The legendary, historic cities of Italy are wonderful places for tourists to explore. And surely when one thinks of Italy, one also thinks of delicious food. Yet some Italian destinations have terrible reputations for being filled with expensive tourist traps: restaurants that charge unsuspecting tourists a fortune for microwaved pizza, or douse watery canned tomato sauce on top of overcooked pasta without thought or care.
But for a smart traveler, such misfortunes do not have to be the case. One doesn't need to get suckered into poor dining choices when in cities such as Florence, Rome, Milan or Venice. Neither does one have to plan and make reservations months in advance and only eat at the most expensive 4-star restaurants, either. After numerous trips to Italy-and yes, making some mistakes along the way-the following are my tips for enjoying some of the best, authentic dining experiences Italy has to offer, without spending a fortune in the process. I've also included several points on service which may seem perplexing and confusing to American tourists not used to restaurant etiquette abroad.