Thursday, May 24, 2018


Tripe Sandwich! Several meals on a bun!
Viva Cicchetti!

From photos of our recent trip to Italy, the casual observer might conclude that Steve and I did absolutely nothing but eat. But that is not (strictly) true.

We took lots of pix of various art treasures in Rome and Florence. Our usual museum habit is to notice, not just David, and The Pieta, and The Birth of Venus, but also some of the weirder artistic offerings of eras gone by. Therefore, we have in our collection of photographs a bizarre painting of children put into a pickle barrel, an Adoration of the Magi that includes the art patron who had commissioned the work, standing around adoring Baby Jesus. There were the MANY arrows sticking out of poor Saint Sebastian, and the large but placid lion curled up at the feet of Saint Jerome. We traipsed from one gallery to the next, until it was all a blur of oil on canvas. But my point is—these photos prove that there were distinct moments between meals!

We also lit candles in cathedrals, attended classical concerts, climbed towers in Lucca and rode in vaporetti (water buses) in Venice. At no time during these various activities were we eating!

However, most of the rest of the time, we were.

I thought I did not adore Italian cuisine, largely because I have a thing about tomato sauce coating everything. I’ve consumed way too many sub-par pizzas and mushy bowls of linguine in the US. Indeed, before the trip, I wondered how our meals would stack up compared to what we had consumed in Barcelona and Paris on our last journey together.

Well, pictures, as they say, don’t lie. For every one snapshot of an historic building or beautiful garden, we have five of us stuffing our faces.  Spicy tripe sandwiches from a street cart! Cicchetti (the Venetian equivalent of tapas) featuring scallops in their shells, robiola cheese and fig jam on toast, and huge, succulent marinated prawns! Salami and other cured meats drizzled with local honey! Lucca’s specialty, ravioli in browned sage butter! And the gelati! No matter how full we were, we always made room for several scoops of stracciatella, panna cotta, zabaglione and darkest chocolate flavors of frozen awesomeness. 

We couldn’t bring much home in the food department, alas…not much more than some amazing biscotti from the bakery next to our Airbnb in Florence. But perhaps that is just as well…we aren’t getting nearly the amount of exercise that we did abroad, to burn those calories (I went from walking nine miles every day, right back to my old, slothful, four block drive to work).

I almost dread my next visit to an Italian restaurant stateside, because I know it couldn’t possibly compare. Which means, of course, we have to go back! Let’s see, if I stick to yogurt for the next year or two, I might be ready to tackle another incredible, candied orange-studded cannoli from Paticceria Ballarin…

Not that we remember the food in Italy most. Not at all.

Ho-hum. Another inedible meal in Rome:-)

1 comment:

  1. love this! you could continue to drink Aperol spritzes like we do! and gelati!