Posts Tagged With: Trattoria

Two Important Large Cities of Italy

Two great large cities in Italy are Rome and Florence. This doesn’t mean Naples, Bologna and Milan are not great or important. Italy has four categories of city that we love:

  1. Large cities – These are Milan, Bolgna, Florence, Rome and Naples
  2. Famous smaller cities – Venice, Verona, Capri, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Salerno, Palermo
  3. Mountain Towns – There are so many of these from good size cities to very small towns that we could not begin to list them.
  4. Seaside Towns – Again way too many of these as well. These are towns that are on the sea and not in any other category above.

Today we look at two of the large cities in Italy that we have VLOGGED on:

Rome

Roma is the capitol of Italy and is a very cosmopolitan city. Roma has subways (the Metro), busses, and taxis. Driving in the historic central is difficult and illegal without a pass. If you are staying at a hotel in the center you can get a pass. Streets are crazy. One ways going against where you want to go. We once mapped walking to a place in Roma but had the GPS on driving by mistake. It took much longer to drive it than walk it.

Roma has everything a tourists needs:

  • Great restaurants (Bars, Ristorante, and Trattorias)
  • Museums
  • Architecture – Roma is one big outdoor museum
  • Parks
  • Shopping

Walk with us in our video below and see the famous sites of Roma. Walk the small narrow streets and see the wide large avenues. Roma is to be studied slowly with a glass or two of wine. Study it, observe its people, enjoy its sites, marvel at its museums and pay attention to its fashion. Place your hand into the mouth of truth if you dare (Bocca della Verità).

Florence

Firenze is another very modern cosmopolitan city with all the forms of transportation as Roma. The museums are unreal (the renaissance started here). A visit to Firenze is incomplete without a visit to the Uffizi museum. Learn about how the Medici leaders travelled in secret from their offices (Uffizi Museum today) to their palace (Palazzo Medici Riccardi). Climb the stairs to a vista overlooking the city central and walk across the Ponte Vecchio bridge. See Saint Peter’s Basilica and Vatican City (An independent country not part of Italy where the Pope is President). Come walk with us and see all of this and more in the video below.

Be Romantic! Visit Italy!

– George

Categories: Bars, Beach Resorts, BLOG, Bocca della Verità, Bologna, Capri, Driving in Italy, Eating, Eating Italian, Europe, Florence, Food, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Metro Travel, Milan, Mountain Towns, Museums, Naples, Planning a vacation, Ponte Vecchio, Positano, Ristorante, Romance, Rome, sea, Shopping, Small Towns, Sorrento, Spanish Steps, Taxi, Towns, Trains, Traveling without a tour, Uffizi, Vatican City, Venice, Verona, VLOG, Walking, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Which of these Italian Cities are your Favorites?

For everyone that has been to Italy and wants to return, is planning a first trip to Italy or is just dreaming about a trip, These videos are for you. There are ten (10) videos below of 9 cities and a very interesting cave restaurant. Some cities are large others are small beach towns or mountain towns. Each Monday a new town is added. I explain things you need to know about Italy as well as taking you on a walk through each city. I hope you enjoy these vlogs. If you do, please share with your friends and like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel. We will not have a new VLOG on January 2, 2017 but will continue each Monday starting January 9, 2017.

Introduction to my Channel

Cities in Italy

 1. Cisterninio (Puglia)

2.Ostuni (Puglia)

 3. Alberobello (Puglia)

 4. Grotta Palazzese ( in Polignano a Mare – Puglia)

 5. Rome (Rome)

6. Positano (Campania)

 7. Castellabate (Campania)

 8. Florence (Tuscany)

 9. Perugia (Umbria)

 10. Marina di Casal Velino (Campania)

11. Assisi

12. Marina di Camerota

13. Cortona

You can see the entire playlist on my YouTube Channel.

Happy travels & may you one day be in Italy…

– George

Categories: Alberobello, Amalfi Coast, Beaches, Benvenuto al Sud, Campania, Casal Velino Marina, Castellabate, Cave Restaurant, Cisternino, Coliseum, cornetto, David, Driving in Italy, Eating, Eating Italian, Espresso, Europe, Florence, Food, Galleria dell'Accademia, Gelato, General Travel, Grotta Palazzese, Italian, Italy, Leonardo da Vinci, Marina Casal Velino, Mountain Towns, Mountains, Ostuni, Perugia, Polignano a Mare, Positano, Puglia, Regions of Italy, Ristorante, Romance, Rome, Saint Peter's Basilica, Small Towns, Southern Italy, Spanish Steps, Travel Guides, Traveling without a tour, Trevi Fountain, Trottoria, Tulli, Tuscany, Umbria, Vatican City, Villa Borghese, Walking, WiFi, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rome, Italy

The eternal city! Ancient Romans believed that no matter how many wars or new civilizations came about, Rome would go on forever. Rome is the capital of Italy. It is both a modern and an ancient city. Although Rome is a large city, it feels like a small one with its small narrow streets. There are large streets as well that are 5-6 lanes wide. Walking around Rome is amazing. You can not help but marvel at its architecture. You know immediately that you are in an old and special place.

