from the top: pizza margherita, nonno mede in siena | penne arrabiata in venice | gelato cioccolato, grom siena | roasted zucchini, carrot, peppers e pollo made by yours truly | fresh fruits and vegetables in positano | bruschetta from nonno mede in siena | cappuccino, florence (via calzaiuoli) | pizza margherita, o'vesuvio florence | a delicious dish of risotto e turkey in milano | penne con pesto (made my me!) | pollo alla griglia from la finestra, siena | pizza margherita, pompei pizza, pompei | just a breadbasket in milano | crema catalana, siena
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I have been to italy threeeee times. three times! is that even real? man, I am blessed. Over that time span of three years, on those three different trips, i have been fortunate to eat some very good food.
I have come to the conclusion that I love quite a few of these things. pizza margherita is clearly a theme here. cappuccinos for breakfast? sign me up. I love the simplicity of italian mornings. Best dessert? gelato. cioccolato and frutti di bosco is a match made in heaven. And pasta? oh boy. anything drenched in arrabiata or pesto has my name on it. With all the contorni, and piatti, dining in italy can be reeeally expensive - especially when the portions are not jumbo-sized like they are here in the good old USA. It's hard to narrow down decisions, even if you're on a budget.
I've been told so many tips, ideas, and things to look for when searching for places to eat while traveling. and my own advice is this: ignore the rules. Sometimes the places with the pictures on the menu actually are really good. Gelato twice a day is completely acceptable. Sometimes the items on the tourist menu are actually to die for. You've got to go in aware of your options. For instance, if you're going to Sicily, perhaps try the seafood. Or the Cinque Terre; try something with pesto alla genovese. Napoli, pizza. But don't write off anything because you're not in a specific, specialized area - be openminded!
and another thing - look.
Look for the hidden osteria instead of the ristorante on the main piazza. Walk a little further than usual - not only will you build up the anticipation of your meal, but maybe you'll see something you've never expected. and who says you can't go into the supermarket and grab something to make on your own? that is, if you can...
ok - end rant on food. now, who's hungry!?