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

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)

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.

Question: if you were going to Rome for the first time would you stay in a boutique hotel or a cool apartment with a view?

Assuming more than 2 nights, apartment is far far better, in my opinion! For me not even close.

1 Like

What month?

I’d want to shop at Mercato Testaccio and Salumeria Volpetti, so I’d get an apartment somewhere in the Testaccio neighborhood.

Apartment with a view, make sure there’s an elevator or be ready to climb a lot of stairs. A great view is not that common a thing as the buildings tend to be all the same height and close to each other. Often a view will come with traffic noise.

1 Like


In that case, you don’t have to avoid places near the Tevere. Be prepared for rain, though.

1 Like

More expensive too. Dear husband is pretty adamant about me seeing Rome first. I get it. But out of curiosity, why more hours?

P.S. I never thought I’d say this but I don’t mind rain. I live in dry ass L.A. Plus, I want to avoid a lot of tourists.

Is this incorrect?

This makes it clearer:

Rain does not affect tourism. If you want to avoid tourists, stay in a less touristy neighborhood with a good streetcar line.

1 Like

Oh, also, there aren’t many tourists about in the Centro Storico early in the morning. Some of the churches with great art open as early as 7 am.

1 Like

il motivo per cui?