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Make our Vacation Great: Tuscany/Umbria (Oriveto), Florence, Como/Tremezzo, Milan

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Gabatta Sep 29, 2009 08:31 PM

We have received excellent recommendations for dining in the past which have made our vacations extra special. We will be visiting Italy in early October (my wife’s first visit), and will be fasting this coming week, so we can enjoy everything our destinations have to offer. We love all kinds of food, particularly anything which is fresh and in season. We try to eat healthy, however are happy to indulge on vacation. At least one great seafood meal would be ideal. Our destinations are as follows

1 – Staying near Allerona, Orvieto in at I Casali di Monticchio
We have heard the restaurant at this hotel is outstanding, so we will be taking dinner there one evening for sure. We will have a car, and are planning to explore a bit. Are there any suggestions for great restaurants or other food experiences which are worth exploring including festivals or feasts this time of year (Oct 8-12)? I know tartufi season is almost here. Any suggestions for restaurants which feature mushrooms or truffles? What about any wine experiences?

2 – Florence
We are staying right in Florence for 3 nights. There are some great threads and suggestions on here which we are considering (il Pizzaiolo; Trattoria Sostanza). Both dinner and lunch recommendations are appreciated, as well as the best gelato.

3 – Lake Como/Bellagio/Tremezzo
We are staying in Tremezzo. We have received multiple recs for Al Valuu and Albergo Silvio. In addition we read about La Fagurida san Santo Stefano on these boards. Any thoughts on these places. Where else should we be looking. What about Il Gatto Nero? It seems fairly hyped up. It looks to be closer to Como that Tremezzo. We are taking a train from Florence to Como and then a car transfer to Tremezzo. It is worth a stop here for dinner.

4 – Milan
One night only before flying home. Help us end the trip with a memorable meal.

Thanks in advance for any and all suggections.

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    DaleJ RE: Gabatta Sep 30, 2009 07:36 AM

    I'll give you my usual reply regarding Orvieto. My favorite restaurant in all of Italy is I Sette Consoli in Orvieto Alto. Great lunches under the tent in good weather and perfect tasting menu dinners with wine pairings. Bring money.

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      gourmetinflorence RE: Gabatta Sep 30, 2009 03:02 PM

      In Florence great gelaterie are Grom - via delle Oche, Gelateria di Nervi -Via dei Neri, Vivoli - Isole delle Stinche, Carapina - on Piazza Gugliemo Oberdan.

      4 Replies
      1. re: gourmetinflorence
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        Gabatta RE: gourmetinflorence Oct 2, 2009 06:59 AM

        We have received a few recs for Grom will definitely check that one out. Any dinner spots in Florence you would suggest?

        1. re: Gabatta
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          ms. chow RE: Gabatta Oct 2, 2009 07:06 AM

          Check out this thread. I did not write about Grom, but we were there almost everyday either during the day or at night.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/623044

          1. re: ms. chow
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            Gabatta RE: ms. chow Oct 2, 2009 10:50 AM

            Osteria Tornabuoni looks excellent. I think you may have just filled our one open dinner slot in Florence. Thanks!

            Still working on Tremezzo/Como and Milan. Thanks all.

          2. re: Gabatta
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            intrepid RE: Gabatta Oct 2, 2009 04:41 PM

            in florence eat dinner at zibibbo

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          Gabatta RE: Gabatta Oct 5, 2009 04:08 PM

          Any experiences at Joia in Milan or la Giostra in Florence? Both were recommended by a colleague.

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            olive_surprise RE: Gabatta Oct 7, 2009 09:35 AM

            Hi, we were in Bellagio three weeks ago. We headed up to the punta, away from the main streets - right at the top of the tip, to http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant... - and it was good. Very good.

            Just for lunch, with spaghetti alla bottarga for me, and perch with fried potatoes for him. The big draw here, is the view - you won't be back-to-back with other people, or facing a wall or a street - you look right up the lake, and you can peer into super-clear, fish-filled water. Some photos of the area here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vicg/391...

            NB - the road up the east of Lake Como is far windier and slow than the one up the west, as you drive from Como to Bellagio.

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              badgerinitaly RE: Gabatta Oct 11, 2009 10:35 AM

              My current favorite lunch spot is I Riffaioli - http://www.osteriairiffaioli.it/ - the owner, Sylvio, clearly loves his slow food craft, and wants his guests to savor the experience. My most recent visit (about 3 weeks ago) I had grilled octopus - yum! The panna cotta is also great.

              It is only open for lunch, Mon-Sat, and evenings for larger reserved groups.

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                SeeDee RE: Gabatta Oct 14, 2009 11:19 AM

                Two places in Milan, not for big food, but solid with a good number of local clientele. Bebel's Ristorante, Via San Marco or Antica Trattoria della Pesa, via Pasubio. More suited to a wind-down evening at the end of your trip though; the city should not be lacking in alternative places if you want to melt down your credit card before you return home.
                La Punta in Bellagio is an okay place to eat but you need to have favourable weather to make the visit worthwhile (the view is the thing).
                In Florence, try a light lunch at Pitti Gola wine bar, across the street from the Pitti Palace, they have a great selection of wine by the glass.

                1. erica RE: Gabatta Oct 14, 2009 11:28 AM

                  I would enthusiastically recommend La Fagurida, as long as you know that they serve no fish and no pasta. Their polenta is life changing.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: erica
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                    DavidT RE: erica Oct 14, 2009 04:53 PM

                    Sorry to be a grouch, but in this and other posts, PLEASE note the cities in which the restaurants you are recommending are located. Thanks!

                    1. re: DavidT
                      erica RE: DavidT Oct 15, 2009 02:24 PM

                      Good point, David. La Fagurida is in Rogaro, a hamlet adjacent to Tremezzo on the western shore of Lake Como.

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