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OT - Trip to Italy Reccomendations - OT

steelcity314steelcity314 Posts: 86
edited July 12 in EggHead Forum
I am leaving tonight for a 10 day trip to Italy, flying into Rome for a few days, then to Florence and finally to Venice. We will be on a group tour, but having never been to Italy before, or even Europe for that matter, any recommendations or advice is much appreciated! 

Thanks

Comments

  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 13,569
    Sleep on the plane. Kick back and relax and enjoy yourself. Get off the beaten path and away from crowds every chance you get. That’s where my fondest memories are in Europe. 
  • GrillSgtGrillSgt Posts: 2,272
    edited July 12
    The Italians are extremely friendly, learn the basic hotel and restaurant words and it will be appreciated. Make sure and go to Sostanza in Florence, reservation necessary and have the butter chicken, one of the world's great dishes. Il Latini is fun and good in Florence. 

    In Venice check out the Chiesa del Gesuiti. Small out of the way church, but nothing is really out of the way in Venice. Just do it, you will thank me.

    Ciao bambino, bon viaggio.
    Woodford & Barren Co. KY

    LBGE, XLBGE, Smobot, 2 Weber Genesis, Weber 22" kettle

    I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  • Agreed that the Italians are very friendly, with the exception of Rome, where this was not our experience. They seem to tire of the tourists. Rome is my favourite city I have ever been to. Recognizing that you will be on a group tour and may not be able to dictate the activities and schedule, I will mention that it is very worthwhile visiting the catacombs below Saint Peter’s church (in the Vatican) - partly just because they are interesting but mostly because those taking the tour are then ushered directly into the church, thereby bypassing the massive lines to get in. The church is like nothing I have ever seen. So ornate and grandiose that it is almost impossible to believe that it was done by humans over centuries. There is nothing I have seen that is quite as impressive. The other obvious sights in Rome would include the Colosseum, the Vatican museum (and Sisteen Chapel), the Jewish Ghetto, Borghese Park, etc. 

    Florence is certainly impressive, but I was content spending more time in Rome. Florence has its own charms (Ponte Vecchio and of course, David), as well as many beautiful churches. 

    Have not not been to Venice, but hope to get there one day.

    All over Europe, churches are both architectural marvels in their own right and serve as repositories for some of the world’s most impressive art. Many are still free to visit. Take full advantage if you can. 
  • ...I will add that there was a good late night scene along the Tiber river in Rome when I was there some 10 years ago. Merchants, food and beverage, even activities for kids all at 2am. I have great memories of that. Don’t know if it’s still that way.
  • mlc2013mlc2013 Posts: 828
    be sure to try and not eat on the main drags where all the tourist are. the best food I have had in italy is from where the kids were out front playing and it was a small family run place. Also I second on try talking in Italian it goes a long way. 
    In Florence I ate at a little restaurant called Il Grillo in the Piazza di Santa Maria and I had the Bistecca and it was out of this world but much of the other food at il grillo was average, that was the only main drag place I ate at in Florence every place else i couldn't even tell you the names of the places.

    In Rome my favorite was Ristorante Santa Cristina al Quirinale, and Metamorfosi from memory its been a few years.

    In Venice, I never found anything really great as for food but had some great speak easy's where they were I can not tell you except over this bridge then that bridge I was lost the whole week I was in venice I never really new where I was but it was fun, plus everything is over the top expensive in Venice so try not to buy anything there as you will find it much more affordable in Rome or Florence.
    As for sight your with a group so Im sure they will have all of that laid out for you. Just enjoy it and relax and eat as much gelato as you possibly can

    Long Island NY    
    1 XL BGE 12/17, 1 LG BGE 3/18, 1 MM BGE 3/18
  • steelcity314steelcity314 Posts: 86
    Thank you all for your quick responses and insight. We do have a decent amount of time allocated for leisure, so I figured the wealth of knowledge on here coule point me to highly recommended sites, restaurants, etc. 
  • GrillSgtGrillSgt Posts: 2,272
    Venice is not noted for their gastronomy but good eats are to be had. Hit up the bars around 4pm for cichetti. Small plates. 
    Woodford & Barren Co. KY

