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Rome, Mykonos, Santorini, Florence

Traveling in May - Good eats and sites to see in Italy and Greece?

Hello we will be traveling to Italy and Greece (Rome, Mykonos, Santorini, and Florence) in May. Please let me know what we must see, do and eat. What should I look to bring back with me that I can only get there or they have the best of. I love shopping and eating  its a girls trip.  Also how can I make calls home with incurring roaming charges. I have AT&T service and an Iphone. 

I forgot to ask, anyone know if these places accept American Express? 

13 Answers

top answer by
Tiffany from Corvallis

Rome Food:  These tips are ones given to my by my Italian friend from Rome.

Try the trattorias Felice a Testaccio (book ahead as it's always full and closed on Sundays) and La Carbonara which is known for a huge variety of wines and a nice ambience.

For pizza, go to Da Baffetto (again, popular and long lines, but worth it).

Also, try Filetti di Baccalà for traditional Roman recipes.

For tea, got to Babington's Tea Room near a major shopping district at the bottom of the Spanish Steps or Dolci E Doni.

For gelato, try Il Gelato di San Crispino, Gelateria Della Palma, or Giolitti.

For coffee, head toSant'Eustachio Il Caffè or Tazza D'Oro.

Rome Souvenirs:

I didn't do a lot of shopping in Rome other than food, but I absolutely cherish my little Italian good luck charm that I got near the Pantheon at a little jewelry shop on the corner. The traditional charm is usually made of gold or coral and is in a chili pepper shape.

If this is a girls trip, buy shoes!  Italian leather and shoes are amazing. I'd stock up on accessories like jewelry, scarves, shoes, and purses.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Felice a Testaccio (restaurant)
  2. La Carbonara (restaurant)
  3. Da Baffetto (restaurant)
  4. Filetti di Baccalà (restaurant)
  5. Babington's Tea Room (attraction)
  6. Spanish Steps (attraction)
  7. Dolci E Doni (restaurant)
  8. Il Gelato di San Crispino (restaurant)
  9. Gelateria Della Palma (restaurant)
  10. Giolitti (restaurant)
  11. Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè (restaurant)
  12. Tazza D'Oro (restaurant)
  13. Pantheon (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Scott from Fort Collins

Hello Bernadette!  As far as Rome goes, I hate to be boring, but you really do have to see the well known sites, ColosseoVatican CityPantheonRoman ForumPalatine Museum - Roman Forum.  Some people like places like the Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps and some really don't care either way.  I am a big fan of Bernini and his fountains.  You can find stuff on line very easily, but the most popular are in Piazza Navona.  I would try to find time to wander and come across random, non touristy piazzas.  I enjoyed several of these where it was mostly local's, and thoroughly enjoyed.  I would also give a nod the Borghese Gallery and Museum.  If you run out if things that excite you(highly unlikely). I would take a day trip to Pompei, which is incredible.

In Florence, I would highly recommend a dinner at Trattoria Sostanza.  Classic, simple Florenine dishes and very good. Sites not to miss are Piazzale MichelangeloPiazza della SignoriaGallery of The AcademyDuomoBasilica of Santa CroceUffizi GalleryThe Baptistery of St. John, and a walk over the Arno River on Ponte Vecchio.  If you are interested in Medici component, there are several sites to see including Medici Chapel.  Florence is also a great place to sit in different piazzas and drink great Italian wine and people watch as well.  

Santorini - try to stay in Oia if possible.  It is smaller, pedestrian only and just has a More quiet and laid back vibe in my opinion.  Obviously take some time to just enjoy the scenery around you, and watch the walls change colors as the sun moves.  There is also a fantastic white wine made here called Assyrtiko.  You can even do tours of wineries if you have any interest.  We had a great meal on the rooftop of 1800 Restaurant .  The pedestrian walkway has a large amont of restaurants in shops.  While touristy, we never had a bad meal.  Great traditional food like saganaki, moussaka, pastitsio, dolmades, octopus, and we had a lot of grilled meat and horiatiki as well. 

