Looks like everyone is going to Italy this year
May 10, 2016 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Sorry to add to the list of Italy travel questions. I've bookmarked and read all the recent ones so all the bigger places are covered. There's just one place that the previous posts hadn't mentioned...

First time in Italy for me and SO. In hindsight, it may have been too ambitious to include Siracusa because of the added flights, but alas it is booked and we are going. We will be there Monday - Saturday in early June. We are staying on Ortygia. I know there's an amazing market there and I'm planning to buy all the food and cook at our airbnb. Any other advice for how to spend our days? The only other thing I know is the archeological site. Are the beaches pleasant to spend all day on? Best way to get around?

Cities we'll be in: Rome, Siracusa, Florence, Bologna, Vicenza, Venice, Barcelona

Food is a big thing for us. If there's any restaurants that's a must-eat, please share. I'm looking forward to walking around and finding random hole-in-the-wall mom and pops, but I'd also be tempted to splurge on a Michelin restaurant in such food-centric countries.

Also welcoming any advice for first timers in Italy.
posted by monologish to Travel & Transportation around Italy (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
We booked a table online at Roscioli for our first night in rome a couple years ago - the food was fantastically memorable and my wife actually made a terrible sad face when she had finished the last strands of the carbonara. It seems like some people dont like it either because of the prices, attitude or fact that it seems to welcome tourists (which was a plus for us, because we could make a reservation from home without having to attempt to speak italian). Also, the pizze (and most importantly Porchetta sandwich) at Pizzarium were mind blowing.

id highly recommend looking up Katie Parla and/or Elizabeth Minchilli, both of whom specialize in food-writing and tourism in italy available in several formats (blogs, books, and critically for us, a very handy app that allowed for geolocation of nearby restaurants and food stores.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:56 AM on May 10, 2016

Just... be wary about eating outside in the piazza. You WILL pay much more than if you find a mom-and-pop off a side street somewhere. And the slab pizza is probably as delicious.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 12:39 PM on May 10, 2016

Are you planning on spending the whole week in Syracuse, or will you be exploring the island of Sicily a little? I would recommend the latter -- Siracusa is fine but fairly limited. Noto is nearby and interesting (also very touristy), Agrigento is further but rewarding.
posted by crazy with stars at 1:43 PM on May 10, 2016

crazy with stars: would those places be doable as day trips and would we need to rent a car? we are open to doing a day trip, just weren't sure how much time we'd need for Siracusa.
posted by monologish at 2:02 PM on May 10, 2016

Noto is fine as a day trip. Agrigento is pretty far (2.5 hrs) and would be tough as a day trip. You'd probably need to rent a car.

We ate two nights at "Koala Pub" (near our hotel). It was fine, but I wouldn't go out of my way to go there if you're staying on Ortygia.
posted by crazy with stars at 6:16 PM on May 10, 2016

In Bologna you absolutely have to eat at Broccaindosso. Also Antica Trattoria Spiga on the same street. Make sure you have a REALLY empty stomach, especially at the former.
posted by remembrancer at 7:42 AM on May 12, 2016

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