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Outside dining in November

n
NOLA1447 Aug 3, 2010 07:22 AM

Planning the fall trip to Chianti area,Florence and Venice in early to mid November.
Providing the weather is somewhat rainfree, and of course not too cold, can we expect to be able to dine outside on terraces, city streets and piazzas, or do you see less of this available in the month of November? We are wanting to at best enjoy some lovely vistas in the country while we eat all of that heavenly fare!

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  1. jen kalb RE: NOLA1447 Aug 3, 2010 08:31 AM

    it really depends, but Its definitely fall seaon in northern Italy. You may or may not be able to eat outside depending on the weather you hit. It could be rainy and chilly, requiring jackets/raincoat or relatively warm and sunny.so you can go in shirtsleeves. Often restaurants with sidewalk cafes will put out heatlamps, to enable coolweather eating but if its cool you may want to sit by a roaring fire. . Wunderground has pretty good historic weather info if you want to check your destinations.

    1. z
      zerlina RE: NOLA1447 Aug 3, 2010 09:06 AM

      My suggestion: Go to a cafe (many/most of which have heatlamps) and dine inside in a restaurant (most of which do not have heatlamps).

      Italians tend to think by season rather than by the actual weather on a given day, and most would not want to dine outdoors in November.

      1 Reply
      1. re: zerlina
        o
        ospreycove RE: zerlina Aug 3, 2010 01:32 PM

        One tends to see cafes, bars (espresso) in the Centro with tables outside during the sunny hours than full service restaurants doing the same, Especially after dark.

      2. d
        DavidT RE: NOLA1447 Aug 3, 2010 02:41 PM

        In mid- November, you may very well experience "aqua alta" in Venice that will flood many of the piazzas, squares and walking streets in the central part of the city for several hours each day. The Venetians are very adept at setting up gangplanks elevated above the water so that you can get around, but if you have waterproof boots or some sort, I would suggest bringing them along!

        I was once in Venice the week of Thanksgiving in the U.S. and we had aqua alta each of the 5 days we were there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DavidT
          jen kalb RE: DavidT Aug 3, 2010 02:54 PM

          I didnt want to mention that. Its very dependent on tides/moon cycles as well as weather conditions. Dont know that Id drag boots along, but a raincoat is definitely in order.

        2. mbfant RE: NOLA1447 Aug 3, 2010 09:44 PM

          In Rome, which has a milder climate than Florence and Venice, it is almost always the tourist joints that offer heat lamps and outdoor dining (I have one local gourmet friend who insists on eating outdoors at his local trat with heat lamps, but he and it are exceptional). Get your views in the daytime, including at sidewalk caf├ęs, but eat dinner indoors.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mbfant
            jen kalb RE: mbfant Aug 4, 2010 04:08 AM

            I think I was struck by Luzzo having them and the number of people who were eating dinner there, outdoors, at Christmas time.

            Its understandable why the restaurants have these spaces since if people are willing to sit there it increases their profitability but personally I cant understand why anyone would want to eat in relative discomfort when a nice cozy restaurant dining room is available.

          2. PBSF RE: NOLA1447 Aug 3, 2010 09:57 PM

            By November, outside dining will be chancy in Venice. If no rain, there will be outside tables in most cafes and informal eating places regardless of the temperature, ie places on the Campo Santa Margherita, San Barmaba. Santo Stefano, Zattere. More upscale restaurants such as Il Refolo, Raffaela will have outside heat lamps. Of course, the outside terraces of the grand hotels will be open and heated.

            1. b
              barberinibee RE: NOLA1447 Aug 4, 2010 09:27 AM

              I may be alone in guessing that you are talking about lunch, but in my experience, on sunny days in November in northern Italy, the sun itself can make it warm enough for lunching outdoors comfortably in a jacket or sweater, and restaurants will set up tables or serve on terraces. I recall one November when, in the second week, I ate on the roof terrace of the Rinascente department store in Florence, in the company of Italians. In the evenings after dark, the bars and cafes around the major piazze had heatlamps, but very few takers for outdoor chairs seating.

              One other thing to think about before you pull up the outside chair for lunch is that even if the sun keeps you warm, it may not keep your food warm, especially if it is at all breezy.

              1 Reply
              1. re: barberinibee
                n
                NOLA1447 RE: barberinibee Aug 4, 2010 01:45 PM

                Yes, I am talking about lunch only. i remember a very impressive lunch I had on the terrace of Poggio Antico on the outskirts of Montalcino a few years ago . By far, one of the most memorable meals of my life, and such a view! I am hoping for much of the same, at least at lunchtime in the country. Dinners are absolutely meant to be enjoyed indoors hopefully near a roaring fireplace!
                Thanks for all of the replies.

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