Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Third day in Florence (Thursday June 10, 2010)

We continued our gelato taste-tour with a couple of cones for Gelateria de Neri, which was around the corner from our apartment. It was excellent! The gelateria is run by the same folks who own Vivoli--the place I used to go to when I lived in Florence.

We had doner kebabs for a late lunch.

For dinner we met up with my Florentine friends Ilaria and Maurizio at a nice little restaurant in their neighborhood. We started the meal with prosecco. Janet and I shared a fungi pasta.

Followed by beef that was slowly simmered in wine & black peppercorns.

For dessert we split a slice of millefoglie cake. Yum!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Second Day in Florence (Wednesday, June 9, 2010)

On our second day in Florence we visited the wonderful Mercato Centrale. It's full of little stalls selling veggies, fruits, meats, cheeses, etc. 

dried mushrooms


We picked up the ingredients so that we could have spaghetti alla carbonara for lunch.

slicing pancetta

Our apartment's kitchen

Tomatoes with lunch

We had one of the bottles of wine we purchased the day before at La Buca del Vino. It was great!

For dinner we went to a little trattoria around the corner. 

We started with chicken liver crostini

We shared a pasta (perhaps alla bolognese?)

Janet ordered chicken hoping it would be a good as the one I got in Munich (it wasn't)

I had some roast beef

The dinner was certainly solidly acceptable, but not amazing. As we left the restaurant at the end of dinner we realized that we had been segregated into a back room for Americans... The front room was all Italians.

First Day in Florence (Tuesday, June 8, 2010)

Breakfast at the hotel in Venice:

We're taking the afternoon train from Venice to Florence today. Until then, we wandered the streets of Venice until it was time to go. We walked to the Rialto Bridge, then the outdoor produce and fish market. 

We arrived in Florence with enough time to check into our apartment and wander across the Ponte Vecchio and over to a restaurant Ethan used to go to (La Mangiatoia) when he lived in Florence.  While we were waiting for the restaurant to open we ran into a tiny little wine shop (La Buca Del Vino) that served wine bulk.  You can bring your own bottle (or buy a bottle there) and they'll fill it up.  It was the coolest place ever.  The woman working there let us try every type of wine she had and we bought two bottles for 6 euros - what a deal.

Here's our dinner:
Gnocchi with pesto

The Discovery of Spaghetti with Clams (Monday, June 7, 2010)

Breakfast at the hotel.  We stayed at the Ai Du Principi hotel and I was really happy with it.  The rooms were nice and the hotel, was perfectly located just far enough away from the crowds.  If we go to Venice again, I'd probably stay here again.

We decided to go to Murano (glass) and Burano (lace) instead of spending another day in Venice.  Yesterday was a bit too crowded, hot and humid, so taking a day trip to Murano and Burano was a good decision.  For lunch, we ate at one of Rick Steve's recommendations and is where I ate the most amazing spaghetti with clams.  I never order this in the states b/c I never know if I'm getting canned clams or not, but this was truly amazing! We shared the first dish of different types of seafood and for the second course, Ethan ordered a pasta with tomato sauce. 

After lunch, we went to a glass making factory to watch them blow glass into vases.  

We walked around a bit then caught the vaporetto to Burano. Burano really stood out from Venice and Murano because of all colorful buildings.  

In Burano, we stopped to enjoy some wine and an appetizer.

This photo looks pretty gross, but it cracks me up. 

My lunch was so good Ethan and I ordered it again for dinner in Venice.  It tasted better in Murano, but still really good. Dinner was at Al Giardinetto da Severino.  


First night in Venice (Sunday June 6, 2010)

We arrived in Venice pretty early in the morning on a Sunday so there wasn't much open yet, but it was great walking around before the rush of tourists flocked the city.

Cafe Latte and Crescent

Pizza with mushrooms and Pizza with anchovy, olives and capers. 

Here are just a few photos of Venice:

In St. Mark's Cathedral

Peggy Guggenheim Museum

Here's my first of many, many gelatos to come.  My favorite flavor was Stracciatella (vanilla with chocolate chips):

For Dinner I ordered pasta with a spicy tomato sauce and Ethan order the pasta with black squid ink.  For our second course we both ordered the Venetian specialty of dried cod with polenta.  

Espresso and Cafe Latte

I was told drinking coffee with milk after breakfast was a big no-no in Italy, unless you're American.  So I ordered my cafe latte with pride. 

Gelato, Gelato, Gelato! This was was vanilla with cherry I think

Munich's English Garden (Saturday June 5, 2010)

We had lunch in the English Garden at the Chinese Tower.

Ethan and Pyul ate the roasted chicken - the BEST Roasted Chicken EVER!

I ordered the fried pork cutlet with fries and a giant pretzel.  Pyul and Ethan chose the right thing. Oliver ate a couple different types of sausages. 

The craziest thing happened while we were eating lunch.  I just happened to look up and saw my cousin Dave who I haven't seen in nearly 10 years!  He's working in Austria and happened to come into Munich for the day to run some errands - what a small world! 

In the afternoon, we relaxed at an outdoor bar and enjoyed the most amazing drink - rhubarb beer.  My favorite in Munich was Radler (lemonade and beer), but the rhubarb beer was so good.  We'll have to see if we can replicate this at home.  Pyul's been raving about this dessert that we just had to try and it was really good.  It's like chunks of pancake with apples and and raisins - delicious!  I couldn't stop eating it! I can't remember what it's called. 

Later this evening we took an overnight train from Munich to Venice.  We had a first class sleeper car and it was surprisingly comfy.  It was nice that we had our own toilet and shower and it worked out perfectly. 

Before we caught the train we picked up some snacks at the grocery store - cheese, prosciutto, bread and wine. 

It was pretty late, but I was craving a little snack so we ordered curry wurst (it was so good yesterday), sausage with ketchup and curry powder, and a salad. 

Next stop, Venice!