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June 30, 2011

Hello, friends! Apologies for my long absence. But we spent the first half of June gallivanting around Italy. Venice. Florence. Rome. And the Amalfi Coast. We saw amazing art and architecture. We ate amazing food. We drank delicious wine. And the second half of June? Well, we spent it catching up on two weeks worth of backlogged work. Not as amazing.

But enough about work! What about Italy? Beautiful. Gorgeous. Wish I was still there. Here’s how we enjoyed our two weeks in Italia:

We started our vacation in Venice, wandering along the canals and narrow, winding alleyways. One of the best things about Venice (well, other than just about everything) is the fact that there are no cars, scooters, or bikes. Just walking. Strolling. Traipsing.

Lose the maddening crowds around Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco, and meander on over to the Pane Vino e San Daniele in Dosoduro for the some of best prosciutto and burrata you’ll ever have. Enjoy along with a bottle of white wine and the Venetian families lingering over a long, leisurely Sunday lunch.

Next, it was onto Florence, with its incredible Duomo, awe-inspiring Michelangelo’s David and, well,  just about everything in the Uffizi gallery is amazing. Oh, and the view from the Duomo is pretty great too:

After you’ve filled your soul with Renaissance art and architecture, fill your belly with some delectable Neapolitan-style pizza at il Pizzaiuolo (you must get the margherita pizza and wash it down with their house red). The pizza here is exactly how you want Neapolitan-style pizza to be—chewy, but not overly doughy or filling, made with the freshest, best ingredients.

Or cross the Ponte Vecchio and head to Il Santo Bevitore’s tiny wine bar (next door to the restaurant) for downright delicious wine and cured meats. I completely fell in love with this place, and wish it was in San Francisco so that I could go all the time.

Time to move onto Rome, with its more than 3,000 years of history (random fact: I took Latin for seven years way-back-when, so—as you can imagine—I’m just mildly obsessed with Rome). I love how old Roman ruins can be glimpsed throughout the city, mixed with medieval and Renaissance architecture—sometimes old Roman columns are even built into “modern” apartment buildings. Amazing. And I think our house, built in 1913, is old…

Best Roman eats? Well, knowing me, it would have to be a pizza place, right? Indeed. Head to Pizzeria Nuovo Mondo in Testaccio to eat no-frills, absolutely delicious Roman-style pizza with locals—no tourists here, except you.

We had a pretty fantastic experience at Pizzeria Nuovo Mondo, sitting outside along the street, lingering over Rome’s ultra thin crust pizza. Toward the end of our meal, it started to rain suddenly. And fiercely. There were some umbrellas overhead to protect diners from the downpour, but our table was awkwardly placed between two umbrellas, such that we had a mini downpour all over our table. And our pizza. And our wine. An Italian couple next to us invited us to share their table, and we enjoyed the rest of the meal, all huddled together at the same small table, safely under the umbrella and thankfully dry. All-in-all, a lovely meal. And a lovely experience.

Finally, we ended our trip on the Amalfi Coast—a few nights in Positano, and a few nights in Amalfi. Before going, I knew that that the Amalfi Coast would be beautiful. But I was absolutely blown away by how gorgeous—how spectacular—it really was. I would go back in a heartbeat.

If you ever find yourself in Positano, wander down to the beach, and hop the little boat with the big red fish on it to Da Adolfo, a casual, al fresco ristorante a few coves down from Positano’s beach, accessibly only by boat. Order some fresh seafood from the chalkboard menu, and enjoy your meal on this little, private beach. Afterwards, snag one of the lounge chairs on the beach, and enjoy the rest of your afternoon swimming in the ocean, and snoozing in the sun, before you catch the boat back to Positano.

And that was our trip. It was pretty wonderful. I hope that you’re all having fabulous summer vacations as well.

I’ll be back in action tomorrow with a truly delectable Italian cocktail that you can enjoy this weekend, in celebration of our American holiday—Independence Day—or all summer long, if you enjoy it as much as I do.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2011 8:30 pm

    Wow…amazing! You definitely make a case for going to Italy…something I have wanted to do for a LONG time. I am more motivated than ever now to make it happen 🙂

  2. Lynna Kalna permalink
    July 1, 2011 6:01 am

    Kirsten, impressive site!! I’ll be back in Italy this summer!!


  3. MOM permalink
    July 2, 2011 12:27 am

    Patrick and Kirsten,
    Just a beautiful account of your vacation. Thought there was a receipe coming.We are counting the days before our visit to se your new house and you especially. Keep up the great work Kirsten.

  4. Odette Delahanty permalink
    July 2, 2011 10:28 am

    Sounds absolutely lovely KK thanks for sharing! 🙂


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