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Jul 17, 2012 08:36 AM

Venice, Montecatini, Assisi and Rome - Food lover on a budjet

Hi fellow food lover!
I'm going to italy for a week, and i'm searching for great meals at a reasonable price, I really don't mind the restaurant decor and prestige, I just want great food!

My budjet for meals is around 20-50 euros per person without drink.

I will be in Assisi and Montecatini for a few days, but I haven't found alot on threads on food for those cities, especially Montecatini.

Any suggestion from the cities mentioned are really appreciated.

Thanks! :)

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  1. There is a person who posts on the Frommer's message board and the Slow Travel message board who spends a fair amount of time in Montecatini. He generally posts under the screen name of "ArtsSojourn". I cannot vouch for his tastebuds -- we seldom overlap in destinations -- but he is an artist and thus cares about both budget and --- well, artistry! You might sign into those message boards and see what he knows about places to eat in Montecatini.

    I think you can meet your goals in Rome, and past threads might help you out. (If the Chowhound search feature doesn't yield what you want, try Google, with a search string like "Rome budget Chowhound Italy 2012".

    Buona fortuna. Don't forget great food in Italy often includes seasonal produce from the markets.

    9 Replies
    1. re: barberinibee

      There currently is no decent place to eat in Montecatini and there hasn't been for quite some time.

      There is a great trattoria near Montecatini called Le Vedute (which is in the town of Le Vedute). This is not to be confused with the Ristorante Locanda Le Vedute which is poor.

      Le Vedute
      Via Romana-Lucchese 121, Fucecchio, Tuscany 50054, IT

      here is what I wrote on another post

      About 20 minutes from Lucca is Le Vedute near the town of Fucchecio. An excellent country trattoria/ristorante, serving both fish and meat. Classic Tuscan menu that (really) changes daily. Fantastic owners who treat everyone very well. No attitude here. Well prepared dishes with top notch ingredients. Le Vedute is in the countryside, but near a lot of soft goods manufacturing factories. The owners of these places go out with their foreign clients several times a week and if Ivo (the owner) wants them to come back, he has to serve very good food at reasonable prices and offer excellent service. For the thirty plus years that we've been going, it has been nothing less and now the next generation (the son, Danielle) has taken over.

      1. re: allende

        Thanks for the replies!

        I don't really have alot of time to travel outside of Montecatini, this trip was last minute, it's kinda of a semi-guided trip. First time in Italy so I don't know much about the country.

        1. re: EmAlb

          If you "don't know much about the country" and are interested in learning a bit before you go, I HIGHLY recommend getting a hold of a copy of Fred Plotkin's "Italy For The Gourmet Traveler." It is probably the best English-language book available to give you a very good overview of the foods & wines of the various regions and cities of Italy. Food & wine in Italy does vary significantly depending on where you are in the country. The book also includes countless recommendations for places to eat (across a wide range of prices), food stores, wine shops, markets, coffee shops, etc.

          1. re: DavidT

            People have to be very careful about Plotkin's recommendations for restaurants. The book, even the newer edition, is very much out of date.

            1. re: allende

              Hi allende, I have purchased the book (newer edition from 2012). In your opinion are there any recommendations that he gives for Rome or Venice that are not advised?

              1. re: elasticwaistband

                I don't spend any time in either city anymore (used to spend a some amount of time in both), so can't be of any help.

              2. re: allende

                Given the scope of dining in a country the size of Italy, it is inevitable that some of the recommendations in Fred Plotkin's book will be out of date. I don't think he is able to employ a legion of researchers to keep up to date information on all the listings in the book.

                That being said, I do think the book is an excellent introduction to the foods & wines of Italy and there are far, far more hits than misses in the book.

                1. re: DavidT

                  I agree about the book being an excellent introduction to food in Italy. He really explains things well and even if some of his places are "out of date" the overall information that he provides is very useful. I have enjoyed reading it, even about the areas that I will not be visiting to find out regional specialties, etc. I also made a typo in my post above - his latest edition is from 2010, not this year.

                  1. re: elasticwaistband

                    In his order (he divides his Rome recommendations by area), here are Fred Plotkin's suggestions that I know people still agree with to a greater or lesser degree: Forno di Campo dei Fiori, Tazza d'Oro, Caffe Farnese, Antico Caffe Greco (for history), Agata e Romeo, Cavour 313, La Campana, Armando al Pantheon, Da Gino (I suggest it for lunch only), Da Sergio (a SlowFood pick, I think), Enoteca Corsi (he calls it Osteria Fabrizio Corsi), La Matricianella (also SlowFood, but some disagreement here in the forum), Da Tonio (he calls it Trattoria Antonio Bassetti), Margutta Vegetariano, Cul de Sac, Osteria dell'Angelo, Perilli a Testaccio (I'm in the Checchino camp myself), Volpetti Piu, Gastronomia Volpetti (Via Marmorata), Castroni, Gelateria Fatamorgana, Enoteca Achilli (he calls it al Parlamento), Palatium.

                    Many of his suggestions are still valid; the problem is that he doesn't have any of the new or now trendy places.

                    For Venice, I'd rely on PBSF's recommendations here.

      2. Heres one thread with some Assisi reccs. In addition, La Stalla is recommended in the Gambero Rosso lowcost guide.
        If you search using the searchbox or Google specifying Chowhound + cheap + destination name you will find threads on rome and venice. However in Rome you should have no problem finding very good meals in the higher part of your price range - I would not call 50 E pp exactly cheap

        4 Replies
          1. re: EmAlb

            Great deal in Venice for Saturday lunch. The guys at Murlo restaurant do a "fish fry" out in the Rialto market. For 8 euros you get a plate full of mixed, super fresh seafood, a slab of polenta and a glass of better-than-decent white wine. They have a few tables but you can sit anywhere nearby as long as you return the glass.

            I loved it!

            1. re: jangita

              I agree on Muro near the Rialto Market is on the Campo Bella Viena They rotate a few dishes: usually seafood risotto, spaghetti con vongole, fritto misto; the fritto is very good. They will post the name of the dish around 11am. The best time is go when the dish just comes out from the kitchen, otherwise, it might sit for a while. They serve until they run out. The nearby Pronto Pesche does a similar thing but it has very limited seating.

              1. re: PBSF

                Perfect, I'll add this to my restaurant list!