This post is long overdue, but I've been looking forward to writing it. Italy is one of my favorite places to visit. It is really impossible to create a complete list of a single Italian town, and even more so of the whole country. However, this list is the best I saw on my past trip and that I would visit again when I come back
Anthony Bourdain's - The Layover - Rome, refuses to give the name of his favorite place to get "Caccio e Peppe" because he doesn't it to be ruined by flooding tourists. In our search, we find this place. Is it really the best "Cacio e Pepe" you will ever eat, or is it the thrill of the scavenger hunt? We had the famous dish and also a full branzino, which was way too much food but absolutely delicious. You have to cross the river, but with their friendly staff, delicious food and nice stroll, it is perfect for a romantic warm Roman night.
From Anthony Bourdain's The Layover, this place has the best thin pizza with fresh seasonal toppings. You will not be able to eat just one single slice because their selection will tempt you to try them all. The locale is a hole in the wall and there is no seating, a testament to their good pizza as their place has a line of people that can be seen from the exterior and people lining up the curb eating the scrumptious slices.
Wine and Cheese tasting
at L Angolo DiVino Winery
I found this "tour" on a travel site - wine tasting at a traditional Enoteca at the heart of Rome. Of all wine tastings I have done this has been the second best, exceeded only by wine tasting at Buda's castle underground monastery in Hungary. It is a bar, so not a big food selection, Wine is the star of the show. It is paired by simple cheese, bread and fruit selection, but their quality equals the wine. The sommelier is obviously knowledgeable and passionate about her craft, it is infectious. The wine tasting happens in small groups, the activity is engaging and the wines are all of good quality.
This place was recommended to me by a friend from work who spent a semester in Florence, and it did not disappoint. First of all, you are required to make a reservation in advance, you will be seated family style, you will be charge a fixed price and they have a fix daily menu with only two options for each course. Here is what you really experience, relax for the next two hours as you get round after round of amazing food and wine, an obscene amount for the price you pay and with each course more tasty than the last. Be sure to go there hungry and in a big group with people who are not shy about food.
Another recommendation from same coworker. This place has the best view of Florence. It has live music at sunset with beers a la carte, missed by most visitors as it is located across the river and requires quiet a bit of walking.
More photos from my trip - here
Recommended by Chef Eric from Brasserie Beck in DC. Trattoria Mario is a popular restaurant in Florence imitated by many but never equaled. It offers family style dining as well. The menu is handwritten outside daily, with fresh seasonal ingredients. The place is small, and they close early. You must secure a spot in the queue before 3pm, there is a long wait and no way to make the reservation in advance. Why go through all the trouble? Food is amazing and fresh, and the best T-bone steak I've ever eaten. It is a place of tradition, run by a family and you taste that in their food.
A temporary exhibition that showcases research and new trends in architecture. It occurs in Venice every two years under La Biennale umbrella, which features many forms of art including architecture.
More photos from my trip - here
Trattoria da Romano
Another restaurant featured by Anthony Bourdain "No Reservations". I am cheating as I didn't make it here, but not for lack of trying. The restaurant is located in Burano, an island in the Veneto archipelago. My phone kept showing the location in Murano, another island near Venice. The restaurant closes early, and so I did not make it on time. Yet the food looks amazing and so it is on my list of must visit.