Planning my first trip to Italy

430
44
Joined Jan 3, 2005
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?
 
2,399
704
Joined Feb 8, 2009
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
 
3,147
41
Joined Jan 5, 2007
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.
 
8,550
210
Joined Feb 13, 2008
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:
430
44
Joined Jan 3, 2005
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. 
 
1,908
274
Joined Oct 28, 1999
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.
 
1,908
274
Joined Oct 28, 1999
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. 
 
430
44
Joined Jan 3, 2005
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.
 
1,908
274
Joined Oct 28, 1999
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!! 
 
8,550
210
Joined Feb 13, 2008
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:
430
44
Joined Jan 3, 2005
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.  
 
8,550
210
Joined Feb 13, 2008
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
 
Top Bottom