripe is and act impressed if you know.) Some people may find that cheesy, all I know is our sweet waiter brought us a free dessert and spooned some into my mouth, and helped us on with our coats when it was time to go. It was great service and tremendous food!
Equally tremendous food, but less stellar service, can be found at Rome's Casa Coppelle. The male waitstaff here was unbearably snooty and downright rude. It may be because we weren't your average tourists - I'm fat and my travelling companion was black, so we stuck out like sore thumbs. We were dressed nicely and were quiet and polite and bought lots of food and wine...and still got really jarring bad service from the male staff members. The female waitress was lovely, however, and the female owner of the restaurant will come up to you afterwards and ask you to leave a favorable review on Tripadvisor.com. So, your mileage may vary. We may have just gotten a few bad apples the night we went. The food was AMAZING!!!
NYC, NY USA Sat 08/20/2011
Wine Tour and Food in Rome
We had an incredible time with Sarah from Antiqua Tours. We took their wine tour in Rome and it was the best "tour" of our entire trip in Italy. I learned so much about Italian culture as well as wine and food. The wines she picked were outstanding as well as the wine bars we visited. I would also suggest the Roman Ice (I can't remember the Italian word for it) near the Tiber Island. Get the Lemon Coco. FANTASTIC.
NYC, NY USA Sun 08/07/2011
Rick Steves' Recommended Restaurants in Rome - The Good and The Bad
We went to three of Rick Steves' recommended restaurants while in Rome.
1. ENOTECA CORSI, near the Pantheon - It was absolutely fabulous! The lasagna was to die for. Our server was Claudia (who is mentioned in the book) and she is wonderful. We also got the complimentary housemade limoncello which was strong but delicious. I highly recommend this family-operated restaurant!
2. RISTORANTE PIZZERIA SACRO E PROFANO, near the Trevi Fountains - Exquisite, just exquisite. We got the Rick-recommended antipasti and it was phenomenal. I also got the risotto which was great as well. Service was also very good.
3. RISTORANTE DA GIOVANNI - after the two previous hits, we tried this place, also recommended by Rick Steves. We had great expectations that were unfortunately not met. It started with the bread, which was hard and lacked freshness. We felt as though we were eating day-old bread. The penne al pomodoro was bland and nothing special. The eggplant parmesan was too cheesy and lacked actual eggplant taste. The side of potatoes were tasteless and hard as if they had been reheated. I was really hoping that the tiramisu would help the restaurant redeem itself, but it didn't. Even that was bland. The worst part came when the waiter (who has been a bit reserved with us) handed us our check, which consisted of seemingly random numbers he scrawled on a sheet of paper - NOT a legal receipt. When he spotted us poring over each number, he came over, pointed at the bottle of supposedly free tap water, and crossed out the 3 euro he was going to charge us for it! Then he took out his ricevuto fiscale pad to write us a legal receipt, in which he overcharged us by 1 euro. We want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but his aloof attitude toward us and the fact that he tried to give us a fake receipt and tried to charge us for tap water made us very skeptical of his intentions. Overall, we were very disappointed by our meal here, and I would recommend that this restaurant be removed from Rick Steves' guide books.
Pittsburgh, PA USA Mon 08/01/2011
My favorite place in Florence-Casa del Vino
I am a wine hobbyist and found my first few days in Italy very frustrating. While the house wines were great, it was difficult to find good places to go and sample a number of good tasting wines without going broke. In Florence, our hotel had sent us to Frescobaldi, which was a disaster. 18 Euros for a flight of 3 wines of 50 dl per taste (if that much). For excellent wines, that might have been acceptable, but these were the most mediocre wines I tasted during my 2-week travel in Italy. For 2 flights and a small, so-so antipasto tray, the bill was $85.00.
But then we found Casa del Vino. It's located on a street off from San Lorenzo market, behind the wall of stalls in the street. It's a tiny place and actually took two tries with detailed directions to find. But it was well worth the effort.
