For our summer vacation this year CateyLou and I traveled back to Italy. True to form, we moved around a lot and did our best to see as much as we could over a 10 day period. Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting some of the best towns, hotels, and restaurants from our trip and providing some helpful tips for travel within Italy. After the jump is a quick look at what we’ll be covering.
Lake Como – An entire post devoted to my quest to find George Clooney and become Bernie Mac’s replacement in Ocean’s 14. CateyLou: Actually it’ll focus on the sights (and food) of the most beautiful areas in Italy, and discussing TheBetterHalf’s brush with hypothermia by swimming in the Lake (como si dice “polar bear club?”).
Florence – After our time in Lake Como, we traveled south to Florence where we had excellent gelato, found one of the best sandwich shops in Europe, and did our best to escape the throngs of tour groups crowding the city center.
Sostanza Trattoria – An authentic Florence trattoria in the middle of touristy central Florence. Two words: buttered chicken. Don’t worry – it’ll make sense soon.
Tuscany (Montalcino/Montepulciano) – Our stay in Tuscany was highlighted by two great day-trips to the wine towns of Montalcino and Montepulciano. I guess it was lowlighted by the time our rental car, a Fiat Punto (Punto, I believe, is Italian for lawnmower), ran out of steam halfway up a hill and embarrassingly rolled down to flatter ground.
Villa Armena (Buonconvento) – A beautiful family run boutique hotel that was the perfect home base for our time in Tuscany.
Modena – Aside from the two restaurants below (covered in greater detail in their own posts), a look at the historical and culinary wonders of this smaller city located in the Emilia-Romanga region – including a balsamic vinegar tasting, delicious lambrusco, a trip to the Ferrari museum, and our stay at the charming B&B Quartropiano.
Osteria Francescana – A recap of our amazing dinner at Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana, the number three restaurant in the world and the real reason behind our visit to Modena.
Hosteria Giusti – A sort of speakeasy restaurant that is located in the back of the heralded Salumeria Giusti, Hosteria Guisti is famous for serving Modenese staples such as gnocco fritto and Frittelle di Minestrone . Bonus points for being one of Mario Batali’s favorite places in Italy.
Milan – The last stop on our trip, CateyLou and I battled fatigue and effects of 10 days of carbo-loading as we went on a whirlwind tour of Italy’s second largest city.