Italy Suggestions Needed (Venice, Florence, Tuscany, Rome)

Going to be in Venice, Florence, Tuscany, and Rome in a few weeks, would love some good recs…pastas/pizza or anything worthwhile.

thank you!

Do a chichetti crawl in Venice - make sure you hit Cantinone Già Schiavi

Keen to try this risotto next time I’m in Venice

Lamprodetto in Florence

Florence, from 2016 - Buca dell’Orafo is one of the top options for Bistecca but do not go too early in the evening, More detail below:
Il Santo Bevitore - we had 21:30 reservation, when we came in most tables were speaking English, but by the time we left most patrons were speaking Italian. The restaurant has a hip/modern vibe, somewhat reminiscent of a Paris bistronomy restaurant. Service was ok, but not great, and the restaurant was really busy all night. Highlights were cured meats and roasted cinghiale. Both salads (Croccante and Mozzarelline) were deplorable. I did not take pictures but they appeared to have been haphazardly assembled and had no taste. Other dishes were just ok. Overall it was a very disappointing experience. Not Recommended.

  1. Buca dell’Orafo - the may have been the best dinner of this trip. Small restaurant just steps away from Ponte Vecchio, limited English spoken but the warmth and friendliness of the service well compensated for the slight language barrier. We had 21:30 reservation, and were the only people without an Italian in our group. Burrata with cantabrian anchovies, mushroom salad, and of course, the Bistecca were phenomenal! We were going specifically for the Bistecca and it delivered! The wine list is not huge, but there is enough to pair with the Bistecca. Highly Recommended.

  2. Borgo Antico - Since we were going to the Opera @ Palazzo Pitti at 21:00 we had to find a place to have a bite that opens early and near Pitti. Piazza Santo Spirio is a very lively piazza in Oltrarno, with lots of young people, and many restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating. We sat inside as it was insanely hot outdoors. Antipasti and pizza were excellent. Service was friendly and efficient.

  3. Taverna Del Bronzino. This was our 4th visit there since 2008. It is a very convivial restaurant, and as usual Umberto and Stefano delivered an outstanding service. Very solid wine list with some gems, and reasonably priced. Antipasti (Fagioli with Bottarga, Tuna with beans, etc). Pastas were amazing, perfectly cooked, flavorful (Spaghetti Bottarga and Tagliolini). Scallopina Di Vittela was outstanding. Bistecca Fiorentina was average (it was too thin, and too dry/overcooked). Overall a very good dining experience which would have been outstanding if Bistecca was up to par. Recommended.

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Rome (2008, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2017)
Il Tempio di Iside - recommend highly - one of the best seafood experiences ever! Definitely plan to go back when next in Rome.
Emma- very good dinner, casual.
Il San Lorenzo - one Michelin star at the time of our visit, competent, but ultimately disappointing. Best go to il tempio di iside.
Roscioli - can be a challenging experience, food was great, but very touristy vibes.
Metamorphosi - spectacular dinner in 2016
Glass Hostaria - excellent dinner in 2013
Antico Arco - excellent, unpretentious, and not touristy
Il Convivio - excellent, in institution of sorts.


Venice (2013)
Two standout dinners were:

  1. ll Ridotto - fixed menu, excellent. Seating inside only. A bit formal. Most people there appeared to be well to do Italian or European visitors.

  2. Osteria Di Santa Marina - fabulous dinner, way out of the touristy area, mostly locals, great food, nice outdoor seating. Next time in Venice, will definitely go back.

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Il Tempio Iside was such a blast.
I am attaching a few photos from there.
carpaccio di gamberi, burrata and anchovies, and another dish that I can not remember the name of, but was was spectacular. The restaurant is not inexpensive, but high caliber seafood rarely is.

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Our two favorite meals we had in Rome. Still can’t get the shrimp with the blue roe out of my head. The pasta with the crab was delicious but a lot of work to get to the crab meat.

My favorite gelato I tried in Italy was at Santa Trinita. It’s across the river on the other side when you cross the Ponte Vecchio. The peanut and tangerine gelato were transcendent.

Bump any more recs? Heading into Venice tomorrow

Report back! Heading this week.

I already have lists upon lists and old favorites but what did you love?

Al Mascaron is my Venice favorite.

