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Affordable Italy Recommendations - Venice, Florence, Tuscany, and Rome

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Hi Chowhounders!

My family is taking a trip to Italy for the first 2 weeks of May and would love some affordable, casual recommendations for delicious Italian food! We love local spots that are a little off the tourist track.

We will be spending 3 days in Venice (Thursday through Saturday, including May 1st), staying near Campo S. Margherita.

From Venice, we will travel to a villa outside Florence in the Arezzo region. We are planning a trip to Florence on Monday, and then for Tuesday and Wednesday would like to travel to Cortona and Siena. (Please share if you've had great experiences with other day trips!)

Our last 3 days will be spent in Rome (Sunday evening through Wednesday). Our apartment is located a block from Campo de Fiori and nearby Piazza Navona.

We have all been to Italy before and love everything about it, so are looking for no-frills local venues. Please share any recommendations for restaurants and/or must-do's for our trip!

Mille Grazie!

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  1. 1) I highly recommend acquiring a copy of the Slow Food "Guide to the Osterias of Italy" and Fred Plotkin's "Italy For The Gourmet Traveler."

    2) There are literally 100's of threads already on this board discussing the cities/regions you are thinking of visiting in Italy. You can use the search feature in the upper right-hand corner of this page or simply scroll back thru the posts. You will dozens and dozens of helpful suggestions already here for you to review.

    Some personal recommendations are Trattoria da Leo in Lucca and the Nerbone food stand in the Mercato Centrale in Florence.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DavidT

      I second Plotkin's book, the newest edition just out in April 2014

    2. In Venice try lunch over on the very lovely via Garibalidi. I love alla Rampa or an afternoon snack of a tray of various delicious small sandwiches at El Refelo. In Piazza Margherita the Osteria alla Bifora is very good.

      In Rome the bakery Roscioli is fantastic for take away slices of pizza and prepared pastas etc...that you can take back to your apartment after a long day of exploring.

      www.gillianslists.com

      1 Reply
      1. Thanks for the suggestions!

        1. See my post "Sid's short(er) list Venice. I've listed some less expensive Restarants.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sidcundiff

            Thanks Sid! All of your lists have been very helpful!