From The beautiful Monaco we drove an hour and were greeted by the Italian Riviera. I remember the peace that filled me surrounded by this pastoral scenery. We reached a sunny Florence and went to explore the leaning tower of Pisa. It’s pretty impressive how it still manages to stand to this day. We had our Pisa poses ready and clicked away.
I won’t lie-my main motivation for coming to Italy was to EAT.
I usually shy away from carbs however I gave into every whim and desire for carbs.
I loved Florence for its traditional authenticity, it seemed untouched, pure and culturally rich except for the excessive irritating tourists myself included. Impressively, I don’t think I spotted one McDonalds or Burger King here, finally, a respite from American impositions.
The Restaurants were slowly picking up for the dinner crowd. Delicious smells lingered in the air. We settled at a Family owned restaurant and were served traditional Italian food. Our dinner started with prosciutto for served on a bed of olive oil bread. The bread was freshly baked and piping warm. They brought on spaghetti with plain tomato paste it was delicious. They had bottles of traditional Italian red wine which was a little dry for me but combined with the pasta tasted divine. The wine was unlimited J we then had ravioli which was light and creamy filled with goat cheese. The fat lady hadn’t sung yet, the festivities continued to roasted potatoes and roast pork for mains. If you watched/ read “Eat Love Pray” you will understand why Italy was the “Eat” section of the book. I was thrilled to be experiencing authentic Italian cuisine. Our dinner ended on a sweet note of tiramisu which was delectable. Again gelato stores were everywhere. I had the best gelato in Florence at a shop called Gelateria La Carraia, they had millions of flavors and charged one euro per scoop and servings quite generous.
We went to a karaoke bar called Red Garters. I had so much fun here and even braved the stage to sing a song with my friend. After plenty Dutch courage that is! Florence is was ruled by the great Medici family. Well known for its leather industry. I love the smell of leather so watching the various leather demonstrations was really fun and educational for me.
Florence is where you find the replica statue of Michelangelo’s David. The detail of the statue is astounding and was made in 1909. Quaint shops lined up the identical hilly cobbled roads. It’s a good idea to not stray away if you are in a group as one could easily get lost. Besides the food we were really looking forward to the hot Italian men that everyone harps on about. Seems like they may have all fled Florence; P.
We headed to Rome the next day. It was scorching HOT! I live in Dubai so one would think I am used to heat but the intensity of the sun was stronger, more piercing. We saw the st Stephens basilica Rome, the Vatican as well as the Sistine Chapel. Rome is pregnant with culture. I found it overwhelming being in the middle of all this history. I find it really impressive that the structures such as the Colosseum still stand. Again, Rome was much too touristy for my liking. My favorite moment has to be us sitting on the street pavement eating the most delicious pizza from a shop called “Alice”. I am not a big pizza fan but after this I was turnt y’all. This goes down as the best pizza ever and super cheap too J.
One observation: I loved how expressive Italian people are, very fascinating to watch. We winded down the evening by having a decadent Roman dinner where I had the most heavenly classic three pasta dish made up of carbonara, tomato and basil and one with cream cheese. Intense sharp flavors caused food orgasms in my mouth. By far the best pasta I have had in my life, I coupled it with a sweet red wine. This has to be one of my fondest food moments… 36 euros later i still felt like it was money well spent! #True story. Sidebar: All the hot boys fled to Rome..All of themJ
After 2 days in Rome we drove 5 hours to Venice. Venice possesses a certain charm. I found it mysterious and mesmerizing to say the least. Musicians serenade onlookers with melodious romantic violins. My heart was literally bursting at the seams at such beauty. The towns surrounded by water is unimaginably enchanting. This place is what postcard dreams are made of. Water canals running between buildings water boats and gondolas are the primary means of getting around and have become such a cliché associated with Venice. The colored buildings once bright washed down by years of the elements, hold so much history. I loved the little bridges connected buildings. We did a lot of walking around. I had a bad food experience by trying the salmon pasta, which scarred me after my expectations were set so sky high by Florence and Rome My favorite moment was sitting on a bench by a pier sipping Italian beer and watching the sunset. I was so grateful for this moment. .