I am a longtime CHer. Everytime I travel I pour over the boards, ask questions and make a plan A & a plan B and then some.
I'm headed to Italy next month and I haven't researched restaurants at all. This is completely out of character for me. I really can't explain it. I'm traveling with a friend and we are going to visit her good friend, who lives near Levanto, just North of Pisa. We'll spend a night in Florence, Lucca, a couple of nights around Lake Garda where we'll visit some wineries in Fumane and then head to Levanto and do a little exploring of the Cinque Terre.
I've done a little reading about regional dishes for the areas we're visiting. We are trying to be less regimented with our planning and want to go with the flow. Is it possible to find deliciousness without planning? Am I nuts to gamble? I should say that I am not interested in Michelin stars or fine dining. Just good simple food, wine and quality ingredients. Any general tips on how to avoid touristy places and find charming little restaurants & markets would be greatly appreciated.