Where to go in Italy???
I need advice for a food & wine lovers trip to Italy....My wife and I will have 10days to play anywhere we want. This is what i am looking for:
--a user friendly destination as we do not speak italian
--a nice place to relax with great food and wine opportunities
--accessibility - i would like to find somwhere we can take an easy jet to or equivalent budget carrier
--affordability - we will be in Europe for 6wks so i cant completly blow the budget on these 10days
We will be seeking rest so i am thinking either the country side or amulfi coast for some beach time....
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
Epicurean, We went well out of our way to stay and dine in Lucca. (One of Italy's oldest cities; it's where Ceasar Augustus 1st signed the Roman Charter. It's also where Puccini is from.) In Lucca lies a restaurant called Bucca De San Antonio. This restaurant is family owned and is 500 (as in 500) years old. It's not expensive, reservations are a must (you hotel can make them for you) and the food is, truely, food of the gods. No meal I've had in Paris, Berlin, New York, etc has compared to Bucca De San Antonio. I would move to Lucca just to eat there weekly. As to the town itself, it's charming and delightful to visit. Nice people, great history, great food.
Lucca is a great choice-you can fly into nearby Pisa (which has some wonderful places to eat as well) and youre also near the beach resort of Viareggio, home of Romano restaurant.
A few more thoughts: Bologna home of many more great restaurants (I favor Battibecco), Ferrara, which has Quel Fantastico Giovedi and Ravenna, home of one of my favorites, Antica Trattoria al Gallo, as well as great pizza (on Via Novembre, across from the restaurant Bella Venezia).
I'm a city traveler, so I can't help with "restful," but one of the best food trips of my life was one that included Bologna and Verona. Two highlights were the bollito misto and amarone risotto at Greppia in Verona, and an absolutely fabulous meal at the very high-end San Domenico, in Imola, near Bologna. Of the two cities Verona is more interesting, one of the great cities of Italy. Also, Verona is very close to Vicenza, Padua & Venice.
The second best food trip I had in Italy was in Sicily.
I wouldn't worry about language. Italians are very accommodating.