Itinerary Review- Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Maremma
My wife and I will be making our second trip to Italy in late May and after reviewing many posts on this site as well as numerous other resources, I'm looking for any comments on where we plan to dine. Most of these places I'm sure are familiar to everyone so I'm really looking for comments along the lines of recent changes at the restaurant that may be important (change in chef, remodel) or if I've not considered something important (open/closing times, too many places of similar style, etc.) My wife is a ovo-lacto vegetarian which always influences some of our choices.
Arrive in Rome and take the train to Grosseto for 3 nights at L'andana outside Castiglione della Pescaia. We stayed here on our first trip to Italy and thoroughly enjoyed the food at both the fine dining restaurant (which won't be open at the time of our visit) and the more casual hotel restaurant. Our plan is to stay on site for this part of the trip, but would be interested if there is anywhere especially interesting nearby as we won't have a car.
Train to Florence for 2 nights
Dinners- Il Santo Bevitore, IO Osteria Personale
Lunch/snacks- 'Ino, Coquinarius, Le Volpe e L'Uva, La Bussola
Seriously considered Ora D'Aria and our hotel restaurant Il Palaggio for one of the dinners, but am leaning toward the more casual options.
Train to Sorrento for 2 nights
Dinner is included in our hotel rate for one night and the other is currently wide open as my research has confirmed that Sorrento is not a dining destination. Would be interested in any recommendations for dinner within a reasonable taxi distance (any budget/formality level).
Train to Rome for 3 nights before returning home:
In Rome, lunches will be dictated by where we are while food will dictate our evening plans.
Dinners- Roscioli (Friday), Metamorfosi (Saturday), Perilli (Sunday)
Lunch/snacks-Pizzarium, Pizzeria Al Leoncino, Il Goccetto, Il Piccolo, Le Barrique
We're fairly knowledgeable about wine and coffee and would be interested in any recommendations for wine bars in Rome with great selections of older Barolo/Brunello/Barbaresco (both to enjoy in the bar and retail) as well as high quality coffee shops.
Any insight or comments are much appreciated and I'll definitely report on my experiences upon return.
Love your dinner choices for rome, except maybe perilli, but it surely has its supporters.. For lunch, am not sure if leoncino is open midday but even if it is, not necessarily a recommendation. Goccetto and barrique will be great for having a glass of wine.
Best older wine selection in rome you will find at costantini, on piazza cavour, definitely go by. But i also strongly suggest trying other wines of italy and not only the big B's :) You can try some new things at Goccetto and Barrique or even further your education at a wine tasting.
Thanks for the thoughts and recommendations everyone.
Re: Vinorama- trust me, we will definitely be drinking wines from all over Italy. We love all sorts of Italian wines and we learned that there's no end to the variety and exploration of Italian wines. It's just difficult to find the older "big B's" (great term) where I'm from so I want to try to find some to both enjoy while in Italy and maybe bring home. We also found great deals on wine in France so we're hoping to do the same while in Italy. I'll definitely add Constantini to the list.
Leoncino may not be a great pizza place, but we went there on our first trip to Rome so if we can, we may head back for nostalgic reasons.
Thanks for your thoughts and coffee recommendations. I'd read about San Eustachio, but any place that automatically put sugar in their espresso kind of violates my coffee rules (I'm borderline an obnoxious coffee snob, maybe not even borderline). Definitely a place with a lot of character though and we may check it out just for the experience.
Spending the day at Capri sounds pretty ideal. Thanks for that recommendation.
I agree Sorrento is not the best dining destination.
My advices is to hop on a ferry and spend a day in Capri at one of the swanky beach clubs (Da Luigi, il Fontelina or Il Faro)
Or head to Positano. If it is a weekend go to Da Adolfo (they may not be open during the week in May) Bar Bruno is excellent. Chez Black has a great location, decent food and friendly service.
In Rome il Piccoli is a charming spot. I also like al Vino al Vino in Monti.
You've certainly done your research!
Florence: All good choices. I tend to go towards Ora d'Aria over Palaggio. A bit less stuffy.
Rome choices all good. Leoncina is open at lunch, if you feel like pizza at midday.
Wine: You might want to try Achille al Parlemento if you are interested in the 'important' wines. You can both taste and buy a lot of the older ones.
Look forward to hearing back from you.
Coffee in Rome: the obvious of course is Tazza d'Oro and San Eustachio
For great coffee you should try Eustachio on Piazza Sant'Eustachio. It's an institution, in a good way :-)