Have a fantastic time and safe travels!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Colosseo (attraction)
  2. Vatican City (attraction)
  3. Pantheon (attraction)
  4. Roman Forum (attraction)
  5. Palatine Museum - Roman Forum (attraction)
  6. Trevi Fountain (attraction)
  7. Spanish Steps (attraction)
  8. Piazza Navona (attraction)
  9. Borghese Gallery and Museum (attraction)
  10. Pompei (attraction)
  11. Trattoria Sostanza (restaurant)
  12. Piazzale Michelangelo (attraction)
  13. Piazza della Signoria (attraction)
  14. Gallery of The Academy (attraction)
  15. Duomo (attraction)
  16. Basilica of Santa Croce (attraction)
  17. Uffizi Gallery (attraction)
  18. The Baptistery of St. John (attraction)
  19. Ponte Vecchio (attraction)
  20. Medici Chapel (attraction)
  21. Oia (city)
  22. 1800 Restaurant (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Lauren from Chicago

Hi Bernadette,

We had a really great meal at Mama's House on Santorini, you can catch the bus nearby that will take you to Oia-this is where you'll find all those picturesque photo-ops of the white washed houses and blue domes. There is a shop in Fira near the cable car called Ernesto Workshop Gallery ( and he does some really great wood carvings that make for unique souvenirs. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mama's House (restaurant)
  2. Oia (city)
  3. Ernesto Workshop Gallery (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by

It has been a few years since I have been to Italy. I have been to Naples, Sorrento, Rome, Florence, Venice & Milan. I can't recommend any establishments off the top of My head. But I will say good food is abundant in Italy. My experience was that it was the norm, rather than the exception.  

Also, if You haven't been to Italy. Drinks like water that we are accustomed to in the US are not included in most meals. I found when I was there last that a litre-quart bottle of water costs about 3-5€.  

Also I had found that when I ordered in most Restaurants, not all. That I ordered the appitizer, meat vegtable, pasta and such all as seperate items. Which makes it easy to blow through Euros. Sometimes, usually the portions were big enough. That Me and My grown Son could share. We'd decide on Our meat, pasta, vegtables and such and just share. 

I apologize if this isn't specific. Most food I ate there was pretty good. Italians have a passion for their food. I don't know anything about Greece, have yet to get there:)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Naples (attraction)
  2. Sorrento (attraction)
  3. Rome (city)
  4. Florence (city)
  5. Venice (city)
  6. Milan (city)
2 thanks

answered first by
Valerie from Los Angeles

In Mykonos, my favorite meal was at M-Eating Restaurant. One of the best Greek meals I had in Greece. It's in a local house with some of the prettiest decor i've seen. Your typical greek isle all white building and they had an outdoor garden area that was perfect for sitting out during the warm summer months. Just recommended this place to my friend a few weeks ago and she loved it :) Worth a visit, have a great time! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mykonos (city)
  2. M-Eating Restaurant (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by
Scott from San Francisco

In Rome eat at Ristorante Cadorna for the best carbonara ever, have a pastry at il fornaio on the outer areas of Campo De Fiori (it's a bakery with amazing pistachio tarts and ricotta tarts and has nothing to do with the American chain restaurant of the same name).  Then go see every site of ancient Rome because it's a must.  Near-ish to the the Colosseum is Panella for some Roman style baked goods, pizza squares (ask them to heat them up, or else they won't).   In Florence dinner at Il Santo Bevitore, sandwiches and Panini at 'Ino (though it's very tricky to find, near the Uffizi Gallery), and gelato at Gelateria Santa Trinita - which is among the best if not the best in Italy.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ristorante Cadorna (restaurant)
  2. Panella (restaurant)
  3. Il Santo Bevitore (restaurant)
  4. 'Ino (restaurant)
  5. Uffizi Gallery (attraction)
  6. Gelateria Santa Trinita (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Lindsay from Traveling Throughout Europe :-)


I would recommend gelato at Come il Latte - get the handmade waffle cone with chocolate from the fountain! It is simply AMAZING!

For a more authentic "local" experience go dine at Trattoria Der Pallaro. It's a set menu of $25 but it includes 5 courses and wine! The Nona (grandmother) came out of the kitchen when I was there and greeted everyone. I felt like I was dining in someone's kitchen -- the food was GREAT! It opens at 7:30 from what I remember. 

Check out Eataly Roma which is a gourmet food market. LOTS of delights there from coffees to cheese to pizza... I was in Rome for a month and it was my go to spot for something quick and delish!

