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Jul 16, 2006 04:21 PM

Shabbat and 2 weeks in Italy -- any Kosher advice?

We will be spending 2 weeks (including 1 shabbat) in Italy in Venice, Florence and Rome. Our shabbat is tentatively scheduled for Florence although we could do Rome instead. Any advice or experiences about Kosher restaurants in any of these 3 cities and shabbat experiences? I have the list of the kosher restaurants but was hoping to get advice about what was good and what was not. Thanks.

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  1. We went to Restaurant Gam Gam in Venice and had a great time there. This was 8+ years ago.

    1. IIRC, Rome had a better shabbos and kosher infrastructure than Florence. It's been almost exactly 10 years, so obviously things could have changed. We had great Israeli food in Rome. There was also a meat pizzeria that was good. The kosher restaurant in Florence next to the shul was just average. I don't remember eating in a kosher restaurant in Venice, but there was a kosher market, run by Chabad, that had all sorts of stuff.

      1. we were in florence for shabbos march 2001 chabad rabbi very hospitable. we were there for friday night and shabbat lunch. helps

        1. Gamgam in Venice. Try the moussaka and the pesto pasta. Both were delicious. The falafel to go was great too. Who would have thought about falafel in Italy, but it was even better than when I was in Israel. They did a renovation of the place, you can see the original venetian brick. We had a fun time and we didn't have to spend all our of savings to eat.

          1. We were in Italy last summer in the same cities you mention. Rome had the most kosher restaurants and many hotels walking distance to some of them. (We stayed in the Piazza Navona area.) I don't which if any are open for shabbat. La Taverna del Ghetto was great. Yotvata was good. Unfortunately we were there in August so many of the restaurants were closed for vacation. We ended up eating fast food some nights --MK restaurant I think, sort of like a kosher McDonalds and a meat sandwich shop next to it.
            We spent Shabbat in Florence. We stayed in a hotel right next to the shul and Ruth's restaurant. The food in Ruth's was good but the service is very slow. We ate at Chabad (around the corner from the shul.) The rabbi was very warm -- the food was very chabad -- filling but not at all glamorous. It was pay what you wish. (Ruth's ended up being closed for shabbat since it was vacation time, but they are often open for prepaid shabbat meals.) Finally, we did eat at Gam-Gam in Venice. The food was fine, but it was crowded and service was slow and they ran out of many of the choices. There is also a kosher pizza shop around the corner from Gam Gam that was good (and I believe a bakery that had sandwiches which we did not try in the same area.)
            Have a great time.

            1 Reply
            1. re: flo220


              I read your post about kosher places in rome. I'm wondering if you have any suggestions for a hotel near the kosher/jewish area. My family will be visiting rome in august and want to stay in a convenient location.


              Sharon Kaplowitz (