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Florence, Montalcino & Rome


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Florence, Montalcino & Rome

ChowLad | | May 31, 2013 07:25 AM

I will be traveling to Italy, June 28 through July 11, spending 6 nights in Florence and two in Rome (with 5 nights in Taormina in between). I’m looking mostly for dinner and some lunch recommendations as well as winery recommendations around Montalcino. I’ve been reviewing this board and some of the blogs but wanted to reach out for some specific advice.

A little bit about our eating preferences. Generally prefer casual/relaxed places with a good wine list. Not big fans of innovative or experimental cuisine. Low tolerance for pretense. Willing to spend money for a great experience. In each of Florence and Rome, looking for one night at a “fancier” place and the other meals at more laid back locations.

In New York, some of our favorite places are Maialino, Colicchio & Sons, Gramercy Tavern, Osteria Morini, Marea, Ed’s, Blue Hill at Stone Barns.


I made a reservation at Pinchiorri but will probably cancel based on what I’ve read here. Is it true that wine pairings start in the EUR 500 range?

I’ve gotten recommendations for the following, which sound good to me:

Buca Lapi
Le Fontucine
Ristorante Buca dell'Orafo
Il Latini

Please let me know your thoughts or other preferences.


I have arranged a driver for a 10-hour tour of the wineries around Montalcino. I’d like to go to a few wineries, stop for lunch, and do a few more after lunch. I was recommended Trattoria il Leccio in the town of Montalcino for lunch. I’ve made arrangements at the following wineries:

Tenuta Il Poggione
Fattoria Poggio di Sotto
Biondi Santi
Castello Banfi

(Case Basse di Gianfranco Soldera – visits are suspended “for security reasons”)

Any others worth a visit? Also, would like to work in a side trip to something along the way. Thoughts on Arezzo or San Giminiano? Siena is not an option as it will be the day after the Palio and I doubt the town will be at its best.


Since we’re only in Rome for two nights, I’d like one restaurant on the elegant side and one that’s a real Roman trattoria experience, unless you have other recommendations. I know Metamorfosi is high on people’s list right now, but it doesn’t seem like a place we’d enjoy.


This is our third time in Taormina, and I’m pretty comfortable with the restaurants here. I promise a report back as it can be surprisingly difficult to find a great meal in this town.


Looking forward to your recommendations. Thanks in advance!

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