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 Post subject: Italy - Venice, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Pisa
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:41 pm
Posts: 1873
Location: Near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hi Guys
Chris and I and the boys will be going to Italy for 3 weeks. Currently we have an apartment for 2 nights in Venice near St. Mark's square, 2 nights at a hotel in Florence, 2 nights in Assisi at a small studio apartment (should be interesting as the boys are both bigger than me), 2 nights in Sulmona visiting my brother's wife's family and seeing the jousting, 3 nights in Rome (likely in an apartment near the Vatican) and 2 nights on the coast near Pisa. Then heading to Trento to see/stay with my family. My parents, brother and family and sister and one of her kids will be up there at the same time.
Whew. Still can't believe we are doing this. Very excited and at the same time extremely nervous about so many things.

Anyone been to any of the above and have recommendations for food? My boys are pretty adventurous eaters within reason. Looking for family friendly options that won't break the bank. ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Italy - Venice, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Pisa
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:10 pm
Posts: 1058
Location: PA
It's been a few years since we were in Venice (our favorite place run by 3 old sisters is gone, sadly) but one place we enjoyed our first time there (> 10 years ago) was Osteria La Bottega ai Promessi Sposi.

Reservations are important in Venice, even in shoulder season.


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 Post subject: Re: Italy - Venice, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Pisa
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 954
Location: Northern California
How cool! Have a great trip


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 Post subject: Re: Italy - Venice, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Pisa
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:03 am
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Location: Portland, OR
Jean,

Sounds awesome! Don't make the mistake of trying to see everything or most things, you can't (except in Pisa, where there's really only one thing to see). Pick three things you want to see in each place and stick to that. Here's my writeups on food in Rome:

Pizza: http://www.fuzzychef.org/archives/Pizza ... -2010.html

Shopping & Eating: http://www.fuzzychef.org/archives/A-day ... -2009.html

Campo Di Fiori Market: http://www.fuzzychef.org/archives/Shopp ... -2009.html

More recommends later.

Warning: if you're staying in a hotel, it's very important to take valuables with you or lock them in the hotel safe in Rome.

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The Fuzzy Chef
Serious Chef iz Serious!


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 Post subject: Re: Italy - Venice, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Pisa
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:41 pm
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Location: Near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
thanks! Am adding the places here so far to my list.

Fuzzy, we are in hotels in Florence and Rome, we won't have many valuables with us other than the kids and a few electronics but nothing pries (sp?) those devices out of their hands normally. We will however use the safe for items, thanks for the tip. I have a moneybelt for when we are out and about with cash in the main cities. Not too worried outside of Venice, Rome and Florence but it never hurts to be careful.


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 Post subject: Re: Italy - Venice, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Pisa
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:01 am
Posts: 1287
Location: Denver
Jean, I can't remember name of any restaurants I enjoyed in Venice (must learn to journal), but take the boat ride to Murano if you can, had the best pizza ever on the waterway....of course I can't remember the name. Also, go to Henry's Bar....touristy now, but still worth a visit.

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 Post subject: Re: Italy - Venice, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Pisa
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:03 am
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Location: Portland, OR
Jean,

In Rome, the other restaurants we enjoyed included:

* Il Boom in Trastevere
* Several bakeries in Trastevere
* Mozzarella Bar on Campo di Fiori (more of a snack/drink thing)

Rome also has a lot of chocolatiers.

In Pisa, we went to a pizza place overlooking the "Baths of Nero", a Roman bath ruin around 4 blocks from the Tower. Never learned the name, but they had really amazing socca.

Florence was quite a while ago, so I don't remember much since I didn't take good notes. What I remember is:

* don't eat at the "pizza" places which sell by the slice in tourist areas, they're the only bad food in Florence
* actually, the other bad food in Florence is at the train station
* The best gelato place was right off the colonnade next to the Uffitzi
* Some of the guys, including Italians, went to a Bistecca place called La Lampara which they raved about.

Other tips:
* the group tours stop at 3pm, so you can get into almost any monument after 3pm without a line, especially in Rome.
* if you want to go to the Uffizi or the Duomo in Florence, make a reservation
* the sculpture museum in Florence rarely has lines
* seeing the Last Supper isn't worth it, the lines are long and it's in terrible shape
* In Rome the best paintings are all in churches
* No bus or taxi in Rome goes in even a remotely straight line, and the bus system is incomprehensible
* The Vatican museum tour takes a full day (and you'll have only seen around 20% of it)

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Serious Chef iz Serious!


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 Post subject: Re: Italy - Venice, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Pisa
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 954
Location: Northern California
In Rome near Trastevere, Volpetti is a specialty food store and when we were there they gave samples of lots of things. Small place but wonderful! I found really good chocolate there: Amedei Porcelana and Venchi Dark chocolate squares, can't remember their official name. We tried pistachio butter there and some charcuterie.

I second the money belt and safe options. We had no issues.

Have fun!

added:
Vivoli in Florence had phenomenal gelato.


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 Post subject: Re: Italy - Venice, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Pisa
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:41 pm
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Location: Near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Thanks everyone! Fuzzy - did not realize about the reservation and will make one for the Uffizi. We didn't see it in '95 since the line was so long. Will be doing that for sure since there's no way my boys, or hubby, will stand in line.
We are driving but in Rome will be doing transit or taxis around the city, will be interesting to see how my feeble Italian improves over the weeks there.
I broke a bone in my food about 10 days ago so my mobility will be less than desired, but if I have to sit in a cafe with a gelato or glass of vino to rest then, gosh darn, that is just what I will have to do. ;-)

Speciality food shop and samples...yum. I have teenage boys, am anticipating huge restaurant bills. :shock:


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