Planning my first trip to Italy

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by jellly, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. jellly

    jellly

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    I am in the early stages of planning my trip - Just starting to look at guide books and trying to decide where in Italy to go.  But the truth is, my main reason for choosing Italy is the food.  Sure, I may glimpse the Colosseum or some nice architecture between meals.  But mostly I want to try some authentic food and indulge in some fabulous gelato.

    So, I am wondering what suggestions my fellow foodies might have?
     
  2. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    There is Great Food all over Italy, I love Venice and Rome, great Gelato in both, great restaurants in both........The trains are great, easy to get for both cities. There are to many Restaurants to talk about now, I will give you a site later with reviews of Restaurants in Italy.................ChefBillyB
     
  3. ishbel

    ishbel

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    I adore Tuscany and Liguria - and have done a few cooking courses in both regions.

    I also love Sicily and Naples, as well as northern cities like Milan.

    You certainly can't go wrong ANYWHERE in Italy.
     
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  4. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Learn to speak a little Italian.  You don't need to be able to carry on a fluent conversation but anything beyond please and thank you, will get you serious love. 

    Flirt.  You're in Italy.  You'll dine better for it.

    If there's a problem or you don't like something, don't get angry, don't complain loudly, and don't blame.  Leave that to the Germans and Brits.  Besides, it won't work anyway.  Try patience, humor and your newly learned, rudimentary Italian.  

    Never ask for a restaurant recommendation at the hotel desk.

    Italian beer is a waste of time. Sorry.

    One word:  Trattoria. 

    Another word:  Vino.

    Just because Hemingway ate there, doesn't mean it's still good.  If several waiters in the restaurant speak fluent English, go somewhere else.

    Seasonal.  Local. Traditional cured meats, olives, cheeses.

    Fish.  You can actually get fresh.  Poultry.  Ditto.

    There's no such thing as "authentic." 

    The espresso isn't what it used to be.  The big importer/roasters have become very corporate and pennywise.  It's still a lot better than what you can find in most places in the States.  Besides, it's the law.  Don't waste your time searching for a latte with lots of flavors, not only do they not do that at all well, you'll embarrass the rest of us.  Cappuccino is okay.  You have my permission.

    Mange,

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
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  5. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Try and find some ricotta fuerte. It has a lot of other names though.
     
  6. jellly

    jellly

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    ChefBillyB - I would love that website to use once I narrow down locations.  I will definitely want to look into a few restaurants ahead of time.  

    Thanks for the advice.  I am not sure how long I will be able to visit, but perhaps I will choose two cities and try the train out while I am there. 
     
  7. jim berman

    jim berman

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    You are in for quite an adventure! I made my first trip last year with a group of students. It was spectacular, to say the least. Here is a link to our online journal that we created daily from there: http://cookinginitaly2010.blogspot.com/ It is full of observations, experiences, adventures and intrigue! Feel free to contact me if you want specifics.
     
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  8. rgm2

    rgm2

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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  9. jim berman

    jim berman

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    I am in the budgeting/fund raising stages of my students' next trip... and a word of caution: the Euro is very strong right now against the dollar. Be sure to keep that in consideration. 
     
  10. jellly

    jellly

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    Jim- Thank you so much for the link.  I have been reading the posts from your trip to Italy and find I can't do it on an empty stomach!  Your meal in San Benedetto had me drooling.
     
  11. jim berman

    jim berman

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    Jelly, you are very welcome! I am so glad you liked the posts. Keeping that blog 'alive' allows me (and even some of the students that made the trip) to relive every now and then. I miss that place as if it were a comfortable home. Going back in July of next year!! 
     
  12. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Jelly,

    Looks like the credit crisis in Europe might might tank the Euro. Of course, things can turn around quickly. But right now at least it looks as though your dollar will go farther in Italy than it would last year, or last week for that matter.

    Currency fluctuations happen; their directions and dimensions can't be predicted with confidence (if they could, we'd all be rich); they're not something you can plan for too far into the future; but for now at least, let it put a little ray of sunshine in your planning.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Eat in Trattorrias, family owned they are the real Italy
     
  14. jellly

    jellly

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    I am meeting with my travel agent next week.  I am leaning towards Tuscany and Naples/Amalfi Coast area.  I probably won't go until Spring, but I am already excited.  
     
  15. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    What I said about the Euro tanking and your US dollar going a long way... Today at least I'm looking very right. We'll see how it goes.

    BDL