I was in Rome, Naples, and Modena last month. Didn’t do all the eating and exploring of outlying neighborhoods that I wanted and I clearly don’t have the expertise of some other posters (though some of our favorites do overlap), but my favorites in Rome were:

Antico Forno Roscioli for Pizza al Taglio
Beppe and His Cheeses for cheese and salami
Pergamino for coffee
Il Goccetto for a wine bar (and very close to Supplizio for cool Roman fried street food)
Osteria Birra del Borgio for solid food and good beer brewed on site
Mercato di Testaccio had some awesome food stalls, especially Mordi e Vai for sandwiches and Le Mani in Pasta (which was the best amatriciana we had)

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Jetlagging now after an intense trip of 5 cities in 10 days… something i never do… arg. tried to eat as well as i could but was with a very awful eater that didn’t help matters… did ok… mostly mellow tratorias.

Bonci was fucking nuts though.

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Huh, I walked by Il Goccetto a bunch of times and never got a clue that it was a wine bar.

Will post a full rundown in a bit, but I returned from Milan, Venice, Florence (+ a dinner in Bologna), Rome, Ravello (+ pizza in Naples). We ate a ton of Roman pastas (cacio e pepe, gricia, carbonara, all’amatriciana), about 8 different tripe dishes, lots of caffe, and sorbetto al limone. We avoided tasting menus altogether, in favor of more local fare.


  • Da Giacomo: great food and experience altogether (other than the end - they tried to add on 10% service charge, beyond coperto, when nowhere else in Italy did.) But I can forgive that because the food was excellent.
  • Antica Trattoria della Pesa: classic Milanese - osso bucco, risotto giallo, trippa alla milanese, cotoletta. Creme caramel, lemon sorbet, and a bottle of Brunello. Recommended if you want an honest trattoria.


  • Mercato Centrale, indeed. The Savini tagliolini al tartufo nero was excellent, twice. And, Sassicaia 2016 by the glass, if that’s your thing.
  • Da Ruggero: good (homestyle dishes like pappa al pomodoro), but I believe we had meals in this vein that were even better. Sergio Gozzi and Trattoria Sostanza both had good homestyle food, though I didn’t really care for bistecca alla Fiorentina much.


  • Da Cesarina - excellent tortellini en brodo and tagliatelle con ragu Bolognese. Exactly what I was looking for.


  • Tempio di Iside - excellent seafood menu. Langoustines, gamberi rossi, and Ireland regal oysters
  • Santo Palato - best trippa all Romana. Hardcore carbonara, very good pastas and pork secreto. Didn’t like the funky natural wine.
  • Armando al Pantheon - all around very good, close to touristy stuff if that matters. Probably my favorite gricia.
  • Cesare al Casaletto - far from the city center; good pastas and overall enjoyable. Good sauces though noodles were more cooked than anywhere else. I expected the more al dente texture we had everywhere else in Rome.
  • Perilli - good all around; an institution. Probably my favorite carbonara.


  • 50 Kalo. Super good Neapolitan pizza.

more later.


Some winners from a recent trip:

In Rome, Roscioli stunned. Far and away the best cacio e pepe I have ever had. It makes the Felix version look like child’s play. On a second visit, an almost equally stunning carbonara. The various cheeses, meats, and breads were also all great. The only downside is the seating is a little uncomfortable and cramped, but this is one of the very best Italian restaurants in the world. Didn’t take many pictures, but here is the cacio.

Emma also was quite good. The pizzas were interesting, in that I was not particularly impressed by the style of bread, but a vibrant tomato sauce and delicious toppings made them worth trying. We also had a very good amatriciana and carbonara and a handful of buffalo mozzarella and burrata dishes that were excellent.

In Florence, I echo the love for mercato centrale. Really a big fan of Il Trapizino, which originated in Rome but is in the market. Would eat this all the time if it was in LA.

I’m pretty sure that any dish served at both Roscioli and Emma will be virtually the same at both.

Haven’t been enough to say–the noodles looked slightly different in versions of the Roscioli dishes that also appear on the Emma menu. I did not get the carbonara at Roscioli, but the person next to me did and it did not look identical to the one at Emma–the noodles had a more yellow hue. Who knows. I found that the pastas at Emma on the night I went were good, but were missing the chew I was really looking for to elevate them to the next level.

I was pretty let down by Emma when I went…it was fine but nothing to write home about

Either you caught Emma on an off day or we have very different taste.