    LBGE, XLBGE, Smobot, 2 Weber Genesis, Weber 22" kettle

    I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  • zman51zman51 Posts: 114
    Wife and I just got back from our Italy adventure yesterday that celebrated 30th anniversary. All good advice above. One of the things we didnt realize until we got there is most stores and restaurants close from 1pm to 4pm for a "siesta". Oh and get ready for scooters everywhere!! Have fun
    Central Florida
  • baychillabaychilla Posts: 387
    In Venice Gato Negro is good but make reservations (its on Burano).  If going the espresso route don't feed the joke (old Italian joke: Q:How do you tell the Americans? A: They're the ones ordering cappuccinos and lattes after 10am).

    The crowds in Venice will suck.  If you want to visit Harrys Bar (Bellini came from there) you'll need to be wearing pants (no shorts).  

    I didn't have a bad meal in the country.  A little effort at using the local language went a long way.  
    Near San Francisco in California
  • dmchicagodmchicago Posts: 1,359
    We spent 17 days in Italy in May.

    Rome was great but kray-kray with people and scooters. The Vatican and St Peter's must be seen to believe.

    Florence was our favorite. Between the city and the Tuscan country, it was amazing.

    Forget about resto recs. Just walk around, away from the crowds and if it looks good and Italian is being spoken, grab a table.

    Do not over spend on wine. It's not necessary. Many great bottles under 25 euros.

    Enjoy. Prego!
    Philly - Kansas City - Houston - Cincinnati - Dallas - Houston - Memphis - Austin - Chicago - Austin

    Dennis - Austin,TX
  • Greetings-

    In Florence I would recommend the Pitti Palace, great gardens and views of the city. I also remember a great wine bar right across from the main entrance, though that memory is a little fuzzy for some reason =)

    I would also suggest getting off the beaten path of tourists for food (to your own comfort level) - one of the best meals we had was across the river from downtown where it was point at the menu and smile situation but the servers were incredibly kind and helpful with pronunciation. Website like Yelp & Chowhound are good resources.

    If you want to see the David statue in the Academie (spelling?) you need to get tickets ahead of time, same with the Duomo and the Medici Palace. There are online how to's for that as well.

    In Rome the Termini station has some great restaurants nearby.

    Second to the idea of not paying a lot for wine - a tavola wine is still good Italian wine. Have a great time and post pics when you return. Travel safe!

    Cheers,

    Chris
    St. Louis, MO
    Unit 1: LBGE, cedar table Unit 2:Akorn
  • StPeteRobStPeteRob Posts: 5
    I’ve been to Rome several times, but my favorite experience there was recently when our B&B host (who is just outside Rome) took us on a midnight tour of the city. Unlike other big cities, Rome is completely asleep after 1AM, and you can get up close to things like the Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, and the Parthenon and there won’t be a person in site. Of course you can’t go in them, but they are lit up, and if you like taking photos this is the best time to do it. I highly recommend doing this until about 7AM, and then find a cafe and have a quick breakfast before going back to bed until lunchtime.
  • steelcity314steelcity314 Posts: 86
    edited July 13
    Thank you all for the advice. We just got to the hotel in Rome, so now it’s time to explore this incredible city
  • mb1421mb1421 Posts: 6
    When in Florence a must is All'Antico Vinaio Via Dei Neri 65 R.  It is a great sandwich shop.  Get a sandwich and a bottle of wine and have a picnic in the park.
  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 6,813
    You might want to try and find an Olive Garden.  I heard they honor their all you can eat breadsticks in Italy.
    =======================================
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16
    Tampa Bay, FL
    EIB 6 Oct 95
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