Travel Show Host Stanley Tucci's Favorite Destinations To Eat And Stay In Italy

Academy Award-nominated actor, writer, and food enthusiast — Stanley Tucci holds a long list of impressive titles. However, the actor's most recent project isn't a dystopian big screen blockbuster or a heart-racing Netflix thriller like he's done in the past — in fact, it's more of a personal journey.

As host of CNN's two-part series "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy" — which aired from 2021 to 2022 on the network — Tucci travels to Italy (followed by a crew of filmmakers and producers, of course) and dives headfirst into the culture, cuisine, and traditions of a country he knows and loves over the course of 14 episodes. From Milan to Sardinia, Venice to Sicily, and Bologna to the Amalfi Coast, Tucci's travels are about savoring every moment and listening to locals as they share their stories and experiences — all while sharing a good meal.

That said, it's no surprise that the Italian-American actor — whose roots trace back to a little town, Marzi, in the southern region of Calabria — would know a thing or two about where to stay, where to eat, and what to do that can be incredibly helpful if you're planning your own authentic Italian vacation.

Tucci's food recommendations

In conversation with Fodor's Travel, Tucci got down to some very mouthwatering specifics when it comes to what you should be eating while exploring Italy. First, when in Rome, Tucci always recommends that you go for the carbonara — no questions asked. If you're in Florence, he suggests trying the bistecca Fiorentina — or Florentine steak — a true staple of Tuscan cuisine.

Tucci's other foodie must-do's? In Bologna, order the lasagna Bolognese; in Milan, go for the risotto and ossobuco Milanese; and in Sicily, don't you dare skip out on trying the pasta alla Norma. Finally, if you're sticking around Naples and the Amalfi Coast, make sure you sink your teeth into some fresh seafood and pasta with zucchini. One thing you should never do, according to Tucci? Don't ever ask for cheese with your spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams) unless you want a side of disapproving looks with your meal.

Getting even more specific, Tucci had one particular restaurant recommendation: Lo Scoglio, on the Amalfi Coast. Founded in 1958, the restaurant specializes in fresh, seasonal cuisine — with a focus on local seafood — that exemplifies their "sea to table" philosophy. Per Tucci, the restaurant is accessible via boat and car. Just make sure you book well in advance — appearing on the CNN show spiked their popularity with locals and visitors alike.

Choosing your accommodation like Stanley Tucci

When it comes to choosing your accommodation, Tucci's interview with Fodor's Travel also highlighted some pretty iconic spots in some of the most popular Italian cities. Topping the list of his favorite accommodations are the Mandarin Oriental Hotels — a luxury, 5-star hotel chain with locations all around the world. Specifically, though, the Milan property — which he described as "gorgeous" — won over Tucci during one of his visits.

Venturing out to Venice, Tucci's top hotel picks include the Gritti Palace — part of the Marriott brand — and the Hotel Danieli, both of which overlook the Grand Canal and are located within walking distance from the famous Piazza San Marco — arguably the most iconic landmark in Venice.

Last, but definitely not least, there's one hotel that Tucci claims he still dreams about: the Hotel Lungarno, in Florence. Tasteful and chic, it's one of those special places Tucci has "never wanted to leave" and that he keeps coming back to. Now that's what we call la dolce vita.