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Venice, Florence, & Rome Dining Plan - Advice Appreciated

jepitcairn Sep 17, 2011 08:52 AM

My thanks to all of the knowledgable and generous Chowhound posters for providing the delicious research for an upcoming 25th Anniversary trip to Italy (end of September into early October). I've sketched out our plans below and would greatly appreciate any and all comments, especially with help filling one or two gaps and with "must have" dishes at any of these restaurants.

Thursday Arrive at hotel in San Polo late morning following flight in from US.
Lunch: light meal at some casual place close to Frari Church.
Dinner: earlyish cicchetti crawl at a few of the bacari west of the Rialto Bridge, from
amongst Bancogiro Bar, Al Mercà, Cantina do Mori, Bar all’Arco, Osteria ai Storti, and
Cantina do Spade.

Friday Lunch: sandwiches at one of the spots on Calle delle Rasse (after touring Doge’s
Dinner: Antiche Carampane (seafood, of course!).

Saturday Lunch: Trattoria Belle Donne (round the corner from our hotel, having just arrived by
train; don’t know much about it).
Dinner: Il Santo Bevitore (after walking down from Piazzale Michelangelo).

Sunday Lunch: pannini at ‘ino (after tour of the Uffizi).
Dinner: Cipolla Rossa (haven’t reserved yet, can I ask the hotel to do so on arrival the
day before or would that be too late?).

Monday All-day Chianti region wine tour (with lunch included at Osteria La Scuderia in Badia a
Passignano – can’t find any information about this place).
Dinner: ???

Tuesday Lunch: something fairly light at the Mercato Centrale (most likely from Nerbone).
Dinner: Trattoria I due G (bistecca, of course . . . hence the lighter lunch!)

Wednesday Lunch: picnic on train with items purchased at the Mercato Centrale that morning.
Dinner: La Campana (following stroll from Piazza del Popolo to Piazza to the Campo de’

Thursday Lunch: Enoteca Cavour 313 (after tour of Imperial Rome sights).
Dinner: L’Arcangelo (suppli and gnocchi, certainly).

Friday Lunch: Pizzarium (following tour of the Vatican).
Dinner: we have a wine tasting at Casa Bleve at 19:30; should we stay there for dinner
afterwards or stroll down to Roscioli? If Roscioli, do we need to make a reservation
ahead of time if we’d get there at about 21:00?

Saturday Lunch: ??? We’ve left the morning open (National Museum of Rome, Le Domus
Romane di Palazzo Valentini, last-minute gift shopping, pack?), so haven’t yet made any
lunch plans.
Dinner: celebrating our final night in Italy and our 25th Anniversary at Antico Arco.

Grazie mille,


Antico Arco
Piazzale Aurelio, 7, Roma 00151, IT

La Campana
Vicolo della Campana, 18, Roma, IT 00186, IT

Enoteca Cavour 313
Via Cavour 313, Roma 00184, IT

Casa Bleve
Via del Teatro Valle, 49, Roma 00186, IT

Via dei Giubbonari 21/23, Rome, Lazio 00186, 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

Cantina do Mori
San Polo 429, Venice, Veneto , IT

Il Santo Bevitore
Via Santa Spirito 64r, Florence, Tuscany 50125, IT

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

Via dell'Ariento, 87r, Florence, Tuscany 50100, IT

Cipolla Rossa
Via de' Conti,53, Florence, Toscana 50123, IT

  1. jen kalb Sep 17, 2011 12:34 PM

    One generic comment is that you may be happier if you find some sitdown lunch places. After a morning of touring on cobblestones and marble floors, you will need it. A light meal of a an antipasti and primi, or primi and salad would do it.

    As I recall there are a paucity of really good places around the Frari. You might simply want to head over to Piazza San Barnaba, where there is a cluster of relatively low cost, informal restaurants along the Calle Lunga San Barnaba- you can pick the one you like. Oniga, Quattro Feri,Pane E Vino San Daniele,La Bitta and have a light meal as mentioned at one of them.

