“to eat”

“At the highest point in the city of Manarola in the Cinque Terre sits a gem. A restaurant with no pasta, pizza, reservations, or stove. You wait in the heat on a cliff for long amounts of time looking down at the Ligurian Sea until you are called. When you get your table, you forget about the steep walk up and the time. In front of you is an icy limoncello spritz, focaccia, deep orange melon, fresh pulled mozzarella, and prosciutto so good that I took some back to the hotel in my purse so my kids could try it.”

“The Italian trattoria is a work of art. Regional dishes and wines are combined with reasonable prices and waiters who don’t come bother you every time your glass of water slightly empties. It’s a place where all your needs are met, even the ones you didn’t know you had. It’s a place you can slip into and want to stay. And you can, because your evening never gets wrapped up until you ask for the bill.”

“Leave it to the Italians to come up with an after-dinner drink called caffè corretto. There is no cappuccino or coffee with milk in the evening. This is an espresso that is “corrected” by adding a shot of grappa or Sambuca. Nighty night.”

“In the Venetian Lagoon, a boat ride away from Venice, lies an often-overlooked treasure. A small island has an indigenous grape that was saved from extinction and made into the loveliest white wine. Its flavors include a hint of saltiness because of the surrounding waters and the labels on the bottles are adorned with gold, silver, and bronze leaf which is a craft Venetians have been mastering since 1000 A.D. This is regional cuisine at its finest. A wine only found on this island.”

“While food dominates my Italian trips there are places that make me forget about my next meal. Florence is one of those spots. Coming back from dinner I always stop on the bridge to take in the Arno River and the beauty of that city. As I gaze, I think who wouldn’t want to live here?”