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Italy in November?

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Hi Everyone - I'm thinking of going back to Italy for a week in November.. I'm always partial to Rome but do you have any other recommendations for this time of year? Also heard Piemonte would be nice (truffle festival is one reason)... any feedback would be great and then I'll come back for foodback.

Thanks!

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  1. Fall is the best season for eating in Piemonte, but you can get a lot of rain and fog in November. The nebbiolo grape didn't get its name for no reason, and the preferred dining destinations are typically in the countryside and require a car. There are extensive posts on dining in Piemonte (and particularly the Langhe), so I won't reiterate, but you do need reasonable expectations about the weather and driving conditions.

    1. If you love white truffles, try going to San Miniato on the second, third, or fouth weekend of November for the San Miniato truffle festival....Tartufo EVERYWHERE at incredibly reasonable prices. Incredible!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: sockster

        @jessicablock

        If you want white truffles, go to Piemonte not San Miniato. San Miniato has a number of virtues (including one of the all time great Italian films,La Notte di San Lorenzo, which is about the town) but great truffles is not one of them. The truffles are good, but no more than that.

      2. Thanks All. Great to know. Feel free to share other places that may be nice given the time of year.. (mid November)..

        2 Replies
        1. re: jessicablock

          Ive been in Napoli in early november - it was fairly rainy and blowy , so much so that boat trips to Ischia and Capri that we had planned were unattractive. November is the wettest month in much of italy and of course the days are getting much shorter by then, . A friend who visited Venice in November one recent fall had to escape to Rome due to an extreme aqua alta. So look into the historic weather patterns and consider that a city might offer more for you to do on a rainy day than the countryside (in addition to your eating, of course!)

          Plenty of good food in the fall from funghi porcini and the truffles to game meat, fruits, artichokes etc.

          1. re: jen kalb

            Thanks for the advice.. I think we'll be choosing between Piemonte and Tuscany (with a stop in Rome if we choose the latter).

        2. Plan stops in hot spring towns. It is the perfect way to ward off the wet november chill.

          We visit Bagni Vignoli in December and January. The water is hot and there are several very good restaurants in the pretty town.

          http://www.turismo.intoscana.it/allth...

          Close to Rome, near Viterbo is Termi dei Papi.

          http://www.termedeipapi.it

          www.gillianslists.com

          1. I have visited both Piemonte and Venice & the Veneto during November. It is a great time to visit both regions.

            Truffles in season are obviously an attraction in Piemonte during November.

            November is a great time to visit Venice, as it is largely empty of tourists most weekdays. Dishes with zucca (pumpkin) are featured at that time of year.

            2 Replies
            1. re: DavidT

              "November is a great time to visit Venice, as it is largely empty of tourists most weekdays. Dishes with zucca (pumpkin) are featured at that time of year."

              We loved Venice in November, but as jen kalb mentioned, there is the threat of the aqua alta. We found it kind of romantic (I know, odd) and adventurous, but others may not. That said, having Venice to oneself is marvelous. It's one of our favorite cities in Italy.

              1. re: ttoommyy

                The Locanda di San Martino in the Sassi District of Matera, Basilicata. Sassi denotes Stones, in English. It is a wonderful small city to explore and to dine in too. It is located close to the trulli architecture in Puglia as well; all world heritage sites too.

                The weather is much nicer in Puglia and Basilicata than up in the north.

            2. I love Umbria in the Fall. It's my favorite time of year there and in the Fall the weather is crisp and clear (usually not much rain) the perfect time to hop from from village to the next. If you base yourself in a villa, it;s off season and so the rates are way down. After a day of touring, it's nice to come back home, start a fire, and cook yourself.

              You an also visit wineries, as well as buy olive oil straight from the presses that is only a few weeks old.

              www.elizabethminchilliinrome.com

              5 Replies
              1. re: minchilli

                loving this idea...and I can spend a few days in Rome since it's so close. I'll start looking into it. Thanks Elizabeth and MDamiani.

