Hello! I am so excited to share this post with you guys. Kev and I had such an amazing time in Italy and found so many wonderful places to eat that would be selfish to not share. We had a total of 10 days – really 9 because of travel time. We started in Rome and worked our way all the way up to Milan. We used Tripmasters to plan our trip and we were SO happy with this. Not only was it cheaper, but you’re able to buy your plane tickets, train tickets, hotels and even tours all together.
R O M E
Day 1 & 2
Navona Square – Take in the beauty. There are tons of little streets and alleys to go down full of bakeries, shops and restaurants.
Marco Roscioli snack – this is near the square. We grabbed some sort of biscotti/cookie. Everything in here looked SO good – I regret not getting a slice of pizza with burrata on it. So if you go, do your sista a solid!
Pompi dessert – One of the best places for tiramisu! They have all different flavors. We got two (mostly because I felt weird not getting a traditional) so we got pistachio and traditional. They were 4 euro each. *This is near the Spanish steps and Piazza del Popolo (where all the fancy shops are).
Campo de’ Fiori – this is just south of Navona Square. This is a piazza with restaurants and shops HOWEVER there is an open air market from 9am-2pm. It’s full of spices, pastas, vegetables, juices, and little trinkets. We didn’t buy anything BUT I did get pushed out of the way by an old Italian woman getting this picture for you guys. YOU WELCOME!
Il Gianfornaio breakfast – This was near our hotel in Prati. It’s perfect for breakfast – grabbing a cappuccino and a croissant. They also serve a continental breakfast of juices and pastries for around 8-10 euro each. If you’re not going for the continental breakfast you pay at the register first and then hand your ticket to the person behind the counter.
La Biga lunch– This spot is good for lunch near the coliseum. It has the best view ever if you sit outside. We ordered a pizza and some local beer. I wouldn’t say the food was anything super special but the view is worth it!
Freni e Frizioni apaerativo– Go here for Aperativo! An Italian way of happy hour – except you get FREE food. This place had such a fun atmosphere. They had a small inside and a large patio with people outside just hanging out and drinking. You also pay at the cash register first here and then take your receipt to the bar and tell them what you want. My first drink was an Aperol sprits because when in Rome right? Then this grants you access to a full buffet of salads and fruits and vegetables. They also make very cool craft cocktails.
La Prosciutteria dinner – This is in an area called Trastevere – a very cool area full of bars and restaurants. Order a bottle of wine and a board of meat and cheese. The small (which is more than enough for two people) was 5 euro each. I just loved the atmosphere in here. The place is very small and will probably be packed but if you go inside and up to the counter you can give them your name if you would like to wait. The place right next door actually has really good pizza, this was our snack while we waited!
F L O R E N C E
Day 3 & 4
B4 Astoria Firenze – This hotel is right off the main drag and walking distance from THE Duomo. It actually has a rooftop terrace with a perfect view of it. The rooms were large for Europe, clean and quite old time lavish if you ask me. Luigi at the front desk was SO helpful. He made us reservations for a wine tour and for our Buca Mario dinner. He had answers to all of our questions and was so sweet.
La Menagere breakfast – This place is SO cute you guys. There are two sides to this place. One is the restaurant and next door is the flower market (but also has tables to eat). It’s very industrial, minimalistic looking. We got cappuccinos (duh) , bagel sandwiches and a chocolate croissant (you must).
All’antici Vinaio lunch or snack – Be prepared to wait in line! It’s all worth it though. These panini’s are some of the best in the city and as big as your face! We got the Favolosa – Sbriciolona, Cremina di Pecorino, Cremina di Carciofi, Melanzane Grigliate Piccanti. Yeah – I don’t know what any of that means either, be a risk taker!!
Bucca Mario – dinner – THIS is the place to get the Bistecca Fiorentina you’ve been searching for! OH EM GEE you guys. This dinner was out of control. The concierge at our hotel (Luigi) was gracious enough to get us in here last minute and it was SO worth it. It’s tucked away in an alley and slightly underground. We ordered the Cappelacci freschi – fresh pasta stuffed with spinach & ricotta in butter and sage. This is huge and 14 euro! FYI if you tell them you’re sharing they’ll split it for you but also charge you an extra 10 Euro. Now, we ordered the Bistecca alla Fiorentina for one which is honestly probably enough for 3 people! It was 39euro and SO worth it. Best steak I’ve ever had. Make sure you order it rare. Our waiter even gave us some limoncello at the end! **They expect tips here because there is no service charge.
Gelateria Dei Nieri gelato– I have a confession to make – I was refusing to go into any gelato shop that had pretty displays because I’d heard the really good homemade ones are served in silver tins WITH tops (see pictures from Venice). Now, I still agree that you shouldn’t buy from the places that have gelato piled miles high because chances are they’re full of preservatives. We decided to stop in this place because I couldn’t wait any longer and these were still behind a case and not so lavish. I got frago (strawberry) and cheesecake and Kev got more (blackberry) and mango. They were fresh and REAL tasting.
Wine Tour – The concierge set us up with this one as well (he was awesome!). We were picked up from our hotel and brought to the bus where we traveled into Chianti. We visited a small family owned winery – Poggio Ammorelli, that also made olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We were shown around and then brought into a tasting room. We tasted 3 wines, 1 spumante, 2 balsamic vinegars, olive oil, and truffle oil. Once the tasting was over we had a chance to purchase wine or any other products (they will ship them to you!). The next stop was to Lornano, a larger production and beautiful villa. We were able to taste 3 more wines here and enjoy the most beautiful views of the olive groves and vineyard. Our last stop was up to a ‘castle’ but to be honest was a little forgettable and they only gave us 30 minutes here.
