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Chowhounding in Paris, Venice, Florence...HELP

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Hello esteemed fans of food, I'll soon be going to Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome, etc. (poor me) and was wondering if any of you had any must-dines in these cities. I'm not flooded with cash, but would be open to spending money on a truly outstanding dining experience. I'd appreciate any tips you can share. Merci beaucoups!

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  1. Margo,

    You'll have a much better chance of response if you post your query on the International Board instead of the SF Bay Area Board. I'd also suggest doing a search on those cities from the Chowhound.com main page (upper right hand corner) for recent discussions of eating in those cities. Best of luck.

    Best,
    Deb H.

    1. It won't help for Paris, but there's a great book by Faith Heller Willinger called "Eating in Italy: A Traveler's Guide to the Gastronomic Pleasures of Northern Italy" (it covers Florence and Venice, but not Rome, I think). The author covers specialty food shops, cookwares, and local markets as well as restaurants, and has a very thorough and enjoyable section on the specialities and local products for each region. Some information about local wines and tasting bars as well, but it doesn't rise to the level of a specialty book on Italian wines.

      1. If you'll be in Paris and Florence, perhaps you would be so good as to try what I consider the two best ice cream places I've tried: Berthillon in Paris, and Vivoli in Florence. Berthillon is located on Ile St. Louis. Vivoli is on a small street adjacent to the Duomo called something like Via Isola della Stenche. Since discovering these places, I've always wanted to do a side-by-side taste comparison. Lucky you.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Eric Eto

          Not to be annoying, but I'm pretty sure Vivoli is on a side street by Santa Croce, not the Duomo. Also, right next to the plaza in front of Santa Croce, was my favorite restaurant in Florence -- Bal-something or Bar-something. The same family owns both the restaurant, which is right across the side street from an enoteca (wine bar), and then another restaurant across the Arno. Wonderful wood-fired pizzas and the best steak I had anywhere, at the restaurant. Great cheese & fruit plate to have with wine for snacking at the enoteca. I'm sorry I can't remember the exact name! As you face the front of Santa Croce it's on the left, on the piazza or just beside the church.

          1. re: Amy H.

            Another hint as to Vivoli locaton is that it is across the very small piazza from Florence's ONLY movie theatre with American films in English-no subtitles. Enjoy

        2. There's a restaurant called L'Incontro at the Dorsoduro area of Venice. Kinda offthe beaten track but its been there for over 80 years and the menu is handwritten and changes everyday.
          Also Marcello's in Rome for the best veal ever.