Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Venice, Italy - The Novice Traveler Goes Abroad

Prosciutto on a baguette for breakfast
and  a cappuccino
My first overseas flight was to Venice, Italy.  My whole experience was a whirlwind of learning about coffee, food, architecture, history, art and the beauty of Venice. 

It was mentioned to me that Venice is not known for it's food the way so much of Italy has received great raves for it's delicious dishes, however, I found many a savory meal! 

A Cappuccino to Love!
Beginning with breakfast, I discovered so much was different about what a breakfast in Venice would consist of.  For example, cafes like the one in the picture to the right, had a variety of meats like salami & prosciutto, salmon, panini, croissants and sweeter treats to start their mornings. Fruit was something you asked for specifically, or was sold as a separate, like a banana or an apple. I did miss eating fruit at will, however I was surprised by how much I enjoyed and became used to the idea of eating prosciutto on a baguette in the morning.  I loved the cappuccino and had one every morning and sometimes in the afternoon too!  I wasn't brave enough to go with the strong flavor and thicker espresso drink even though it packed more of a caffeine punch!  Breakfast at the hotel was most certainly the familiar "continential" type that you would be used to eating here in America. To eat at the hotel, beautiful as it was, was to deny yourself part of the authentic morning flavors and watching the routines of the venezia people!

Lunches were sometimes spent at a great pizza restaurant, cafe or bar.  My favorite was the Pizza with the freshest and most delicious sauce to ever hit my taste buds! Well, 2nd best, must confess, New Hope, Pennsylvania has a restaurant that makes a pizza sauce equally as good and they put twice as much sauce on their pizza!  The other place I loved for a late lunch or snack was a bar where they served what is called Cicchetti. This dish is made up of a variety of "finger foods" like chicken wings, mozzerlla sticks, fried zucchini, a meatball or two, and a few other foods that are not exactly fat free! The word fried usually makes me cringe, but this was truly a little afternoon treat!

Dinners were something that were usually eaten later in the evening around 7, 8 or 9.  It really just depends on what and how much you eat that day.  Sometimes, one is just full no matter the location.  When we did have dinner, I found the spaghetti to have that same fresh sauce as the pizza!  I also had other pasta dishes, fish dishes, chicken dishes and was craving many a salad, or any vegetable! Ohhh, I missed my vegetables and was seeking them out with every dinner, especially since my days had a lot of little meals of coffees, treats, meats, salty foods, and sometimes dense meals, even though small in quantity. 

Europeans are known for grazing throughout their days and not over indulging each meal until they are "stuffed".  I felt good all day eating this way! I was concerned about eating these types of foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I was worried I put on "vacation weight", but since I was eating smaller meals throughout the day and walking everywhere there really was no chance of it adhering to my hips! Plus I found there was something about being in Italy that made me feel like there was more to life than food to fill my day, to occupy my time.  It turns out it was just being busy and learning that made my days fly by! 

No comments:

Post a Comment