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Jan 2, 2007 03:36 PM

Florence and Venice vacation

Hello Everyone! My boyfriend and I are going away in March to Florence and Venice and I was hoping for some restaurant reccs in each city. I have heard some good things about La Giostra in Florence? Any suggestions on a nice and romantic restaurant in Venice that isn't too touristy?

Thanks everyone!!

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  1. Christina, I hope that in addition to any suggestions you get on this thread, you also do a search of this Board and the International Board. If you do, you will turn up dozens or recommendations for Florence and Venice.

    Its hard to avoid romance in Venice. Enjoy!

    1. This is not a restaurant recommendation per se--though if you can afford da fiore in Venice (lunch is more reasonable) I'd say go!--but I wanted to advise you to pick up Maureen Fant's book on eating in Rome, Venice and Florence.

      While it could be a *bit* more user friendly (the edition we have doesn't make it easy to search by neighborhood), it never steered us wrong. And my husband and I are the kind of people who tend to have very bad luck with food when we travel.

      Venice can be tricky and people often say its hard to eat well there, however armed with M Fant's book I never went astray

      1 Reply
      1. I haven't posted on my Florence trip yet, but one of my favorite restaurants was called Osteria de Macci on a street of the same name (via de macci or something) in the Santa Croce neighborhood where we stayed. The service was unremarkable but the food was really delicious. Try the pasta with white truffles. They were quite generous with the truffles and the bill was still reasonable. Five of us ate antipasti, pasta and main course with several bottles of wine for around $350 if I recall correctly.

        We also ate at a local trattoria called Ristorante Leo in Santa Croce. Good local spot, very friendly service, delicous food. We popped in there one day at 2pm for a late lunch just as they were getting ready to close down. They were kind enough to accommodate us anyway. We went back for Christmas eve dinner and had a feast! Started with a lovely shaved zucchini and smoked salmon with lots of good olive oil, a pasta sampler of ravioli with a shrimp sauce and pasta with a tomato/pesto sauce. Moved on the the main courses of salmon, another fish that I can't recall at this moment and bistecca fiorentina with sides of potatoes, spinach. Ended the night with some panettone. Boy were we full and satisfied!'

        1. Thanks Lissy! We are actually staying in the Santa Croce neighborhood, so we'll definitely check these out.

          1. An enthusiastic second for Leo in Santa Croce! We've been eating there for six years and have never been disappointed. Their bistecca Fiorentina is the best version we've ever tried and we've sampled other places to see if these could beat Leo.

            We usually let the maitre d' create a meal for us and we've never been disappointed. The house wine is lovely and a bargain. We tend to skip dessert at Leo; instead, we walk around the corner for ice cream at Vivoli (if we've in the mood for one of their unique flavors) or Neri.

            For a glimpse at how the other half lives, walk past Entoeca Pinchiorri at Via Ghibellina 87. You'll probably notice the stream of limousines and upscale cars stopping in front of an unmarked address on Via Ghibellina. That's Pinchiorri, the only two-starred Michelin restaurant in Florence. Italian law requires that they post their menu outside just like much more modest establishments. In spite of the liveried doorman, be brave and walk up to read the menu and marvel at the prices.

            Other recommended Santa Croce-area restaurants:

            Dino: (Via Ghibellina; The restaurant moved a couple of doors away in Fall of 2005 so your guidebook may or may not have the current address.) We ate dinner there twice in a one-week visit to Florence. Enough said.

            Osteria dei Benci: Casual with indoor and outdoor patio dining options. We ate a pasta with cherry tomatoes, black pepper, and grated cheese that we're still swooning over.

            Finally, it's a bit of a hike to Trattoria 4 Leoni on the Oltrarno side, but a hike well worth taking.