    La Bitta
    Dorsoduro 2753A, Calle Lunga San Barnaba, Venezia 30123, IT

    Ai 4 Feri
    Calle Lunga de San Barnaba, Dorsoduro 2754, Venice, Veneto 30123, IT

    Campo San Barnaba, 2852, Venice, Veneto , IT

    8 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb
      jepitcairn Sep 17, 2011 12:59 PM

      Thank you for your advice, Jen; I have no doubt that we'll benefit from getting off our feet midday. That first day in Venice, we plan to walk from our hotel (just the Frari side of the Campo San Polo) to visit the Frari Church and then walk over to Piazzale Roma to pick up a vaporetto for a cruise along the Grand Canal to Piazza San Marco. Dorsoduro would be a little out of the way, I believe. My thought was to get a light bite and a glass of wine at one of the small cafes in the square around the church or someplace along our walk -- unless our Chowhound Venice experts direct me otherwise.

      1. re: jepitcairn
        PBSF Sep 17, 2011 01:56 PM

        The Caffe dei Frari is just two minutes from front of the church, across the small bridge. It is atmospheric, cozy and has small tables and booths in the mezzanine. Simple snacks, sandwiches, plates if cured meat and cheese. It is open throughout the day and shouldn't be too packed during the middle of the afternoon. It is probably your best bet after the long flight and will be eating just a few hours later. Depends on where you are staying at in San Polo, you might pass Bar di Nomboli on the way to the Frari where the sandwiches and tramezzini are very good. If you strolling up to Roma, there is the bacaro, Al Prosecco with outside seating on Cp San Giacomo dell'Orio. It is not right on the path to Roma but just 5 minutes off course and easy to find. After, you can hit Gelateria Alaska on the way to Roma.
        On your evening of cicchetti, depending on how much stamina you have, do Spade is the only one on your list that has seating or you can sit on the loggia at Bancogiro. All the others are stand up only.
        On your next day lunch, unless I've totally missed it, there is not much in the calle delle Rasse. To rest your feet, can walk to the end of c/delle Rasse to Aciugheta on the Cp Santi Gilipoo et Giacomo. It will be packed with visitors but at least the food is decent. Except a couple of standup caffes, there not to much to recommend right off the Piazza San Marco. A little further away will be more choices and less amusement park like.
        As for what to eat at Antiche Carampane. Always ask they have off the printed menu. This is where they may get some seasonal seafood such as canoce, moleche, schile, tiniest baby squid call calamaretti, seppioline (very tiny cuttlefish), spider crab. Most are featured in the antipasti or as part of the fritto misto for a secondo. Or share an seafood assortment as the antipasto. My favorite fish for a secondi is San Pietro, Rombo or rospo di coda.

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

        1. re: PBSF
          donnarama2000 Dec 19, 2011 10:38 AM


          What would you recommend for 2 days in Rome, Florence and Venice WITH AN 11 YEAR OLD foodie (like his parents). We want good food (no need for kid-specific offerings), but pretty casual, that we can eat at not too late in the evening. We are open to some "better" (in terms of dress) restaurants but would love to stay fairly casual and not of stratospheric prices (we are from NY so you have a frame of refernce on price) -- like the tavern portion of Gramercy Tavern (our favorite NYC restaurant). BTW, we are staying in the Veneto area in Rome, near the Piazza San Marco in Venice and near the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

          1. re: donnarama2000
            PBSF Dec 19, 2011 08:19 PM

            I am not familiar with Rome or Florence. As for Venice, except for a few highend places, just above all restaurants are casual and will be within your budget (cost of eating in the front room of Gramercy Tavern). And your 11 year old will be welcome in just about any of them. As for eating early, restaurants usually start serving around 7pm. All those below serves either traditional Venetian cooking or that with a little creativity; nothing too modern.
            Around 50 euro for 3 courses before wine: Al Covo, the more traditional Fiaschetteria Toscana (reserve on the ground floor and not upstair), Alle Testiere and Antiche Carampane for seafood,
            A little less expensive: the traditional Vini di Gigio with a great wine list; Bancogiro for the cozy alcove (unless you are there in the warmer month which offers great outside tables) with good inexpensive wines; Boccadoro for seafood; da Rioba.
            More moderate but not inexpensive: La Bitta for meat and fowl (no seafood), Ostaria Garanghelo or da Alberto or Al Bacareto for traditional; ai Promissi Sposi for seafood.
            Al Covo, Alle Testiere and Al Bacareto are near Piazza San Marco. The others are in other sestieres but Venice is not large and walking is the great pleasure.
            For Rome and Florence, my advice is to start a new thread with some specifics as to the type of cooking, your approximate budget in euros, your willingness to venture out from your hotel area, etc. You'll probably get more responses rather than by piggybacking on an old thread.

