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Tuscany/Umbria - Restaurant Reservations for Lunch?

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Hello, I will be in northern/southern Tuscany and Umbria in mid-October. I am curious how necessary it is to make reservations for lunch? I am trying to set a "loose" itinerary, but it is so hard to know exactly how long it will take to get from one place to another and I don't want to be too restricted by set reservation times. If I show up at a popular restaurant for lunch at 1:30 without a reservation, should I expect it to be booked? Thanks in advance for any advice!

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  1. 1:30 might be iffy in some places, not in others. We always hang loose like this - its a bummer to get all the way there and see all the people settled in to eat and get turned away. If you dont want to reserve, its always safer to arrive earlier.

    Cant imagine many places you would need to reserve long in advance, but It would be a good idea at least to give them a call on the day so they know to expect you (or can give you the news that they are fully booked.)Cell phones are a big deal in Italy much more of the standard communication method than email like here., its good to have one.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      Thanks for the reply. What is a standard time to have lunch in those areas?

      1. re: stellar

        The standard time is between 1:00 and 1:30. You generally only need reservations on Sundays. However if getting to a specific restaurant is an essential experience for you just call them one hour in advance. On the other hand If you are visiting historic towns you always have lots of alternatives so no big deal if you don't find place