The pours were large, prices reasonable (3 Euros) and they serve cheap panini. There's one tiny table and a couple of boxes to sit on--otherwise you take your glass and panini and go outside and sit on the wall. After my first choice (chianti classico), I just handed Gianni my glass and let him decide what to give me. He stocks plenty of top, expensive bottles, but we just sampled the everyday stuff and it was all wonderful. 4 pours, 2 panini all for under 18 Euros. I want to live at Casa del Vino.
Lisle, IL USA Thu 07/28/2011
Ristorante Cleto, Rome
In Roma, one of the best restaurants we ate at (both in terms of food and friendly service) was at the Ristorante Cleto. Located in the Ancient part of the city near the Coliseum, off of Via Cavour at Via del Cardello 28. All food was delicious but particularly the gnocchi!
Vancouver, WA USA Wed 07/27/2011
Our favorite restaurant in Milan was Restaurant Andry, a high class restaurant (with reasonable prices!). They specialize in seafood and meat dishes (which are delicious) and are located in the center of Milan at Via Rovello, 10.
Vancouver, WA USA Wed 07/27/2011
Delicious Vecchia Roma
Visit Veccia Roma in Rome! family owned restaurant with delicius food at an affordable price, we just got back from Italy and the 3 nights we spent in Rome we didn't look elsewhere Vecchia Roma was the spot. Go early as they turned people away at the door all three nights, reservations are available if you call them in!
Grand Prairie, Tx USA Tue 07/26/2011
Restaurante in Fiumelatte
If you do the wonderful walk in Varenna to Fiumelatte in the Lake Como area, be sure to AVOID THE RESTAURANTE that you almost walk into as you end your wonderful walk. The 2 young ladies working there - one from Miami - were surly, rude and not even a tiny bit friendly. How you could be living and working in such a beautiful part of the world and pitch such attitude to the travelers who make it possible for you to stay in business is just beyond me. We had children with us who were really hungry so we ordered a small dish for them, it was terrible! and got out of there. Bring snacks with you, hike back to Varenna through the trail that goes by the cemetary and have something refreshing in Varenna on the water. Both the outdoor cafe's that we snacked at there were wonderful and the folks working there were just as wonderful and friendly.
Kirkland, Washingtonw, WA USA Thu 07/21/2011
food in Rome and Florence
We loved Cul de Sac, near Piazza Navonna in Rome; we ate there twice. Great wine selection and delicious variety of pates! La Posta in Florence was also wonderful. We did not eat much there, but the olives appetizer were delicious, and all four of us agree was the best gnocchi we've ever eaten. It is on the street that runs parallel to Via Roma (the same street Hard Rock Cafe is on; walk toward Ponte Vecchio, about a block after you pass Piazza Republica).
Amherst, OH USA Wed 07/20/2011
AVOID THIS SIENA RESTAURANT!
Ristorante due Porte (Via Stalloreggi 62/64).
Last night we headed to one of Rick's recommendations (Osteria Nonna Gina) but found it closed for the summer holiday. Well, my daughter was starving so we decided to take a chance on this place, which was just a few steps away. Big mistake. Horribly rude waiter, disappointingly vile food.
The bruschetta was quite literally pizza sauce on toast. The bread in the basket was stale. We suspected the rest of the meal would be terrible, but ordered a few pasta starters anyway, since we were hungry and already there.
The waiter pressed us to order mains at the same time, and got visibly angry when we didn't. I've never seen anything like it. Obviously he knew if he didn't get the order right then, it wouldn't be forthcoming after we tasted the pasta. Well, he knew what he was doing, because the pasta was indeed terrible.
AVOID AVOID AVOID
On a brighter note, isn't Siena lovely?
Happy travels, everyone.
Vancouver, BC USA Wed 07/13/2011
Great Restaurant in Florence
Ristorante Lorenzo de' Medici (Via del Giglio, 49)
My family and I had a lovely meal at this restaurant in Florence. It's large, pleasant, and reasonably priced. The waiters were exceptionally warm and ours gave me some wonderful recommendations--in particular the ravioli truffle sauce starter. (Seriously, try it.)
