Florence & Venice in February
Thank you for all the help with the Rome portion of my trip! You guys gave me such good advice. And I'll definitely post a trip report when I come back--I've already picked up a couple notebooks where I can record information.
I thought I'd post our tentative plan for Florence and Venice just to make sure we haven't made any bad choices.
Saturday: Train from Florence to Rome. Lunch at Trattoria Mario
Sandwiches at All'Antico Vinao for dinner.
Sunday: Lunch at Trattoria Cibreo
Dinner at Osteria Cipolla Rossa
Monday: Day trip to Siena. Lunch at Antica Osteria Da Divo
Dinner: I'm not sure whether we should try to eat in Siena or get back to Florence. If I'm reading the bus schedule right, the last train to Florence leaves Siena at 20:10.
Tuesday: Train to Venice. Late lunch at Ai Promessi Sposi
Dinner: La Zucca
Wednesday: Lunch at L'Anice Stellato
Dinner: La Bitta (This is our last night in Italy)
It's been a challenge for me to wrap my head around eating in Venice, and I'm not sure why. I don't know whether it's because we're not big seafood eaters or that everything seems so expensive, or both or neither.
But I'm so excited about the way that all the food (Rome vs Florence vs Venice) is so regional and different.
when you say you are not big "seafood" eaters, does that include fish as well as the whole seafood nation? Grilled Fish and the local seafood are so good and fresh in venice that you might want to give it a try - samples in a bacari, perhaps. Maybe PBSF can give some tips on good items to look for
I was not a liver eater (actually a liver hater) til I was in my 20s and ate at a topflight french restaurant while on a business trip, which cooked it to rosy pink, sauced it beautifully., and then, it rocked my world.
re: jen kalb
Neither of us love fish but we are completely on board with trying anything. We even talked about going to Alle Testiere and just putting the meal choices in the hands of the server/chef.
I love shrimp/shellfish, but my husband not so much. I made scampi for dinner last night that he picked through mostly for the kids' sake. =)
If you love shrimp/shellfish and your husband does not, you might consider switching La Bitta or Alla Zucca for a trattoria that has a good selection of seafood as well as meat/poultry. The earlier mentioned Da Alberto is a good alternative to La Bitta, similar in ambience, price and always packed. Vini di Gigia is another good option, a little more expensive than those above but more relax and from my experience better food than La Bitta/da Alberto. It has varied menu with some excellent non-seafood dishes. If you decide to do cicchetti for lunch, might still consider ai Sposi for one of your other meal. The food at Alla Zucca is different from the others, therefore, good if you are looking for a change.
You've done a lot of good research!
Saturday, maybe you want to change around lunch and dinner plans? Seems like Antico Vinaio would be a better choice for lunch.
Siena: Yes, you're right. Best to come back for dinner, since the last train leaves too early.
Not sure you will make it in time for a real sit down lunch. Maybe better to head around near Rialto and stop at Do Mori, Do Spade and All'Arco, for cicheti and wine?
Then Promessi Sposi for dinner.
What about Alberto for lunch? It's very reasonably priced, and usually has good non-meat dishes. Or Portego?
Hope this helps!
Wednesday: Both choices good. Especially La Bitta since you're not big fish eaters. It's not too expensive, and they don't serve fish.
If you take an early train from Florence (two hours to Venice), you should be able to have lunch at Ai Promessi Sposi. They will sit you until around 2pm. If you arrive later, bacari (there are good ones in just about every neighborhood) are good options since they are open through the afternoon. Those around the Rialto such as Do Mori, L'Arco, La Merca are stand up only.
All your choices are moderately priced, casual with mostly good food. Understanding that you are not a big seafood eater, La Zucca (much of the cooking not Venetian) and La Bitta do not serve any seafood at all.