There are a TON of shopping streets near the Spanish Steps with upscale shops and cafes. Have a coffee at Antico Caffè Greco. It is the oldest bar in Rome and many famous writers have drank coffee there. Just make sure you order it and stand at the counter to drink it (costs 1.50 euro). If you sit down it will cost you over 6 euro! Also the maccaroons at Ladurée Romaare divine. SALTED carmel <3 It's a little taste of France while in Rome. 

Have a great trip!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Come il Latte (attraction)
  2. Trattoria Der Pallaro (restaurant)
  3. Eataly Roma (attraction)
  4. Spanish Steps (attraction)
  5. Antico Caffè Greco (restaurant)
  6. Ladurée Roma (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Kit from Chicago

That sounds like an amazing trip! I love Trattoria ZàZà in Florence - they serve the best ribolita (a traditional thick Italian bread and vegetable soup). You can't miss it - it is right near the central market. If you love shopping you will love the market. Also Trattoria dei 13 Gobbi is a lovely restaurant in Florence.

In Santorini, be sure to go on a sunset sail, it was one of my favorite parts of my trip. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Trattoria ZàZà (restaurant)
  2. Trattoria dei 13 Gobbi (restaurant)
  3. Santorini (island)
2 thanks

answered by
Travis from Texas

In Florence, I highly recommend you grab a sandwich at All'Antico Vinaio. It is incredibly good, and insanely cheap (5 EUR when I was there in the fall of 2014) for the size and quality of the sandwich. It's very casual - just a few benches outside on the street to sit on, no tables or service or anything, but for a quick, simple bite to eat, it's fantastic.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. All'Antico Vinaio (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Mari from San Francisco

Hi Bernadette,

You will love Mykonos. Beautiful beaches, and amazing food.

Try Panormos Beach and restaurant. Amazing waters, excellent Mediterranean food and amazing music.

Of course you have to have a cocktail at Caprice of Mykonos with view of little Venice

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mykonos (city)
  2. Panormos Beach (hotel)
1 thanks

answered by
Inez from Rome

Going on an all-girls trip to Rome,Mykonos, Santorini and Florence is definitely a great idea, you all will have a great time! I did this with my girl friends back in 2013, and really had a good time :)

For shopping, do check out all the nice leather shops in the corners of Florence, they have unique designs and is decently priced. For Rome, I would suggest sticking to Via Nazionale- it makes a good one-stop place specially if you all are looking to shop for different things.

For dining, would you fancy in trying out unique dining experiences, during your visit to Rome and Florence? I run a food&travel site, called BonAppetour. I believe that one shall not miss out in trying authentic local flavors so I've had the idea to connect people like you, to local families, for a home-dining experience. In Rome, we have hosts who could prepare delicious lunch on a boat on Tiber River, or an exquisite Italian homecooked Roman feast on a rooftop, where you and your friends could enjoy some wine as the sun sets, and indulge in the dinner afterwards. In Florence, we also have equally talented hosts who could prepare Tuscan-style feasts. I've actually just came back from a 3-month trip visiting each one of the hosts in Italy to ensure the quality is top-notch.. and do I dare to say, all other trattorias and restaurants could not beat the home-dining experiences I had at the host's home..;) I think it would be a good evening with your girl friends!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rome (city)
  2. Mykonos (city)
  3. Santorini (island)
  4. Florence (city)

answered by
Vincent from Stamford, Ct

For your time in Province of Florence, I highly recommend going to Buca Mario for dinner (if you enjoy steak).  My uncle has imported wine from Italy to the US for wife and I went to Italy last year and only had one night in Florence - without hesitation, he suggested that our one dinner had to be at Buca Mario.  He was dead on.  We spent two weeks in other parts of Italy and our one night in Florence, at Buca Mario was our best dining experience.  If you chose to go, ask for Nando.  He was charming and very attentive.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Province of Florence (metro area)
  2. Buca Mario (restaurant)

answered by
Kemkem from Malaga

Tiffany is spot on about Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè and Filetti di Baccalà (so tiny, you might miss it..the little church is straight ahead, and it will be on your right). I have a few posts about food in Rome.. :-), but here is another pizzeria by the Colosseum that is just freaking awesome! If you do a search on the site for Rome, you should see a few posts about what to do and where to eat..etc.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè (restaurant)
  2. Filetti di Baccalà (restaurant)
  3. Colosseum (attraction)

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