The first stop on our Italian adventures was Florence. This city is filled with so many narrow streets & side alleys that you can get lost for hours just by walking around and exploring. When we first arrived we walked to the Ponte Vecchio bridge which had several quaint shops along it that sold artwork, jewelry, souvenirs etc. After hours shopping and working up an apetite we asked around for the best pizza in the area (no one could give us a straight answer because every single pizzeria there is amazing).
We ate at Borghetto Ristorante with high expectations since this was about to be our first real Italian pizza. It was seriously unbelievable. I am pretty sure I said "oh my god" after every single bite.
Later that night we ate at Golden View, a high quality restaurant located in old town overlooking the river and the famous ponte-vecchio bridge.
Since I have a new obsession with truffle, I was instantly lured into ordering the ravioli al quattro formagge e tartufo (ravioli with four cheese and truffle cream sauce). My mom ordered the Florentine old style sirloin steak, made with garlic and rosemary in a light beef juice, and we split the two dishes to get a little taste of everything.
How can you end the night without a little cookie flavored gelato?
The next day we took a nice day trip to Tuscany for a wine and olive oil tasting tour in the vineyards of Castello Sonnino. SInce my best friend and I recently turned 21, our moms thought this would be the perfect surprise! We were shown hidden historic wine cellars and tasted numerous red wines (paired with cheese) & fresh olive oils produced on that estate.
My personal favorite red wine was the Sonnino Chianti Montespertolli. The tour also included lunch, so they served us homemade penne pasta with fresh tomatoes. It was so simple yet so tasty!
The wine tour was definitely a highlight of my Italy adventures but as they say, "all roads lead to Rome" so that was our next destination.
When we arrived in Rome we grabbed lunch at a recommended restaurant right across from our hotel, 44 Osteria Quarantaquattro. I ordered spaghetti with tomato sauce and basil and then for dessert we got a "deconstructed cannoli"… yeah that exists.
One of our last dinners in Rome was at Da Gildo, a cute & cozy family-owned restaurant. Here I had my favorite pasta dish I have ever consumed, fettuccini al truffle.
Before we left I had to make sure to get one more serving of chocolate gelato. We stopped into Ristorante Tre Scallini, a touristy outdoors restaurant right in the city center.
Grazie, Italia! Now eating pasta & pizza will never be the same.