Friendly Italian Dining
of the reasons that Italy is perfect for
family travel is that there are excellent
food choices for every kind of eater and
Italian restaurants generally welcome
families with children.
Help yourself to our suggestions, some
from the Italy
Discovery Journal where you will find
many more. We also offer a restaurant
decoder (ristorante, osteria, trattoria,
what is the difference?), and a just- renovated
vacation apartment in Florence.
We'd love to hear about Italian foods and
dishes your family recommends, so click
here to link to a brief survey. We will
publish your recommendations in a future
newsletter in the same way that we include
your packing tips in this newsletter...see
Freely forward this newsletter; it is
easy with the Forward email link at
are some typical Italian dishes that we love
and hope you will, too. Each region has its
own dishes so try local specialties. You can
ask your waiter to tell you about
specialties: specialitÓ regionali.
- Saltimbocca - Literally "Jumps
into your mouth," it is so good. It
is a tasty dish of veal with ham and
- Gnocchi - Small potato or semolina
(wheat meal) dumplings eaten with tomato
sauce or just with butter and sage.
- SupplÝ di riso - Fried rice
croquettes stuffed with mozzarella
cheese. Excellent snack found in bars
and tavola caldas ("hot
- Panino al Maiale Arrosto - Roast pork
sandwich found in open air markets where
the meat is carved off the whole pig
that has been roasted stuffed with
rosemary and garlic - just like ancient
- Polenta - like pasta, is a filling
staple of the Italian diet, made from
corn meal; it is often grilled and
served with a tasty sauce.
- Risotto - creamy rice dish made with
broth and other ingredients such as
Ten Pasta Dishes
in doubt, order pasta!
is hard to go wrong with pasta. If any of
your family members needs a simple,
comforting dish, ask for pasta al burro,
pasta with butter, something that waiters
will often suggest for children. Another
simple and delicious pasta dish is pastini
in brodo, tiny pasta shapes in broth.
Neither dish is on the menu, but it seems
that every Italian kitchen can produce it in
is hard to limit this to ten, so see more in
- Spaghetti Carbonara - Carbon-burner's
style with egg, "pancetta"
(like bacon), parsley, and parmesan
- Pasta Alfredo - Cheese, cream, and
butter sauce that originated Alfredo's
restaurant in Rome. Notice that several
restaurants now claim to be the original
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio - Garlic &
Oil with olive oil, garlic, and other
ingredients. Considered a light dish for
- Pasta Puttanesca - "Street
walker" style with anchovies,
garlic, olives, and capers. Flavorful!
- Paglia e Fieno -"Straw &
Hay," yellow and green (spinach)
egg noodles; sauces vary.
- Pasta Marinara - Basic tomato sauce.
- Pasta Bolognese or Rag˙ - Tomato and
minced meat sauce originally from the
town of Bologna (yes, the home of
- Pappardelle col Sugo di Coniglio -
Fresh pasta ribbons with rabbit sauce.
- Linguine al'Pesto - Flat
"spaghetti" with green sauce
from Genoa containing basil, pine nuts,
garlic, and parmesan cheese.
- Fettucine con Tartuffo - Truffles cost
$700/pound but even the small amount
grated into this recipe richly flavors
the sauce. Italy has black and white
Fit for a Kid
Guide Book for Families
Italy Discovery Journal encourages children
to enjoy eating and drinking in Italy. Find
pages of pasta and bread shape drawings to
use as a bingo game or identification
challenge. Pages of recommended foods and
dishes are included. We offer a list of
types of pizza and suggestions for finding
great pizza. For children with a sweet
tooth, there are lists of Italian candies,
desserts, and fruit. There are also lists of
different beverages for children to enjoy.
And, of course, instructions on how to order
gelato and a list of names for gelato
you for your contribution to a wonderful
visit to Italy with our children....it
definitely enhanced our time and your
observations about Italy came into play in a
different way than our guide book. We vastly
preferred all glimpses of 'real' Italy which
pre- reading your book helped us to
catch...the bride and groom posing at the
coliseum, the arguing taxi drivers, kissing
couples...etc. The gelato page was a big hit
with my younger child and we really liked
some of the 'color' stories you added to the
major sights in Rome. It was like a guide
book for kids." Laurie Tasharski
Beautiful Location Next to the Boboli Gardens
apartment has just become available to vacationers;
the renovations and classy decorating were finished
in August. It sleeps five, so is perfect for a
family vacation. It is right in Florence, yet has a
garden, a view, and room to settle in and establish
a home in Florence, if even for just a week. It is
next to the Boboli gardens, where children will find
many delights that include the "fat man on the
turtle" fountain among other wonderful statues,
fountains, and green spaces to play, nevermind you
can walk to all the major sights in Florence. The
apartment is quiet and comfortable. You really
couldn't ask for more.
