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Dec 2, 2003 12:05 PM

Kosher in Italy

  • j

I am in the process of researching a trip to Italy for this spring. I wanted to see if anyone has any recommendations/suggestions about kosher food/restaurants in Italy. (I am hoping to subsist on more than tuna and crackers during my trip!) Any advice would be welcome. Thanks.

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  1. There are a number of kosher restaurants near the synagogue in Rome. Service is lousy, but the food is good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Susan H
      Dario Calimani

      I find the assertion 'service is lousy', referred to kosher restaurants in Rome, false and insulting. Go to Yodvata restaurant in the Ghetto, for example, or to the restaurants near Piazza Bologna, and you'll find cleanliness, kasheruth, selection and variety. The service is probably 'familiar' and not always 'stylish' and refined, but certainly not lousy.

      Try also the more 'stylish' service at the Jewish Community Restaurant in Venice (not the Lubavitchers').


    2. Try Gam-Gam in the old Jewish ghetto in Venice. (There really is a new ghetto). Phone #: 041-715284. And be sure to tour the synagogues.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chowfish

        Gam Gam may be a terrific boon to kosher-keepers (we are not) in Venice, but we found the food disappointing and downhill from a previous experience in a visit last year.

        Main cooking fats in Venice are olive oil, and butter - main protein is overwhelmingly fish and seafood, very little meat on offer. Charcoal grilled fish is a mainstay of the good restaurants, and wonderful. There are only a handful of restaurants that specialize in meat dishes, and maybe 2-3 egyptian/middle eastern restaurants in the City.

        1. re: jen kalb
          Dario Calimani

          Next time try the kosher restaurant of the Venice Jewish Community.


        2. re: chowfish
          Dario Calimani

          Try the kosher restaurant of the Jewish Community of Venice. Ask the Jewish Museum.

          You'll be surprised.


        3. There's a sweet Tunisian lady in Rome that offers meals to go and home cooked Shabbat meals in her fab apt. The food is excellent and is under Chabbad supervision. The prices are decent. It's also a good oppertunity to meet other travelers. I hope she's still ther, I'll look for the link.

          There's also a meat restaurant near the shul that has amazing fried artichoke. I'll look for that link as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Little Wave

            Check out the database, you'll find EVERYTHING.


          2. In Venice, Gam Gam (fleishig; Chabad or Rabbinate supervision) is located at the entrance to the Jewish Ghetto; one may eat there Friday night either with pre-paid reservations (family-first come seating) or by the "honor system" (promising to make a donation after Shabbos). The operators are very nice; food is okay. (note: many students and visitors flock there for seder).
            In Florence, there is a kosher dairy place adjacent to the main synagogue. I think the name is "Rebeccas" or "Rachels". It is quaint, the food is good, anf the owner had a great wine list. The locals eat there.
            In Rome, there is a pizza shop within a block or so of the Great Synagogue (I got directions at the Synagogue). Other cafes serve "Jewish" food (e.g., fried artichokes), but check out whether they actually have supervision. We had a disappointing meal at another place (can't recall name or area).
            In Rome, I suggest you call the Great Synagogue for info; there are tours and it was easy to find English speaking guides. In Venice, Chabad has a storefront in the Ghetto plaza; English speakers present.

            1. My wife and I were in Rome and Florence this summer. Rome, as noted, has several kosher places near the synagogue, in the area where the ghetto used to be. the Ghetto Tavern had good meat dishes. Yotvata was acceptable dairy, a bit hard to find because it was a few blocks from the others, and the service was pretty bad. They were good at Roman Jewish specialties like fried cod. We stayed in a kosher B&B in the Trastevere neighborhood. It's called Locanda Carmel. The kosher part was disappointing -- it was just a continental breakfast consisting of prepackaged, chewy cakes. But there was a kosher bakery a few blocks away that was pretty good -- the folks at Carmel can direct you to it (And the B&B itself was a pretty nice place to stay).

              In Florence, the kosher dairy place is called Ruth's. We did not go, but heard mixed reports -- adults claim it's not good food, but some kids we met were impressed with the size of the portions. There is a kosher store right near the restaurant (which is next to the synagogue). Not far from these two were couple of bakeries that were supposed to be kosher -- one was closed for the holidays, the other, on a piazza, I think had some items that made us suspect it wasn't kosher, but I can't remember for sure. There was also a store called Giovannino -- it's a pet food store with a kosher human section at the back! Our hosts didn't like it much, but I did get some nice cured meats there.