May 2, 2012

Venezia, Roma & Firenzie

Venice Adventures
Best grocery store pizza ever with roasted peppers, mushrooms and sausages
Octopus Salad with lemon dressing
Not shown: squid ink risotto
Venice was just as I had imagined: canals, waterways and narrow, windy streets. The city's reputation is for its seafood although according to our hostel, most of the restaurants have all become tourist traps. We did have dinner at a quaint looking Italian restaurant and I was quite pleased with our selection: octopus salad and squid ink risotto. The octopus was tender and the dressing was fantastic. The risotto (this might have been the first time I've ever ordered risotto!) was creamy and indeed pitch black. We also had a mini picnic along the canals of pizza and biscoti. The pizza picked up from a grocery store/deli had a great topping combination although I might have just been very hungry.

Roman Pizza
Zucchini & Ham
Eggplant, Tomato & Ricotta
Tomato & Pesto Bruschetta 
Apparently there is a little pizza rivalry between Rome and Naples. Having tried pizzas from both cities, I'm inclined to say that Naples inches ahead. However, the pizza we did have in Rome was quite delicious. Our location of choice was Dar Poeta located in the Trastevere district of Rome. The crust is thicker than what we had in naples and the cheese was more plentiful but the topping combinations were all quite interesting. My selection of roasted eggplant, salty ricotta cheese and cherry tomatoes tasted amazing after walking around for an entire day.

Nutella & ricotta cheese calzones 

One offering that Dar Poeta is very well-known for are its dessert calzones: stuffed to the brim with nutella, sweet ricotta cheese and covered coco powder and powdered sugar. I could probably have eaten an entire one all by myself. Its a good thing we divided it up. 

Florentine Eats
Paninis, coffee & ice cream 

Two food groups dominated by time in Florence: carbs and carbs. And by carbs I mean bread and bread. Everywhere we went, it was paninis and paninis and prosciutto. Apparently ham is called prosciutto in Italy although its not really ham and not really the salty prosciutto we get in the states. Its more like slices of tender, salty pork with a bit of fat on the edges. Either way, its delicious and every corner meat deli sells it. The other item that is absolutely amazing are the sun-dried tomatoes. I've never had sun-dried tomatoes that were so tasty in my entire life. We rounded that off with what else but more gelato and a few shots of espresso. 

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