Whenever they dig for a new building, they run into ancient ruins that have to be preserved. Usually the ruins become a part of the new structure.  A sunken area that can be viewed by visitors. Rome protects its ruins and its history. Roman is an amazing city but it is also a living museum.

Rome is to be enjoyed. Sit at a bar or a trattoria and enjoy the life around you. Come walk Rome with us in our YouTube video VLOG below.

– George

 

Categories: Coliseum, Eating Italian, Europe, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Lazio, Metro Travel, Museums, Pantheon, Romance, Rome, Saint Peter's Basilica, Shopping, Spanish Steps, Traveling without a tour, Villa Borghese, Walking, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Some of Our Best Memories

We have assembled pictures of some of our best memories in Italy. Italy is always romantic and it is always memorable. There are so many special little moments. The architecture, the sites, the history, the people, the food, the wine, … and so much more.

Enjoy your trip to see relatives, sites, museums or to just be Italian for a short while.

Dolce far niente!

George & Jo

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Assisi, Beaches, Blue Flag Beaches, Casal Velino Marina, Cilento, Coliseum, cornetto, Dolce, Dolce far niente, Duomo, Eating Italian, Europe, Florence, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Greek Ruins, Italy, Marina Casal Velino, Montepulciano, Mountain Towns, Museums, Naples, Owning a home in Italy, Paestum, Panini, Pantheon, Pastry, Pizza, Planning a vacation, Positano, Ravello, Ristorante, Romance, Rome, Siena, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Spanish Steps, Stairs, Traveling without a tour, Trevi Fountain, Trottoria, Tuscany, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Finding good food in Italy

Finding great food in Italy is easy. Like anywhere it pays to know a few rules when eating in Italy. Italy is an easy place to find great local food. It is always fresh and usually organic. Italians love their country, their food and their wine. It shows when you eat in one of their restaurants. We have a few rules about food in Italy:

  1. Do not eat at tourist places – they are usually close to the monuments tourists go to see. The food is not real Italian. You can find hamburgers, poorly prepared pasta and cheesy pizza.
  2. Ristorante are top of the line restaurants – They serve excellent food but are expensive. Some even serve Pizza. They usually are called Ristorante/Pizzeria.
  3. Trottoria’s are local food for a moderate price – This is where we like to eat. They are everywhere and have fresh local food prepared correctly.
  4. Enotecca’s – these are wine bars that allow you to buy and sample different wines. You can usually eat small dishes as well.
  5. Pizzeria – A restaurant that serves pizza. Usually a sit down restaurant that serves great individual pizzas. They are not pre sliced but come out whole. You eat them with a fork and knife.

Choose wisely and enjoy the food. You don’t need to speak Italian. Just read the menu. Most items are listed the same as in nice Italian restaurants in the states. Point to what you want. Ordering the house wine is usually a treat in Italy. It is very good and inexpensive.

cornett02 cornetto1

Breakfast is easy! Go to a local bar … that’s right a bar. They serve coffee (espresso or American or Cappuccino) and pastries. The pastries are magnificent. Crispy and light. Cornetto is a croissant like pastry that can be plain, chocolate filled or jelly filled. Normally you pick what you want and eat and then go to cash register and say what you had and pay. Some bars require you to pay in advance and take the ticket to the bar and order your food. Enjoy

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Bars, Cafè, cornetto, Espresso, Europe, Food, Italy, Pastry, Pizza, Ristorante, Trottoria, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Italy – Travel the right way

Traveling to Italy is important. It is the dream of millions of people. It doesn’t have to be just a dream. It can be a reality. Save each month for a vacation to Italy. When you have enough, make reservations. See this beautiful and romantic country. Airfare is the most expensive part of the trip. Traveling off-season can drastically reduce airfares. Stay in small European hotels not big name American hotels. Make sure you have a private bath. Eat in bars or a trattoria. Never travel in August! It is hot and very crowded.

