HOME > Chowhound > Italy >
Feb 16, 2009 07:18 AM

Making dinner reservations

I don't suppose there is a website like OPENTABLE for restaurant reservations in Italy?
I'll be there for 3 weeks in May-specifically Tuscany, Rome and Piedmont
Any help would be grateful!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. I had mixed success with email reservations for meals and restaurants in Italy last year. Its still a very phone-dependent culture. Even if you have an email confirm, I recommend calling ahead of each visit to make sure they are expecting you.

      11 Replies
      1. re: jen kalb

        On a trip to Italy last year, we made most of our accommodation reservations by websites and e-mails and that worked fine. Subsequently, we requested via e-mail to them that they make restaurant reservations for us and that always worked fine.

        1. re: markabauman

          Last summer we showed up at at least three places where we had confirmed email reservations, and they did not expect us. In a couple other cases, we were requested to reconfirm by phone when we arrived in Italy, which we did. While in other cases, we did not have a problem,. The situation was such that I was persuaded that calling or at least sending a new email close to the date would be advisable.

          Also, many restaurant websites in italy which seem to take reservations dont seem to be fully functional. (maybe they set them up and dont check them)

          1. re: jen kalb

            Jen has spoken, God is in his heaven and all is well with the world.

            1. re: jen kalb

              Actually, we've had the best results by walking by the restaurant in question earlier on the "day of" or the day before, and making the reservation in person.

              1. re: mnosyne

                yes this is a person to person or cellphone dependent country. I just dont think they take computers seriously yet, though there have started to be some pretty good online food discussions. in some localities (such as Parma and Modena)

                1. re: jen kalb

                  How can you make such outrageous and ridiculous generalisations about computing in Italy.

                  1. re: Tuscanlover

                    Do you know Italy at all Jen. It is not a third world country. Fourth biggest economy in Europe!

                    1. re: Tuscanlover

                      Er, Im not generalizing about computing at all- just about what appear to be preferred methods of communication, especially in the hospitality sector, what I have personally seen and experience, including whether the email reservations I try to make stick.

                      Its at least as much a comment on my modern Americanculture (many of prefer the remoteness of email or messaging to calling or dropping in) as Italy's where personal contact and social behavior seems so much more central..

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        Hey, Tuscanlover, back off! Jen's comments were meant to help others who asked for input and you shouldn't chastise her for her serious attempt to make her suggestions. She is not disparaging Italy. Based on my personal reading of many Italian restaurant websites, it's probably fair to say they don't use good translators for their English pages -- perhaps that's another indication that they don't consider the internet as important as others do. Just an observation, not a "ridiculous generalization" about computing in Italy.

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          Jen is ABSOLUTELY right. When I moved to Milan in 2006 it was a nightmare to get hooked up to the internet and that's right in the center of town. I am too much of a sinner to think I could ever even attempt such a thing in the south of Italy or in a more remote part of the country. Options for internet are still pretty limited and expensive. It's getting better but there are third world countries that do a better job of putting their hospitality industry on the net. If you want a reservation you need to call on the phone or drop in. I know this should be about Italian food but here is a link to an article that caught my eye last year.


                          I love Italy but it has a lot of warts when it comes to newfangled inventions like the internets.