                1. re: minchilli

                  Do you guys recommend staying in one town in umbria or visiting more than 1? mdamiani, good to know about Spello.. i'll look for villas there, but elizabeth, if you have any favorite areas, please share! thanks!

                  1. re: gmcguireinrome

                    The border of Tuscany & Umbria is a great location for a home base--easy access to Rome as well as day trips throughout Umbria. We spent two weeks in a villa overlooking Civita di Bagnoregio a couple of years ago, about halfway between Orvieto and Viterbo and found the location ideal for exploring Umbrian hill towns. We did much of our own cooking at the villa (we were a large group of 14) so I can't offer much for dining recs.

                    1. re: jessicablock

                      I'd definitely stay in one town, and then hop around for day trips. My preference is to stay in a town with all the provisions I would need to stay for a long spell (at least a butcher, an ortofrutta, a bar with pastries), but close to other places for color and variety, and more restaurants. A place that fits the bill in my neck of the woods and one of my favorite towns is Bevagna. Great restaurants, lots of locals, a beautiful village. A lot of people like Todi, but it's a bit crowded for my taste.

                      1. re: jessicablock

                        I'm a road tripper by nature (keep moving forward) and when in rural Italy, I very often don't like to drive at night after dinner, and I'm only so-so about cooking my own meals, mainly because shopping hours are limited and cut into the time I want to be doing other things. (Plus, I learn things from eating the food of real Italian cooks.) I generally look to stay at alberghi ristorante or agriturismi with attached restaurants or cook dinner for their guests. Other times, I'll stay for a night in a town I've picked because I know it has a great restaurant.

                        One advantage to renting a place with a kitchen, however, is the ability to have a light evening meal (and your own favorite breakfast). I do tire of restaurant eating. You can sometimes find in Umbria a half-week apartment stay, so you can mix it up if you like.

                    2. I second Umbria. Cool weather, grilled meats, hearty wines, truffles, chestnuts, new olive oil. And festivals! Then again, I'm living in Spello, so I'll admit I'm biased.

                      1. There is a wonderful place I went to last year for the olive picking season in November. Not too far from Rome it was nice to be able to balance out the urban sights and rural charm without a lot of travel time. Ozu has a beautiful space, cooking classes and some amazing people to share the experience with - I can't say enough good things about it!
                        http://www.ozu.it/pagina_open.asp?id=...

                        1. Have you thought about underrated, overlooked Genoa? With a hotel near the train station, you can take day trips (I've done Alba and back the same day) along the coast or north. Genoa is a fascinating, funky city - I love it and that's where I'm headed this November!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: flirtinfilly

                            @flirtinfilly, it would be great if you wrote up some specific recommendations for genoa - not least because we just arrived there last night

                            1. re: jen kalb

                              Try Lupo for dinner - you be welcomed like family and enjoy typical dishes. Tell them "Brenda" sent you (reservations usually needed) VC. MONACHETTE 20/R - GENOVA
                              http://www.lupoanticatrattoria.com/ TEL 010 267036. It near the Principe train station in a caruggi.

                              Go to EATLY ( think Mario Batali) over in the harbor (Porto Antico) and pick up some things for snacks, or have a lunch there. http://www.genova.eataly.it/ Or my other favorite place Taggiou (get there early for lunch! down a caruggi off Via Garibaldi) and have a gelatto just up the street after. Yum!

                              Also, there is a great Italian karaoke bar "BYKER BAR" across the street on Piazza Cavour. It's totally too much fun - an over 40+ crowd for the most part. But you will make new friends.

                              Finally, I haven't been, but this place is on my list to try when I visit in November:
                              Ristorante Voltalacarta on Via Assoritto 60/R (Also stop into the pastry shop at the top of Via Roma. http://blogvoltalacartagenova.blogspo... and one more on my list to try is http://www.nouvelle-vague.it/ Love Genoa - sssshhh don't tell anyone how wonderful it is!