Posts Tagged ‘eat’

Tiramisu (Venice, Italy)

Kathryn says: With a few minutes to spare after lunch and before our train departed for Rome, I fit in a quick to-go order of tiramisu from Bar-Caffe’ Olympia (Cannaregio 116, Lista di Spagna, Venice, Italy – Tel. 041715165). A local Venetian told us that tiramisu was the dessert of Venice, so how could I leave without trying it? I ate it in the train station and went crazy over it. I’m not normally a tiramisu fan, but the layers of cold, thick whipped cream with cinnamon, coffee gelato and sweet vanilla cake put my tastebuds on overdrive. Yes, it was 5 euros, but the fact that it was delicious and came in a glass bowl that I got to keep made it a good deal. I’d been thinking about buying a piece of Venetian glass, so I joked that this was my Venetian glass souvenir.

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Cornflakes with chocolate milk and nocciola yogurt

Our family and the wonderful nocciola yogurt lady at Hotel Maxim

Jamie says:  Arrivederci (goodbye), Hotel Maxim, and arrivederci, Florence!  We ate our last breakfast at Hotel Maxim and said our farewell to the nocciola yogurt Italian woman.  I enjoyed my last nocciola yogurt and cereal.  I made chocolate milk by using the cocoa powder next to the coffee and stirring it in cold mix; I then added cornflakes and sliced a banana that my Dad got from the little vending stand he frequented.  Of course it was delicious- there was chocolate involved.  After lugging our heavy suitcases down the stairs and grabbing a few last-minute souvenirs (I got a perfume that I had been thinking about from Santa Maria Novella Perfumery), we hopped on the train for… VENICE!

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K's midnight gelato

Kathryn says: J and I had a fun night at Astor, a local bar that borders the Duomo. It was NFL football night, so we watched TV and met people from New York and Ireland. Our Mom said we had to come back before 1 a.m. because the hotel’s main entrance locked at 1, but we joked that she made that up to get us back at a decent hour. We left about 15 minutes before 1 but made a quick detour to the gelateria next door. J couldn’t believe that I wanted sweets at such a late hour, but when you’re in the mood for gelato, you’re in the mood for gelato. The man working there gave J and I a lesson in gelato etiquette since business was quiet and he felt like venting, I guess. He said it’s ok to ask for samples when a place isn’t busy, but if there is a line, don’t ask for samples, just order. Gelato shops in Italy generally haven’t seemed keen to giving samples, J and I noticed. I enjoyed stracciatella (vanilla with chocolate chips).

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Chocolate gelato with chocolate candies and vanilla gelato with fruit

Jamie says:  On our way to the train station from Lucca to Florence, we stopped in a little shop to grab some bottled waters.  The mounds of gelato were calling to me, and I didn’t have a gelato yet (a “goal” for the trip was at least one gelato every day).  And who knows the gelato in Lucca could taste different, right?.  I ordered a chocolate gelato with chunks of chocolate candies and the vanilla gelato with fruit.  I loved the crunch of the chocolate and fruit!  I can now say the gelato in Lucca is good, too!

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Peasant soup


Seafood salad

Jamie says:  When we arrived in Lucca, it was quite late and we were starving- ready for some lunch.  We had a restaurant in mind, and I navigated our way there.  The restaurant was so charming, but it was closed!  (But don’t worry, we went back for dinner- see blog post above.)  We realized there were limited restaurant choices since most places were closed around 3:00 PM.  We found Fontanini to be open and dined outside.  I enjoyed the peasant soup and the bread.  It was just what I needed- something to hold me over for a couple of hours until our early dinner at the charming restaurant…

Kathryn says: My seafood salad, although a bit skimpy on the seafood, was tasty. On a hot afternoon sitting outside, I was happy to get a cold meal – chunks of octopus and slices of calamari on iceberg lettuce with carrots and tomatoes. The seafood tasted like it was marinated in vinegar and was nice and chewy. After fueling up on a light but satisfying meal, I was ready for a bike ride around Luca’s ramparts.

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J's salad

J's arugula pizza

K's antipasto

Jamie says:  We ate dinner at on a side street (at the restaurante Giannino) not far from the Duomo and our Florence “home” (aka hotel room).  I ordered a salad which turned out to have a rainbow of  veggies on top and an arugula pizza with some black olives. The pizza crust was  thin compared to American pizza.  We enjoyed eating outside.

Kathryn says: I was craving meat and cheese, so I ordered the antipasto platter for dinner. It came with thick slices of salami, paper-thin prosciutto, two blocks of provolone, arugula, bruschetta, chicken liver pate (which I gave to Mom since I’m not a fan of liver) and a little bowl of artichokes with olive oil and cooked mushrooms on the bottom. It was salty and oily and pungent – everything I was looking for (except for the liver, of course). Afterward, J and I met some nice Italian locals and chatted on the steps of the Duomo. We picked up a few more Italian words, like tesoro, which means darling.

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Nannini bakery (Siena, Italy)

Ricciarelli al Cioccolato - chocolate cookie

Ricciarelli - vanilla cookie

Chocolate and vanilla cookies

Parade (Siena, Italy)

Parade (Siena, Italy)

Kathryn says: After our unforgettable lunch at Nona Gina’s, we wandered the small, hilly streets of Siena and window shopped. We happened upon a festive street parade. The young Italian man next to me tried to explain what they were celebrating, but the language barrier had me just nodding and smiling after awhile.

Once the parade passed us, J and I went shopping and found some cute purses at Carpisa.

Then we started walking to meet our parents to catch the bus, but two trays of cookies caught my eye in the window of Nannini bakery. I ran in to buy a couple of the sugar-dusted sweets for later. Once we found our parents, I couldn’t wait to pull the treats out to share. The cookies’ moist, soft insides and sweet, powdery outsides made for a savory couple of bites in our last few moments in Siena.

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