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MikaelE 01-16-2008 01:54 AM

Advice for holiday in Tuscany
I'm going to Tuscany with my family this summer, we have rented an apartment close to Volterra and want some good advice where to find nice pizza and other restaurants too.


DrakeRemoray 01-16-2008 12:27 PM

Re: Advice for holiday in Tuscany
I had a great lunch at Ombra Della Sera very close to the Etruscan museum in Volterra. I had a porcini pasta and a chingiale maremana (wild boar in a sacue with lots of olives). Yum, they have a little outside area, very pleasant!
Rick Steeves' book says that a restauarnt with this name, but a different location, serves the best pizza in town, I looked for that place, it was closed...and happened upon this one!
Hope that helps!

gjbingham 01-16-2008 07:06 PM

Re: Advice for holiday in Tuscany
When all else fails, ask the locals. That's what Rachael Ray does. That worked for me in Sicily, over and over. Ask shop owners and the hotel. They all seem to have brothers in the biz and will refer you to them, but if you're persistent about asking for the best pizzaria, ristorante, etc. you will get very good advice, and will not be sorry.

james 01-17-2008 10:57 PM

Re: Advice for holiday in Tuscany
Can I say that I am envious.

I can second Drew's recommendation for the Volterra Etruscan museum. Good museum and a great village. San Gimignano before it became San Gimignano. It's authentic and a great place to walk.

For pizza, try Il Gran Duco in San Gimignano, or San Martino in Impruneta, south of Florence, or Pizzeria Ricci in Bagno a Ripoli, also just south of Florence. The good Pizzerias in Florence include Pizzaiuolo, Antico Pizzeria (the Lorenzo il Magnifico cross the street has wood-fired oven), Pomodoro Rosso, and the Osteria extension of Cafe Italiano (they have a rotating oven and a craggy pizzaiolo).

Keep the questions coming. You are going to have a wonderful time.

gjbingham 01-18-2008 07:59 AM

Re: Advice for holiday in Tuscany
Wow, that's a impressive list of pizzerias James. Do you keep notes as you go? I couldn't think of a single name from any that I went to during my travels around Italy, except for those in and around where I lived (Aci Trezza) in Sicily.

james 01-18-2008 11:02 AM

Re: Advice for holiday in Tuscany
You can eat a lot of pizza in three years. :-) We've never made it to Sicily, but it's high on our do-to list.

gjbingham 01-18-2008 08:51 PM

Re: Advice for holiday in Tuscany
Send me a private message if it ever makes it on your itinerary. I highly recommend it, along with Greece, which is very similar in many ways. I can give you a list of great places to visit.

DaveHI 01-23-2008 01:34 AM

Re: Advice for holiday in Tuscany
Sicily -- this was part of the motivation for building a WFO. We stopped in Ragusa Ibla for a few days on our 16 day trip around the island. Restaurant Il Barocco had a WFO that had to be approaching 1.5 metes. maybe bigger. We sat in the kitchen area (only table left) and got to watch the owner and the cooks quarrel over how dinner should turn out. What a show. Amazing grilled veg/meats. Their associated hotel was very pleasant and reasonably priced.

This is a beautiful little Baroque town on a site inhabited for thousands of years. The new town (if you consider it started after the 1690's earthquake) was not as charming.

And just up the street is a restaurant with 2 michelin stars (Al Duomo).

gjbingham 01-23-2008 06:06 AM

Re: Advice for holiday in Tuscany
sounds like a great memory. I have many similar ones. There's so many small family restaraunts there, and every one seems to have great food.

Virtually every Sicilian has at least one relative living in the States and almost always ask you if perhaps you know them. The restaraunt owners will often treat you like family and include you in their interactions and boistrous disagreements. What a great glimpse of what a wonderful culture they have. Certainly different from the way I grew up!

girdhar 02-13-2008 05:25 AM

Re: Advice for holiday in Tuscany
Ombra Della Sera is really a good one to enjoy the lunch indeed!

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