Italy

Discussion in 'Restaurant Reviews' started by kevinvilla, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. kevinvilla

    kevinvilla

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    I'm planning on going to Italy this summer, and I was wondering if you guys had any recommendations on places to go or things to eat. Ideally, I plan to stay in one or two regions over about 2 weeks, and I want to try real Italian food, instead of the stuff they serve tourists. Unfortunately, I don't know how to speak Italian (the most I know is a little Spanish), and I don't have a lot of connections in Italy. Any suggestions?
     
  2. de_vogon

    de_vogon

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    if you intend to eat 'real italian' food, find the smallest town you can and eat where there are locals eating. it's pretty easy actually as i've found great food all over the country and only bad food was where they serve mostly tourists. Depending on where you're going i can make plenty of suggestions. i live in The Netherlands and make regular trips to and through most of Italy as often as possible.

    add: just a note, though, do learn some Italian as outside major tourist areas like Florence, Rome, and Milan you will find not so much English, though it has been getting more common in recent years.
     
  3. kevinvilla

    kevinvilla

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    I was thinking Tuscany. Apparently I also have an aunt whose sister lives on a farm near Assisi, so I was thinking about staying somewhere between those two areas.
     
  4. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    KevinVilla, I highly recommend the SlowTravel.com site. There are innumerable posts about eating in Italy, and members who live there. Here's their message board: http://slowtalk.com/eve/ubb.x. The atmosphere is very much like this one. The emphasis is on slow travel- less so on "I've got four days to spend in Florence...", but they'll be patient with questions like that. They also have a great search feature to locate previous posts on topics you're interested in (as we have too, by the way). They also have links to hotels for short stays and apartments, villas, houses, etc. for longer stays. I recommend reading widely on that board, as your question has been asked and answered there by other "hungry travelers".

    I also recommend you visit http://divinacucina.com/. The owner is a Californian who has lived and cooked in Italy for over two decades. She is "Diva" on the Slow Talk site.

    I hope this helps!

    Buon viaggio,
    Mezzaluna
     
  5. jock

    jock

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    I would recommend two things:

    First, buy a Rick Steves travel guide to Italy. It has a lot of good recommendations for travel and eating.

    Second, buy an Italian/English dictionary/phrase book. It has been my experience that Europeans in general and Italians in particular have a low tolerance for the "ugly American" tourist. If you make a genuine attempt to speak the language - even if you are terrible at it - they will reward your efforts by being patient with you and helping when they can.

    Unrelated to eating - if you are planning to drive in Italy, be prepared to get lost. The highways are fine (watch for toll roads) but off the highways driving is definately a challenge.

    I was asking directions in a small town just outside Sienna once and joked with this fine old Italian gentleman that during the war the British removed all the road signs so that if the Germans ever invaded they would get lost. We think the Italians did the same thing but forgot to put the signs back again.

    Jock