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This Week in my Kitchen

Florence: the art of the aperitivo

Italian food culture is very seductive. It lures you with its rituals and once you are hooked, it’s hard to turn back. And why would you want to turn back anyway? One of the rituals that we engaged in while travelling in Italy was the aperitivo and Florence in particular raised this ceremony to an art form. What is aperitivo and why do they do it? As you already know, Italians eat their main meal at lunchtime (around 1-2 pm), to be followed by a late dinner at night (around 9:00 pm). For a bite to eat in between, whet […] 

Rome – the Spanish Steps for Foodies

The Spanish Steps in the heart of Rome is probably the best known and most visited part of a town so full of historical monuments. Originally the steps were constructed to connect the Spanish embassy to the church Trinita dei Monti on top. Today, the Spanish Embassy is located at the magnificent Palazzo Borghese off Via del Corso, extending all the way to the river, quite a sight. Later  the Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna became the place where artists, writers and intellectuals used to gather and exchange ideas, much like the left bank of Paris. It was also made famous […] 

Rome – the Pantheon for foodies

Usually I am wary of eating around historical monuments but this is not necessarily true for Rome. We have found some incredible food near places like the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and even Piazza Navona. Today was a take it easy day as we are wrapping up our 6 weeks stay in Rome. I can’t say that I “know” Rome like a local but I do feel that I got a good sense of the place and beginning to know my way around. We have been averaging 10km of walking each day and love just getting out and walking to […] 

Carnevale di Venezia – masks, costumes, boats and fritelle

Masks are an integral part of Venetian history and there is no better time to see them (and wear them) than during the annual Carnevale di Venzia, an event with historical roots that go back several centuries. This year’s carnevale takes place between January 23 and Feb 9 and we took the high speed train from Rome to Venice to participate in the opening weekend festivities of the famous event.   We arrived a day before the festivities were to begin and immediately fell under the spell of this magical city. The narrow canals, gondolas, grand palazzi, the vaporetti gliding […] 

Rome’s Hotel Hassler – reliving a moment in time

Cover image credit I was recently asked by a friend what my favourite culinary experience was during my travels. After giving it some thought I realized that my favourite experience was not as much about the taste of the food as it was about the setting and how it was experienced. And my most memorable food experience was here in Rome many years ago when I was still in my 20s. I was visiting Rome by myself and remember walking up the Spanish Steps to Hotel Hassler to have lunch at the restaurant on the top floor with stunning views […] 

When in Rome…….the food “Rules”

When we travel, I try to learn about local customs and adapt to them the best I can. Most places are pretty lax about “rules” and you only have to figure out a couple of local customs, but when it comes to Italy, food is a serious business and there are “rules” to follow if you don’t want to annoy the locals to no end, which occasionally we manage to do. Take coffee for example. Coffee culture here is alive and well and vastly different than coffee culture in Canada and the US. Forget the 16 oz caramel macchiato with […] 

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