I last visited Italy on my Contiki Bus Tour which ended just over three weeks ago. On that trip, we visited Florence, Rome and Venice and the highlight (apart from the culture, obviously) was definitely the food!
Needless to say, I’m heading back tomorrow and I’m absolutely ecstatic to be able to experience some of the food I found last time.
Oh my gosh. Where do I start?! Gnocchi will never be the same again. The gnocchi that I had in Venice literally melted on my tongue. It was bathed in a fresh tomato-basil sauce and topped with buffalo mozzarella…drooling yet?
Obviously, pasta in Italy is incredible in general and I can’t wait to try more ravioli and spaghetti and tagliatelle and all of the other types I don’t even know the names of yet! Italians KNOW how to make pasta and the second you put it in your mouth you know it’s perfect. A particular favourite of mine is the way Italians prepare it, known as al dente, where it is still firm.
Another thing ruined…FOREVER! My experiences with gelato were frequent, but once again, one place in particular won my heart. Suso Gelatoteca in Venice had the most wonderful, unique flavours that I’ve ever found in ice cream. I had three flavours in an edible cup and of course the forest fruits flavour and strawberry cheesecake flavour were amazing. However my favourite and the star of the trio was definitely the Lemon Fondant gelato. This was a tart lemon sorbet gelato paired with a chocolate gelato and topped with lemon fondant in the one contained before it was scooped out and served. I was tempted to have another but I knew I should save space for more Italian food. Like…
Pizza in Italy is obviously pretty perfect. But I have to say I’m looking forward to getting home to Australia and making a good, old-fashioned, Friday-night, family pizza with every topping on it. Pizzas in Italy generally stick to only a few toppings which was a new experience for me. They’re delicious and the bases are always homemade and perfectly crispy so I am looking forward to having far, far more!
- Beef Tagliata
This dish is always perfect. Flavourful beef cooked blue or rare and cut into thin strips. There literally isn’t anything else I can say other than “Get in my mouth”. And after that I wouldn’t be saying anything!
- Amazing paninis
I could not get sick of these. We came across some amazing ones in Florence at a place called Panini Toscani. The gentleman who runs it invites small groups into his shop (there is always a queue because of this) and you sample cheeses and meats that he has sourced from around Tuscany before you choose which ones to put on your panini. The love on his face and in his voice as he talks about his passion is evident, and you can taste it in the paninis. Italy is fantastic for them!
So yeah, as you can see I’m fairly keen to try more Italian food and I’ll definitely keep you updated as I travel through Italy.
The plan at the moment is Verona – Lake Garda – Bologna – Cinque Terre (staying in La Spezia because it’s cheaper!), so if anyone has any suggestions please post in the comments or drop me a line on the contact page!