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My 2 sisters and I are planning a 7 night (I know - too short) trip to Italy in April 2010- Florence and Rome - we'd love to add a coastal town but that's probably too ambitious?)... we are excited about art & architecture, museums, shopping and the FOOD! Any restaurant recommendations/travel tips would be really appreciated..thanks!

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  1. General tip: I found that finding good meals spontaneously in Rome quite difficult EXCEPT for in the Trastevere district. At night there's a great mix of young locals and tourists there and solid meals are easy to find as are fun bars. When we go again the wife and I plan to stay in Trastevere.


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    1. There have been literally hundreds of posts here about eating in those two cities..I suggest you do a search and then come back with more specific questions. Give an idea of your budget, too.

      1. Hi folks,

        Sorry to interrupt, but just a reminder to please keep the focus here on specific chow recommendations.

        We unfortunately had to delete a bunch of posts from this thread due to their focus on architecture, or lack of specific chow recs.

        Again, sorry for the interruption, and please carry on!

        8 Replies
        1. re: The Chowhound Team

          Well, my sisters and I have decided to stick with spending the week just in Florence. What follows are the restaurants I found researching older chowhound boards...
          -Il Pizzaiuolo
          Sant'Agostino 23
          Trattoria Quattro Leoni
          Fuori Porta
          La Casalinga
          Borgo Antica
          Il Rufrillo
          Cantinetta dei Verranzzano
          Teatro del Sale
          Price isn't a huge issue; we are all in agreement that Italian food is one of the big reasons we are going! Thanks for any feedback on this list or other suggestions!

          1. re: mkdonovan

            Sant'Agostino 23 is a great little place. There's a good mix of tourist and local customers. it is on the other side of the river, so there is a little more peace and quiet. Food is good. The menu has specific non-Italian items like waldorf salad. Don't be alarmed though. Just get any Italian dishes and you won't be disappointed. I posted a short writeup about it on this board earlier in the spring.

            1. re: mkdonovan

              Interesting that Sostanza is not part of your list. Regardless, as noted, there are endless lists and posts that discuss many of the places you've mentioned in detail.

              1. re: Joe H

                Joe, your reviews on Venice restaurants are incredible, thank you! I'm visiting Italy for the very time 10/9-10/17. Rome, Venice & Como. The only reservation I made so far was Fortuny for my husband's birthday and chose it mostly for it's special setting. The two nights prior in Venice I'd like to dine at Il Ridotto and Alle Testiere (based on your reviews). Should I call them directly for reservations or can I trust our hotel to make them for us? My Italian is almost null. In Rome we'll be trying Hostaria dell Orso (if we get a table). Can you make a recommendation in Como or Bellagio?

                1. re: dreametcalf

                  osterialletestiere@yahoo.it is the e-mail for Luca who along with his partner own Alle Testiere. He speaks six languages fluently including English. You should e-mail him immediately for the reservation. There are only 24 seats.
                  Il Ridotto's e-mail address is: info@hoteltiepolo.com They also speak perfect English.

                  Thanks for the nice words. Much appreciated!! And, have a great trip!

                  No experience for dining in Como or Bellagio although in Verona, my favorite restaurant in Italy may be Osteria La Fontanina which is also the most romantic restaurant I have found anywhere. Literally this is a candle lit room which is a temple to wine. Look closely at the photos on the website-they were lit artificially to show the room. The actual light is from candles. It also has a Michelin star. http://www.ristorantelafontanina.com/

                  1. re: dreametcalf

                    2 places in Bellagio, depending on your budget. High end, Le Mistral in the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni. Moderate, with superb food and a magnificent view and fish that the owners catch in the lake, Albergo Silvio.

                  1. re: mkdonovan

                    Don't know if you went this far back, but you will find a lot of useful info about Florence restaurants in my post "Florence Report - December 2007", especially about Teatro del Sale, which I think anyone interested in an excellent meal should try for wither lunch or dinner. Also recommend Sostanza for its bistecca fiorentina and another excellent dish - petti di pollo in burro (chicken in an extraordinary butter sauce).

                2. Florence is the best--you won't be sorry!! I lived there so I suppose I am a bit biased, but it truly is a wonderful city. On your list both Zaza's and Quattro Leoni popped out for me. Both are wonderful. In particular I LOVED the pear and pecorino ravioli at Quattro Leoni--such a unique flavor! In addition, another great restuarant is La Giostra. For lunch, Mario's Trattoria (right next to Zaza's!) is wonderful--there's always a line out the door. You must make sure to check out Mercato Centrale, its filled with fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, etc. Also a great place to grab a quick lunch.

                  1. Thank you all so much..great suggestions! We are really excited about our trip!