Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Italy >
Sep 5, 2011 11:08 AM

Venice, Rome and Siena in November

My husband and I will be first time traveler's to Italy to celebrate our 10 year this November. Thanks to everyone for all your thoughtful insight for because of your wealth of knowledge and information I finally have made it to the covetted short list! What a great feeling this is. We will have 3 nights in Venice, 2 in Siena and 3 in Rome. I think I have Venice and Siena pretty well handled. Rome, I have to tell ya was a bit intimidating at first; sooo many restaurants, reviews and chatter.

A little bit about us so you can help me narrrow down my search for the best foodie experience. We are laid back individuals who love food, wine and beer. We are looking to experience traditional cooking as well some swanky fun modern twists on cuisine. We are lovers of the pork!! So if you have any suggestions on menu items that might satisfy our pork lust, let's hear it!

I think I'll start with Rome since I still have some unfinished business there and then end with Siena and Venice. I also have some misc questions I'll throw in at the end for fun.


Lunch Pizzarium
Dinner L'Arcangelo

Lunch Vino E Camino vs Matriciano? Plotkin's rec vs Chow heads? What to do?
Dinner L'Asino D'Oro - I have a note that says Pork Oriented but I can't tell you where I go this information. Any clues?

Lunch Sora Margherita
Stop by Volpetti (this will be our last day, think we'll find some good take home items? If not, I thought about hitting this day 1 so we could snack on some of the treats over the next few days)
Dinner: This is my biggest ? at the moment. I'm intrigued with what I have heard about Glass and Aroma. Also, Guida Ballerino is giving me puase. I want this last night to be a blow the doors off night. I see that Aroma and Glass both offer tasting menus. And that Ballerino has a 6 course option for 65E. Whats the better deal, tastings over courses? Also, just in general, wonder if you had to choose between these 3 which would you prefer?

okay so backtracking to...


Lunch: Bar Paninoteca San Paolo
Dinner: Grotta di Santa Caterina da Bagoga

Lunch: We're doing a private wine tour and I know we are stopping for lunch in Montalcino. We can pick our lunch. Suggestions?
Dinner: Osteria Le Logge

more backtracking to...

VENICE - We love Seafood but not as much as pork. Did I say we liked Pork? :-)

Jet Lagged Lunch Option: La Cantina, Cavatappi, Al Bacareto?
Dinner: So torn here and need some input, Alle Testiere vs Anitche Carampane. I have read pretty much all I can find on this forum and others and I like what I hear equally on both. If you had to go to your grave with a meal from one of these places on your tongue, which would you choose. Yes, it's that serious!

Lunch - Trattoria da Ramono - I've been salivating ever since I saw Bourdain eating Goh Risotto here.
Dinner Al Covo

Lunch - Il Ridotto? La Furatola (not sure if it's open), Da Roberto? I'm leaning towards Il Ridotto
Dinner - Cichetti Crawl
I have a big list of bacaros I'd love to hit. Wish I could hit them all but then again I don't think I'd make the train to Siena the next day. Please tell me what is your favorite Bacaro and why? What yummy morsel must we try?

Misc Questions:
1. I'd love to report back after our trip. I wish more folks would do so. What is the rule of thumb on taking pictures of the cuisine? Is it frowned upon?
2. What is the dress code for places such as Aroma, Glass or Ballerino?
3. When is it okay to share a meal? I thought I read somewhere, maybe Plotkin's book that in some instances it's not polite to share? I'm not even sure I want to share with my husband as I intend to gain 10 pounds on this trip and he would only deter me from my master plan! Just curious...
4. As far as deciphering the menu, do you have a rec for a pocket sized book or a link that might aid in deciphering the menu? I really need to go back to Rosetta Stone. I'm only on lesson 3 and so far at this point, the only thing I would recognize on the menu is a horse, dog or cat!

