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#1 foodie52

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 01:54 AM

We found an apartment to rent for a month in Vicenza. An academic who divides her time between France and Italy. I don't know anything about the area, except that it's near Venice (I have been there ), and Padua (never). I'm excited. Anyone have any advice? Experience? There is opera in June in Verona (35 miles away, open air amphitheater) and I am hoping that we will be able to go.
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#2 Steven Dilley

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 06:56 PM

We found an apartment to rent for a month in Vicenza. An academic who divides her time between France and Italy. I don't know anything about the area, except that it's near Venice (I have been there ), and Padua (never). I'm excited. Anyone have any advice? Experience? There is opera in June in Verona (35 miles away, open air amphitheater) and I am hoping that we will be able to go.


Great architecture. Area is known for its grappas, among other things. I've been several times, as I have family in Vicenza, though it's been awhile. Happy to drop them a line if there's anything in particular you're looking for.
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#3 Sneakeater

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:31 PM

Just to elaborate on that, Vicenza is Ground Zero for Palladian architecture; Palladio worked extensively in the city and surrounds.

I found the food there kind of meh. As Steven Dilley says, the grappas are fantastic, though. In fact, it was in Vicenza that I came to the life-changing realization that all grappa didn't always taste like wiper fluid.

Opera in the Verona arena is a must. If you only see one, it has to be Aida, which they do every year. Verona is also, IMO, a much nicer and more interesting city than Vicenza, repaying frequent revisits. The food there is excellent. If you don't like horse (the Vernona National Dish), there's always bigoli with duck, one of the great pasta dishes.

Speaking of opera, if you're REALLY lucky there'll be some opera or concert put on during your stay in the gorgeous baroque opera house in Vicenza. It would be a rare treat to see something performed there. (Tours are always available: another must.)

The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua is, to me, the single greatest thing in Western visual arts (that I've seen yet). Go. (There's also a famous Michelin three-star right outside the city, if you care about that kind of thing.)
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#4 foodie52

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 09:00 PM

Thank you....this is all helpful. Steven, thanks for the offer. With four weeks in the city, we have lots of time to explore and settle down a little. I'm hoping for some good markets as well. Wikitravel has been helpful.
Sneak: is the opera house this place?Olimpico
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#5 bolderite

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 04:23 PM

Don't mean to hijack this thread but we are planning to be in Verona in July and will be there for a performance of Aida. Sneak, do you have suggestions are how far in advance to purchase tickets (I assume for the Opera and trips to Italy you actually do book in advance?), best seating and also hotel recommendation? Thanks.

#6 Sneakeater

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:19 PM

I'm pretty sure we got our opera tickets while we were there. It's a very big arena. We got cheap seats. Expensive seats are probably better. For those you probably have to book ahead.

My favorite restaurant by far was the famous and legendary Bottega del Vino. I have to caution you that, since I went to Verona, Bottega opened an outpost in New York City that's no better than mediocre. I'd like to think that has no bearing on the continuing quality of the original.

I didn't think much of the hotel we stayed at (whose name I can't remember). A friend stayed, at about the same time, at a different hotel that seemed much better; I'll search for it. This was something like 20 years ago, though, so things might have changed.
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#7 Sneakeater

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:29 PM

I think my friend's hotel was the Due Torri.
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#8 Sneakeater

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:31 PM

Oh, the famous old-line restaurant in Verona is called the 12 Apostili. I found it a little stiff and off-putting, as old-line formal restaurants in Italy often are. I'm sure there's a whole contemporary dining scene there now.
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#9 foodie52

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:45 PM

Email from two new friends in Vicenza. The woman who owns the flat we are renting kindly told her friend Mart about me, and here's what the two Martas emailed me today:

Hi Jane,
here some little "proposals" to you...
1. Prepar togheter polenta and baccalà ( even if the season is not the best...It's a typical winter meal) or with an old- little crazy woman famous for her personal baccalà. ( ...someone says mine it's not really correct..)
2. Cooking lessons about home made fresh pasta, risotti, vegetables, fish and ( my favourites..) cakes.
3. A little trip to the Altopiano di Asiago to see where they make this famous cheese and to taste all the varieties of it.
And whatevere you are interested in!
Bye, Marta

and ANOTHER Marta also wrote to me:

My boyfriend is a wine-expert and apart from producing wine he also works in one of the best restaurants of northern Italy. He knows all the people connected to the food and drink environment, therefore, I am sure he can give you any sort of advice or suggestions during your stay.

I think it's gonna be a great stay.......
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#10 Sneakeater

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:56 AM

Wow.
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#11 Sneakeater

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:57 AM

(Don't tell Menton that she used the phrase "Northern Italy".)
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#12 foodie52

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 03:23 PM

So far, we've been having a lovely time (we've been here one week). The Teatro Olimpico is stunning. We've toured it, attended a "sound and light" performance and will probably stand outside the entrance on Saturday to try to beg two tickets off someone for Vivaldi's Four Seasons (it's been sold out for months).

Food: we have found an osteria that pleases us (recommended by our landlady). We are on kissing terms with the owners, and rate comped digestifs after every meal. The food is good, but not extraordinary. However, the prices are also fair. We've had the pasta with duck sauce, bacalao with polenta (VERY good) and some stunning lardo.

I've also been cooking. There's a decent outdoor market twice a week, so I've been able to snag good fish and plenty of produce. Fresh borlotti beans the other day. Got to take em out of the pods and everything. We're drinking a different red every night, and all of them under 10 euros each.

I have a ton of photos on my facebook page, so if any of you are interested in seeing them, let me know. I never did figure out how to upload on this site after it was revamped. Wish I could download directly from my photos on the computer: that would make it easier.
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#13 Rail Paul

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 06:48 PM

It sounds like you're having a great trip.

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#14 foodie52

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:45 AM

Learned how to make bacalao with polenta yesterday and photographed every step. It was a lot of fun. However, I am confused: is salt cod the same as dried cod?

We went to Verona. You're right, Sneak: what a lovely city! We took the "hop on and off" tourist bus and were able to sample the beauty and the culture of the city. The Roman theater was wonderful and it has the added attraction of being right on the Adige River. To my mind, it's the most scenic part of the city. We visited Juliet's house and saw the balcony. The city needs to do something to turn it into a respected attraction, rather than the teen hangout that it is. It's a mess.

We scored two tickets to an opera at the Arena! The only date that works for us is June 22, and we are going to see Don Giovanni. We'll spend the night in Verona because the performance doesn't begin until 9:15. We are so excited and happy that we have this once in a lifetime opportunity.
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#15 Sneakeater

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:08 PM

This all sounds so great.
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