Hi all. I'm planning a 4 week trip to Italy leaving Dulles IAD on September 6 and returning home on October 5, 2016. This will be my 6th trip to Italy. I'll fly into Milano and stay for 10 days (3-4 days in the Lakes District); then 7 days in Torino (1 night in Alba); then 7 days in Genova, finishing my trip with 4 days in Portovenere. I'm hoping to get some guidance of picking restaurants to go to.
A little bit about me: My first trip to Italy in 2010, I stayed for two weeks in a small city in southeastern Toscana. Didn't go to Rome, nor Venice, nor Firenze. that's not what I wanted to do. I didn't want the typical tourist trip ("if it's Tuesday , this must be Siena..."). I didn't want to look at "things", take photos holding up Il Pendente, go on a obligatory gondola ride, and have my photo taken standing next to a "gladiator" in front of the Coliseum, then check them off the list and go to the next one. I know enough not to go to any restaurant that has the menu printed in 5-6 different languages or that are located right next to famous monuments, etc.
My goal that first time was to try to experience life as lived by the local Italians, to "blend-in" as best I could (knowing that I still stood out as a foreigner - just not as garishly dressed or behaving as an "ugly-American").
As for my taste in food/restaurants, it certainly is not the pretentiousness of the Michelin-starred choices, or the so-called destination restaurants - where artistry in deconstruction or unorthodox technique is more important than taste, and where you pay 100's of euros for a thimble sized amount of nourishment.
I much prefer those meals that are simple, "authentic" Italian, enjoyed by the "locals" on a daily basis, in a charming and comfortable atmosphere. Trattorias, osterias, etc. where the menu is typically hand written on chalk-boards with what was fresh at the market that morning. Nothing high-end, except for the quality. I like the atmosphere where Mom is the chef, Dad is helping and/or seating/serving everyone (or vice-versa) and the sons and daughters are the waiters.
I will be staying in apartments that I have already rented in the historic centers of each town/city mentioned above. I won't have a car, as I take the excellent trenitalia to each new location, so my stays are typically centered just in the city I'm staying in. So if you have suggestions of good places to eat at, I would certainly welcome them and deeply appreciate your guidance and suggestions.
Grazie mille, and cin-cin!
by Amy Sowder | From spicy stuffed poblanos to a bright watermelon salad, these are some of the best summer side dishes...
by David Watsky | Trader Joe's is one of our favorite places to discover food. Sometimes it's mashups like the Buffalo...
by Emily Cappiello | The infamous Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte will return on August 27 this year—and Dunkin' Donuts will...
Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.