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Jul 16, 2008 12:20 PM

Rome, Florence, and Venice with family

My wife and I will be taking our 14 tear old twins with us to Italy this August 4-15. I hope I'm not repeating a recent topic but we're obviously looking for good restaurants for families
Myself and the kids eat almost anything, while my wife does not eat seafood. Jacket/tie places are out (a dressy-casual is about as fancy as we want to get) and my wife will have to wait until we go back alone for a romantic dinner. We don't mind spending a little more for good food/service. Any help is appreciated.

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  1. There was a recent thread on a similar topic: Tuscany and Venice

    1. Florence: I Ghibellini (Via di San Pier Maggiore, 8). Great local cuisine, very casual, popular with locals, relatively easy on the wallet. Venice: Trattoria Storica (Cannaregio, 4858 Ponte dei Gesuiti) A lovely, laid-back, local place with a moderate fixed-price menu, or not. Off the beaten path, but walkable from Rialto/San Marco. Rome: Da Benito (Via dei Falegnami, 14) A hole-in-the wall with fabulous food, very friendly service and good prices. A real gem.

      1. Search this Italy board for my post entitled "Florence report December 2007" and you will have several places to choose from. The one restaurant I would also recommend but did not include in that report is Sostanza and if you go, try both the grilled bistecca fiorentina and the pollo in burro (chicken breasts in an incredibly good butter sauce).
        Your 14 year old kids would probably also enjoy I Latini because of its atmosphere and noise; I don't recommend it for the food because there are better places to eat in Florence, but sitting at a long table with lots of other people (many tourists) and eating your fill of food may be most appealing to the kids. They have only 2 seatings each night, so you have to reserve and get there 20 minutes early to stand outsided and wait until they open the doors for the seating.
        From the standpoint of quality/quantity of food and very reasonable price, I recommend Teatro del Sale for lunch (5 euros per person to join the club, 20 euros for lunch), which is a single seating and is self-serve from a buffet table. Read about it in my post. Dinner there is 10 euros per person more, but it includes a show on the stage after dinner ends.

        1. Had to chime in about Trattoria Storica. Our first visit there we called it the place where the truckdrivers eat. Of course there ain't no truckdrivers in Venice, but you get the picture. I'd have to say it's one of the most "genuine" places in La Serenissima. It is out of the way, but, on the other hand, it's just south of the Gesuiti church, right across the bridge on the left. It's packed at lunchtime, but there are rooms and rooms going into the back. There are a few tables out front under an awning. If you're up for it ask for sgroppino - the owner made us the best one in Venice.

          7 Replies
          1. re: kenman

            We heard it's popular among Gondoliers ... guess that's kind of like a truckdriver!

            1. re: chezfredo

              Thank you for the suggestions guys! We'll definitely go to some of these and report back when we get home.

              1. re: cgolf

                Your family will be welcome everywhere in Italy. The hardest part will be finding a restaurant in Venice for your wife who doesn't eat seafood.

                Also, with the weak dollar, dining in Venice is going to be very expensive. Sorry! You need to know. I don't know how people in your family feel about pizza for dinner, but Italian families think it's quite appropriate. You might look for current recommendations for pizzerie in Venezia.

                If you are going to be near the Vatican around mealtimes, I also gave this recomendation in another thread: Sor'Eva in the Piazza delle Rovere. Easy to find on a map. Follow the Tiber to the left of St Peter's. It's within walking distance. Family run, family friendly, good food, spacious seating and quite moderate prices.

                1. re: summerUWS2008

                  summer, I've got to respectfully disagree - it is not going to be hard for the OP's wife to eat in Venice. Most every restaurant has meat and non-seafood pasta dishes on the menu and there are several excellent restaurants that don't even offer much seafood.

                  It is also possible to eat pretty reasonably. Pizza is a great way to do this, but there are also restaurants like La Zucca and da Alberto, to name a few - moderately priced places that have dishes for everyone - even those who don't eat seafood....

                  1. re: Shannon

                    It can also be said of Liguria that most every restaurant has meat on the menu, but recommendations need to be more specific about which restaurants serve meat dishes as well prepared as their non-meat dishes. And sometimes there is only one meat dish on the menu. Other than eating liver in Venezia, I've stayed with seafood, so can't attest to whether the problem exists there as it does in Liguria -- but specific recommendations for "excellent" restaurants with well prepared meat dishes or a minority of seafood dishes are no doubt welcome.

                    On a slightly different topic, I've only seen the changing menus for La Zucca (and think I would enjoy it because I like vegetables!), but my impression was that they generally offer only one meat dish on their menu on any given evening (which varies), and otherwise the limited number of dishes they offer are all vegetarian. I had the impression people go there for the inventivness of the changing limited menu. It's possible that i got the wrong impression from looking at its website, and that the actual choices are more extensive.

                    The good thing is that most visitors to Venice or most any place in Europe only need to figure out about 6 to 8 meals in any given location, so if they find the regional cuisine limited, there are usually ways around it. (If they're staying longer, it's often because the already know they like the regional cuisine, or the place so much, in spite of it.)

                    1. re: summerUWS2008

                      I have not eaten at La Zucca in a couple of years but the times that I've been there, there are usually 4 or 5 meat courses as secondi on the left side of the menu but they do not serve any seafood. The right side of the menu is all dedicated to varies vegetable preparations.

                      1. re: PBSF

                        Thanks! I had only seen what they posted on the web, so really got the wrong impression.

          2. La Bitta is a great restaurant in Venice that Does not serve any meat....I t on calle need reservations as it is small...

            1 Reply
            1. re: jmohr

              La Bitta is a non-seafood restaurant. It DOES serve meat. Maybe that is what you meant.