(Sorry - this turned into a very long post - I probably didn’t need so many words)
Folks - we are going to be heading to Italy very soon - next week. I have been reading through a number of posts over the past couple weeks, but still didn’t get to fully research everywhere. We have some fairly well developed thoughts on our food itinerary for Rome and Florence, and would like to ask advice and comments on it. After Florence we are in Siena (and driving around Tuscany), Modena, and then Bellagio. Siena/Tuscany is where we have the least things planned.
It’s my wife and I and our 10 year son. He’s moderately picky but loves pasta and pizza. Looking at my list, it looks like I’m mainly choosing pretty traditional, classic spots. Ideally I would mix it a bit more.
We’ll be in Rome two days - we are thinking of something like this - we arrive in the morning, and are staying near Teatro Argentina. We’ll start with snacks at the Roscioli bakery, as we walk around Campo di Fiori, and then hit Emma for lunch. Afternoon we tour Vatican Museum… we’ll be in full jetlag haze in the afternoon, so I’m not sure what to do for dinner that evening. Thinking something near the Vatican museum, so maybe Sorpasso, or Bonci. (I will probably not eat pizza at Emma for lunch, so pizza in the evening is good). Bonci might be lively enough to keep us going long enough to struggle off to bed. Is it a madhouse in early evening?
The next morning we tour the Colosseum area, so I am looking for lunch afterwards near there. Looking for something convenient to there we considered Nerone or Danilo (less close but not too bad to get to). Any other suggestions people would recommend? For that evening, I considered Armando or Roscioli - not sure yet what we’ll be doing in the afternoon/evening but Armando might be more of where we’d like to be in the evening. We will revive ourselves often with gelato, I’ll have to figure that out later.
Other things for Rome if our plans change - we have Beppe as a place to consider hitting for snacks, and for the 10 year old it’s good to have a hamburger place in my back pockets, so Open Baladin is on my list in case we want to try something different. Pianostrada is also on my list, but I have seen mixed reviews here.
The next day we train it to Florence, arriving around lunch time. We have 5 non-morning meals in Florence. First time in Florence for me! We’ll probably hit the Mercato Centrale in the upstairs area for lunch, then it’s museums. I’m excited to hit Sostanza so we’ll probably aim for that the first night. Does Sostanza just seat at 7:30 (opening time) or do they do later seatings toward the end of their open hours? (I’ll try to call for reservations a day or two before, hopefully that’s soon enough). Looking a bit more, I do see that folks are recommending Sostanza for lunch instead of dinner - I’ll consider that.
For the next day I have less a schedule in mind in Florence, but am considering Osteria delle Belledonna, Ora d’Aria (probably for lunch), Cipolla Rossa (these 3 are recs that sounded good from the Eat Italy app from Elizabeth Minchelli - thank you!). I also see Ruggero and Da Sergio. Too many choices! I would also love to make time to stop in for wine and snack at some point in a late afternoon - but it’s hard to imagine being hungry for a snack with all this good food. Antica Macellaio Falorni Trattoria sounds great for a platter of meats and cheese. Then there’s at least one place that’s supposed to be good for hamburgers - Lungarno 23. We’ll probably need a pitstop for non-italian at least one meal to keep our son happy.
We will leave from Florence and drive to Siena, and we’ll be there 4 days. Our plan is to visit around various areas of Tuscany each day, play in the pool at our hotel in the afternoon, and have our evening dinners back in Siena. Probably Volterra and San Gimignano one day, Montepulciano the next (we are excited to be doing a pasta class at Poggio Etrusco), and the Chianti area. So I have a lot more research to do on Siena - it sounds like a great place to stay as a base, but maybe not as much a great food destination itself. But I can’t wait to see the Campo there.
We go to stay in Modena next. 2.5 days basically. There have been a lot of recent postings on E-R, and some delicious sounding restaurants! I am having a bit of trouble stringing together the right schedule. We are considering something like trying for Giusti when we arrive (will reserve days earlier), then Franceschetta 58 that evening. The next day we hope to drive to Bologna and possibly Ravenna. (I know there are several posts on Ravenna I need to read still). Probably lunch in Bologna, then afternoon sightseeing in Ravenna. In Bologna I have Meloncello and All’Osteria Bottega on my list, leaning towards the second. Then we’ll need something that evening back in Modena, or perhaps I’ll mine the boards further for something on the way back to Modena.
After our two days plus in Modena, we drive up to Bellagio (with some stops along the way hopefully). We could really use some recommendations for Bellagio and Lake Como generally! Barchetta is one place that gets some mentions, as did Bilacus. Silvio is often mentioned, I think for lunch. Il Cavatappi over in Varenna also got some reviews. I haven’t researched Bellagio/Como much yet, but would recommend some additional recommendations.
Final request - have done no research yet - any recommendations for Bergamo or near it? We have a late afternoon flight onto our next destination, so could probably fit something in.
Thanks to everyone for all your previous posts - I am really excited for the trip, and would appreciate any feedback or thoughts on things we should change.