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12 Day trip To Italy: Venice, Verona, Florence, Rome, Positano/Sorrento, Capri. Where do I start???

Hello all,

First of all, I should tell you that I have been dreaming of going to Italy ever since I was a little girl of hearing stories from my grandmother. I get goosebumps sometimes just thinking that I am going to be there one month. I am so excited!! I hope to get lost in the streets and find some great oserias/trattorias but also want to have a guide of some great restaurants to try. I dont want over the top fancy but more authentic italian restaurants that have great atmosphere, wine, and...wonderful food.

We have a 12 day trip planned for Italy and visiting the following cities: Venice, verona, florence, rome (drive down to Siena on way), naples (lunch only), positano, sorrento (maybe ravello) and capri.

I need lunch and dinner reccs for all cities. I dont even know where to start. I need the following:

Venice-lunch and dinner 2 each
Verona-a must try for dinner before opera
Florence-lunch and dinner 2 each
Siena- 1 lunch only
Rome-2 lunch and 2 dinner near Patheon/Spanish Steps/Piazza Navona/Coll.
Naples-1 lunch only
Positano/Sorrento/Ravello-lunch and dinner 3 each
Capri-1 lunch and dinner

I have been searching previous posts but still lost. I would hate to ask you guys to repeat yourselves. Please let me know what I should do and thanks for helping me plan my dream trip :)

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  1. With so much traveling, I am not sure you'll have much time to eat. I would search this board for Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples as these cities have been covered extensively. Below is a link to a recent thread on Verona.
    If you have specific questions, I am sure knowledgeable posters will answer them.

    1. Your post raises an ongoing problem. Generally, the folks who regularly post here believe in a less is more philosophy. That is, we largely believe that more time in fewer destinations results in a better experience. So, how do we respond to your post? Do we press you to re-think your plans based on our point of view or do we simply answer your questions. After all, your interest in art, architecture, and history may be such that a frantic dash through Italy may be just what you are looking for.

      Based on my most recent trips to Italy, here are some restaurants for you to consider in Venice, Florence, and Rome. (There has been an excellent and recent thread about Verona.)

      Venice: Vini di Gigio (dinner), Al Mascaron Osteria (lunch)
      Florence: Osteria dei Benci (lunch or dinner), Quattro Leone (lunch or dinner)
      Rome: Fiammetta (lunch or dinner), L'Angoletto (lunch or dinner), La Piazzetta

      Osteria di Benci is located around the corner from an excellent gelateria -- Neri. Other gelaterias in Florence: Grom, Vivoli, Perque No, and Vestri.
      Carrabe, near the Accademia, is better known for its wonderful Sicilian lemon granita than for its gelato.

      If I were in your situation, I would travel no further south than Rome in a twelve-day trip. Nevertheless, I do have recent recommendations for restaurants in Naples and on the Amalfi coast. If you want this information, just check out my trip reports for those two destinations.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Indy 67

        To answer your question or concern, I am covering a lot of ground in 12 days. I like to think of it as a taste of Italy. Spending mostly 1 1/2 - 3 days in the cities. Some more time than others. I understand how you may think that this is rushing but for my first trip I would like to see alot and then come back to spend more time in the cities where I loved the most. I appreciate your rest. reccomendations and will check out all of your recc. places and the recent post on Verona.

        1. re: Indy 67

          Indy 67 this is excellent advice that you are giving. I have travelled heavily to Italy for almost thirty years, annually with trips that involve six or seven cities in six or seven days all over the country (and then into another country). Every night a different hotel, every night arriving often at 8 or 9 in the evening and leaving early the next morning. When I first started doing this I was obsessed with trying to survive and learn my way around. Without speak Italian, with the absolute necessity of being on time for a business meeting I had no room for an error. In short, I hated the trips.

          Pressure. The pressure of time, of having to move on, all while trying to find your way around. Today, it is different for me. I drive everywhere without a map; I've probably been on almost every mile of autostrada in the country. When my wife and I return for an annual vacation it is different: we stay in the same hotel for three or four nights or longer before moving on. Or we use a base to explore from.

