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 Roadfood in Italy

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meowzart

  • Total Posts: 773
  • Joined: 3/28/2001
  • Location: Laurel, MD
Roadfood in Italy Sat, 06/7/03 9:30 AM (permalink)
Hi all,

We will be in Florence and Bologna for 10 days in September. We will have a car. We plan on going to Parma (the ham and cheese capital of the world). Any places to eat that we should not miss? I really want to pretend I am Italian the whole time, so "down home" places Italians frequent would be perfect for our stomachs. Any recs?

Thanks!
Meowzart
 
#1
    Susan Q

    • Total Posts: 3
    • Joined: 6/7/2003
    • Location: Olive Branch, MS
    RE: Roadfood in Italy Sat, 06/7/03 5:56 PM (permalink)
    My husband and I were in Italy last summer and had a fabulous experience at Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco (The White Boar). It is near the Ponte Vecchio and they've been in business for 19 years. Fabulous food, experience, and treatment. The owner's son is Marco and he treated us like royalty...seated us in a little "lovers' alcove". We had an antipasta di cinghiali (wild boar cold cuts, salami with fennel,ham, toast with liver pate, toast with roasted red peppers. Then we had zuppa di verdura (vegetable soup). The entree was Pappardelle al cinghiali (wide ribbon pasta with boar sauce). Oh, my gosh! Fabulous! Don't be afraid to try wild boar. Oh, and I only THOUGHT I knew what tiramisu tasted like...after I had THEIR tiramisu, I knew what it was supposed to taste like. Be sure to try lemoncello, a tasty lemon after dinner liqueur. I'm jealous of the experiences that await you. Enjoy!
     
    #2
      Sundancer7

      RE: Roadfood in Italy Sat, 06/7/03 8:00 PM (permalink)
      I have driven a lot in Italy. I cannot point you in the direction of a roadfood restuarant, but I can tell you that the Autobahn stops are the best in the world. A great range of cheese, sausages, sandwiches, coffee, wine etc.

      You can really pig out at their stops. Non better.

      Paul E. Smith
      Knoxville, TN
       
      #3
        TANFANRN

        • Total Posts: 26
        • Joined: 3/12/2003
        • Location: BELLEVILLE, MI
        RE: Roadfood in Italy Sun, 06/8/03 4:25 AM (permalink)
        MY HUSBAND AND I WERE IN ITALY IN JANUARY. I HAVE TO AGREE ABOUT THE STOPS ON THE AUTOSTRADA. PANINIS WERE FRESH AND BETTER THAN ANY TRUCK STOP BURGER. THE ITALIANS WERE WARM AND GENEROUS DURING OUR ENTIRE TRIP. ENJOYED GRAPPA AND GELATO. DON'T BE AFRAID TO STOP IN SOME OF THE SMALLER VILLAGES. WE HAD SOME OF OUR BEST MEALS IN OUT-OF-THE-WAY TRATTORIAS. JUST WATCH OUT FOR THOSE CRAZY DRIVERS.
         
        #4
          repartee

          • Total Posts: 111
          • Joined: 7/11/2003
          • Location: Boise, ID
          RE: Roadfood in Italy Fri, 07/11/03 10:51 AM (permalink)
          I'm going to agree about the stops on the motorways. What I remember in just a standard style cafe (with a kid's playground cordoned off, in the restaurant, no less) was maybe the best new potatoes I've ever eaten and blood orange juice on tap.
           
          #5
            gimmepork

            • Total Posts: 17
            • Joined: 5/23/2002
            • Location: Indianapolis, IN
            RE: Roadfood in Italy Fri, 07/11/03 1:50 PM (permalink)
            I also concur about the gas station-type places along the Autostrada.
            Fantastic panini (sandwiches), coffee, juices. A simple panini of proscuitto and cheese is the perfect antidote after white-knuckling the wheel on the Autostrada.
            If I had time for only one meal in Florence, I'd head to Trattoria Mario, Via Rosina 2/r, Mercato di San Lorenzo,near the central market. They're only open for lunch, Mon-Sat. You sit elbow-to-elbow at shared tables with the locals. There's ALWAYS a line after noon. Everything we've had there is great. The soups, the meat dishes, the French fries (!), all are terrific.
            I remember a restaurant called La Maremma that was also quite good.
            I have information about the places we've been in Florence in a folder at home, so, if I remember, I'll dig that out this weekend and post some more info.
            For gelato, we always ended up at Vivoli, the most famous gelateria in Florence. We've heard that some people thumb their noses at Vivoli, and claim there are other better places for gelato, but it was so close to our hotel that that's where we always went at the end of the day. It seemed like pretty darn good gelato to us.
            Ah Italy! As far as I'm concerned, it's the most wonderful place on earth.
             
