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Jul 13, 2000 05:30 AM

Good food in Venice/Rome?

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I'm heading to Venice this weekend, and Rome later on in August. Naturally, I was wondering where I could find some local flavor in these cities...

I'm not opposed to paying for a great meal, although as I am a student the best bet would be the place that doesn't charge the equivalent of a semester's pay.


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  1. There have been multi posts on these topics in the past year - either scroll down this board, do a search using the search engine on the home page or - if you can - use the FIND feature on your browser to locate them.

    Sandra Gustafson's Cheap Eats is an excellent investment for your itinerary. If you cant afford to buy many books, you can alway read faith willinger's and fred plotkin's at Barnes and Noble!

    2 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      I agree Jen. those books have rarely let us down!! thx

      1. re: jen kalb
        Ken Calascione

        Try Gastone in the vicinity of the Quirinale. Wonderful food and service!

      2. l
        Leslie Brenner

        In Rome, Ristorante Cesare, at Via Crescenzio 13, near Piazza Cavour, not too far from the Vatican. It's a traditional Roman restaurante, casual, with wonderful fresh fish, great seafood antipasto, pasta, etc. We ate there at the end of May and loved it. We spent $67 for two adults and a small child, including a nice bottle of wine. Phone: (39-06) 6861227.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Leslie Brenner

          in roma, don't miss a lunch spot called, fratelli piadini, the locals line up for good, quick affordable delicious chow!!

        2. Thanks for the tips a couple of posts ago on venice/rome. the stuff earlier on the list helped as well.

          as for the food, i did actually read some of the suggested material (although online, not at a store). here's what happened:

          it was suggested i try a bellini at the hotel cipriani (sp?) by faith willinger's article. a bellini consists of peach juice and some type of sparkling wine, along with other, albeit unknown, ingredients. other bars were noted, although this one had -- according to the author -- the best bellini in all of venice.

          ok, fine. it's not like i'm in venice everyday, so i'll go for it. sounds tasty, and beyond that the description of sitting on the hotel's veranda overlooking the grand canal/harbor proved motivating enough for me. so my friend and i took the water-bus over, eventually found the hotel through the service enterance, and sat on the aforementioned veranda to enjoy our bellinis. note to chowhounds: cipriani's bellinis are very good. the veranda is nice. the whole setup made me decide that it was worth the effort finding this place to enjoy a local speciality. as we sat there we casually discussed how much we thought it would cost for a total of 4 bellinis. we laughed to ourselves, convinced that it couldn't cost more than a small meal.

          this turned out to be quite a mistake.

          let's just say that our four bellinis cost more than my train ticket back to munich. THREE times more than our room in the hostel. $10 more (yes, more) than our (i.e. two people) 2 course lunch the next day with a bottle of decent wine.

          ah, the cipriani's bellinis. the fatal flaw in the economic brilliance of venice on a budget... but when we realized we could take their private boat back to the city -- the same private boat that was supposed to be used in getting there, thus eliminating the walk through the service enterance -- it became almost worth it. in conclusion, i have become vary of advice offered without any mention of price. at the same time, however, it did live up to its expectations.

          hey, i figure i only live once...

          slightly amused american student,

          2 Replies
          1. re: Eric

            Eric--I think most of us can relate. And I also think you realize that you'll remember your experience (including the $$ thing!), in a positive way, for life (already, your story is reading great!). And that's good. Maybe even worth the $$.

            You know, one of the great things about food is that while you can be stung--and you can even shoot your whole traveling budget at once if you're not careful--it's pretty hard to get into REAL REAL serious trouble. I mean more trouble than it would take even a minimum wage worker to fix in a week. There are other pursuits that have a much greater top-end risk.

            I'm not making light of that wave of panic that gripped your stomach when you got that bill, and I don't dispute that it's important to have some caution, but....geez. Great cocktails. Venice. Boat ride. A story for the ages. It'd have been worth the "what the heck" irresponsibility even if you knew, no?

            1. re: Eric

              The sparkling wine used in bellinis is prosecco, and supposedly it's *white* peach juice--at least at Cipriani, where it was invented. Not that I've been to Venice and emptied my wallet on them (or even been to Venice).