          I must also add that your itinerary is really interesting: why are you skipping the area around Lake Como? Or Bolzano? These are the two most beautiful parts of Italy. But they are typically not as heavily travelled by Americans so they are not written us as frequently. I would use Verona as a base with one day to Como, another to Bolzano, another Asola and Basseno in Grappa. I agree: go no further south than Rome. At least on this trip.

          You are going to spend all of your time trying to find your way around without the opportunity of acquiring any familiarity or comfort with an area. You are also not going to see much of an area either. This is not a cruise ship where you are dropped at a port and you can take cabs, a bus or walk and explore. You have to get from one city to another. Yourself.

          Still, if you absolutely insist on doing this, at least consider for Venice: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/605395
          Verona: Osteria La Fontanina is a Michelin starred temple to wine that is one of the most unique restaurants in all of the country. It is rearely mentioned on boards or travel books because few Americans have yet discovered it-it is the far side of the river.
          Florence: Sostanza (for bisteca Fiorentina), Il PIzzaiola, Cibreo
          Rome: Baffeto (great Roman crust pizza), Agate y Romeo for a blowout-Michelin star.

          By the way, I would suggest an alternative to the structure of your trip: only have half of your itinerary planned. Leave the other half totally up in the air. My wife and I often do this for several days. Literally, we will leave in a rental car and drive and get lost. Literally lost. Eventually, we'll find some place that is interesting and we'll find a place for the night. Or two nights. Even three on occasion. But we also have the self confidence to be able to do this and this kind of self confidence usually only comes from a level of familiarity with independent travel. I apologize for my comments because I don't know your values but the area running north from Verona is truly extraordinary. Exquisitely beautiful. If you limited yourself to Rome, Florence and then Venice with nights in each of them for two or three nights and then added another three or four nights running north from Verona (which is only 90 minutes west of Venice). I'm also suggesting discovering smaller towns such as I noted above along with Soave and the area in the Italian Alps.

          Italy is our favorite country on earth. We've been going-for pleasure, not for business-for a long, long time. We still can't get enough of it. Your trip just reminds me of my business trips. They are different.

          Good luck.

          1. re: Joe H

            Garda is beautiful too, except maybe the flat eastern part and closer geographically to the zone you are suggesting, Joe. Especially for a trip in the summertime, the north is going to be a lot more appealing than Campania.

        2. Hi nytransplant:
          I agree with the previous posters that this is an overly ambitious itinerary given your interest in 'getting lost in the streets' and making your own discoveries. I understand the motivation to see it all on your first exciting trip, but while you may be able to get a taste of Italy you will have no time to digest it.

          Check out www.slowtrav.com for another approach. Since you are imagining yourself in Italy again in the future, why not 'see' less and 'be' more. I think that you will get much more out of your holiday and will have time to really enjoy those meals.

          And now a recommendation for you: go for cicchetti (pre-dinner drink and snacks) in Venice at Al Portego, Calle della Malvasia.

          Happy travels.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sinjawns

            Thanks for your wonderful suggestions :)

          2. In Rome, go for the lunch 'buffet' at either Casa Bleve or Obika. They are on the expensive side. 25 euro for Casa Bleve, and 22 for Obika. I think this is an excellent way to immerse yourself. Casa Bleve is in this wonderful palazzo, and you can buy wines to take home. The food is excellent and i wish i can have lunch this way every day (leisurely 2 hour lunch, glass of wine or bubbly).

            3 Replies
            1. re: ms. chow

              I really liked the Sunday brunch at Obika too-- mozza madness.

              1. re: sinjawns

                is this the place i heard of with the mozzerella bar? My friend told me about a place that was in Food & Wine mag. What area is Casa Bleve?

                1. re: nytransplant

                  Yes Obika is the mozzarella bar. There is one in NYC i heard. Casa Bleve is a few streets off Piazza Navona.