            #6
              howard8

              • Total Posts: 355
              • Joined: 5/12/2003
              • Location: randolph, NJ
              RE: Roadfood in Italy Mon, 07/28/03 11:52 AM (permalink)
              While you are stopping at the highway gas station cafe's be sure to check out the bottled black summer truffles. I colleted ten bottles during my Italy trip to take home. Very reasonably priced and very earthy and good truffles.
               
              #7
                lleechef

                • Total Posts: 6246
                • Joined: 3/22/2003
                • Location: Gahanna, OH
                RE: Roadfood in Italy Fri, 08/1/03 2:36 AM (permalink)
                Although the Autostrada does serve good food, please get off the highway, take some side roads and just stop at whatever trattoria strikes your fancy. I have family in Italy and travel around the Torino and Milano areas. My most memorable meals were at little Mamma and Papa cafes and trattorias......fresh wild mushrooms with a little cream on hand-cut fusilli, a beautiful salad of baby clams, octupus, calamari and shrimp in olive oil and lemon juice, perfectly cooked Vitello alla Milanese with a nice dandelion salad to follow, not to mention my great-great aunt's ravioli, size of a quarter and so feathery light with their filling of turkey, swiss chard and ricotta with just a splash of garden tomato ragu and some paper thin shavings of really aged parmesan.
                 
                #8
                  Jellybeans

                  • Total Posts: 312
                  • Joined: 7/24/2003
                  • Location: Oxford, VA
                  RE: Roadfood in Italy Fri, 08/1/03 8:35 AM (permalink)
                  Make sure you stop by the Trattatoria Anna Maria (I can't remember where it is but you can find out from your Let's Go or Lonely Planet guides).

                  They make the BEST pesto pasta there and serve very good black cabbage soup (can't remember the italian term for it but it is a specialty of Florence).
                   
                  #9
                    Ciaoman

                    • Total Posts: 375
                    • Joined: 5/2/2006
                    • Location: Killingworth, CT
                    RE: Roadfood in Italy Sun, 08/27/06 9:18 PM (permalink)
                    The soup is called Ribollita, I believe. It's essentially a thick vegetable soup (typically containing "cavalo nero"--black cabbage--plus other seasonal vegetables. Traditionally it is cooked the day before it is served. The name literally means "re-boiled" (or reheated). It's made with chunks of day-old bread that results in a very thick, almost stew-like consistency. A drizzle of EVOO on top, a sprinkle of parm-reggiano...absolutely delicious.
                     
                    #10
                      V960

                      • Total Posts: 2429
                      • Joined: 6/17/2005
                      • Location: Kannapolis area, NC
                      RE: Roadfood in Italy Mon, 08/28/06 1:17 PM (permalink)
                      It may sound stupid but my best recommendation for Europe is to look lost and hungry...ask for advice. This works basically everywhere except Paris. The residents of Paris hate everyone...even other Frenchmen...so don't feel bad.

                      However this is August, Europe is basically closed.
                       
                      #11
                        V960

                        • Total Posts: 2429
                        • Joined: 6/17/2005
                        • Location: Kannapolis area, NC
                        RE: Roadfood in Italy Mon, 08/28/06 1:21 PM (permalink)
                        Sorry just noticed you will be there in September, everthing will be open. Make sure to bring home some EVOO.
                         