Pricing: $1500 high season, $1150 low season.
Looking for something else? Let us help you, we
love matching travelers with the perfect rental, email
availability of the Medici apartment
Hints From You
You for Sharing your Packing Ideas
June we ran a newsletter
with our best thoughts about what to pack and what to bring
back. We opened it up to readers and received some great
brought along handy wipes to refresh ourselves while
sightseeing in Rome last August.
your passport and put a copy in your suitcase and purse or
wallet. In case yours is lost or stolen, you have proof of it.
(Add a copy of your airline tickets. Also scan in copies of
your important documents and email them to yourself, then you
can retrieve them from any internet connection.)
Bags For Children, a gallon zip lock bag holds one days
clothes, including shorts or pants, underwear, top, and socks.
This makes it easy for the child or Mom or Dad to grab a
complete outfit and not have the striped pants and plaid shirt
left at the end of the trip to go to that nice restaurant.
Jumbo ziplock bags (2 1/2 gallons) hold larger kids clothes or
winter outfits. Bring several extra ziplock bags for wet
clothes or brochures, maps, and other travel items that you
want to keep. Also use a ziplock bag to pack some wipes for
hands, disposable bowls, plastic forks and spoons, a bottle
opener, a Swiss Army knife, and some folded paper towels for a
picnic from the food markets in Italy. Large white garbage
bags come in handy for the hotel room whose wastebasket is the
size of a loaf of bread. Or use them to keep your dirty
laundry all together and keep the rest of your clothes clean
and fresh smelling and your suitcase as well.
shall we eat?
splendor and variety of Italian foods is matched by the
variety of types of eating establishments that can perplex the
hungry tourist. Here is a brief breakdown:
- Ristorante: Restaurant, Italy's top category of
dining establishment, more upscale than a trattoria or
- Trattoria: Unpretentious eatery, often family
run, usually having a limited, seasonal menu of local
- Osteria: Simple tavern serving local wine and
often food, though the name sometimes applies to fancier
- Locanda: Inn, ancient term for a simple place
with rooms, often serving meals; today synonymous with
osteria or trattoria.
- Tavola calda: Snack bar, usually serving hot
food. (Sometimes can be more extensive with a large
selection of dishes, a cafeteria.)
- Tavola fredda: Snack bar that serves cold foods.
- Rosticceria: Shop or eating place specializing in
roast meats and poultry. Sometimes called girarrosto,
referring to the large spit that typifies such laces.
- Pizzeria: Typically, a take out shop that makes
and sells pizza.
- Paninoteca: Sandwich shop.
- Enoteca: Literally "wine library,"
referring to both publicly sponsored displays and
privately owned shops. Some enoteche also serve wine and
rule of thumb is that if I'm bringing children who might get
wiggly and impatient, I simply avoid ristorantes and enotecas.
Everything else will be fine.
us about your favorite Italian foods and dishes.
Coverage is Free with Travelex Travel Insurance
for Kids and Parents at eBags
quality up-to-date maps of Italy from maps.com the online map
Rentals In Italy
Central, Arno View
bedrooms, 2.5 baths
Prati by Sant'Angelo
4 + 2
Florence on Chianti Estate
Sleeps 2 -12
Castle & Wine
Palazzo Santa Croce
2 - 8
Via del Corso
Siena, Patrician Villa and Farm,
2 - 6
btw Capitoline & Trastevere
& Fabulous Terrace
Sleeps 1 - 6
Class & Location
Sleeps 4 + 1
2 Bedrooms, 2 Baths
Glorious Rooftop Terrace
Piazza Popolo, Rome
Sleeps 4+ 2
Colle di Val d'Elsa
to Hill Town
1 bedroom, 1
Value & Location for Small Family
btw Rialto - St Mark's
2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath
Real Noble Palace
2 + 2
Location, Central & Comfortable