I had the most amazing time in Italy. Over the process of 11 days, my family and I traveled to Rome, Florence, Venice, and then back to Rome. We did a cooking lesson, biked out to an Italian farm, toured the Colosseum and the Vatican, took a ride in a Gondola, did a Cicchetti tour, and much much more. I'll do a separate post for my cooking lesson and Cicchetti tour, so look for that above. Also, please visit the links I have provided to the websites of my favorite Italian restaurants.

Because most restaurants provided us with menus in Italian, most of the names of meals are written in Italian.

Day 1: Lunch
Here we ate at a small restaurant in Rome called Boccachino.
  • Me (C for Caitlin): Fusilli Freschi con Pesto di Mandorle, Friggitelli E Ricotta
  • My Dad (D) and Sophia my sister (S): Mozzarella di Bufala, Pomodoro E Basilico
  • My Mom (M): Spaghetti Cav. Cocco Alla Carbonara
Day 2: Dinner
On the second day, we traveled to Florence, Italy. There, we ate at an amazing restaurant called Il Latini. This unique restaurant supplied us with some of our more interesting, different, and unique foods. And they were all absolutely extraordinary (except the chicken liver pâté). Basically, at this restaurant, you do not order your food. The waiters bring you whatever they wish, and that is what you eat. It is a great opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and try something completely different. I am an extremely picky eater, and yet I tried the majority of the foods placed on our table. They were THAT good. Check out the website online at: http://www.illatini.com for more information and to make the required reservation.

It is also good to note that at this restaurant there are only two seatings. Basically, pretend as though you are in your own kitchen. Everyone arrives at the same time, everyone eats the same thing, and everyone leaves the table around the same time. Another thing is that, should you arrive for the first seating, you will notice that there is a large group of people sitting around a table inside eating. First, the family of the chefs eat first. Then, everyone else will be seated. There is no need to worry (though most of the people waiting outside will become worrisome).

I highly suggest this restaurant. It is absolutely fabulous.

Day 3: Lunch
On this day, my family and I ate at a small tourist place in Florence. There, I had my first pizza in Italy!! It was way beyond any pizza you could possibly have in the US. I had a Pizza al Gorgonzola. My family also ate other meals that I forgot to record.

Day 3: Dinner
Here was another of our favorite restaurants. It was reccommended to us by my aunt and uncle who went to Florence for their honeymoon. I must say it was worth it completely. The restaurant is La Giostra. Visit the website at http://www.ristorantelagiostra.com.  Everything, but especially the tomato, was absolutely fabulous. The tomatoes were so good that we had to ask the chef how they made the tomatoes. He said, to make amazing tomatoes, you must:
  1. Use the small grape-tomatoes (preferably from Italy)
  2. Put the tomatoes in boiling water for 40 seconds.
  3. Remove the skin from the tomatoes before using them in a recipe.
In this way, you can make the best Italian tomato dish.

The Food
  • Appetizer (A): Proscuitto di Parma con Melone
I became a big fan of this dish while eating at the restaurant mentioned in Day 2. Afterwards, I ate it as often as possible. In the States, Proscuitto is an extremely expensive meat that is only offered in limited areas. It is considered an extreme delicacy. But in Italy, it is quite common. I took advantage of this while there and ate as much low-cost proscuitto as possible. It was quite good.
  • C: Carbonara al Tartufo Bianco di Stagione
  • D: Pennette Gorgonzola e Pera
  • S: Spaghettini "Taormina" Pomodorini Crudi e Basilico
  • M: Tagliatelle Fatte da noi ai Funghi Porcini
  • For dessert, we had a Tiramisu and "Da Bomb"
Day 4: Lunch
On day 4, my family and I went out to a bike ride with a tour guide to a farm. Please look below for the post about special food outings!

Day 5: Lunch
This day, my family and I ate at this cute little restaurant on a side street by the Duomo Church. Unfortunately, I forgot to write down what we ate. But I did get pictures!
Day 5: Dinner
In Florence, my family decided to take a cooking lesson at Giglio Cooking School. Please see below the special food outings post.

Day 6: Dinner
On Day 6, we went to a restaurant called La Feluca in Venice. This was our first night in this magical new city. Venice, or Venezia, is known for their fish, especially since they are on the water, so that is what I ate.

Appetizer: Gnocchi al gorgonzola e noci
Mom's Appetizer: Crema di funghi porcini
S: Braciola di majale con patate
D: Spaghetti alla carbonara
M: Tagliatelle alle capesante e asparagi
C: Trancio di salmone ai ferri con patate
Day 7: Lunch
For lunch, my family and I went on a Cicchetti tour in Venice. Please view below for the Special Food Outings blog post for pictures of this event.

Day 7: Dinner
Unfortunately, I also forgot to write down the names of the foods this day. But here are the pictures!
Day 8: Dinner
Our first night back in Rome for a longer stay, we were delighted and surprised by the amazing Ristorante Percento! It was inexpensive, far away from tourist areas, and the waiters were extremely friendly! AND THE FOOD!!! It was one of our best nights for food in Italy. I highly suggest this restaurant to any who go to Rome.

M: Futtucine caserecce al pesto di madorle
D: Spaghetto ubriaca con guanciale e pecorino
C: Risotto con mele Smith, zafferano e crema di formaggio
S: Filetto di manzo con salsa al vino rosso e patate al forno
Dessert: Tiramisú tradizionale
Day 9: Lunch
Our apartment in Rome that we were renting was located only a couple of blocks from Campo De Fiori. Therefore, my family and I had lunch there on Day 9.

Appetizer: Prosciutto e melone
C: Pizza Quattro Formaggi
S: Bruschetta al Pomodoro
D: Bucatini all'amatriciana
M: Insalate Pere
Day 9: Dinner
We loved the food at this cute little restaurant on a little touristy street. The only problem was that street vendors kept coming up to the outside tables trying to sell us things. It made the dinner a bit annoying and uncomfortable. But the food totally made up for it.

Appetizer: Fried Squash Blossoms
D: Pumpkin gnocchi in a creamy "castelmagn" cheese sauce with nuts
M: Tagliatelle Black (monk-fish, shrimps, and fresh tomato)
C: Trucioli with Sicilian Pesto (almonds, basil and garlic)
S: Grilled Beef Filet
M and C: Grilled Sword-Fish Steak in Palermo Style
Day 10: Dinner
For our last dinner in Italy, my family and I went to this extraordinary restaurant called Grazia & Graziella. There, I had some of the best pasta I had had the whole time I was in Italy. It was the perfect way to end the perfect trip.

M and C Appetizer: Grigliata dell' Orto con Bufala e Noci
C: Futtuccine al Farro Cacio e Pepe
D and S: Risottino di Asparagi e Grana
             Pizza Diavola (pomodoro, mozzarella, salame piccante)
M: Melanzane alla Parmigiana Bio
Dessert: Tiramisú Illy Fatto Espresso
Also, in Italy I had my first Cappuccino. It was really good! While I'm not a huge fan of the coffee flavor, several packets of sugar made it perfect!

I also bought an adorable new apron and chef's hat, so expect future pictures!!

Hope everyone else had a great summer!
Bon Appetitto!!!!!

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    Hi, I'm Caitlin, and I'm a proud Ginger (for those who don't know, that means a red-head). I also love to bake! Check out my recipes and posts about my cooking experiences!


    "Sometimes me thinks 'What is a friend?' And then me say, 'Friend is someone to share the last cookie with.'"
    -The Cookie Monster