            2. verona- tre marchetti before opera

              1. I have done your type of trip several times....you may not remember everything so keep a journal but you'll know where you want to go back to. In naples, eat at La Europeo.....great pizza, pasta, papa & provo and fava, pea and pasta soup. Best meal we ever had in Naples. Also, for just pizza...go to Mateo on 94 Trimbuldi.

                6 Replies
                1. re: ncara

                  thanks for your advice...just made note of all these places :)

                  1. re: ncara

                    i think ncara means di Matteo, at 94 Via Tribunali. We liked the white pizza with rucola and bresaola there better than the margherita - this place offers the best crust we ever have had on a pie..

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      Jen, there was a recent article in which a writer taste-tested pizza in Naples. He dubbed Sorbilla the winner on the basis of the mozzarella cheese. I know he also sampled pizza at da Michele, but I can't remember the other contenders.

                      Did anyone else spot this article?

                        1. re: nytransplant

                          In Florence forget about Quattro Leone (very overrated!) and think about Vini e Vecchi Sapori on the Via Magazzini which is fab and tiny for lunch. Osteria de Benci is great for dinner - delicious food and a great atmosphere. Gelateria de Neri and Vivoli are great too. Or alternatively try il Fuoro Porta just outside the City walls for a lunch, and there is another really good restaurant in San Niccolo which is practically unknown to non Florentines. In Siena, Antica Trattoria Papei is a must in the Piazza del Mercato and the Papadelle con Cinghiale is the thing to try. In Rome - Armando e Pantheon is excellent, I love Il Campane but that is often pooh pooed on these boards.

                          One point, however you do have a very tight itinerary, but hope you get the chance to really appreciate Italy but most important of all I hope that you have the loveliest time.

                        2. re: Indy 67

                          Its Sorbillo, and it also has very good pie. Im hardly a Naples expert - in naples we tried only these two pizzerie, Sorbillo and di matteo. Both were excellent - I went for white pies at both and was very happy. Id be interested in knowing whether the mozz that was praised was bufala or fior di latte - I prefer the latter in general but especially on pizza.

                    2. Capri, Italy - May 2009

                      Via Fuorlovado, 18-22
                      Just because Mariah Carey’s photo is on the wall (along with many other celebs), don’t be fearful. Despite the celebrity scene that turns some foodies off, this restaurant is mmm mmm good and definitely one not to miss when you are in Capri. It would be a fun one to save for your last night. They have amazing pizza with a super thin crust that you must have. We had this amazing salad with warm porcini mushrooms over Parmesan and arugula. If it’s someone’s birthday, get ready for the lights out Disco party. Everyone celebrates. It’s a festive ambiance, with great food and an extensive wine list. As with the rest of Capri, it's not cheap.

                      1. Hi, Stephanie-

                        In Venice our favorite (and the favorite of our Venetian friends) is Antico Dolo, which is near the Rialto and Fish Market on Calle Ruga Vecchia in San Polo. Trust me - order the risotto di seppie (for two only) or pasta al seppie - it's made with black cuttlefish ink, but you will be addicted to it immediately. It's a teeny place, but they somehow always find room for you, even if they have to bring out a table and stick you next to the door in the entranceway! Close by that is Osteria Sora al Ponte, which is one of the best checcetti (small plates) restaurants in Venice. Great for an outstanding, cheap lunch or a great casual dinner - just be aware that it's very popular with locals, too, and fills up fast. If you go late, you'll probably end up meeting some of the fishermen who work the Market in the early AM who stop in for a quick drink. It's one of our regular places. Rosa Rossa is on Calle della Mandola, and it's good for lunch. Never been there for dinner, but our Venetian friends suggested it to us and they were right. For gelato, Paolin in Campo San Stefano is terrific, and so is Nico on the Fondamenta Zattere. Finally, Da Romano on Burano is probably the best place for lunch in the world I can think of - but again, get there way before two and as early as possible because the tables fill and then you're out of luck. The Black Cat, or Gato Nero on Burano is more of a joint, but fun to go to once.