                        #12
                          tsores

                          • Total Posts: 653
                          • Joined: 8/27/2001
                          • Location: Evanston, IL
                          RE: Roadfood in Italy Mon, 08/28/06 3:45 PM (permalink)
                          I was in Rome, Venice and Nettuno this summer. One thing that struck me was that it seemed as though every restaurant had almost the same menu items. Dinner consists of a pasta 1st course, meat second course, appetizer and/or desserts were always available. House wines were always good and usually a bargain. I bought one bottle of wine that was twice the price of house wine and not any better. So, restaurant selection came down to location and, in summer, availability of outside seating.

                          One more thing, do not pass up the gelato. We were up to a two scoop per day habit. My new favorite flavor became pistachio.

                          Hope it helps. Have fun.
                           
                          #13
                            mayor al

                            • Total Posts: 15066
                            • Joined: 8/20/2002
                            • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
                            • Roadfood Insider
                            RE: Roadfood in Italy Tue, 08/29/06 9:48 AM (permalink)
                            Folks ,
                            I can't help but wonder if you noticed that this thread was brought back THREE years after the travel was completed and a Year Plus since Deb moved her posting over to her own site on Roguefood, or maybe you did ?
                             
                            #14
                              Ciaoman

                              • Total Posts: 375
                              • Joined: 5/2/2006
                              • Location: Killingworth, CT
                              RE: Roadfood in Italy Fri, 09/1/06 11:44 AM (permalink)
                              Does it matter?

                              If there is current interest in the topic and persons willing to comment, that should be enough, right? There may be persons new to the site who are considering a trip to Italy or Europe who may benefit from this discussion regardless of who began it or when.

                              Comments like yours, Sir, would seem to discourage participation. However, if I'm mistaken, feel free to set me straight. Thanks.
                               
                              #15
                                RibRater

                                • Total Posts: 1862
                                • Joined: 3/3/2006
                                • Location: Johnson City, TN
                                RE: Roadfood in Italy Fri, 09/1/06 12:15 PM (permalink)
                                quote:
                                Originally posted by Ciaoman

                                Does it matter?

                                If there is current interest in the topic and persons willing to comment, that should be enough, right? There may be persons new to the site who are considering a trip to Italy or Europe who may benefit from this discussion regardless of who began it or when.

                                Comments like yours, Sir, would seem to discourage participation. However, if I'm mistaken, feel free to set me straight. Thanks.



                                It does not. Al was just pointing out to those who may not have noticed that the thread was 3 years old...not discouraging participation.

                                A good thread regardless of the age IMO.

                                 
                                #16
                                  Ciaoman

                                  • Total Posts: 375
                                  • Joined: 5/2/2006
                                  • Location: Killingworth, CT
                                  RE: Roadfood in Italy Fri, 09/1/06 12:35 PM (permalink)
                                  I appreciate the feedback, Larry.

                                  No offense intended to the Mayor.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    Fieldthistle

                                    • Total Posts: 1948
                                    • Joined: 7/30/2005
                                    • Location: Hinton, VA
                                    RE: Roadfood in Italy Fri, 09/1/06 12:55 PM (permalink)
                                    Hello all, This is Fieldthistle's wife.
                                    I am leaving in two weeks for a business trip; I will be in Erice (Sicily), Urbino, and Bologna.

                                    Any suggestions for good places to try?

                                    Unfortunately, I will not be able to try the stops on the Autostrada since I will be travelling by train.

                                    Thanks!
                                    Mrs. Fieldthistle
                                     
                                    #18
                                      kland01s

                                      • Total Posts: 2835
                                      • Joined: 3/14/2003
                                      • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
                                      RE: Roadfood in Italy Fri, 09/1/06 1:37 PM (permalink)
                                      Travel Channel last night had a excellant piece on Bologna on the "Samantha Brown travels Europe" program. I know she has space on the Travel Channel website so you can look it up. She went to a pasta making school and about a service that hooks you up for a dinner in a private home.