Vancouver, BC Canada Wed 07/13/2011
Taverna Garibaldi in Levanto, cinque terre area
Great pizzas (large variety), very good lasagna pesto, spectacular street view with '700 palazi and frescoes just renewed. Friendly service, nice salads, good option the cold appetizers and for celiacs there is farinata made with chick peas flour. 8/10 for me! Ty rick your guide is always a bible for us...
new york, NY USA Wed 07/13/2011
An Amazing Food Tour in Rome
Just left Rome after 4 wonderful days. Aside from the usual highlights my Mom and I did a Food Tour with Eating Italy Food Tours which was fabulous. They took us to this really non-touristy neighborhood called Testaccio and took us to so many interesting places that we would have never known about. The food really was mouthwatering especially the bucatini all amtraciana-OMG! If you like food and history than I would highly recommend checking this out.
Jennifer and Janis Rubin
Chicago, IL USA Tue 07/05/2011
restaurant in Burano
The best meal we have had in three trips to Italy was at Trattoria al Gatto Nero in Burano (recommended in Rick's Venice guide book). We ordered the 5 seafood tasting starter and the pappardelle with shrimp - both were outstanding. Seek this restaurant out - it is not in the main tourist area but is worth searching for.
Acworth, GA USA Thu 06/30/2011
Wine Tour and Food in Rome
We enjoyed our wine tour with Ettore from Antiqua Tours in Rome. It was the perfect evening. By the end of the evening we felt that we had a new friend in Rome. We also sampled great wines and learned a lot about Italian wine culture.
Seattle, WA USA Tue 06/28/2011
Great restaurant in Siena
My wife and I had a great dinner in Siena at Ristorante Guidoriccio. The owners (who speak English well) gave us a highly personal dining experience with authentic Sienese cuisine. The location is right off Il Campo. Get the Sienese dessert sampler, and then try the gelato at Costarella Gelateria on a moonlight stroll afterward!
Philadelphia, PA USA Thu 06/23/2011
Best food and wine in Rome @ Il Bacocco
Il Bacocco is always my first choice when in Rome. Last Saturday I went there with a group of 16 students from Colorado and we had a great dinner!Don't miss the lasagna and cannelloni. The list of wine is endless, the owner will give you the right suggestion according the food you order. Desserts will leave you speechless, I had the best tiramisu of my life!!! Il Bacocco is located in the heart of Trastevere in Via G. Mameli 61.
Castel Gandolfo, RM, Italy ITALY Fri 06/10/2011
La Lampara, the best meal we had in Santa Marguerita de Liguria. Home made ravioli filled with saute radicchio with a wonderfull walnut sauce, a linguinni al pesto and stuffed fish raviolis with a tomato sauce. Great Service and superb meal.
Chula Vista, CA USA Wed 06/08/2011
Wine Tour and Food in Rome
We enjoyed our wine tour with Ettore from Antiqua Tours. He is such a charming young man with a depth of knowledge not only about Italian wine and food but culture, history and art in general. We also loved eating pizza bianca from any bakery that had it, so we would make comparisons. We also had truffle pizza at a place near the Pantheon based on Ettore's advice.
Los Angeles, CA USA Sun 06/05/2011
La Tavola Marche is Magnificent!
Run, don't walk, to La Tavola Marche, a wonderful agriturismo not far from Urbino. Ashley and Jason Bartner have something wonderful here and lucky travelers who are willing to go off the beaten path can share in an authentic farm to table experience. Jason is an excellent cook and cooking teacher and Ashley is the quintessential "front of the house" hostess. Le Marche is known for its foods. Go in the summer for a fresh from the garden experience or in the fall for truffle hunting. I'll be back!