Il Ridotto
Sestiere Castello,4509, Venezia , IT

Via G. G. Belli 59/61, Rome, Lazio 00193, IT

Sora Margherita
Piazza della Cinque Scole, 30, Rome, Lazio 00100, IT

Al Covo
Campiello della Pescaria,Castello 3968, Venice, Veneto 30122, IT

Via della Meloria, 43, Rome, Lazio 00136, IT

La Cantina
Campo San Felice, Cannaregio 3689, Venice, Veneto , IT

Giuda Ballerino
Largo Appio Claudio,346, Rome, Lazio 00174, IT

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. For Venice: eat seafood; except cured meat and sausage, you will not find much pork in restaurant menus. More likely to find beef, veal and some poultry. Eat pork in Siena.
    Jet lagged Saturday: La Cantina, Cavatappi, Al Bacareto; depends on what you are looking for and where you are staying/sightseeing. The last is the only one offering courses
    Dinner: Alle Testiere or Antiche Carampane? these are two of the best seafood place in Venice. Alle Testiere has better desserts. Toss a coin. Both are simple trattorias that serve very good to excellent seafood. Neither would be my last meal before I go to my grave. These or any other in Venice do not fall in the category of "must" restaurants. They are not world-class, therefore, don't be that "serious" as you might be setting the bar too high. For my last meal in Italy, I go to Le Calandre, Dal Pescatore, La Pergola or Aimo e Nadia. If I must choose one meal in Venice, Da Ivo.
    Sunday: hope you are referring to da Romano and not da Ramono; other than good for a few laughs and shock value, I am not a big Anthony Bourdain fan. Since you are and there are not many alternatives in Burano, give it a try. Just keep in mind that in many instances, celebrities get the royal treatment that us plain mortals don't.
    Dinner at Al Covo; am a fan and plenty of earlier posts,
    Monday lunch Il Ridotto which I have not been. La Furatola is open and it is all seafood, reliable and not too expensive. If da Roberto is da Alberto, it is a good all around trattoria. Warm and friendly.
    Cicchetti crawl: unlike Spain, there is no such thing as a 'crawl' in Venice. Good bacari are not packed together but scattered about the city. Most bacari close by early evenings and even if they are open later, food gets to be minimal by 7pm. It is not a dinner thing but mostly stand up lunch or a late afternoon/early evening wine with snack. Personally, I never go out of my way for a particular bacaro. It depends where I am and where my friends want to meet. There not such thing as "must try" in any bacaro. They are not meant to be gastronomic nirvana. It is not always about the food; the staff and ambience play a crucial role.
    Cannaregio: la Cantina for cured meat, oysters and the friendly staff; al Bomba: variety, inexpensive and a great guy behind the counter; alla Vedova for meatballs;
    San Marco: Cavatappi for interesting wines. Al Bacareto: friendly owners and near Cp Santa Stefano. La Mascareta; only wine bar open late into the evening (no lunch or afternoon).
    San Polo: Do Spada near the Rialto for old ambience and inexpensive fried seafood; Bancogiro for the wines and loggia setting; L'Arco: great staff, simple standup quick bites.
    Santa Croce: Al Prosecco for the can't beat outside campo seating and platters of simple sandwiches.
    Dorsodure: Enoteca Cantina del Vino Gia Schiavi for some of the best wines, best staff, simple things on pieces of bread. The above are just a short list.
    1. Photo taking: i never take photos but I have never found any restaurant that objects as long as one is being unobtrusive.
    3. When is okay to share a meal: from my experience, no problem sharing antipasti, primi or desserts but I would not share secondi. There is never a problem not ordering all courses.

    Il Ridotto
    Sestiere Castello,4509, Venezia , IT

    Antiche Carampane
    Calle de la Carampane, 1911,San Polo, Venice, Veneto 30125, IT

    Campo San Giacomo di Rialto, San Polo 122,, Venice, Veneto 30125, IT

    La Mascareta
    Sestiere Castello, 5183, Venice, Veneto 30122, IT

    Al Covo
    Campiello della Pescaria,Castello 3968, Venice, Veneto 30122, IT

    Al Prosecco
    Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio, Santa Croce 1503, 30135, Venice, Veneto 30135, IT

    Le Calandre
    strada statale 11, localitĂ  Sarmeola, via Liguria,1, Rubano (PD), Veneto 35030, IT

    La Cantina
    Campo San Felice, Cannaregio 3689, Venice, Veneto , IT

    Dal Pescatore
    localita Runate,17, Runate (Mantova), Lombardy 46013, IT

    Aimo e Nadia
    Via Privata Raimondo Montecuccoli, 6, Milan, Lombardia 20147, IT

    2 Replies
    1. re: PBSF

      Thanks for the corrections. Yes to da Romano and yes to da Alberto. Also thanks for the info on Cichetti. Sounds like I might need to plan another dinner for that night and maybe just hit one of the suggested bacaros before our dinners.

      1. re: PBSF

        A quick note that Do Spade's been updated; still a great hangout but younger and hipper, but always a mixed crowd of locals and travelers. Cichetti is on the hearty side, but you can actually sit at a table in front of the banco without an extra charge.

        Do Spade
        Sestiere San Polo, 860, 30125 Venezia, Italy, Venice, Veneto , IT

      2. If you're into pork and not averse to holes in the wall, consider a porchetta lunch at Er buchetto on Via del Viminale (near Termini) in Rome.

        2 Replies
        1. re: zerlina

          I've walked past Er buchetto and even taken its picture, but never gone in. Glad to know it's worth a visit.

          1. re: mbfant

            I certainly relish and appreciate a good hole in the wall. Hope to stop by!

        2. It's rarer not to see people taking pictures of their food these days, actually...

          Please understand that Risotto de gò has been standard "cucina povera" and preferred Burano fare for as long as there has been Burano, probably. You'll find it at Gatto Nero, Riva Rosa, and likely any Burano eatery. It took a Bourdain to get the dish in the tourist consciousness --- meno male...

          Cantina is a fab first day - night option. Just show up and take their advice.

          Ridotto is open for lunch, and you wouldn't have to worry about reserving then, actually (especially since Bonaccorsi's expanded -- but just slightly).

          I'm afraid I've almost never met a bacaro I didn't like. They're all so individual, it's hard to make a mistake. Just make sure you go when they're thronging, it may take a moment to get waited on but it's seems sort of forlorn otherwise...

          Don't worry about deciphering menus. Just take the server's or owner's suggestions, you really can't go wrong. :)