I thought a great way for me to get back into blogging about food and cooking again would be to share our amazing and delicious trip to Italy this past June with you all. I hope to get back to creating/cooking/taking pictures and blogging about it very soon. I promise.
We kicked off our honeymoon to Italy with an UNFORGETABLE wedding! We could not have asked for a more memorable and special day with all of our family and friends. We got married on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in St. Johnsbury, VT in June. The Mr. and I wasted no time and jetted off to Italy for a 2 week getaway the very next day. Our tour included Milan, Cinque Terre, Florence, Tuscany, Bologna, Polenza and Rome. And an unexpected detour to Parma our first day in Italy, at least we got some delicious food there 🙂
Mike and I worked our tails off in the gym and in the kitchen leading up to our wedding. We have always been super active and eat a pretty healthy diet, but we really kicked it into high gear the 6 months before. I joked with my friends and family before the wedding that all I was going to pack were sweatpants and spandex in my suitcase for Italy... (real romantical Suz, haha). Thankfully we both still fit into
all most of our clothes when we returned to Boston. This is due to walking everywhere and anywhere in 90 degree heat. I think we averaged 4-7 miles a day. With that said, we completely indulged ourselves and tried anything and everything while we were there. When in Rome, right? I mean you only take 1 Honeymoon (hopefully) in your life, so might as well live it up. I think we ate/tried all the meats, cheeses, breads, olive oil, pesto, seafood and wine Italy had to offer. Although, looking back I wish I had smuggled some cheese and salami in my suitcase on the way home 🙂
I figured I would just "dump" all, well most of our Italian food photos into one post so you can drool/re-live this epic culinary trip with me. If you ever have a chance to go to Italy, go! And please bring me, I mean us, back some cheese, olive oil, meat and wine. 🙂 I focused mostly on food because I write a food blog. I promise we did other things besides eat and drink, seriously... we did 🙂
Mike was super stoked to be flying Emirates newest Airbus 380 to Milan. We started our trip with lamb marinated in Aarbic spices with a potato mash and green beans. I know what you're thinking... airline food- gross! But it was actually pretty good. Of course we took part in the complimentary beverages, we we're celebrating 🙂
Day 1- Milan
Here we discovered what the Italians call "Aperitivo". Basically happy hour. From 7-9pm you will find many restuarants/bars take part in Appertivo. During this time you can grab an adult beverage for a set fee (anywhere from 5 euro-18 euro) and receive the establishments complimentary buffet as many times as you would like. Mike and I started many of our nights in Italy with Aperitivo before con't onto our dinners .... Yeah, we're fat kids.
(Pictured above- "Long Drinks" Italian cocktails that are super duper American, ie. whiskey sour, long island iced tea, mojito, etc. Most places had drinks like this on their menus, especially bars. We learned quickly... Right picture- Salty proscuitto piled high ontop of fresh burrata.)
Cinque Terre Parma
Secondary to an epic train strike, Mike and I took an unexpected detour to Parma. We spent about 6 hours wondering around with our luggage trying to make the best of our situation. We were scheduled to arrive in Manarola, Cinque Terre around noon, instead we arrived at midnight. Thank god for some good food in Parma and the Bards family friend Agnese for helping us coordinate our lodging in Cinque Terre. In Parma we took part in some more delicious prosciutto and parmesan cheese as well as some tasty pesto. Here we were introduced to sparkling white wine. So very refreshing on a hot day. We also discovered they sell cheese in vending machines! I think I need to write to someone here in the U.S. to have them start doing that. When is there not a cheese emergency?!? Parma is famous for its food and rich gastronomical tradition: Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (also produced in Reggio Emilia), Prosciutto di Parma (Parma ham). Parma claims several stuffed pasta dishes like "tortelli d'erbetta" and "anolini in brodo". Parma also has two food multinationals, Barilla and Parmalat.
Day 3-5 Cinque Terre
Here we hiked, ate, drank, swam and relaxed. We hiked through the vineyards where the wine was produced that we drank. We made pesto with a local man using fresh grown basil from his garden. We drank mini espresso's that packed a real punch. Mike discovered he would not be able to get an iced coffee or a coffee to go, whomp whomp. I think I had my most favorite meal here of smooth goats cheese, thick sliced salami and fresh baked bread sitting on our balcony looking over the tiny town of Manarola with a bottle of chilled sparkling prosecco. Bellissimo!
We had the pleasure of dining at Billy's in Manarola one evening. This restaurant came highly recommended by my friend and collegue Meg. Again, I think we ordered too much food. The waiter insisted that we try a traditional Italian appetizer (pictured above). Description of this appetizer from their menu- 12 courses, between hot and cold, They will give you a taste of our finest seafood, combined with the aromas of herbs of Liguria and embellished by the imagination of the chef; surely the best way to explore our kitchen. You get the picture. We then split a special pasta of the evening topped with lobster. Dessert consisted of typical Italian Limoncello, Grappa and a shot of their own housemade concotion. They had to roll us down the hill back to our room, haha. Jokes!
More delicious delights in Cinque Terre included focaccia, gnocchi with prawns, pesto, chocolate stuffed croissants with cappuccino.
We hiked to Corniglia our first full day and had a delicious lunch meats, cheeses, bread and wine. I was in heaven 🙂
Days 5-8 Florence
We spent 4 days here. Touring with our buddy Rick Steves... well his podcasts. We ate some amazing meals and drank some delicious Super Tuscans and Chianti. We took part in multiple gelato stops. We ate pasta, again, what a shame really. We also had GINORMOUS and DELICIOUS meat and cheese sandwiches from All'Antico Vinaio. Another great recommendation from Meg! Oh and we took part in more apperitivo's. Of course.
Incase you were thinking we only ate... We did do a bike tour around Tuscany one day. We also got to taste olive oil and wine from Massi di Mandorlaia.
Next Friday I will photo dump all my food photos from Bologna, Polenza and Rome. I'm pretty sure we took way too many photos of food and adult beverages, haha. I may have a bad habit.
As Rick Steves says " Until next time, keep on traveling". 🙂