ITALIA | leslie-woodward

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ITALIA

April 22, 2016

After getting home from Italy, we were zombies for 4 days, got back on a plane to the east coast for a ((very fun)) wedding, came home, got sick, and now are finally living like real live humans again. Hence me writing about it almost a month later! My green smoothies have restored me. So...

 

We decided to plan a final hurrah before Peter graduates from his MBA program and heads straight into a two-month training in NYC. (( We'll be back in Seattle for good afterwards! )) Naturally, we decided to live it up in Italy.

 

ROME 

 

We flew into Rome, and somehow wandered practically unconscious with jet lag to our first plate of pasta at Roma Sparita in the Trastevere hood. Amazingggg Cacio e Pepe, though experienced in delirium. 

 

The next day we grabbed a cornetto (( Italian Croissant )) and cappuccino and relaxed for a bit, before heading to the second restaurant on my list: Pizzarium. This place is UNREAL. And recommended by all Italian foodies. The owner is considered the pizza guru of Rome, and uses a 200 year-old sourdough starter for his crust. It is insane. Go. 

 

 {   PIZZARIUM   } 

 

After our religious pizza experience, we headed to our private tour of the Vatican. If you visit Rome, pay the money and do a private tour (( we loved this company )). It is worth every penny. Trust me. 

 

After our tour, we relaxed with some wine at a cafe, and wandered back to our apartment in Campo di Fiori. As you can see, Rome is just walking and eating and walking and eating. So, our next stop was dinner at   Roscioli. This was a beautiful meal. Lots of wine... carpaccio... caprese with anchovies and olives... cacio e pepe... tiramisu. We rolled home and went to bed.

 

We finished up this time in Rome by seeing the major sites, like Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and the Colosseum. One of the restaurants we tried to hit for lunch was full (( do make reservations for the ones you want to dine at and in general... )) so we used Katie Parla's app (( *mandatory* purchase —> Katie Parla's Rome )) to find another option, and stumbled into a Michelin-rated restaurant for one of our favorite meals in Rome — Colline Emiliane. In-season artichokes cooked to perfection, Pumpkin Ravioli, and Asparagus + Ham Tagliatelle. Incredible. And wonderful service. Highly recommend.

 

FLORENCE

 

The next day, we took the train to Florence (( so easy )) and instantly were in awe of the Duomo. It is the most magnificent thing I've ever seen. So beautiful, and you know you are in the presence of something great.

 

 {   BRUNELLESCHI'S DUOMO   }

 

We had dinner that night at Konnubio (( wonderful )) and gelato at Grom. We enjoyed snacking at Eataly, visited the Uffizi, saw the David, and climbed to the top of the Duomo, which probably burned off every ounce of pasta from our trip. Well, probably not. But it felt like it. Consider yourself warned! (( also, if you are claustrophobic, do not attempt the climb ))

 

 {    <3  FIRENZE  <3    }

 

Side note for Florence: We didn't feel like waiting in lines so we splurged for the Firenze Card, an all access pass to the sites in Florence. We felt it was incredibly worth it. Once you see the line wrapped around the Duomo, you will too. 

 

We had pizza at La Bussola for dinner, which was great, but after Pizzarium I'm not sure I can eat any other pizza again. Oh well.

 

The next day we stumbled upon another miracle.

 

We were heading to a famous sandwich shop that Lenny Kravitz apparently always hits up when he's in Florence.  When we arrived, with me obviously  in a severe state of hanger, there was a line around the block. My heart sank, and I decided I couldn't wait and we could just grab something at the sandwich shop next door that had no line. I got an amazing veggie sandwich on their focaccia, but Peter told the owner to make him whatever he thought was best, and this guy was so excited to be given creative freedom with the sandwich. He said, "I will make you the best sandwich of your life" with a huge smile, and man did he deliver. This ended up being a Porchetta Sandwich with truffle gorgonzola and caramelized onions. It was unbelievable. (( This vegetarian may have had more than one bite... )) It is called La Fettunta. Go. 

 

For our final dinner in Florence we went to Hosteria Bibendum which is a hotel restaurant. It was fantastic. Peter had the salami risotto, and I had the truffle pesto gnocchi. Wonderful service. Beautiful meal. 

 

 

VENICE

 

We then got on a train to Venice. We stayed at the Hotel Al Duca which was very nice. We wandered into some gorgeous churches, and made our way to the beautiful San Marco Piazza. We sat in the sun, had a bottle of prosecco, an amazing anchovy and cheese plate, and basked in the bliss of Venezia. After getting sufficiently tipsy, we hopped on a pricey but necessary Gondola ride. It was perfection.

 

 {   RELIGIOUS SNACK EXPERIENCE   } 

 

Our hotel recommended La Patatina for dinner so we headed there and had another incredible meal. 

 

The next day we took the train back to Rome.

 

For our final day in Italy, we wandered through Villa Borghese park (( note: book the Borghese Museum well in advance! 3 Days was not enough to get us in, even on a week day not in season )), went to the Piazza di Spagna and did some shopping in the area. Katie Parla's app once again brought us into an incredible meal, at Palatium. A  final Cacio e Pepe + Carbonara to hold us over until next trip. 

 {   CACIO E PEPE . . . IS THIS NOT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING YOU'VE EVER SEEN?!   }

 

We headed back to our hotel (( Grand Hotel Palace )) and got ready for the Opera.

 

We went to the Roman Opera House and saw Benevenuto, which was an incredible experience. I highly recommend making time for the opera while in Rome. It was a most perfect ending to our trip.

 

Until next time, Italy! <3 

 

{   MORE PICS . . .   }

 {   THE INCREDIBLE TREVI FOUNTAIN   }

 

 {   SNACK OF CHAMPIONS   }

 

 {   <3   VENEZIA   <3   } 

 

{   BLISSED OUT POST-GONDOLA RIDE. STUPIDLY HAPPY.   }

 

<3

 

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