Sunday, January 30, 2011


Don't worry, I didn't forget to document the many culinary delights we encountered in Italy. We attempted to stay away from any place that catered too much to tourists, as those establishments tend to have less delicious fare (just like anywhere else). With the help of personal recommendations and preferred guide books, we had many memorable meals.

Pasta alla carbonara in Rome

Spaghetti con ragĂș alla bolognese...pretty much my favorite food ever. Italy didn't disappoint.

How our plates looked after every meal

Pizza in Florence. The globs of mozzarella don't lie - Italy does pizza right.

The set-up of our "splurge" meal in Florence at Osteria di Giovanni

Chickpea salad, a complimentary starter at Osteria di Giovanni

Bistecca alla Fiorentina...the ultimate porterhouse steak

Braised rabbit with greens...Yeah, that's right, bunny is delicious!

Indulgent panna cotta

"Cicchetti" in Venice, a sampler of sorts, featuring seafood appetizers - octopus salad, prawns, crab salad, and sardines

A new favorite found both in Croatia and Italy - squid or cuttlefish ink sauce over pasta. It tastes salty and buttery and is absolutely divine.

Mary and I enjoying our new favorite pasta in Venice

In Milan, ossobuco with risotto alla milanese

Grilled tomino cheese (which I have been unable to find at home) with zucchini and eggplant


Milan's Duomo. The construction of this Gothic-style building was begun in 1386 and took a whopping 5 centuries to complete!

Another view of the Duomo di Milano

Doors leading into the magnificent Duomo, the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world!

Stained glass inside the Duomo

I lit a candle for Heather <3

Mary and I at dinner

Castello Sforzesco, a castle that was originally built in the 14th century.

A pigeon inside a scaffolding hole within the walls of the Castello Sforzesco

Aperitivo in Milan, an amazing and popular offering within the city, in which you pay for drinks and get a meal's worth of tapas-like snacks as well!

I have a disorder. I have to say hello to every puppy and kitty I meet. The first Italian phrase I learned was, "Hello puppy!" so I could greet Italian dogs in their own language. In case you're wondering how you, too, can greet Italian dogs, the correct phrase is "Ciao cucciolo!"

Saturday, January 29, 2011


By the time we got to Venice, our fourth Italian city, we were less inclined to to seek out historic venues and more interested in simply wandering. Many people gave us the same advice about Venice, which was to throw away any maps and get lost. We did, several times, and enjoyed ourselves tremendously. It was actually my favorite Italian city, simply because, to me, it still holds much of the romanticism that I imagined Italy would be full of. The city is literally built over water as it is made up of 117 small islands. Bridges are everywhere and the main method of automated transport is by water taxi. In a way, the city reminded me of a place close to home - like New Orleans with the bright colors and older buildings.

We didn't take a gondola ride - too expensive!

We made friends with the owner of a restaurant we ate at, who also happened to own the bar across the street. Needless to say, we didn't pay for drinks that night AND he was a complete gentleman who walked us back to our hotel so we wouldn't get lost in a city that is impossible not to get lost in.

What's up with the tiny toilets? Note: Yes, I realize I am wearing sneakers with a dress, but my feet hurt, so you fashionistas can get over it.

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

The Piazzele Michelangelo offers an amazing panoramic view of Florence. It's built on a hill overlooking the city and is the perfect place to take a bottle of wine and watch the sunset.

Here are just a few of the shots I took as the sun went down over Tuscany.