Tour groups can be expensive as well. They are run like cruises. The initial expense doesn’t seem bad but then they always have side-trips you want that can run up on the bill. They guide you to their restaurants and shops that give them a kickback. These are not always the best places for a memorable vacation. Be a smart traveller! Do your homework. Buy a guide-book or study the Internet. Here is a checklist:

  1. List the cities you ant to visit. Don’t try to do all of Europe or even all of Italy in one trip.
  2. List the top things you want to see in each city.
  3. If museums are your thing, list the top things in each museum that you want to see. Don’t try to do all of a large museum.
  4. Research Italian hotels. Look at location, price, amenities and other travelers reviews. Don’t worry if breakfast is included. Breakfast in Italy at a bar is cheap and delicious.
  5. Estimate the time you need in days in each city. Then estimate travel time between cities. You can fly, drive or take a train. Flying gives you the most time in your cities if they are a distance from each other. Trains are romantic and you can see the country side.
  6. List entrance costs and local transportation (metro) to get to each attraction. Many cities can be walked if you are in shape.
  7. Now estimate your trip. List days in each place and when you should go. Airfares are often cheaper on Tuesday through Thursday than weekends.
  8. Now you have an itinerary and an estimate on cost. Add in spending money and extras that you will find spur-of-the-moment.
  9. Now you are ready for a wonderful trip. Sit back and enjoy it.

We love taking people around Italy. We enjoy seeing the amazement in their eyes and the joy they feel. When we take a group it is always small and we don’t try to do everything in a single trip. It is important to end your vacation feeling happy and full of memories, Our rules are:

  1. Visit the main cities first. See the top ten things in each city. Experience the city as an Italian. Meet and talk with people. Most Italians speak some English as it is the national second language.
  2. Visit small mountain and sea-side towns next. Some of these are so small that the large tour busses can’t get to them.
  3. Never go to touristy restaurants or shops. Be spontaneous and see what you find during your walks.
  4. Have a general itinerary but be spontaneous and be able to change it.
  5. Experience not just the monuments but the people, food and wine.

Italy is a passionate and romantic country. Experience all of its emotions.

George & Jo Anne

 

 

Categories: Bars, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Money, Mountain Towns, Museums, Romance, Small Towns, Trains, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So many places to eat and so little time!

Italy is the land of great food. It is easy to find great food and wine everyplace. The Italians like simple food. They don’t like fatty sauces or a lot of mixed things. Keep it simple and tasty. There are some rules:

  • NEVER eat at touristy places unless you want bad hamburgers or hotdogs or well done pasta.
  • Trattorias are inexpensive and almost always will serve you a great meal (as long as it is not a touristy one).
  • Ristorantes are more expensive with table clothes and also serve great meals
  • Pizzerias are for a fast pizza.
  • Bars serve coffee and sweet rolls in the morning, Panini (sandwiches) at lunch or dinner times. You can always get a drink, beer, soda or wine as well.
  • There are new Happy Hour places that discount drinks and provide simple hor d’oeuvre in the early evening.
  • Eating standing up (especially at lunch) is the cheapest while a seat will cost a fee.
  • Wine can be ordered by the bottle but you can also get a carafe of local wine must cheaper and it is excellent.
  • Don’t forget to save room for a gelato or some chocolate.

Wherever you decide to eat, try local specialties and wine. Eat slowly and enjoy the food. Smell it, taste it and savor it. Look around you and enjoy the other people. This is Italy. Time slows down (as does your blood pressure). Life is to be enjoyed not worried about. Enjoy your trip!

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Chocolate, Cooking, Europe, Gelato, General Travel, Italy, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why is Italian Food so much better in Italy

I have asked this question over and over again. Even when Italians move from Italy to America, their food changes! Why? There are many reasons I have seen:

  1. Food in Italy is naturally organic and fresh
  2. Produce is sold only fresh (never canned or frozen)
  3. The fruit & vegetables still have dirt on them and smell good
  4. Cut into a tomato and it smells and tastes like a great tomato
  5. Great food takes time to prepare (Americans are always in a hurry)
  6. Food in Italy is a love for Italians and a way of life
  7. There are American fast food junks but most people eat well most of the time
  8. Fried foods exist but the oil is fresh and the temperature is maintained to absorb as little oil as possible (in America it is not profitable to use fresh oil all the time)
  9. Dolce (Sweets) are never too sweet. Chocolate is usually dark but even the milk chocolate is no where as sweet as here
  10. Pastries are crispy and flaky (I remember these here when I was a boy but they are really hard to find now)
  11. Ice Cream is not as sweet or fatty, Gelato is a different recipe from our Ice Cream
  12. Stores exist to make one type of thing well, Our little town in southern Italy has the following types of stores::
  • Bread store
  • Sandwich store (Panini)
  • Pasta store
  • Fruit and Vegetable store
  • Bufala Mozzarella store
  • Pastry shop
  • Butcher Shop
  • Fish Store
  • Chocolate shop
  • Wine store

