My food and wine tour through Tuscany, heading north for a final stop at Venice proves this theory without a doubt.
One last night in Italy and I am heartbroken at the thought of leaving. But, instead of dwelling on the sadness in the glorious time nearing its end, I make an effort to stay in the moment, beginning with our boat ride to Hotel Splendid, where we disembark onto a dock just outside the lobby of this conveniently-located accommodation. With only an hour to freshen up, a bubble bath beckons before meeting outside for a guided tour of Venice. But as we stand in the San Marco piazza, a sudden fever for fashion takes over my senses and I quietly remove myself from the group --- and dart through alley after alley and over footbridges along the canals, poking my head in shop after shop until I find two pairs of shoes that satiate my shopping insanity. And then I must purchase a carryon bag to accommodate my extra baggage. With less than an hour to shop, my skills acquired as a deadline-driven journalist pay off; my goal is met and I stand at the top of the Rialto Bridge to meet up again with my group. From there we head to Osteria Da Fiore, a posh spot where seafood of the area is the focus. Filling ourselves with good wine, several courses of fish, including teeny tiny shrimps served shell and head on, we then head to San Marco piazza for a champagne cocktail ($50 a glass) and soak in the ambiance of a nearby orchestra performance (think Godfather tunes) and the company of great writers from all over the U.S.
Although I could sit outside people-watching and sipping bubbly all night long, alas, it is time to say ciao to Italy, a destination that has certainly proved to me that Italians do food, wine & life better than any other culture I’ve had the pleasure to visit.
If you go, be sure to:
- Dinner in Florence: Il Cibreo, Via andrea del Verocchio, 5
- Dinner in Bologna: Ristorante Da Nello Al Montegrappa, Via Monte Grappa, 9/2
- Dinner in Verona: Trattoria Al Pompiere, Vicolo Regina d’Ungheria, 5
- Lunch or dinner of pizza in Verona: Pizzeria Du De Cope, Galleria Pellicciai 10
- Dinner in Venice: Osteria Da Fiore, San Polo 2002 Calle del Scaleter
- Lunch in Bolzano: Zur Rose, Vicolo-endergasse, 2, 39040 Cortaccia sulla strada del vino
- Lunch in Modena: Ermes
- San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale, the central food market of Florence
- The square in Verona for fashion
- Bologna, for cheese, prosciutto, mortadella, pecorino cheese and confetti candies
- Giusti balsamic vinegar in Modena
- Winery at Schenk Italia in Via Stazione 43, 39040 Ora, Bolzano
- Through Prosecco region
- Through Chianti
- The balcony of Juliet, where she once called out to Romeo
- Through Florence, everywhere
- Alitalia, operated by Delta
This ends a series on Italy. To start from the beginning, click here.