                        In Florence, we love Nabucco wine bar on Via Aprile 27, just up the street from the B&B we stay in every couple of years. (Relais Grand Tour, if you're looking for a place. We'll be there in September) Between 6 and 10 PM, they offer an antipasti buffet with their wine and our Florentine friends are convinced it's the best wine bar in Florence. For dinner, try Il Latini, which is famous but still wonderful, for lunch, we like a tiny (literal) hole in the wall where you can walk up and grab a sandwich and jelly glass of wine and stand on the street to scarf it down - i Fratelli. You can find it on Via dei Cimatori near the Duomo, but I'm sorry, I don't know the cross streets, I just know how to find it by sight. There's also a good little lunch place on the left just before you get to the Pitti - great soups and fresh salads, and if you're nice, the cashier will treat you to a luscious piece of chocolate. : ) For gelato, Carabe is my personal favorite. The semifreddo is indescribable. My husband prefers Perche No?, which is just around the corner from Carabe, and Vivoli is very famous, though not my favorite. Also for dinner, try Il Cantione - very Florentine and very good. The very best lunch in Florence can be found in the Central Market- just buy from each stall and have a picnic. You can also find street vendors selling tripe sandwiches and salads to go, which sound absolutely disgusting, but I hate organ meat and will eat those sandwiches. It must be Florence.

                        In Rome, we really like Santa Lucia just off the Northern end of Piazza Navona, and there is a great, great gelateria right at that end, as well. Stay away from the reataurants in the Piazza. We eat at home a lot when we're in Rome, so I can't help much there. Tony Geletaria in the Gianocolo is wonderful. Take the #8 tram from Largo Torre Argentina towards the Gianocolo. Once you pass the Trastevere train station, count two stops and get out at the big stop with the Ford dealership on the right. Tony is across the street. Gelato spaghetti, gelato asparagus - yum!

                        In Siena, our favorite place to eat is Osteria la Chiacchera. Eat in the back room at the group/family style tables. You don't order family style, but you meet an incredible group of people every time. The menu is hand-written on brown paper and if you have questions, someone around you can always help. It's true Tuscan hearty food and very, very reasonable. The house wine is a couple of Euro a bottle and so good. Also good in Siena are Osteria le Logge, and Osteria Da Divo. Both are pricier. Be aware that all these places fill up fast, and when they're full, they don't allow you to wait for a table to open - you're just out of luck for that meal. It's like that in a lot of small places in smaller towns.

                        Have a great trip!

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: jmby

                          jmby - That is interesting that you really liked Antico Dolo. We had an absolutely horrible meal there. Because we had a large lunch that day, we ordered two simple fool-proof menu items (or so we thought). My gnocchi that tasted like miniature bricks -- heavy and laden down -- and my husband ordered spaghetti with bolognese that was fine but nothing exceptional.

                          1. re: trappedartist

                            trapped artist, I have no experience with Antico Dolo but it is a Venetian seafood restaurant and these dishes are neither Venetian nor seafood. You took a big risk going against the grain and ordering them, a learning experience I guess in understanding how regional Italy is and obtaining the best meals by finding out what the regional specialties are and what the particular restaurant does well.

                            1. re: jen kalb

                              Wow! I just made a two page list with all of your reccs. I forgot to tell you that we are in Florence on Sunday and Monday and I fear that most of the places you guys recc. may be closed. I have a lot of searching to do tonight! Thanks for all your advice :)

                              1. re: nytransplant

                                nytransplant, I am soooo jealous. We've been wanting to take a trip to Italy for quite some time and hopefully next year that will happen. But I know we'll be in the same situation as yourself, wanting to see/do as much as possible in a short period of time.

                                The restaurants mentioned above all sound wonderful. I do hope you report back for us on how it went, and where you ate.

                                Have a fabulous time!

                                1. re: millygirl

                                  Thanks Millygirl! Its been a dream since i was a little girl and can't believe we are actually leaving in less than two weeks. Thanks for your post and I will report a full post of our trip. I bought a small journal to document it all.