We survive on extra-large refrigerators (sometimes two) and huge freezers. In Italy there are normally no separate freezers and the refrigerator is small by American standards. Why? It is because everyone shops for that day only! husband and wives in our town bring home what they need for dinner and maybe breakfast fresh. The refrigerator is plenty big for that. Pizzas are normally eaten at a restaurant not taken home or delivered. This allows them to be eaten hot they way they were meant to be eaten. Gelato is eating at a Gelateria. Bringing it home and putting it in the freezer forms ice crystals and changes the flavors. Vegetables and fruits are so fresh, tasty and smell so good. Why wouldn’t you eat more of them?

I have spoken to many restaurant owners that have had successful restaurants in Italy and in America but the food here is VERY different from Italy. When I ask them why? They say:

  1. Americans complain about al dente pasta so we make it soft
  2. American’s want huge portions so they can take it home for another meal (but it won;t taste the same)
  3. Americans don’t want a lot of vegetables
  4. They want very sweet desserts
  5. They want fatty pasta sauces like Alfredo (which was invented by a roman for the American market)

So when you finally make your trip to Italy, stay away from touristy places and big hotel restaurants. Get out and go to small trattoria’s that Italians are eating at. Order the specials. Enjoy the bread and the taste of the food. Have some wine to sit and relax with. Observe the other people. ENJOY … ENJOY … W+ENJOY!

George & Jo Anne

 

 

Categories: Chocolate, Cooking, Eating Italian, Europe, Gelato, General Travel, Italy, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Looking for a Different Type of Vacation?

Imagine an adventure with horse back riding, hiking, camping, soft white sand beaches, nature or a hotel with sea views and great breakfast on or near the beach. This can be yours for a vacation in the Cilento National Forest of Campania, Italy. Campania is a region of Italy in the south with Naples at its northern border. It includes Capri, Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi as well as the famous Amalfi coast. Cilento is at the southern part of this region below the Amalfi Coast.

Cilento has many of European visitors but few Americans. It is not well-known in America and should be. It has a large town on the northern edge of Cilento called Agropoli. Just north of this are ancient Greek ruins in better shape than those in Athens. This is the region that produces the world-famous Buffalo Mozzarella. There are too many small hill-top towns to count. Be adventuresome, choose some and just drive to them. Park and walk around. Have a coffee like an Italian in a bar or stop for lunch or dinner in a local trattoria. Try the local wine. Best of all observe the people, be friendly and communicate with them.

This area has ferries to Amalfi from Agropli and Casal Velino Marina. Take the ferry to Amalfi and from there you can take one to Salerno, Positano, Sorrento, Capri and Naples. Ferries don’t run that often so you will need to stay at least one night before returning to Cilento. There is also a local train that connects to Salerno and Naples. From there you can take a high-speed train anywhere in Europe. You will need a car as most places are a drivable distance away.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Cilento, Cooking, Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Naples, Positano, Small Towns, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lombardy Cooking

The Lombardy region of Italy is in the north and contains Milan, Largo Guarda and Largo Como. It contains the most people and has a diverse cooking style. Some of the foods known in this region are:

  1. Veal
  2. Risotto
  3. Polenta
  4. Cow’s milk cheeses
  5. White Truffles

Most American’s think of this area as heavy creamy sauces but those are for the tourists. Milano has great pizzas, meat dishes, vegetables and cheeses. During the end of the year is truffle season and you can get fantastic pasta or veal with white truffles. These are expensive but worth a try. Milan is often overlooked as a tourist destination but I think it’s a great city. It is the fashion capital of the world. It has well dressed people and fashion is everywhere. Sit and try a pizza or a pasta. Visit the Duomo (cathedral), Galleria, and Opera House. Become a Milanese and enjoy life with a glass of wine

Risotto with White Truffles from Alba - Italy....

Risotto with White Truffles from Alba – Italy. photo by Simone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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George & Jo Ann

 

Categories: Cooking, Eating Italian, General Travel, Italy, Milan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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