        2. re: jepitcairn
          jen kalb Sep 17, 2011 07:26 PM

          that part of Dorsoduro would be just a short walk (maybe 20 min) from San Marco, doesnt sound like what you want to do. PBSF has given you a recc in the area, which we found a little barren ourselves when we stayed nearby. PBSF, arent there a couple of places on the way over to Piazzale Roma that OP might consider? Tonolo is in the area general , very good for a snack/coffee

          1. re: jen kalb
            PBSF Sep 17, 2011 08:29 PM

            Tonolo is nearby just south-east of Scuola di San Rocco. Once there, it would pretty much give them a straight path to Roma. But it is stand up only and their savory items will be pretty much depleted by mid afternoon. That area has a few non-descript informal places mainly for the University students. From what I gather from the OP, they just want to do the Frari, get something simple to eat nearby or on the way, then up to Roma for the #1 vaporetto ride through the Grand Canal. The vaporetto ride itself will take about an hour. I like Caffe Frari with the cozy interior, a warm faux Florian look. The simple food is good. They can sit down and order a drink with something light without wasting too much time or effort. I take back Al Prosecco (great outside campo tables); it is to much out of the way (more than the 5 minutes I had envisioned dued to my confusion with Ferrovia). If they stay right around the Frari, from the back, they can walk straight up to Roma by following the sign in about 10 minutes. There is not much else on that route. I am not sure that they want to wander too much and get lost. As we all know, Venice is not so easy to navigate for the first time visitor. They are only in Venice for one and a half days, therefore, time is valuable and don't take them off course.

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

            1. re: PBSF
              jen kalb Sep 19, 2011 08:37 AM

              Its good you were able to make a practical recommendation mearby. I just dont like to waste a meal!

              1. re: jen kalb
                PBSF Sep 21, 2011 09:54 AM

                Neither do I like to waste a meal. And your suggestion of a leisurely sit down lunch is always good advice. Sometimes, eating a snack of good simple ingredients and enjoying a nice glass of wine can be rewarding. Being a first time visitor to many foreign places with a short time frame, I have same addiction as many to just take off and run.

      2. vinoroma Sep 17, 2011 01:14 PM

        As i wrote a couple of days ago, i had a very mediocre meal at la campana last week (after being a fan for a long time) so advice caution. Also don't know if i would be too excited about cavour 313 - i find it uncomfortable and the food is not bad but nothing i want to have if i have 3 days in rome. How long does the tasting at bleve take. Roscioli on a friday night at 9pm is prime time, you *have to* make a reservation a couple of days earlier.

        Via dei Giubbonari 21/23, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

        3 Replies
        1. re: vinoroma
          jepitcairn Sep 17, 2011 01:36 PM

          Sorry to hear about La Campana, I hope that it was just a bad night. I already have a reservation so will keep it and let you know my experience in my trip report when we return. Do you have a suggestion for something to take the place of Cavour 313 near the Colosseum? The tasting at Casa Bleve is supposed to be about an hour, so the earliest we would get to Roscioli is 9:00pm or so. I will certainly take your advice and make a reservation ahead of time, unless it would be worth staying at Casa Bleve to eat there.

          With thanks,


          La Campana
          Vicolo della Campana, 18, Roma, IT 00186, IT

          Casa Bleve
          Via del Teatro Valle, 49, Roma 00186, IT

          Via dei Giubbonari 21/23, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

          1. re: jepitcairn
            DaleJ Sep 21, 2011 01:03 PM

            Re Casa Bleve: Lunched there about a week ago. BRING MONEY!

