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Oct 3, 2006 12:04 AM


We're going to Campania next week, and have a day trip planned to Pompeii and Vesuvio.
Anyone have any suggestions for lunch???? Going to Rome first, and based on all
the chatter about Orso 80, we're definitely making a reservaiton! Thanks to all fellow

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  1. Here are some notes from 12 months ago.
    POMPEI - Now surely a tourist magnet like Pompei would offer dodgy eating. Well, be prepared for a big surprise. Nowhere in Italy did we eat poorly (and we did not splurge) - but that statement, sad to say, does not hold for France!
    Directly opposite the front door of Pompei lies Camping Pompei and what a pleasant lunch our family of 4 had for not many euros. Wood-fired oven pizzas of variety and quality, fine pastas and inexpensive wines. From memory,like most restaurants in the smaller cities pizzas around 6-8 E, pastas 5-7 E and mains 10-12 E. Another big recommendation, plus you can park inexpensively there before entering the ruins.
    CAMPING POMPEI, Via Plinio 113, Pompei Scavi (and do not bother heading to Pompei (the modern city) when you arrive by car - look for Pompei Scavi)
    081 862 6910.

    1. How much time are you allotting for Pompeii? Most people spend the night in Sorrento or elsewhere on the coast and simply come in for lunch.

      The places to eat near the scavi (ruins) are expensive and uber-touristy. Here's what I recommend: Get to the site early, while it's still cool, and hit the ground running. Pompeii is huge, and it'll take a lot of time to see everything that's worth seeing. I'd recommend packing a lunch to avoid the tourist traps around the site.

      At 4, head into the modern town of Pompeii. It's a small, incredibly untouristy Italian town. Everything closes down for the siesta. Join some real Italians for an espresso or a Campari at a bar.

      Then you should walk up the Via Nolana to a little place called Osteria della Bosca. Great southern Italian cooking and you won't see a tourist for miles.

      I've spent a lot of time in this area (as an archaeologist at the site) and I found a lot more value in spending time in a real Italian city than with bumping shoulders with all the tourists in Sorrento, Amalfi, etc.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Odelay101

        Thanks for your reply....we're actually renting a house in Massa Lubrense for a week,
        and plan on spending a day at Pompeii. Our friends are going to do the
        Mt. Vesuvius hike...we're not. Please don't tell me it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.
        I'm not a hiker, I'm an eater. That said, is Osteria della Bosca open for lunch? Any other great recommendations?

        1. re: onetoughcookie

          Hmmmm. I'm loath to admit it, but I actually didn't do the Mt. Vesuvio climb I only had a couple free weekends, and I used them to go to Rome and drive motor scooters down the Amalfi coast (a fun and stupidly dangerous thing to do).

          I did go up Monte Faito, which is close to and taller than Mt. Vesuvio. I drove up it, but there's a fenicular that will take the overfed straight to the top with a minimum of exertion. If it's a clear day, the view is amazing. Under no circumstance eat there - bad, bad food.

          I don't know if Della Bosca is open for lunch. I suspect they are, but they might only serve antipasti, pizza, and sandwiches. Not sure. If you speak any Italian, you can ask around. Shopowners in Pompeii are very friendly if you try to speak Italian to them. Almost no one away from the site speaks much English, though.

          As for other places in the town of Pompeii:

          There's Todisco's, which is a cheap little tavola calda with a nice outdoor eating area. Try the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (a local specialty) or any of the little fried croquettes, all of which are great. It's definitely open for lunch.

          There's a fantastic gelateria very close to the site. Go out the amphitheater gate, hang a left, and it will be on your left when you start to get close to town. It's the first gelateria on the left. There are a bunch of bars that serve gelato on the right, but don't be fooled. This place serves only gelato.

          I'll see if I can think of anything else

          1. re: onetoughcookie

            As a fellow foodie, lose the Vesuvio hike in favour of chowing. It's long, steep, HOT, rough on the feet because it's mostly loose gravel and little mosquitoes start biting near the top. Given a choice, I would explore the town for some of the recs given in search of good eats.

          2. re: Odelay101

            Thank you so much Odelay - this is exactly the information I was looking for when I visit Pompeii this fall. Perfect!

            1. re: PaoloG

              these seem like great mosts

              my excellentt rest experience in the town of Pompeii is posted down on this Naples thread. great food in this region

          3. BTW, Osteria della Bosca is where the Via Nolana intersects with Via Pizzo Martino and Via 3 Ponti.

            Dishes to try:

            Pizza (neapolitan style - delicious)
            Hazelnut and gorgonzola ravioli
            clams and mussels in pasta or not

            1. There is a restaurant in Pompeii that received an excellent write-up in a NY Times article by Maureen Fant. I believe the name is Il Principe. It is not an inexpensive place.

              1 Reply
              1. re: erica

                Thanks Erica...I will look in the NYTimes online archive for this restaurant.

              2. if its not too late, avoid orso 80. ate there last night, and its worse than mediocre. search for my more detailed post for details. save your nights for one of romes great restaurants like checcino!

                3 Replies
                1. re: danjgoldstein

                  Dani was Orso filled with tourists? Any locals?

                  1. re: erica

                    Erica, anyplace will have SOME locals. They live next door and either care only that the place is handy and cheap or just eat the same thing over and over or get some kind of special treatment. Also posters who talk about locals do not necessarily really know who is a local and who isn't. Just because someone is Italian doesn’t make him a local. Orso is bad, believe me.