Subject: Re: Italy questions from new member in Spain
Greetings Asier,

San Sebastian is one of my all time fazorite cities. We styed at Hotel Londres right on the watrfront and ate constantly in the old quarter plus one Great meal at Arzak. Rome, we stayed at a hotel Due Torri It was 188 euro but try to see if they will have a rate without breakfast which was typicaly a non event. Better coffee and cornetto at a bar for 3-5 euros. In addition Oct. should be cheaper than June was. The location was a dream and the street was so quiet we slept with the windows open instead of AC. Five minute walk to Pantheon, Piazza Navona. Ten to Campo Fiori, Piazza Poppoli. 20 minutes walk to Forum, Vatican. Around the corner was a great place called La Campangna but have hotel make a resv since they are full everynight ( closed Monday). Not many tourists and great food. Also there are several great food shops nearby with excellent salumi, cheese, etc. Our favorite though was Ruggieri (sp) in Campo Fiori, and do go to Forno also in C.F. for the best Pizza bianca or rosa. These are cheesless pizza breads like focaccia. I will dig out my notes for the names of two other restaurants we really loved, all walking distance from hotel. Florence, we stayed at the Hotel Pendini This was a great find just outside Piazza Republica and walking distance to everything. For food in florence we found it was impossible to find bad food. We just looked for anyplace that was crowded with locals and waited for a table. If you are into leather try Francesco Di Firenze in the Otrano. The bag my wife bought in '98 is almost broken in. It will outlive us all. Such well made goods, family run and quite a bargain when you take into account the craftmanship. There are sellers around the big Market( which is a must forfood shopping with so many excellent stalls) outside selling leather goods . Mostly made in China and severly overpriced for the lack of quality. Venice, we rented an apartment near the Jewish Ghetto. All of Venice is magic, so wherever you stay just walk around and get lost and enjoy. The shops around the Rialto Market have great chees and meats to go with the fresh produce from Rialto. We had many dgood meals and the one that stands out was at La Zucca. Should be in most guide books. Walking around Venice is magic did I mention that. So many little squares that pop up or winderful streets no wider than an alley. One warning though is Oct. Starts HIGH WATER season. There may , and probably will be lots of flooded areas. Piazza San Marco will have elevated wooden walkways but many places will not. The weather can go from cold and gray to cool and sunny in Oct. Did I mention thta Venice is magical to just walk around in?

Buon Viaggio, David USA