Each month I take part in a travel linkup (details below). This month is all about foodie experiences…
Food is one of the most important aspects of travel. Each destination has its own tastes and traditions that create a more meaningful experience when discovered. Whenever I decide on my next adventure, I automatically begin dreaming about what I’ll eat, researching the best cafes and not-to-be-missed bites.
When I think back over my travels and the many dishes I’ve devoured, the experience that means the most is my time in Italy.
Anyone who knows me can tell you about my obsession with Italian cuisine. Fresh pasta, mozzarella and basil, a bottle of chilled Prosecco… in the two weeks that I spent travelling around Northern Italy with my best friend Laura, I was in heaven.
Florence was our first stop, perfect for people watching… bustling coffee shops for a quick cappuccino and pastry or fresh pasta and wine in one of the many packed squares.
I ate my weight in gelato, discovering a new found addiction for pistachio and classic stracciatella. I also had my first taste of homemade Italian pizza, a perfect thin soft dough with crispy coating and gigantic slices of spiced pepperoni.
Lake Garda came next, a relaxed, slow-paced break from the city life. Peschiara, the nearby town, was full of cobbled streets lined with fresh bakeries and deli counters stuffed to the brim with cheeses and meats, a foodie haven.
We enjoyed lake-side dining with fresh pasta and cool cocktails as we cycled and strolled around the water’s edge.
Our favourite way to spend the evening was with a takeaway aubergine pizza, eaten by the lake with a cheap bottle of delicious Italian red wine.
Those sunset evenings watching the water turn a deeper shade of blue will forever be a treasured memory.
Moving on, we travelled to Verona, a city I hold close to my heart. My first bite of a calzone, bought from a market stall in a square… I can still taste the rich tomato sauce.
But when I think back to Verona, the moments that mean the most are the evenings we spent in our trendy Italian apartment, cooking up a feast with the fresh ingredients we’d bought in the town just hours before.
I remember many humorous occasions of giggling away as we pointed at various meats, trying our best at the Italian language.
We ended our Italian adventure on a bang with a few days in the floating city.
Venice was everything I’d imagined and more. I wrote a post a while back about how we discovered the true city by getting lost, and it was in this way that we also experienced a taste of local Venetian cooking. Here I had my first cicchetti, small plates of bar food often complimentary with a glass of wine, including fresh crispy calamari.
Venice is a labyrinth of narrow towering lanes, dotted with cosy bars and tiny trattorias. We found a lovely family run restaurant, where a husband and wife served their parents classic dishes to a select few outdoor tables. My zucchini and shrimp pesto pasta was one of the best dishes I’ve ever had, one that I’ve tried to recreate on many occasions.
Eating in Italy was not just a meaningful experience because of my love for the cuisine. It taught me to discover new places, explore the local areas and even better, that the most special moments can be the simplest.
For more on Italy check out the below posts:
Experience Cortina, the slopes of the Dolomites
Why I need to go back to Florence
How travelling made me a foodie
Cortina; Italy’s luxury town in the Alps
I don’t think many places can beat Italy for tasty food. I wish I’d remembered all my Italian trips when I wrote my post! So many amazing pasta dishes and pizza by beaches and oh the gelato!!!
I completely agree – Italian’s definitely have a winner!
Some lovely memories here! What is it about Italian food – everything is so simple yet sooo delicious! My post for this month’s link-up was also inspired by Italy. I think it might be my favourite country in the world 🙂
I know right! They have it down – amazing I’ll definitely check it out 🙂
Mmmm yum! Those dishes look divine. I still need to visit Verona!
You definitely do!
I am totally with you on Italy….it’s my favourite type of cuisine and you can never eat too much gelato and pasta 🙂 xx
Couldn’t agree more Maggie! x
Gimme all the pasta… now! There’s something about eating it in Italy which makes it just that little bit better than usual!
Haha my exact words upon arrival into Florence 😀
Italian food is my favourite. Tuscany and the lakes have some great dishes. We enjoyed a cookery class while we were here so we could replicate Italy at home
I thoroughly recommend puglia as a great foodie destination (my post for the linkup)
Puglia has been on my list for so long! I would love to go back to Italy and explore more of rural Tuscany
My heart (and stomach) are craving a return to Italy, and never so strong as reading your stories! I feel like your smile says it all!
Thanks Emma! 😀
Best foodie destination in the whole wide world. 🙂
Couldn’t agree more!
Your food photos are fabulous. Far too fabulous actually as I want to get onto a plane to Italy right now and start feasting! Great post.
Haha! Thanks Clare, I did have a serious pizza craving as I wrote the post!
I think Italian food is my favourite too! I just can’t get enough of it. I also just love Italy. Wandering the food markets is my favourite! x
I could happily live there just for the food 😀
I can’t wait to visit Italy, purely because I know the food is going to be amazing! your post has just confirmed that, those pastas… Mmm!!
You just can’t be disappointed wherever you eat!
Pistachio gelato is the best and that pizza looks amazing!
I love Italian food:) nice post!
What amazing experiences, and that fresh pasta!! Italian is my second favourite cuisine after Japanese 🙂
I could definitely move there… the food was incredible!