By Meghan Richter @florence_foodie
Italy is the land of pizza and more importantly Gelato because let’s be honest when does Gelato not sound good? My motto is Gelato is the Jell-O of Italy because there’s always room for Gelato, no matter the time of day. So make sure you are eating the good stuff when the gelato is specified as artigianale, aka none of those mountains of gelato you will see which are expensive tourist traps!
When in Italy, especially in the summer, it is always time for a Spritz! A spritz is a cocktail composed of prosecco, Aperol, a splash of soda water and garnished with fruit. These are found just about everywhere you can imagine but some good ones in Florence are Freddy’s and La Menagere.
Gnocchi is a pasta dish that is small little dumplings typically made from potato or flour that is bathed in some of the most delicious sauces your taste buds can imagine! Some great ones to try are the gorgonzola gnocchi at Gusta Osteria or the Truffle Gnocchi at Osteria Santo Spirito.
Bruschetta is a staple appetizer to accompany any Italian dinner, the dish is a toasted piece of bread topped with chopped seasoned tomatoes tossed in Olive Oil. This appetizer truly never gets old. The best bruschetta in Florence can be found at Osteria Santo Spirito it’s to die for!
Truffle is one of the most desirable products in Itlay. It has specially trained dogs to sniff it out in fields and forests, and truffle is also kept locked up in grocery stores. The best ways to try Truffle is going to a restaurant in Italy that is known to have fresh Truffle in their dishes and trying it for yourself. This is a staple of Italy you cannot miss out on.
If you’re in Florence go to La Buchetta, or Zaza.
Leave the subway at home, here in Italy the panini’s are the size of your head and pack a flavorful punch. You can custom make them include ingredients like prosciutto, pecorino, truffle spread, arugula, mozzarella etc! Some great spots here in Florence are Pinos, Nobile, and La Fettunta.
Chianti is the red wine best tasted in the place it is created, Italy! Make sure you are drinking Chianti Classico with the rooster icon, then you know you are having the real thing. If you want to taste some of Chianti’s best wine, go on a wine tasting tour in Tuscany.
No morning is complete without a bit of caffeine, so head to a local cafe and indulge on a cappuccino (which is an espresso with frothed milk) or if coffee isn’t your thing opt for a quick shot of espresso!
Say cheese! Parmigiano Reggiano is no joke here in Italy, a wheel of it weighs just around 84 pounds and can cost as much as $2500 depending on the age. But don’t fret you don’t have to buy a whole wheel, just a slice or sprinkle on your pasta will do!
Fruit in a ravioli? Yes as weird as it sounds the combination is magical and a must try for any person visiting Italy! Some places that have mastered this marriage of pasta and fruit are La Giostra, 4 Leoni and if you want to make it from the comfort of your home La Botteghina Dell”Augusta in Mercato Sant’Ambrogio.