Welcome back to the Italian Basics Series! So far w have covered everything from where to go, how to decide what to see, and how to get around. And we are barely scratching the surface! I want you to have such an incredible time and not let silly logistics or mishaps that can easily be avoided taint your experience.
If this is the first post you are reading in these series I've linked below to the other posts for your convince! Happy travels!
5. Where to Eat in Italy
This post is less of about specific places to eat and more about how to choose where to eat your meal. Not every Italian restaurant makes good Italian food. Seriously. We for sure had a couple meals that were incredibly tasteless. Here are three basic steps to follow to choose a good place to eat.
1. Walk away from all of the tourist attractions.
Food in popular piazzas and near hotels are always going to be more expensive and not as authentic. Now don't get me wrong sometimes Piazzas can be a great place to eat. There are only three times I would recommend eating here.
- If you are in a small trattoria
- If you are prioritizing the view or atmosphere over the quality of food.
- If there is a trattoria (more on this later)
2. Don't go into a place that has English menus
This is a sure sign that your food won't be the mouth-watering authentic food you are looking for. Some of the best food we've ever had has been from places that have handwritten menus!
3. Look for a Trattoria
If you don't know, there are different kinds of restaurants in Italy: Ristorante, Osteria, Pizzeria, Trattoria, etc. Each title gives you a good idea as to what you can expect from the restaurant. We have been to each of these places and had good food but we always, always look for a trattoria. We have never been in one where we didn't have an amazing meal. Trattorias tend to be family owned, make traditional meals, and are comparatively inexpensive.
Bonus TIp: In Italy, if there are extra seats at your table they will seat other guests with you. We loved this and got to talk with many interesting people from all around the world.
Other fun ideas
- Have a picnic: go to the local market and grab some cheese, prosciutto, bread and fresh fruit! Boom an easy aitalian me
- Have wine and appetizers in a piazza: If you want to take in the breathtaking view of a duomo or just like the atmosphere then just get a glass of wine and an appetizer, when you are ready for an actual meal you can go find something better and/or cheaper!
- Cook! Go to the market and and grab fresh ingredients! You would be surprised how good of a meal you can make. Once when we were in florence we just got pasta and the local pesto sauce and OMG it was SO good!