            Casa Bleve
            Via del Teatro Valle, 49, Roma 00186, IT

            1. re: DaleJ
              jen kalb Sep 21, 2011 01:14 PM

              How much did it cost? I take it you are still recommending it?
              Look forward to hearing where and what else you are eating on this visit.

        2. t
          tongue_to_tail Sep 21, 2011 10:09 AM

          In Florence you must try Fiaschetteria Nuvoli on Piazza dell'olio, 15.

          The best food I had in Italy. The owner doesn't speak English, but since the downstairs will always be full with locals just sit at the counter up top and point on the menu to want to you want. Inexpensive, and like 2 blocks from the Duomo on a quiet street. Get the trippa alla Fiorentina if you like that sort of thing.

          I dream of returning to Italy just to eat here.

          1. t
            tongue_to_tail Sep 21, 2011 06:03 PM

            Also, Nerbone is definitely great. Go there. But know that they sell out of stuff. So don't show up for a late lunch - like we did - and think you'll have your panino bagnato al lampredetto. We missed it. The other stuff we had was great (the tripe was also sold out), but if you have your heart set on a particular something, I'd get there before 13:00.

            1. j
              jepitcairn Sep 24, 2011 08:51 AM

              Thank you all for your input. We do plan on stopping by Caffe Frari on the first day -- thank you, PBSF. Perfectly located for our itinerary that day and should be the light nibble that will carry us through to our first real meal -- our early cicchetti crawl that evening. We plan to start at Bancogiro, then stroll to Bar all'Arco and Ostaria ai Storti, then finish at Do Spade (starting and finishing at a place with seating).

              For the dinner opening in Florence, we're thinking about heading to Obika to sample mozzarella and salumi. That day we're on an all day tour of the Chianti region, including lunch at Osteria La Scuderia in Badia a Passignano (anyone have any information about this place?), so will probably be looking for a lighter meal. It's also just up the street from our hotel. Tongue_to_tail, we'll be sure to hit Nerbone before 13:00, thank you for the tip.

              Vinoroma, would Al Vino Al Vino be a good alternative to Cavour 313 for a wine bar in that area? I've also taken your suggestion to book Roscioli ahead of time. Thank you. For lunch on our last day, we've decided to try Palatium; we'll be walking very close by it at lunchtime.

              We leave next week with a great dining plan, courtesy of the posters on this board.

              With thanks,


              Via Frattina 94, Roma , IT

              Via dei Giubbonari 21/23, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

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

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

              Via dell'Ariento, 87r, Florence, Tuscany 50100, IT

              1 Reply
              1. re: jepitcairn
                sarahgeats Sep 30, 2011 08:25 AM

                Hi John - I am in Chianti as I write this. Osteria di Passigano is told to be one of the best restaurants in Chianti - also the most expensive - owned by The Antinori family. We ate last nite at a lovely place called Ristoro Lamole just about 8 km from Greve which we loved. the view is not to be beaten and the food was great as well as the service. Great experience. If your wallet can handle the cost I say go for it at Passigano.
                Have fun!

              2. m
                manny6 Oct 3, 2011 08:54 AM

                Thank you for this post! I will be doing the same trip with my wife in October and was looking for suggestions as I've usually found the places mentioned in guidebooks+tripadvisor to be unsatisfactory. Are most of these places fairly expensive? I am looking to eat well without breaking the bank. I might also be in various parts of Tuscany and Pisa and possibly Naples.

                2 Replies
                1. re: manny6
                  PBSF Oct 3, 2011 09:04 AM

                  This original post is already complicated and with the various replies and sidetracks, it has become a bit confusing. My advice is post your own by starting a new thread with more of your own specifics of travels (where is Piss?), eating places that have pique your curiosity, your budget ("fairly expensive" differs with different people); 90% percent of us are "looking to eat well without breaking the bank". More focused posts get better and more feedback, whereas, vague, general ones basically get ignored or told to 'search for earlier posts as these areas have been covered extensively"..

                  1. re: PBSF
                    manny6 Oct 3, 2011 10:45 AM

                    Thanks - will do. Was supposed to say 'Pisa'. I'm sorry.

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