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Is food in Bardolino typically this bad?

Helsinki, Finland
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Is food in Bardolino typically this bad?

Don't want to ruin people's expectations, but how do you consider food in Bardolino restaurants compared to food in other parts of Italy? The reason I am askin is that we recently returned from our trip, and were very dissappointed as far as food goes. Food was one of the reasons we chose to have a holiday in Italy also this year. We are not too picky "food snobs", but can't recall having a very good meal in Bardolino, even though we dined out every night of the week and had a couple of lunches when we were not on day trips. We tried restaurants in different parts of old town and also in Cisano. Not only were we dissappointed with the food, but sometimes the service was just ridiculous. In fact, we were left without our main courses twice, two nights in a row!

My explanation is that since most people dining in Bardolino are tourists, the restaurants do not have ambition to do their best. They know that tourists will come only once, so there is no point trying. The most ridiculous service we had was at Corte San Luca. That was clearly a tourist trap with too few members of staff. My husband ordered Italian beer - got German. I ordered Prosecco - which came in a jug. Well that was just the beginning. We were with our 2-year-old boy, and not prepared to wait for our main course for hours. Yes, hours. The starters came, and the pace setting for the main course came. But the food never did. We waited and waited, then informed our waiter. He promised the food would come in 5 mins. After half an hour we asked again. Again, it was supposed to come "in 5-10 minutes". Another half an hour, and our child was too tired to wait. We told the staff that unless the food was coming, we would go. Waited for 15 minutes and decided to pay for the drinks and Caprese and leave hungry. No apologies from the staff, no discount. Leaving hungry and having paid 50 euros for drinks and a few slices of tomato and mozzarella was money badly spent.

The next night, we decided to walk to Cisano to Voga. Figured that less tourists there would mean at least that we would get our food. Again, we waited for our drinks and starters for ages. We also observed the same happening in other tables. Our neighbours asked after their rose - which was after 15 minutes delivered to us. And our drinks went to another table. Finally we got our drinks, but starters never came. According to the waiter, our table had only ordered drinks, no food. Not a nice think to find out after waiting for an hour. The starters finally arrived, but the thick chunks of meat did and rucola gone bad did not resemble carpaccio. People in other tables had given up, and I went to the bar to pay for the starters and drinks. There was already a long que waiting to do the same. Did not even have a chance to pay the bill as the main waiter just told me that we did not have to pay for it. That was fair - at least this place had a sence of pride.

During our week in Italy, we had one very good meal in Bellagio, Como, one fairly good in Como town and an ok pizza surprisingly in a beach bar type of low key place in Bardolino. Maybe we were just unlucky, but I wish we did not have such high expectations. In our previous trips in Tuscany, Liguria and Sicily the food was always at least ok, mostly just wonderfull.

Old Bardolino was beautiful, but full of mainly German tourists. I have nothing against Germans, in fact have very nice German colleagues at work. But when you come to Italy, you kind of expect the life to be more Italian or at least more international. Also, Bardolino wasn't exactly good for a beach vacation. Did not bother us, as we mainly did daytrips, but just to let you know that we enjoyed beaches in Sirmione and Malcesine much more. Lazise was the same. The town has one of the only sandy beaches in Garda, but partly reserved to a campsite, no services, narrow and during our visit very crowded.

Sorry, if I am too negative. However, there is one place I really recommed: Bio Suites Pacinotti apartments. Lovely, new apartments and nice, quiet pool. Very friendly service!

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21. Re: Is food in Bardolino typically this bad?

I agree with Scozzese, been using my debit card in the bancomat (atm's) for many years happily. And many small hotels & apartments take only cash. I have always been advised of this on booking.

Weather also is unpredictable but never spoils my holiday. It can be very hot in summer but the close mountains will often bring thunder and short rain storms. All part of the fun, unless you want a sun & sand beach holiday, of course!

Oh! And never had a problem Being served at restaurants - even with the grandchildren - as a matter of fact children are very much welcomed and cared for.

Edited: 7:07 am, March 17, 2014
Helsinki, Finland
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29 posts
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22. Re: Is food in Bardolino typically this bad?


This is an old thread, but as the original contributor in this chain, I felt I have to comment.

Janet P wrote:

"I have been suprised on holiday to see couples taking small children out so late and I think you should take a very young child to eat by 6 pm as they get so tired; it is not fair to keep them up so late. Probably wise to take along a little snack for them to eat while waiting for a main meal, in case there is a delay. "

Dear Janet, this is perhaps a cultural and generation issue. Every family must decide themselves what is good for their children. Going to bed at 7 p.m. may be good for your grandkids, but typically kids in Italy stay up later. And as far as I know, they are not less happy than kids in UK :).

Sounds like it has been a while, since you had a kid of your own. Yes, we bring snacks to our kid. And no, we do not stay out too late with children. But even if you would take your kid to dinner at 7 p.m. - which is very early in Italy - waiting more than 2 hours just for the food to arrive is too much. Taken that it is just a bowl of pasta. I'm not 100% sure it is a general rule that ALL Italians love kids and treat them with special care. That's pretty much a stereotype. Some obviously do, but others don't. I think we would have been treated the same way whether we had a child or not.

I think the difference between Northern and Southern Europe is that in the North (also including most Finns) people tend to think that some destinations are not suitable with kids, while in South kids are taken to all places with no problems. Not all families are satisfied with only sun, sand and sea. Walking around, eating good food and exploring can be on your menu even if you have small children.

23. Re: Is food in Bardolino typically this bad?

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