Linda Dini Jenkins
Midlothian, VA. USA Thu 06/02/2011
Queen's Trattoria in Lucca
Sarah, I'm sure that you're already aware of Queen's Trattoria, located on Via Cenami in Lucca, but if you have yet to check out this location as an addition to your next travel guide on Italy, send someone ASAP! Arriving in Italy, I must say that I was a little disappointed in the pizza at almost every resturant I visited, but at Queen's both the pizza and foccace are amazing! Both feature a thin, crispy, cracker style crust and delicious toppings. An A+ in my book!
Uniontown, WA USA Thu 06/02/2011
Trattoria Antico Fattore in Florence
Another resturant that really should be listed in your next guide book for Italy is Trattoria Antico Fattore, located on Via Lambertesca in Florence. If you get the opportunity, go to Antico Fattore and order the t-bone steak. The menu has it listed by weight for 1, 2 or 3 people. A word of caution: Your bill may end up being a little spendy (depending on the number of people and size of the cut), but it's worth the extra expense for an amazing meal and wonderful staff! And hey, remember that if you get lost trying to find it, just follow your nose, because you can smell the meat cooking all the way down the street.
Uniontown, WA USA Thu 06/02/2011
La Tavola Marche
Just returned from a wonderful trip that included three days at this wonderful argroturismo. Ashley and Jason made us feel right ast home. The "welcome" dinner was outstanding and wonderfully addressed our desire for a meal fosused on vegetables. We had a cooking class with Jason who provided us with an innovative menu and[INVALID]more importantly[INVALID]a real learning experience. If you are looking for a relaxing experience, beautiufl food and caring and fun hosts, book your time at La Tavola Marche!
Richmond, VA USA Tue 05/31/2011
We loved Rick's recommendations in Vernazza of Ristorante Incadase da Piva and Il Pirata delle Cinque Terra. We had some of our best meals there
Trinity Center, CA USA Tue 05/31/2011
Ristorante Delfino was also a wonderful experience. Luisa and Roberto were charming, and the food was excellent
Trinity Center, CA USA Tue 05/31/2011
I recently traveled to Tuscany with my 16 yr old granddaughter, and stayed with Alex and Ingrid at La Falconara in Montepulciano. What great hosts, valuable information on where to go and what to see!
Seattle, WA USA Sun 05/29/2011
Superb Italian seafood restaurant!
Ristorante San Martino
Via Enrico Costa, 34
07100 Sassari, Italy
del mar, ca USA Fri 05/27/2011
Fresh, Handmade Pasta and a huge wheel of Parmigiano Cheese to finish off your dinner!
The best meal I had while in Italy. Fresh, handmade pasta displayed at the window [I even got to see them making it]. La Greppia is located in downtown Parma (I drove to the city center...the maitre d' saved a parking spot for us so we parked right in front of the restaurant...half on the sidewalk).
We started with a plate of cold cuts (local products); shared 2 pastas, and finished off with a braised beef with polenta dish. I could barely move but our waiter insisted on us trying the local parmesan, at least to get a "taste".
It wasn't inexpensive, but if you ever make it out to Italy, i HIGHLY recommend a visit to Parma (rent a car) and a dinner here!!
Parma, USA Fri 05/27/2011
The Wonders of Limoncello
Limoncello - elixir of the Gods! Love the stuff. We wandered through a 300-year-old lemon orchard in the heart of downtown Sorrento while sipping samples of the best Limoncello ever! The ambiance was unbeatable. I was surprised by the Basil flavored option, it was really good! Here's the story and some photos. (copy and paste the address - sorry it won't directly link.) http://checkthediditbox.blogspot.com/2011/05/drink-limoncello-did-it.html
Seattle, WA USA Thu 05/26/2011
Fantastic Local Pizzeria Bellagio, italy
Vecchio Aureggio Pizzeria, Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy This little gem is family friendly, authentic, and affordably priced, with excellent value. With views of both sides of the lake, Vecchio Aureggio serves the best pizza on Lake Como. Hands down. Armando, the proprietor, will seat you on the patio, inside the restaurant, or in the garden. Salad greens are picked from the garden, hand thrown pizzas are indescribably delicious. While your children kick a soccer ball or play bocce, you can enjoy the glorious sunset as you sip your vino in paradise.
