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Need Food Recommendations for Italy Trip

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Two couples celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversaries in Italy in late July through mid August. (Yes, we know it will be hot, but my wife teaches, so we are limited as to when we can travel – and we live in Tampa, Florida so we’re used to heat and humidity. We also know our itinerary is ambitious, but we’re high energy types and are locked in as to dates, so we’ll just have to keep moving. We can rest when we get home!) We’re experienced and highly accomplished eaters, but virgins re: Italy. I’m the “foodie” of the group – tasked with ensuring we have great meals. We’re adventuresome diners, willing to splurge when necessary, but wanting good value as well; we would like to avoid tourist traps and eat more like locals (although none of us speak Italian).

Here’s our itinerary, with the meals we need to plan for each city:

Rome: Sun. – Lunch near Piazza del Popolo
Dinner near Borghese Gallery, Spanish Steps, Pantheon or wherever

Mon. – Lunch near Vatican
Dinner wherever

Tue. – Lunch near Coliseum
Dinner wherever

Florence: Wed. and Thu. – Lunches and Dinners

Venice: Fri. and Sat. – Lunches and Dinners

Tuscany: Sun., Mon., Tue. – we’re staying approx. 50 km SW of Florence; we plan to
research and explore, but suggestions are welcome

Milan: Fri. and Sat. – Lunches and Dinners

Cinque Terre (staying in Vernazza): Sun. and Mon. – Lunches and Dinners

We have a couple days planned for Switzerland between our Tuscany and Milan stays (in case you noticed the missing days).

I’ve been quite impressed by the thoughtful responses on this forum to requests such as mine, so I’ll thank you in advance for any guidance you can offer. Of course we also would like your input on the best places for gelato, pizza, porchetta sandwiches, local pasta and other food specialties. Again, thank you.

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  1. Im not commenting on how you are pingponging around the map, but I am wondering when and how you are travelling - will there be any possibility that you will need or want meal stops in between? The way your itinerary is set up it looks like you will be travelling every other morning, arriving in destination by lunchtime.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      We're taking morning trains between major cities, staying 2 or 3 days in each city. So we'll be looking for a lunch upon arrival, dinner that night and lunches and dinners the following day(s).

      1. re: Gator Tom

        For Sunday lunch in rome, you may want to consider La Campana, Da Cesare (across the river in Prati) or maybe even L'Ortica, a Neapolitan up in the northern Flamnia districtt. I have been wanting to visit that last for years. You may not want much dinner after a leisurely Sunday meal.

        In Florence, I recommend da Mario for a fairly quick but very good Tuscan lunch. There are many other reccs on this Board for other possibilities.
        In fact, I recomend that you do s search for each of your destinations. More specific questions usually get more attention than generic inquiries on a major city.