Seven Foods You Must Try While Traveling Through Italy

My husband and I have been blessed to have spent almost two months of our lives in Italy and we of course plan to go back many more times. As I'm sure you've assumed, or you know from experience, the food in Italy is one of the main attractions. If you know what to try and where to try it, Italy can have some of the most amazing food in the world. In this post I bring to you seven foods you MUST try while traveling through Italy. Each food is specific to a region or city, so make sure to try it where it's famous. Different places throughout Italy are "known" for specific foods, so while we traveled we made sure to try each locations popular food item. I hope you get the chance to try these tasty treats, my mouth is watering just writing this post and thinking back on our fond foodie memories. 

Arancine in Sicily

Arancine are rice balls that are stuffed with meats and sometimes cheese. They are not a healthy snack or meal but they are delicious. We have had arancine in a few different places, but it is the best in Sicily. Sicilians pride themselves on having the best arancine, and rightfully so. One night I opted for grilled chicken for dinner instead of arancine ( I was trying to be relatively healthy, since gaining weight can be part of your Italian adventure), and let me tell you I had buyers remorse. I took a bite of my husbands fried rice ball and instantly regretted my healthy decision. I won't make that mistake next time. 

Pasta Carbonara in Rome

Carbonara is a Roman pasta dish that is made with eggs, cheese, bacon and black pepper and it's usually made with spaghetti noodles. I have tried carbonara in the U.S. and I remember I didn't like it. I'm sure there are some restaurants here that make some great carbonara, but I must say I wasn't a fan. Then I tried the carbonara in Rome and just loved it!! I didn't order it because I thought I wouldn't like it, but when I tried it off my husband's plate, I just loved it. The trend here seems to be that I should just simply order whatever Nick orders haha, aka trust the Italian. Our favorite restaurant for carbonara in Rome was Navona Notte, if you are in Rome give it a try. We stayed in Rome for a week this last trip, trying different restaurants everyday and for our final night in Rome the whole family agreed we should go back to Navona Notte. 

Pesto in Cinque Terre

Before we went to Cinque Terre, I did some research on what to do, see and eat. Pesto kept popping up so I knew I needed to have some while we were there. Rick Steves, a travel guru, recommended the pesto and explained in on of his videos that Cinque Terre was actually the birthplace of pesto. Basil, the main ingredient in pesto sauce, is grown in the region, so it is extremely fresh. I tried pesto pasta two nights in a row, and we also had some pesto pizza. It was all delicious and I understand why they rave about the pesto in Cinque Terre. So delicious. 

Aperitivo in Florence

I've talked about this before in my what to do and see in Amsterdam and Italy post, so you can also check it out there. Basically aperitivo is a buffet of food and drinks that is serves before the normal dinner time. You get to try a ton of different foods rather than picking one dish, and it's super inexpensive. You will pay around 7-10 euros for a drink then you will have access to the buffet of food. Make sure to do research on the top places to eat aperitivo instead of just walking into the first place you see that is offering it... which we unfortunately did. Oops. Well, the nice thing about my blog is you can come here to learn from some of my travel mishaps haha. 

Nduja in Calabria

Nduja is a spicy pork salumi ( not a typo, salami is a type of salumi) that is spreadable. We know about nduja because of our Calabrian family. Calabria is a region in southern Italy, and there they eat a lot of nduja and oh my gosh it is delicious. The nduja I have tried was very spicy, which happens to be why I love it so much. It's great alone, with cheese, on bread, and we even had nduja on some pizza which was amazing. If you travel to southern Italy, make sure to go to Calabria, it is an amazing part of Italy, specifically Tropea

Granita and Brioche in Sicily

To me, this is the perfect Sicilian breakfast, especially if you are there in the heat of summer. This is seriously the most delicious thing ever, I wish I could send samples to you through my computer. Granita is like a mix between ice cream, a milk shake, Italian ice, but so much better than all of those things. It is eaten in Sicily for breakfast with a brioche, which is sweet bread that they often split in half and put granita in. If you are ever in Acireale or Catania make sure to stop into Bar Kennedy for granita and brioche. Our cousins took us here and it is delicious. They also have wonderful coffee. My favorite flavor of granita was the almond.

Tartufo in Pizzo

If you are a tourist going to Italy from somewhere like the U.S. then you probably won't be visiting Pizzo since it is a smaller town in southern Italy (Calabria). However if you are nearby then I suggest going, our family has taken us there twice and I think it's an adorable Italian town by the sea. Pizzo is known for their tartufo and trust me once you step into town you will know that. There are signs for tartufo everywhere and I would say every restaurant there seems to sell it. Tartufo in Italian means truffle. It is an ice cream dessert that usually has two or more flavors and has a syrup on the inside. The syrup is either chocolate or a fruit syrup. It usually has a shell of chocolate or cocoa powder. It is delicious, give it a try. 


I hope you all make it to Italy someday to try their amazing food and experience their wonderful culture. If you have been, comment below and let me know what foods you discovered that I must try. Thanks for reading! 

 
 

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Top 10 Travel Moments of 2016

2016 was filled with so many amazing travel experiences and adventures. I love looking back each year and reflecting on our travels. You can check out last years post HERE. This year instead of breaking down each trip we took, I decided to pick my top ten favorite travel moments from the year. Here they are, in order of occurance not importance...