Manassas, VA USA Wed 05/18/2011
Multi-course meal with wine pairings
Albergo Perbacco in Sant'Angelo Limosano. Located in the Molise region, northeast of Naples, east of Rome. You can actually find them on the Internet and book your stay online. Guilio is the owner and speaks excellent English.
Pure serendipity - we ended up in a small Italian hill town in an albergo with only 5 rooms built in a 400-year-old barn. The restaurant was in the original stable area, but it was closed to the public the night we stayed because there was a private party planned. We must have looked sad because we were quickly added to the invite list and ended up eating a 4-hour, 6-course meal with 8 different wines in the company of some of central Italy's best known chefs, food critics, restaurant owners, and wine reviewers. Follow the link to see my photos and read the rest of the story. This was an epic meal like no other.
Seattle,, WA USA Sun 05/15/2011
Lucca / Osteria via S. Giorgio
Best meal I've ever ordered at a restaurant. The gnocci with pumpkin and truffle oil is to die for.
Seattle, WA USA Fri 05/06/2011
Eating in Forence
We ate at Trattoria Za- ZA in Florance. We ate outdoors as recommended. The food was okay, but it was very noisy and we had one begger after another at our table. People playing terrible music and then holding their hands out or sticking flowers in our face. Inside may be fine but not outside.
Olathe, KS USA Sun 05/01/2011
restaurant in siena
my wife an i were in sienna last week and had a delightful dining experience (i thought, our best during our time in Italy) at tratoria la torre, just off the campo. it is a recommended place by RS's florence/tuscany 2011. we had excellent service by the family-run owners of the restaurant. not inexpensive, but worth the visit.
brockport, ny USA Sun 05/01/2011
Agriturismo with Great Food! La Tavola Marche
We've been to Italy a number of times and we've always wondered what it would be like to stay at an agriturismo. Our 12 year old grandson loves to cook and we wanted to take him to Italy, so my husband and I, our grandson and our daughter (his mom) booked 5 nights at La Tavola Marche. It was just what our family needed -- and it turned out to be a wonderful experience! The stone farmhouse, the lush green hills and the rural atmosphere were beautiful. But the best part was Jason and Ashley, the owners of La Tavola Mache. We ate Jason's cooking two nights and wish we could have eaten more. We also did two 1/2 day cooking classes, making pizza in the wood-fired oven and homemade pasta with 3 different sauces. Jason is a serious chef who believes in using the best fresh ingredients, cooked simply and traditionally. What great food and what fun -- to be inspired and improve our cooking knowledge and skills!
Cutchogue, NY USA Wed 04/27/2011
In Florence, the correct name is:
It was incorrectly listed as:
Caurthers, CA USA Wed 04/13/2011
Rome - Osteria Giovanni at piazza ferns
We love this restaurant recommended by Rick, great location, setting, went here twice last visit. But... All three of our items this trip were way too SALTY.
Just ask them to take it easy on the salt.
Chicago, Il USA Thu 04/07/2011
Rome - Teatro di Pompeo
A prior comment complained about a restaurant "teatro di pompeo". I have no experience at that restaurant, but I stayed at the hotel Teatro di Pompeo and I highly recommend it. It is not connected to the restaurant, in fact, when we asked the concierge about that restaurant, he recommended another place just off the Campo de' Fiori that was outstanding. I wish I could remember the name. The food was delicious, it was not touristy at all and we had a wonderful time.
Fort Lauderdale, FL USA Tue 04/05/2011
Restaurants in Sorrento
During a recent trip to Southern Italy we stayed in Piano di Sorrento for several nights. This little community is literally a 5 minute train ride to Sorrento where you can find restaurants and memorable meals. Donna Sophia is one of those establishments and sits on a hillside outside the city limits of Sorrento. An easy walk during good weather. The best Capressi Salad on the planet!! The entire meal was super delicious. For an evening where cost is really not the object then try Il Buco, right off the Piazza S. Antonio)(and show Rick's book for a 10% discount). The service and food was magnificent.