                                  I do have a Naples pizza question for you all...I only have time for one pizza place....so da Michele, Sorbllo or Matteo?? I think I may post this as a eparte question on here since its justabout Naples pizza (please dont get mad at me)

                                  1. re: nytransplant

                                    My husband and I are planning a similar trip for September, with an additional 3 nights at the beginning in Switzerland (fly into Geneva or Zurich). I'll be sure to borrow the restaurant recs from this post, they all sound excellent.

                                    We're considering 3 nights Interlaken, 2 nights Venice, 3 nights Tuscany, 3 nights Rome, 3 nights Amalfi coast, fly out Naples. Like you, it's our first trip and something I've been dreaming about forever. Next time we go we'll probably have kids; we really want to hit the two romantic spots - Venice and Amalfi - while we're still solo. This is against the advice of my frequent traveling folks...and apparently everyone on this board!

                                    I am very curious to hear how your trip goes and if the whirlwind tour of Italy allows you to adequately experience everything. Please, please report back, and have a fantastic trip (I know you will).

                                    1. re: SE_ME

                                      Instead of Interlaken, think about going to Brienz and the Hostellerie Linderhoff. It is the "gourmet" place in a beautiful setting. Check out their website and try and get the "Cheese" room - with a view and balcony. Brienz remains "Swiss", while much of Interlaken has gotten quite tacky.

                                      Don't sell Naples short - it is now my favorite place in all of Italy because it is still like Italy from decades ago. Non-chain, beautiful, rich in treasures and superb food at some of the lowest prices found in Italy.

                                      Lots of street food and might as well see where pizza all began. This is a highly walkable city that dazzles. The tomatoes and buffalo cheese cannot be duplicated anywhere else. And did I mention the desserts? Unlike anywhere else too. Foodies can not do better in italy today than in Naples. Things are still "real" there and you will not get frozen tiramisu, like I started running into in other parts of this country.

                                      1. re: glbtrtr

                                        Thanks glbtrtr. In order to use our frequent flyer miles, we're now flying into Milan and out of Rome....the saved $ allowed us to extend our stay in Italy. But I will save your recs for future reference because we do intend to make it back to Switzerland next year! I do love pizza and our new itnerary affords us some time in Naples

                        2. Stephanie,

                          I found your post on vineries near Verona googling for wine tours in that area and it seems we're trying to do the same thing on the very same day! My boyfriend and I are going to Verona for two days to celebrate my 30th birthday and want to do a wine tour in Valpolicella on Saturday June 27th with a couple of tastings and a lunch for half a day up to a whole day. But, it's horribly expensive. Maybe we can bring the costs down by going together if we find a reasonably priced tour?!


                          1. As an adopted Positanese, I can give you several suggestions in the area. You can't go wrong with Saraceno D'Oro. The sisters who run the place Marilu and Silvia are two of the most charming restaurantuers your will ever meet and they will go out of their way to make you happy. The food is delicious and the pizza is to die for. When I am in Positano, I carry out their pizza at least 3 times a week. All of their offerings are wonderful, most anything on the menu is a safe bet. Via Pasitea runs right down the middle of the restaurant, which is rather amusing. Another place not to be missed is Da Vincenzo, just up the hill a bit. Its always a party atmosphere and the offerings are always fresh and beautifully prepared. The house white is a bit fizzy, but that adds to the charm. The main thing is to get away from the tourist fare down in the main square. Chez Black , Cambusa and Buca di Bacco are all good, but definitely geared for tourists. If you want a real local expeirience, try Il Grottino Azzurro up by the Bar Internazionale. Just get whatever is on special that day, they won't steer you astray. The pity with Positano is that most tourists don't have the stamina to explore any farther than Piazza Mulini, and miss out on 75% of what that amazing city has to offer.

                            Definitely add Ravello to your list. I love Positano, but for sheer beauty, Ravello will not disappoint. The best place in my opinion is Da Salvatore. The food is great and the view spectacular. Cumpa Cosima is also very good, but really no view, and after all, thats what you go to Ravello for. Bring some treats for the kittens that scamper around the place.
                            Depending on when you go, you may not want to bother with Capri. During high season and even in spring and fall its really not worth the premium prices you will pay and the crowds you have to put up with. And you are a slave to the ferry schedule which doesn't give you adequate time to go anywhere in Capri but the on the tourist track, being part of the herd. Spend another day in Positano, maybe go up to Montepertuso. Il Ritrovo is an amazing place to eat there. Look for the long phallic squashes hanging from the walls.
                            their mussels are always good.

