Florence: If there is a heaven, this is it…..

I found my favourite city in the WORLD! Ok so I haven’t seen most of the cities in the world so let me be fair to all other cities that are frowning at me, Florence is my favourite city SO FAR. I fell in love and I still can recall the feeling when I woke up in the hotel room and looked out on to the beautifully calm streets, when I walked the narrow streets filled with gorgeous people, taking in the fresh morning air after climbing hundreds of steps to get to Piazzale michelangelo, the smell of coffee when I passed a tiny cafe or the taste of freshly baked pastries on the side of the road. If that is not love, I don’t know what is. 🙂

I think that is enough explaining, here are some photos. Hope you see what I saw….

Ponte Veccio (old bridge)

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Piazzale Michelangelo – you will never forget the view you get of all of Florence from this place and you would not want to leave. The bus drive back down from top of piazzale michelangelo was one of the most scenic and best drives I have ever had in my life. That’s when I knew I was in love. 😉 If you are in florence don’t forget to climb about 200 stept up to this place and then take a bus ride back down. Trust me you will LOVE it. Oh and do it in the morning too. 🙂

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Every girl’s dream is not to find the perfect guy but to eat without getting fat…. :)

(Anonymous)

It’s true isn’t it? 🙂 Anyway let me start by saying this post is NOT about photography. This is a collection of what we indulged on our Italy trip and it’s safe to say I forget photography when I see these kinds of meals in front of me. 😉 Pretty much all these were taken from my dear iphone as it takes too much time to take the camera out and set this and that. So here goes. Like I said it’s not pretty photography but it was surely tasty food.

Some of the BEST food I tasted were home cooked and I’d take that any day over any fancy restaurant meal. Ok so let’s start.bruschetta

This tomato & basil bruschetta was homemade and it was one of the tastiest things I have eaten. So fresh and so simple and we cleaned up two plates between three girls. Off to a good start.

So listen to this…. They bring in the pasta. Oh so good. I serve myself a generous bowl and it’s so good I go for seconds. After that I am so full and content I relax and sip my wine thinking that’s the end of the meal. No! no! no! then comes the second course of salads and other side dishes. Wait a minute, what? Yeah take your pick from baked fish and potatoes, baked eggplant, baked cauliflower, green salads and the list goes on. Apparently they do it the other way around. Mains first. Who knew? I am so full on pasta yet I cannot just not eat these amazing foods in front of me, so I eat. At the end I don’t even have room to breathe!!pasta

Here we have home made fettucini with mushrooms and black truffle! (I have never had truffle before, so I felt a bit posh)pasta

An amazing Pasta Arabiatta cooked by my very talented cousin followed by baked fish & potatoes!

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This happened pretty much every day because every time I go to someone’s house and they bring in the pasta first and don’t even say or show they have other dished hidden in the kitchen, I fear I might not get enough so I stuff myself up on the first course (no complains) and then the story goes on. Oh not to forget the desserts and coffee.

macarons

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IMG_0708IMG_0665So in Italy there is normal coffee and then there is Naples coffee. Normal coffee is espresso (of course) and in Naples there is a speciality where they make it with a shot of espresso, then frothed milk/cream/sugar on top with a sprinkle of coco. And the froth is cold so there is so much contrast going in that tiny cup and it’s quite tasty.Napolitan pizza

Lets not forget about pizza. We had so much pizza from square pizzas by weight at the street side pizzeria to pizza shop at a shopping mall to the famous ‘original’ pizza from Naples. In Naples they are very proud & passionate about their pizza, and it’s pretty good. Very fresh and simple and especially the base is the best ever BUT I did get bored after a while.

So the winner is…… I Corsari. We drove about an hour from Rome to get to this place hidden in a quiet town overlooking the city and it is supposed to be award winning.massive

massiveAward winning for sure. This was no ordinary pizza. It was MASSIVE! See the photo with half my cousin in it, to show you the scale. It not only is massive it also comes in four choice of toppings. So it’s like four pizzas in one. And is undoubtedly the BEST pizza I have tasted anywhere in the world! Of course it has to be shared as I thought no one can OR should eat one by oneself but two of my friends did, with no problems. (Oh boy!)

Chocolate shots

This is a chocolate shot. A what? It is a cup made with dark chocolate, filled with your choice of liqueur, topped with whipped cream & chocolate shavings and dusted with coco and all gulped down in one mouthful! Fun! 🙂

And last not least, gelato. We had so much gelato through out but I am embarrassed to say I have no pictures of actual gelato. What can I say? I was too busy eating them to take pictures. I however do have a picture of the best gelataria in Rome. There are long lines to get to this place during daytime, so we being the smart people we are, waited till past midnight & had the best gelato overlooking the Vatican City walls after an amazing night stroll on a nice cold roman night.

Oh how I love the Italian lifestyle. I’d surely be fat but I would still do it every day. 🙂IMG_0615

My love affair with Italy begins…

I cannot wipe the smile off my face and I kept pinching myself as we drove around the beautiful city of Rome in the night, where the streets are calm and the ancient buildings stood ever so majestically. For those of you who don’t know, this has been my dream journey. The one I planned so many times, the one I postponed so many times, the one I never had the money. But I am here, I am finally here and I couldn’t have asked for a better start.

First thing first, we stopped for true Italian style espresso at the locals’ favorite bar, Il Pappagallo, where I honestly had the best coffee I have ever had. This was topped off with a visit to almost magical and very romantic ‘Gianicolo‘ and ‘piazza Garibaldi‘ where you have amazing views of the city center and I didn’t want to leave.

No my dream doesn’t end there. Then we drive in to St.Peter’s square, and I think my heart skipped a beat. It was almost deserted and St.Peters Basilica stood in front of us like nothing I have ever seen. I took a deep breath. The architecture, the atmosphere, the smell of coffee in the air and gelateria’s open past midnight was the perfect end to the beginning of an amazing journey!

And so my love affair with Italy begins….

p.s – please bare with me as I am going to be posting a LOT about Italy in the coming weeks. 🙂