July 7, 2014
Ahhhh the last few cities of my European Adventure. If you missed the first two blogs, here are the links: Dublin, Madrid, & Barcelona and Paris & Switzerland. Let’s be honest. If you follow my work and/or any of my social media accounts, it’s pretty obvious that I love food. So up until this point of the trip, I was just excited to be eating different types of cuisines from Ireland, Spain, France, and Switzerland. It was all good and just fine… a corned beef boxty and fish and chips in Ireland; tapas, ham, and endless amounts of seafood in Spain; cheese and bread in Paris; fondue and wienerschnitzel in Switzerland. And then I got to Italy. And all the other good food I had in the other countries was BLOWN AWAY by the Italians.
Florence // Florence was a city that I had been excited about visiting from the very beginning. We gave ourselves 4 nights in Florence because we knew we were going to want to soak as much of it in as possible. Unfortunately, I became very sick in Florence, so I spent a majority of my time there in bed sleeping. But, before I got sick and the times that I absolutely forced myself to get out… we filled out time (and tummies) by going to this incredible little restaurant where the menu was hand written in Italian. We actually went there twice because it was so good and head and shoulders above any other restaurant that we had eaten at in Florence. If you ever find yourself in Florence, I HIGHLY recommend il francescano. We basically got a sample platter of all the appetizers… and I have to say the burrata with truffles might be the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. So much better than any other burrata I’ve had anywhere. We also went on a food/wine tour which included two different types of espresso, a truffle sandwich, a wine/cheese pairing lesson, salted olive bread, pasta, breads/meats/cheese/strawberries with different types of olive oils and balsamic vinegars, more wine with biscotti type cookes, and of course gelato. And everything was delicious. We also visited the San Lorenzo leather market, got lost in every possible way because Florence is impossible to navigate, and went up to the Piazza de Michelangelo for some beautiful views of the city.
Rome // We only had a few days in Rome, so we opted to do the Hop on Hop Off Tour Bus so we could see as much as we could. We did actual tours of the Colosseum and the Vatican Museum/Sistene Chapel, but everything else we pretty much just walked around and saw. The city itself is just sold old and ancient, you can just feel how much history there is there. It truly was amazing to be in such a historic city. Sidenote: I watched Gladiator for the first time before going to see the Collosseum to get an idea of what went on there… what a good movie!
London // Our last quick stop on the European Tour was London. It was actually a really great feeling to be in a country where everyone spoke English. When we arrived in London, it almost felt like we were home, aside from the cars driving on the wrong side of the street and being terrified every time I crossed. We were only in London for a day, staying with a friend.. but we managed to see Buckingham Palace, a few churches, London Bridge, London Tower, and I shopped a bit on Brick Lane. We also had Bangers and Mash which was pretty delicious. I apologize for the photos, but at this point in the trip… I still wasn’t feeling well so I didn’t bring my camera when we were walking around. It was too heavy to lug around, so all the pictures from London were taken on my phone…