                            In Sorrento, a reliable place is La Lanterna. Totally worth it if you take the time to wander around inside and look at the bits of old Roman floor under the restaurant floor.
                            In Napoli, just wander around the city before lunch and follow the throngs of business people into whatever pizzaria they go into. So many good ones!

                            Enjoy, and next time, don't schedule yourselves so tightly. One of the biggest charms of Italy is indulging in a little dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing!

                            1. Start with the SlowFoods guide book for Italy - "Osterie et Locande d'Italia." (In English)

                              This is a superb basic for your journey to all the places you mention. Plus a really exensive glossary of all the local terms you will run into in restaurants that may well not have a "english menu". Check out amazon or the SlowFoods website for this pricey, but well worth it guide book.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: glbtrtr

                                I am still searching for the wine tour as it is very expensive..the bigger problem we will have is that alot of wineries are closed on saturday. i found a tour with a guide that will do it for 300 E per couple. We are going to enoteca della valpolicella for lunch (that would be separate). Email me if you have any questions at

                                To all.....thanks for the advice. I am sitting home tonight and my goal is reservations! I so appreciate every single one of your posts!

                                1. re: nytransplant

                                  with all due respect 300E sounds like a real ripoff. You could buy an awful lot of wine for that much $ - I wonder, have you asked the enoteca if they can recommend some vineyards you can visit?>

                                  1. re: nytransplant

                                    SlowFoods has a separate publication just for wines of Italy. Check out their website and use the link posted in the SlowFoods thread here.

                                    1. re: nytransplant

                                      I'm sorry but I find this incredible. It is NOT this complicated. Send an e-mail to the winery direct and let them know that you are passionate about their wine and would really appreciate the opportunity to stop by and possibly have a brief tour. Dal Forno, Quintarelli-all of them will be receptive if you approach them correctly. Try Tenuta Chicherri or Tenuta Sant Antonio both of which have superb Valpolicella and excellent Amarone.

                                      For the most part Americans lack the experience with wineries in the Valpolicella or even familiarity with them and pay an intermediary for introductions and tours. All of this can be done direct. Most of the wineries have someone who speaks perfect English. If they are approached respectfully and with a bit of passion they will probably be happy to host you. Also, mention that you would like to buy some of their wine if you are able. I've travelled heavily in this area for almost thirty years and have never had a problem about visiting a winery. ANY winery.

                                      If you are looking for Valpolicella or Amarone, for me, you are asking to drink the finest wine in the world if you pick the right label. Take the $300 and buy four bottles of '03 Dal Forno Valpolicella or five bottles of '03 Sergio Zenato Amarone.

                                      Failing everything else, go to Soave (directly off the Autostrada between Vicenza and Verona and an absolutely beautiful walled town) and visit Cantina di Soave inside the walls. This is probably EXACTLY what you are looking for and will blow away almost any other winery you have been to anywhere. CANTINA DI SOAVE.

                                      I have never paid a penny to anyone for a wine tour in Italy and cannot imagine doing it.

                                      1. re: Joe H

                                        Joe is 100% correct.

                                        For Italy, we've only done the wine tour bit in Montalcino and Montepulciano, but our experience was the same. We emailed the wineries directly in advance and requested a visit. The wineries were so incredibly responsive. We felt like we were guests in their family’s home, as was often the case. We never once had that “Vegas in Napa” experience. It was very intimate. They were so proud to share the wines they made with us. We never paid a dime for a wine tour. Our biggest dilemma was keeping our wine purchasing down to the allowed shipping limits.

                                        We found many wine shops would ship for us when we asked. Also, I always carry a few wineskins (bubble wrapped lined sealed plastic bag in case the wine ever breaks) whenever I travel abroad so I can bring back a few bottles with ease in my suitcase. Check to see the custom rules and limitations on how much you are allowed to bring back.