Grand Canyon

Talk about majestic! I love the Grand Canyon and I feel so grateful to have seen it. I did an entire blog post on this, so to read more about my day trip to the Grand Canyon, click HERE!

San Francisco

There is so much to see in the city and surrounding regions of San Francisco! We took a wine tour through Sonoma Valley, visited Ghirardelli Square, toured and ate seafood at Fisherman's Wharf, rode a trolley, walked the crooked road of Lombard Street, drank wine in the park near the Painted Ladies and of course took a billion photos of the Golden Gate Bridge. Did I mention this was a girls trip?! I typically am traveling with my husband, and he is the best travel partner I could ever hope for. However, a girls trip with your best friends is so necessary sometimes. Wine, great food, new adventures and tons of laughs is the recipe for a perfect weekend getaway. 

Miami

Nick and I have been to Florida several times, but never Miami until this year. We are extremely surprised by the Cuban culture and influence in Miami. The beaches there are so stunning, with beautiful sand and clear turquoise waters. I did a full blog post on our weekend in Miami, read more HERE.

Amsterdam

In August we began our month long European adventure. We started in Amsterdam. I still need to do a whole blog post on just this city, there is just so much to say that I don't quite know where to begin. My favorite part of this city was the canals. The water was beautiful, they are surrounded by quaint buildings, and there are always boats passing along each canal. My other favorite elements of Amsterdam were the beautiful parks, and the historical museums, including many art museums and the Anne Frank house. With all that being said, there are many things about this city I could do without. The insane amounts of bicycles that are everywhere, leaving you stressed out when you walk around town and the unique culture of the Red Light District. Those things are part of what makes Amsterdam a unique city, I personally just wasn't fond of them. Overall though, our time in Amsterdam was great, we loved walking around while discovering new sights and foods, and we loved experiencing the dutch culture for the first time.

Trevi Fountain in Rome

Rome is my favorite city! It's my husband's favorite city too. We fell in love with Rome a few years ago when we were there on our honeymoon. Going back two years later was a dream. The first time we went to Rome the Trevi Fountain was under construction. It was one of the sights we were most looking forward to seeing, so when it was all covered in scaffolding we were so disappointed. This August when we went back to Italy, Trevi was up and running and let me say looking stunning. It is so much larger and more grand than I had anticipated. The way they light it up at night is just magical. Everyone gathers around Trevi in the evenings, eating their gelato and tossing coins into the fountain while they make wishes. We came back several nights, it just doesn't get old. 

Boating in Tropea, Italy

When it comes to touring Italy, we are spoiled. We are spoiled because we have family there and they give us the VIP tour. We get to see Italy through a local's eyes, not just our tourist eyes. Our cousin Antonio owns a boat in Tropea ( the most beautiful beach town in all of Italy). We took the boat out and got to gawk at the views of the coast from the sea. Tropea is stunning, I love the way the buildings are carved into the cliffs. The sea is such a bright blue, you would think you're sailing through Kool-Aid. We jumped in, swam for a bit, then headed back to the marina where we drank champagne and toasted to family. This is one of my favorite moments not just of this year but of my entire life. I'm so grateful to have family in Italy, they are so fun and such a joy to be around. 

Cinque Terre Hike

Hiking the Cinque Terre trail along the Italian coast had been on my bucket list for probably over seven years. I had first heard of Cinque Terre, Italy because amazing photos of the little fishing towns were going viral on Pinterest. It looked like something I would "pin" but never go to... a dream place that who knew if really existed. This August we actually went! And let me tell you it was as dreamy, quaint and stunning as the pictures on Pinterest made me believe. To read an in depth post on the hike we did, click HERE

Leaning Tower of Pisa

There are some things you see your whole life on post cards, computer screen savers, in movies and in books, but to see them in real life is something else. The leaning tower of Pisa is one of those famous landmarks. It was unbelievable to see it with my own eyes. I loved watching all the tourists take their "I'm holding the tower up" photos. Such a blast! 

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Sunset in Florence at Piazzale Michelangelo

Watching the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence was an evening I'll never forget. It was quite the hike to get to Piazzale Michelangelo but it is so worth it. There you can overlook the entire city of Florence, getting a birds eye view of the red roofs. At the square you will find food and drinks. We drank wine while watching the sun set. It was so peaceful and so stunning that no photo will do it justice. 

Breakfast in St. Mark's Square, Venice

Last, but certainly not least... breakfast in St. Mark's Square! This was the most peaceful, joyous and memorable experience of our Europe trip. I know that may seem silly saying breakfast was my favorite, when we did things like tour the Roman Colosseum, explore the Vatican, we even saw the Pope! But this breakfast was simply my favorite. You pay to sit at this restaurant, you pay for the view and the live orchestra playing right behind you. I ordered a cappuccino and a variety of macrons. It was all so delicious, the best cappuccino and macrons I have ever tasted. We sat there, ate, drank, listened to the music and people watched. There is so much joy happening all through St. Mark's Square, so it is the perfect place to people watch. You'll see people from all walks of life, but they are all seemingly happy. That was one of the most tranquil moments of my life. I can't wait to go back. 

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