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Off the beaten path restuarants and cafes?

Eagle River, Alaska
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Off the beaten path restuarants and cafes?

My family and I (husband and 2 kids 18 and 9) will be travelling to Italy in June. My husband and I are foodies and NOT al ALL interested in eating in tourist traps! Would you recommend some wonderful places to eat, off the beaten path....holes in the wall....little gems if you will?!! Everything from coffee and pastries in the morning. For lunch: a sack lunch to be eaten on a hike, in the car, on a beach, in a park, or great pizza places, etc. Dinner can be anything from a basic cheaply priced meal to a splurge meal of fine dinning. And dessert?...Pastries again! Or gelato! We love the EXPERIENCE as well as great food and wine, so location, views, ambiance, character and quirkiness are very welcome! Thanks in advance for any help! And if you need more info, just ask!

I'm so excited I could EXPLODE!!!!!

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Off the beaten path restuarants and cafes?

There are no "off the beaten" paths to follow in this teeny little specks of villages - there is only one walkway through each village, except Monterosso and certainly nothing that hasn't been discovered and swamped by tourists. You will find few places jammed with as many tourists as the CT villages - mostly because they are so tiny and they are so insanely popular. And, especially in June - one of the three most popular months of the year in the area.

If you want off the beaten path, you might visit and stay in another village on the beautiful Ligurian coast - one from which you can take take a train to village the CT.

Boston...
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2. Re: Off the beaten path restuarants and cafes?

You should be excited for there is lots to explore, and so what if others have found it - it's new to you.

Where are you going before and after the CT? Will you have a car?

Eagle River, Alaska
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3. Re: Off the beaten path restuarants and cafes?

New for sure!!!! We are planning a 3 week trip june 3 to june 26. We will rent a car and are arriving and leaving in Venice. Our daughter is stationed at Aviano Air Base so we will explore that area....perhaps head to Salzburg or Innsbruck. We'll be in Milan on the 20th for a concert(Pearl Jam!!!!) We want to spend time in CT as well as other parts of the Italian Riviera, and Tuscany. Our itinerary is still up in the air!

Eagle River, Alaska
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4. Re: Off the beaten path restuarants and cafes?

Thanks Momcat.....do you have a recommendation for an alternative village?

Virginia
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5. Re: Off the beaten path restuarants and cafes?

There are many excellent books any foodie should purchase or check out from the library when planning a trip to Italy.

Italy for the Gourmet Traveler by Fred Plotkin

Osterie & Locande d'Italia: A Guide to Traditional Places to Eat and Stay in Italy (This is the slow food guide)

I also liked A Culinary Traveller in Tuscany: Exploring and Eating off the Beaten Track by Beth Elon

Food Wine The Italian Riviera & Genoa by David Downie is a must.

I recommend researching food blogs and apps for Venice.

I agree with momcat about the food in CT--the only lackluster sandwich I ever had in Italy was there, but Liguria is full of treasures.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Off the beaten path restuarants and cafes?

I went to CT many (many) years ago - there were tourists, yes but probably about 25% of what the numbers would be there now at the end of September and I had a few excellent meals - I knew someone who had a restaurant right at the waterfront in Vernazza. I won't be returning but I wasn't suggesting you can't find good food in the villages as I don't know since it has been so long since I've been there; I was only suggesting that finding something "off the beaten path" is pretty impossible in places so tiny.

Nearly everyone I have ever met has said they had no idea how small the villages are until they visited - including myself. It's hard to really clearly describe and to picture.

Boston...
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7. Re: Off the beaten path restuarants and cafes?

Since you'll be traveling around Italy, learning about food specialties will be rewarding. Every Italian town, city, and province has a food or a preparation that is served with special pride, and if you learn what they you'll have the different experience you're looking for.

For example, Liguria is the home of focaccia and there are numerous types - quite different from what you get in the US. That of Recco has cheese, that of Campo Ligure has two types of grain. Pesto is from Liguria, but the local pasta under it is often triglie a small chewy type, not spaghetti. In the Cinque Terre look for specialties with mussels grown in the nearby Gulf of La Spezia, and a type of fried dough called sgabei that tastes like really good fried dough. There's a bean soup called mesciua that any vegitarian would die for. The anchovies of Monterosso are a protected food (from imitation).

I love your enthusiasm. Italy is a great place for it.

Mike

www.apathtolunch.com

United States
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8. Re: Off the beaten path restuarants and cafes?

I have had excellent meals in Vernazza at da Sandro and Gambero Rosso. Some people love il Pirata, al Castello (especially for the views), and Belforte. Pizza is good at Pizzaria Vulnetia. There are a surprising amount of choices available in the villages despite their small size.

TAB

Eagle River, Alaska
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9. Re: Off the beaten path restuarants and cafes?

Thank you all for the great info and book recommendations! I'm glad I have a few months before our trip to take it all in!!!

Eagle River, Alaska
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10. Re: Off the beaten path restuarants and cafes?

Mike-thanks! And now I'm off to check out your blog! Here is mine-if you have any interest in Alaska! www.mountainpulse.blogspot.com