                                        Save the $300 to spend on the wine. 2004 Brunellos had just arrived in stores when we were in Venice last month. 2004 was a rock star year in Italy. You can pick up some gorgeous ones with WS ratings of 94, 95, 96… easily and you know they haven’t been stored improperly because they were just being stocked on the shelves.

                                        1. re: ChristineBerenger

                                          The $300 inlcudes a car, driver, fees at wineries for 6 hours. I want to be able to sample the wines and drive, have the luxury to know where I am going. Dont want the hassle of renting a car too. Only here for one day. To me its worth the money.

                                          1. re: nytransplant

                                            I am not aware of a fee at any winery in the Veneto including Dal Forno. You mentioned above that it was E 300 not $300. At the current rate of exchange (i.e. 1.405 which is 1.44 on your credit card you are looking at US $432.00 to do this).

                                            nytransplant, let me ask a question: with all these stops in so few days, aren't you renting a car and doing this as a driving trip? If not how are you travelling to the eight different cities you are going to? Carrying a great deal of luggage on a train for one or two stops is one thing; carrying this on for eight stops are another matter. If you are considering buying wine and having it shipped back to the U. S. I would NEVER (repeat NEVER) do this in the summer. The heat may ruin it. You are going to be limited to carrying the wine you purchase and, at a bit over 3 pounds per bottle, this is going to become to move around. If you do not plan on buying wine I would suggest that you WILL end up buying some. There is something very special about bring back a few bottles of wine to open here, remembering how they tasted on your trip. But it is going to get heavy in your luggage.

                                            1. re: Joe H

                                              It took us a month+ to get our case of Brunellos via mail from Italy when we did that a few years ago (and we shipped it in early spring). Joe is correct. If it's shipped in the fall of spring, that would be one thing, but now... the heat will destroy the wine. If you do end up buying wine (because you will), go for a few bottles of the amazing stuff (since you'll be limited) and pack in your suitcase. However, if you are hitting 8 stops by train, a few extra pounds of luggage would be more than a nuisance for me (or anyone for that matter).

                                              Also, I get what you are talking about with the drinking and driving bit, but tasting in Italy is not a drunk fest like it seems to be with many hitting U.S. wineries. You won't see the limos rolling up with trashed people chugging down glasses of wine. In my many tasting experiences in Europe, it's truly about tasting. I really think you would be fine with a rental car and would find it more preferable (come and go at your own leisure).

                                              1. re: ChristineBerenger

                                                New airline luggage restrictions make it punitive to add heavy bottles of liquids to your checked baggage. Shop your airline carefully to see who still gives you the best baggage options. AirFrance still allows two checked bags up to 50 pounds each for 100 pound total. Maybe they know something about still making it easy to export heavy bottles of wine. Other airlines are far more restrictive for even an ounce over 50 pounds. And if you do any domestic flying while you are there, your baggage limits are severely limited. I quote for international flights only. Save your wine buying for Peck's in Milan right before you leave.

                                                1. re: glbtrtr

                                                  Don't miss Three Sisters in Positano. I am heading there for my annual pilgrimage in September. Great views and great food. Enjoy your trip.

                                  2. My girlfriend and I just got back from a 10 day trip to Venice, Padua, Florence, Cortona, Sienna and Rome. There are many amazing places we tried in all of these places, including Il Rodotto, Le Calandre, Cibreo and Rosicoli, just to name a few. Please check out my blog at www.chadsworld.wordpress.com for details, pictures, menus, etc. And have FUN!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: cgutstein

                                      Wow, what a foodie journey. I can see $$$$ all over it, but what a once in a lifetime thrill to have been able to dine so opulently. Great photos and care in telling us the whole story with the menus too. Sometimes just the sharing is almost as good as being their ourselves. Thank you for sharing your obvious delight with this adventure. And how wonderful to see human scaled portion sizes of these delicious items so the whole range of the dining experience can be savored, enjoyed and satiated.

