Relaxation and veggie delights in Rome/Florence/Venice
February 4, 2010 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Venetians, Romans, Florentines, lend me your suggestions! More specifically, nice places to relax and tasty vegetarian eats in the aforementioned cities.

I like solo city travel, but I tend to get kinda stressed out and overwhelmed when there's to much to see and do. I'd love to know of any places/activities in Venice, Florence and especially Rome that I'd find lovely and relaxing, but still a good use of limited tourist time.

I'm the sort of person who loves to while away time in cafes, so there's little chance of me neglecting that option. I'm looking more for places like, for example, Les Bains du Marais, which is where I wish I'd gone for a break on my last overly stressy visit to Paris. (Though by all means, suggest your absolute favourite cafe or gelato place or whatnot.)

I'll be in Italy over the next couple of weeks, if weather is a factor in your suggestions. And as mentioned, traveling alone, if that makes a difference.

On the veg front, I'm not all that concerned about finding vegetarian food options wherever I wind up (I'm lacto-ovo, and this is Italy, after all). I'm mainly interested in super-duper-awesome vegetarian places that are worth seeking out.

(FWIW, I'd also welcome any general suggestions of fun things to see/do/experience in these cities that aren't listed in the usual guidebooks, though that kind of question been pretty thoroughly addressed on AskMeFi before.)
posted by nicoleincanada to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: PS - I'm already familiar with Happycow's restaurant listings.
posted by nicoleincanada at 8:46 AM on February 4, 2010

Response by poster: And at the risk of highjacking my own question, I'd also welcome any suggested places to meet nice expats/anglo-friendly locals. (Not so big on bar-hopping, pub games, etc). Yeah, expats seeking expats is kind of lame, but my knowledge of Italian is, unfortunately, limited to the stuff I've managed to absorb from my new phrase book.

Things I'm already doing (or do, or have done): staying in hostels, joining local meetup groups on the offchance they meet while I'm there, being a generally nice and sociable person.
posted by nicoleincanada at 9:00 AM on February 4, 2010

site-seeing: ricksteve's website has some self-guiding podcast tours of many Italian sites. I personally recommend the Rome and Venetian ones which I used when i was there in Sept.
posted by garlic at 9:01 AM on February 4, 2010

Get the artichokes (carciofi) at Piperno, in the Jewish Ghetto. (Here's a blog post about going there.)
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:03 AM on February 4, 2010

I loved, loved, loved Alla Rampa in Rome. It's a small restaurant tucked away at the foot of the Spanish Steps (I think you have to climb the steps and then there is a small staircase at the top that goes down to the restaurant) and famous for antipasta. Lovely, not touristy, not too expensive.
posted by sallybrown at 10:10 AM on February 4, 2010

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