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Just returned from Venice and Rome

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3 Nights in Venice --- 1st night went to Ristornate Alla Madona by the Rialto Bridge --- Food was OK ...I would eat there again ---- Night 2 Went to Alle Testiere ---- Pain in the butt to find. Food was pretty good but expensive. Night 3 went by recommendation from our hotel --- "Fontana " it was 75 yards from our hotel Ca' Dogaressa right near the train station Farrovia. Street is called Cannaregio. The bus stop is "Guglie" but it's not on the main canal's and only gets alittle water taxi service.--It was the BEST place I went to in Venice and other than 2 others I went to in Rome was ranked 3rd overall for my trip. It's a small mom and pop place with Bruno cooking and wife and daughter doing the service. It was EXCELLENT !!!! I urge anyone who goes to Venice to try this place because it really was great. Reservations a must because it's small and they turned many people away.

Rome Night 1 which was sunday ...I had my heart set on Armando near the Pantheon. After a 4 hr train trip and walking and sightseeing I had forgotten many resturants were closed on Sundays and some on Mondays.Had to eat at a side street resturant near the spanish steps ......Found out later it had more than 1 location ...Forgot the name but it wasan't bad for something to eat. Night 2 Monday back to Armando's and got in as soon as they opened. Thank god because if we waited another 20 we would have been out of luck. Food was very good. Night 3 we had reservations at Colline Emilliane.Food reminded me of my childhood. Everything was so good and so fresh.Unbelievable. Up until I was 18 I remember having such great food every sunday at my former stepfathers sisters home every sunday. The tastes and freshness ( even though she was sicilian ) brought back many good memories of how good some people can cook italian food. Night 4 we went to Checchino dal 1887. It was a pain to get to also from the metro. I myself don't like there type of food that they cook ( I thought my wife would but she turned less adventuresome once she saw the menu ) ( I went because they had regular options ) ...I actually ate the Bruschetta with Pigs cheeks ( Wasan't bad ..just tasted like fatty bacon ) My wife tried the tripe ...She said Armando's was 100 times better. But, I can say that I had regular pasta and the sauce was excellent. I also had so veal which also was very good. Night 5 we got lucky ....wednesday night I had our hotel call either Il Pagliaccio or Colline .....Colline had an opening again on Thursday and I took that in a heart beat. Again unbelievable. The prosciutto @ Colline tastes like BUTTER . I ate prosciutto mostly every night either alone or with melon and this was the best prosciutto I have ever eaten in my life. My ex-stepfather made it every year in the basement,I go to Arthur Ave in the Bronx once a month a buy it there and there is no ther prosciutto that I have tasted yet that tasted as good as the one at Colline Emiliane. I also had the Meatball Dumplings in Broth both nights which was great. I had there Bolognese both times and I had the Veal one night and the brasciole the next. So, I guess you can say I loved the place.

I also want to thank maureen for giving out recommendations.

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  1. great report!

    For Venice, you are talking about the Fontana on the Cannaregio canal? That has great reccomendations for its seafood dishes - we stayed across the canal from there on our last visit and I was really sorry not to visit. what did you have there?

    3 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      Thanks for the Venice info. We are going neext month. I will follow your advise.

      1. re: kelsbeth

        I cannot remember everything but my wife octopus salad,I cannot remember my appitizer, she had baby calamari linguini with hot sicilian sauce,I had gnocci and I had the grilled shrimp. Dessert was strawberries with lemon over them. As,I state before this place was by far the best place that I ate in Venice and other than Colline Emilliane and Armando's in Rome it was the 3rd best place I ate in either venice and rome.

        Jen : Yes it is on the Cannaregio Canal.

        Hostaria alla Fontana
        Cannaregio 1102

        Telephone : 041 715077

        I would recommend reservations and also I would recommend early times since they do run out of food. We wanted to order a fish but they were out of them at 800pm. We wanted a grilled seabass but they ran out. I hope somebody else from here goes and enjoys it as much as we did.

        1. re: pdm68

          this is one of the small, non-touristic restaurants in the outer sestieri recommended in the MIchele Scibilia book - I have only seen it recommended one other place, in an article I read online several years ago. It may also be on the roughguide map, Im not sure.

          without being preachy, your experience goes to show how you can have a fine meal in venice if you explore the outer reaches where venetians still live.