                                    2. If you're looking for "more authentic Italian restaurants," you might want to consider one of the guidelines I use for choosing a restaurant in a foreign city: try to avoid any restaurant that offers you an English version of their menu.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                        That is a good rule of thumb, particularly in tourist heavy areas. However, in cosmopolitan cities like Rome, i would also suggest that you don't just go by that rule. On my recent trip this spring, i was at a number of really great places where the menu is in English. Ditirambo, for example, which is my favorite place in Rome, the menu comes standard in Italian, French, and English. At Antico Arco, a very good restaurant offering modern Italian cuisine, we got the English menu.

                                        1. re: CindyJ

                                          i agree with you generally Cindy, but I am finding that increasingly restaurants that see any tourists at all may have english translations on their menu. A separate english menu or the classic 4-language menu for tourists get outo fo there!

                                          I do miss the daily handwritten and hard to read menus, mostly replaced by word processed versions now.

                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                            Hello all,
                                            To answer some questions, we flew into Venice, two days later took a train to verona, then train to florence, then drove to rome, stored car for rome, then drove to positano (stopped in naples on way down) then returned car and took ferry to capri. Alot of people mentioned that they said I was rished but we didnt feel this at all!! We had a trip of a lifetime! I will mention our fav restaurants in each city....

                                            Venice-Alle Testerie for dinner and checceti at Vini Vadova
                                            Verona-we went with a private wine tour for $300. well worth it! we stopped at campagnolia (it was closed to the owner gave us a personal tour), villa giona (a beautiful estate that we tasted allegrini with the gracious host Paolo) and then lunch at Enoteca della Valpolicella. Lunch was amazing there!!! Dinner at Tre Marchetti was ok but nothing wonderful. Service was very rushed.
                                            Florence-Pizza at la bussola and dinner at parione.
                                            Roma-entoca di corsi for great lunch, da sergio for dinner
                                            Positano-lunch tre sorelle, dinner brunos, champagne bar at le sirenuse.
                                            Capri-great antipasti bar at paolino.

                                            Def our fav spots were venice, siena and positano. Glad we got to see all those cities but now know where we want to focus on our next trip. Thanks for all of your advice!!!!

                                            1. re: nytransplant

                                              forgot to say that we also went to Villa Monteleone on our tour. Michaelangelo organzied it all and it was great. The driver, Ms. Lorenza, picked us up at train station, dropped us off to hotel to check in and drop of bags...then off to wineries. We didnt hav rto worry about drinking/driving and also having the comfort relaxing and not getting lost! We went to three wineries and had a fabulous lunch at Enoteca dell Valpolicella. Great idea!!! I booked it through www.veronisima.com

                                        2. I too am going to italy for 12 days but only doing rome florence and venice. We are having some hard times finding a good place to stay thats not super expensive... can anyone recommend a good place in a fun area for two 25 year olds who love pasta!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: sommerintheville

                                            You should ask that at slowtrav.com. This board is only for food.

                                            1. re: mbfant

                                              The SlowFoods guide for Italy includes both small hotels as well as restaurants: Osterie e Locanda d'Italia.

                                          2. hi Stephanie
                                            in Capri dinner at Terrazza Brunella
                                            in Naples it is hard to tell: do you prefere a restaurant, trattoria or pizzeria????

                                            1. It's me again:
                                              if you want to eat a pizza in the historical centre you can choose between di matteo, sorbillo (the old one) or i decumani (my favourite)
                                              if you prefere a trattoria in the same area cantina di via sapienza
                                              if you want a good restaurant cantinella at the lungomare or la scialuppa by castel ovo, cicciotto in marecharo.
                                              for other suggestions you can read the report I posted Art and Food in the Bay of Naples
                                              have fun in Italy!

                                              1. Hi NYtransplant:
                                                Thanks for your ideas and follow up comments.
                                                I'm a fellow New Yorker and planning an Italy trip and overwhelmed with the possibilities of places to go.
                                                Do you have an itinerary or list on the places you stayed and ate by chance? I would love to get a copy is possible?