I know you all have been sitting of the edge of your seat since last weeks post, waiting patiently to drool over our Italian food photos part 2. Thank you for waiting!
Warning- This post contains graphic photos of raw meat, fish and cheese. Overt your eyes if delicious items like this disgust you. Actually, we probably shouldn't be friends if these things disgust you 😉
Our day trip to Bologna- (Please don't be confused with the deli meat you were subject to eat in elementary school. This city was far more impressive and delicious than the over salted lunch meat)
Bolgona was quite the foodie delight I must say. Filled with open markets filled with cheese, meat, wine, bread, pasta, fruits/veggies and flowers. If I had it my way I would have fulfilled all 3 meal requirements for the day with these open markets. We had to save room though for traditional Bolognese, duh! I think Mike had to wipe the drool off my face as we strolled through the markets. I could have gone around in circles for hours if it wasn't for Mike keeping us on track. I probably would have missed our train actually. Ha!
Who doesn't love a map of meat, cheese and olive oil? Mike should be lucky that I didn't purchase this historic item to frame and place over our bed.
Much more appealing than our local Boston produce market-Haymarket....
There were so many local shops that sold fresh pasta by the kg. If only I had a kitchen to cook all of the pasta on vacation. I guess that's why you go on vacation though, to get away from cooking and other type chores. Whomp Whomp.
I was finally able to try one of my favorite pasta dishes! Tortellini Bolognese! I don't even remember what Mike ordered, but let me tell you, he kept trying to steal my Bolognese the whole meal. And as we all know, Susan doesn't share food!
Bologna’s Two Towers - Due Torri - are relics of the city’s warfaring medieval past. Known as Garisenda and Asinelli, the towers were built to provide defensive protection, as an early-warning lookout, and to impress and outdo the neighbors. You can climb the 498 steps to the top of the tallest tower, the Asinelli, built by the family of that name in 1119, for fabulous views of Bologna and the surrounding countryside. The tower stands 97 m (318 feet) high. (http://www.viator.com/) Mike and I didn't have time to climb this tower, probably because I took too long drooling over food at the local markets.
We spent 3 wonderful days with Agnese, Mike's families exchange student. Her family kindly took is in for a few days in the middle of our trip. We met Agnese's grandparents, father, brother, cousins, uncle and Agnese's brother's dog- Argo. They were all so very lovely. Agnese's Grandmother cooked impressive and excessively gigantic lunches both days we were there. I think we sat at the kitchen table for 2+ hours for each lunch. Lunch was filled delicious Italian treats, way too much gelato, laughter and great conversations, mostly in Italian. Mike spent half the time trying to follow along with his Italian-English translation book and quickly became lost. Thank goodness Agnese was there to translate and make sure we understood everything that was going on.
Polenza and the surrounding towns were absolutely gorgeous. It was so very lovely to get out of the major touristy cities and relax in the country for a few days. Our second day in Polenza included a cooking class from Agnese's family. On the menu- Pasta Carbonara. It was so much fun to cook with her family and learn the "true Italian way". On my list of the top 5 things to do in Italy was to take a cooking class, and what better way than with Agnese's family. We cooked up an overflowing bowl of Carbonara and Agnese's Grandmother provided plenty of salted meets, cheeses, veggies, bread, wine and of course 2 boxes of gelato from down the street.
Even Argo couldn't resist the Carbonara! Mike and I have added this recipe to the top of our "to do" list this fall with our new pasta maker. Basically we need to find a butcher who will ground a ton of pancetta for us without emptying our wallets :).
We had a wonderful and relaxing 3 days with Agnese and her family. Thank you for showing us authentic Italy 🙂 We hold a special place in our hearts for Polenza. If you ever have the chance to make it to Polenza, go!
Roma (the last stop on our 2 week giddy-up)
Obligatory selfie in front of the Colosseum our first night. Rome was spectacular. You would be walking down a normal city street, look up and BOOM! there was something so very ancient, massive, historical and impressive in your face. We toured the Colosseum, Pantheon and the Roman Forum. We visited open markets, strolled the canal and visited a cat sanctuary, Mikes personal favorite, ha! (Mike HATES cats!). We walked to Vatican City where we toured the Basillica and were hearded like cattle through the Vatican into the Sistine Chapel. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we did it and what a masterpiece it is, but I probably don't have to do it again. Not for the claustrophobic. Alright, back to the food. Roma provided us with some pretty good eats as well. We dined on crispy baked pizzas, fresh squid apertivo's, large chacuterie plates, baked eggplant, more pasta and oh, more pizza! I was craving pizza by the time we got to Rome and boy did we eat pizza!
Mike made the mistake to try an Italian beer with his pizza. Let's just say he was jealous of my carafe of Chianti.
We had to make a stop at a local coffee establishment that Mike's coworker recommended. We both tried an Italian favorite, the Shakerato. Basically the only type of iced coffee we could find. This made Mike quite happy. I think it would have made him even more happy if he were able to order a Trenta size. No such thing in Italy. Talls for everyone!
Afternoon pitstop for some more charcuterie and some sparkling bubbly outside the Pantheon. Who doesn't order bubbly at lunch on vacay? I mean come on people!
Apertivo of fresh squid, tomatoes, pine nuts, basil and pesto our second to last night. Our concierge recommended the restaurant right next to our hotel. It was probably one of the best meals of the trip. We even got to share a slice of birthday cake from the large party dining next to us who were celebrating an 80th Birthday.
I didn't take pictures of all the food we ate at each and every meal. I promise. For example I didn't take pictures of any food our last day. Sorry! Your loss. Use your imagination 🙂
The Bards were so very sad to leave Italy! I think our waistlines and wallets were very happy to get us on that Airbus 380(possibly with a seatbelt extender) back to Boston and the gym . Italy- we will never forget you. Thank you for all the delicious food, wine and fabulous honeymoon memories. A special thanks to Agnese and her family for helping to make our honeymoon so very special. Until next time, Ciao! P.S I didn't buy enough olive oil to smuggle into my suitcase home. Rookie mistake!