                                       
                                      #19
                                        Fieldthistle

                                        • Total Posts: 1948
                                        • Joined: 7/30/2005
                                        • Location: Hinton, VA
                                        RE: Roadfood in Italy Fri, 09/1/06 1:46 PM (permalink)
                                        Hello All,
                                        kland01s, Mrs. Fieldthistle told me to thank you for the link.
                                        And I thank you as well.
                                        Take Care,
                                        Fieldthistle
                                         
                                        #20
                                          Ciaoman

                                          • Total Posts: 375
                                          • Joined: 5/2/2006
                                          • Location: Killingworth, CT
                                          RE: Roadfood in Italy Fri, 09/1/06 4:47 PM (permalink)
                                          I can't offer much as to the first two places you mention, but Bologna has the reputation as the culinary capital of Italy due to the overall excellence and richness of its food. In fact, the nickname for the city is "La Grassa" meaning The Fat One. (It has another nickname too: La Dota [maybe Dotta] meaning The Learned One, because it is the seat of the oldest [or one of the oldest] universities in Europe.

                                          Anyway, I'm told that it is virtually impossible to get a bad meal in Bologna, and you're almost assured of a great one. Order the local specialities--fresh pasta (tagliatelle and many other shapes) ala Bolognese, the famous meat sauce of Bologna. Many other pasta preparations too. Also, both prociutto di Parma and Parmiggiano-Reggiano come from tis area. Mortadella is also a local specialty. Buon Appetito! They excel at deep fried foods too.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            Ciaoman

                                            • Total Posts: 375
                                            • Joined: 5/2/2006
                                            • Location: Killingworth, CT
                                            RE: Roadfood in Italy Sat, 09/2/06 3:00 PM (permalink)
                                            To Fieldthistle's wife: Regarding Bologna, Italy, here's an excerpt taken from the NY Times [Sunday, 9/3/06] Travel section (delivered to us country-folks with their Saturday paper):

                                            "The Frugal Traveler Sees the World - May 31; Bologna

                                            If anyone knows how to travel frugally, it is a college student. So I headed to Bologna, Italy's quintessential caollege town. There, I indulged in all the perquisites of student life. I woke up late and ate pizza; I browsed the library at the Sala Borsa, the old stock exchange whose Roman foundations are visible through clear plastic floors; I I marched through 666 arches to the hilltop Sanctuario di San Luca; and at night I met an ever-growing circle of students for apertivi--those free spreads of pastas, veggies, bread and cheese that bars offer to drinking customers.

                                            Several days of apertivi, however, left me hungry for more. Besides its university, founded in 1088, Bologna is renowned for its cuisine, reputed to be the best in Italy. Its most famous dish is arguably tagliatelle al ragu, otherwise know as spaghetti [actually more like fettucine] bolognese. And now here I was, in the city that invented it, with my nose against the glass.

                                            The students had one word for me: Quindici['15'], an osteria known for its belly-filling meals at prices that won't empty your wallet (via Mirasole 15; [tel.] 39-051-331806). On my last night, three students and I managed to consume an impressive antipasti spread there--ricotta with syrupy balsamic vinegar, marinated olives and artichokes, a tub of squacherone cheese, and a platter of prosciutto, mortadella and salami--plus a liter of the house Montepulciano. For main course, I ordered the tagliatelle al ragu. It was the best I've had in a long, long time: meaty, with an intense tomato flavor and perfectly chewy noodles. The bill was 23 euros (about $28) each, by far my highest expense in Bologna, but worth every cent."

                                            I think I'll check flights out of JFK...
                                             
                                            #22
                                              Fieldthistle

                                              • Total Posts: 1948
                                              • Joined: 7/30/2005
                                              • Location: Hinton, VA
                                              RE: Roadfood in Italy Sat, 09/2/06 3:26 PM (permalink)
                                              Hello All,
                                              Ciaoman, thank you so much for your last entry.
                                              The wife loves Italy so much, has been there twice. But it is
                                              like going to New York City or any place,...visit it twice, but you still have
                                              so much to discover. Thank you so much for opening the horizons of her journey.
                                              Take Care,
                                              Fieldthistle
                                               
                                              #23
                                                Ciaoman

                                                • Total Posts: 375
                                                • Joined: 5/2/2006
                                                • Location: Killingworth, CT
                                                RE: Roadfood in Italy Sat, 09/2/06 3:36 PM (permalink)
                                                You're very welcome. If I can't be there at the moment, the next best thing is talking/writing about it!
                                                 
                                                #24
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