Ciro and Sons dinner – Since we had two nights in Florence we had a chance to eat more! This restaurant was right near our hotel. We ordered a bottle of rose to start (I somehow got Kev into this…don’t tell anyone!) I ordered the pear and pecorino fioccho as my meal. YOU GUYS. This is insane. It’s little pasta purses full of pear and cheese and then theyre drowning in pecorino cream and balsamic reduction. DEAD. Just get it. Kev got pizza for like the 5th time in a row, I believe it was the Cappicole with mushrooms, and artichokes.
L A SPEZIA & C I N Q U E TERRE
Day 5 & 6
This is a small town off to the right of Cinque Terre. After visiting a couple of the islands I was actually glad we stayed here even though we had to take a train to Cinque Terre (it’s very easy).
Mr. Molini – This is a little shop we stopped into to grab some focaccia and Farinata (chickpea ‘bread’) – a MUST have in La Spezia AND Cinque Terre.
Acronia La Cantina aperativo – We ordered a bottle of wine and they brought out focaccia and snack for us! Definitly worth a drink.
R’mazelao dinner or aperativo – This place blew my mind. For 13 Euro you get sliced prosciutto, coppa, pancetta, salami, a huge block of stracchino cheese, gorgonzola cheese, bread and Nutella. I’m sorry what?! You need to make a stop here.
If you choose to go to Cinque Terre (the five islands), you can buy a day train pass at the train station. This will NOT be at the machine, look for the signs that say Cinque Terre train ticket or something along those lines and go in that room. Side note: the islands are super close, it takes maybe 8 minutes to get to the first one.
We went to Riomaggiore and Manorola, Both are so incredibly beautiful. Be prepared for a lot of up-hill. There are tons of little shops and eateries, not to mention the insane views.
Manorola – This is the island with the view of all of those beautiful buildings on the hill side. The restaurant to eat at is Nessun Dorma. My advice would be to get in line around 11:15 or 11:30 because they open at 12 and you want to get a good seat! We ordered bruschetta and a cheese board which was more than enough food. The bruschetta are huge! **CASH ONLY**
P A R M A
I have to be completely honest, I only wanted to come to Parma for the cheese and prosciutto experience. It’s a small town and I think that’s probably the only reason to make the trip out here. I was very happy with the tour we chose. Tastybus was a small tour of 8 people. Our tour guide was very sweet and helpful. We went to a small Parmiggiano Reggiano production only producing 10-15 wheels of cheese a day. Other factories produce hundreds. We were taken through the entire process of the cheese making and at the very end of course, got to taste! Once you get to the tasting you are also able to purchase cheese. There’s a bada** woman behind the counter lifting and cutting these cheese wheels like its nothing. They had 3 different ages. We ended up buying around 12 pounds of cheese! To share of course. We chose the 30 month old at 12.50e a KG. 1 KG = 2.2 Pounds. They vacuum seal the cheese for you and it’s good for two weeks, no refrigeration needed BEFORE opening. Then we went up in the hills to a Prosciutto di Parma factory. This was a bigger production and our tour guide led us through not leaving out any details! This was around 50euro per person and totally worth it. It was also only from 9:30-1 so it doesn’t take up your entire day.
Ciacco gelato – Our tour guide told us that this was her favorite gelato place so naturally, i needed to find it. They’re very experimental and had some really fun flavors! I think i stuck with my strawberry cheesecake.
V E N I C E
Chips Amsterdam snack or lunch – We were starving after we checked into our hotel and I had heard good things about this place. They are hand cutting the fries in front of you and offering up giant hot dogs. They have tons of sauce combos and it hits the spot for a nice walking break.
Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta anytime – It’s a carton full of fun! These guys are making fresh pasta and serving it up FAST so you can eat it in Chinese take out containers. We decided on the pesto – and what a good decision! Although, some passed by with the alfredo and I had to contain myself. But the pesto was so so good, the noodles were fat and delicious.
GROM gelato – Yes, this is a chain HOWEVER they’re making real gelato with real ingredients.
M I L A N
Luini snack or breakfast- When we got here there was NO line at all, which was incredible. Hearing other people’s stories about an endless line scared us a little bit. It’s right near The Galleria Vittorio, which is quote convenient if that’s on your list of things to see. Back to the food! These pastries are like donuts filled with cheese and pesto and salami and greatness. There are a few different kinds to choose from. They also make sweet pockets but with more of a cookie dough – also amazing. We got the chocolate ricotta.
To be honest, we sort of failed at planning for Milan. Our hotel was too far away from the ‘main’ attractions and we ended up just staying there (near the airport) to eat because we had a 5am flight the next day.
- Taxi’s are LESS than Ubers here. You can’t really flag one down yourself. Ask your hotel or restaurant to call you a taxi OR stand in one of the designated taxi areas on the street (there are signs).
- A lot of businesses close from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM everyday.
- Aperitivo starts getting busy around 6:00 PM
- Most restaurants have a service charge so it is not necessary to tip. However, if the restaurant does not have a service charge they might expect you to.
- Use the bathroom before you leave your hotel – public bathrooms are hard to come by but you also need to pay a euro or two to use it.
- EAT EAT EAT
Please leave any questions in the comments below! Ciao! 🙂
Can’t make it to Italy? Check out my recipe for sweet potato gnocchi and bring Italy to you!