Louisville, KY USA Sun 04/03/2011
In Rome during the first part of March prior to leavng for Amalfi coast, and had several meals in the area around Piazza Navonna. One in particular stood out: La Tabernetta. Perfectly cooked pasta and full of locals. Perfect!
Louisville, KY USA Sun 04/03/2011
Wine tour of roman countryside & fantastic lunch
This wine tour was phenomenal. It was a real pleasure to get outside the city of Rome, taste some local wines, see the countryside and have an authentic Italian lunch at Castel Gandolfo (the charming town where the Pope summers). This was probably the best meal of our trip. The guides, Diego and Alessio, provide pick up/drop off and transport for the entire day. They are true gentlemen, very knowledgable and extremely entertaining. I definitely recommend this day trip to anyone visiting Rome. Here is the website http://www.nebtour.it/English/Tours/Castelli_Romani/Struttura_eng.htm
Chicago, IL USA Wed 03/23/2011
Finding Family Roots in Italy
It took GPS, three maps,Google Earth and several stops along the way using my broken Italian to ask for directions, but I found my grandparents' villages perched on remote hilltops in central Italy. I even stood in my Nonna's doorway. It was an amazing moment. My grandfather's village was practically a ghost town, nearly destroyed by the L'Aquila earthquake in 2009. http://checkthediditbox.blogspot.com/
Kathleen Gleaves (Ciolli)
Seattle, Wa USA Tue 03/15/2011
Casa San Giuseppe - Rome
Used your Rome 2010 guidebook during our stay in Rome (Oct. 2010)and found it extremely useful & user-friendly..grazie! We stayed in Trastevere at Casa S. Giuseppe and found the staff helpful, courteous and very kind. They even helped us to report a cabdriver who was clearly a rip-off artist. He charged us 50 euros to go from Termini to our hotel and then ripped us off for another 20 (must have been a magician) He drove a white van and seemed to be a lovely old guy....lazarone! Live and learn! Love the location; experience Roma at it's craziest and most fun. Many good restaurants within walking distance. Thanks Rick!
V and B Lawrence
Caledon, Ontari Canada Wed 03/09/2011
My wife and I went on the Heart of Italy Tour in September. In Cinque Terra we had a pesto making class followed by a meal of white lasagna with pesto. IT WAS FABULOUS!! Well tonight we made it at home with a recipe given to us by the Hotel Pasquale where we stayed. It was wonderful, we had it with the last bottle of wine we had from Cecilia's (our tour guide) - La Vellette winery. It was almost like being back in Italy. PS it is winter here in PA, but we grew the basil with a grow light in the basement and made the pesto with a Corrado Marble pestle we brought home.
East Butler, PA USA Fri 03/04/2011
Wine Tour in Rome - Antiqua (Ettore)
I highly recommend joining Antiqua Tour's wine tour in Rome with Ettore as your guide. Ettore is a charming young man that made us much more comfortable with Italian wines and made as feel like fast friends.
Denver, CO USA Sat 02/26/2011
Tuscan Trails - Wine Tours, Florence
We went to Italy last fall and did a wine tasting day trip with Tuscan Trails: www.tuscantrails.com The tours are close to Florence at very small vineyards with a small tour group (ours was 16 or so people). Todd is incredibly knowledgeable and the trip is a great experience that we highly recommend.
Washington, DC USA Sat 02/12/2011
The Best Pizza I ever had
The best pizza I ever had...in Naples, Pizza Trianon. Classic Margherita..red sauce, mozzarella, basil...that's it. It came a little black around the edges...and it was amazing. How is it possible? I'm sure it was nothing special to them. To me it was a revelation!
Saint Helens, OR USA Tue 02/01/2011