Rome: Pizzeria da Remo
This is a place well-known in Rome for having some of the best Roman pizza. Although it is all over tripadvisor and many other tourist books, it is a little out-of-the-way for many tourists and continues to feel like a true Italian pizzeria. When I was in Italy this past March to visit my friends studying abroad in Rome, we tried this place. In addition to the wonderful Italian atmosphere, the food is delicious. Therefore, when I came back to Rome this summer I made sure that we went to da Remo. It was just as good as I remembered. I ordered bruschetta and a marinara pizza (the only one I can really have). The pizza is made right on the spot for you in an oven that you can see when you walk into the restaurant. Therefore, when you get your pizza it’s fresh yet a bit hot and sometimes a little burnt–but it’s definitely authentic! The people are also some of the best, willing to joke with you even if you can’t understand them. They also speak very little English, so this is a great place to come to practice your Italian.
Florence: Gusta pizza
This is a pizza place that someone recommended me to go to while I was in Florence and it turned out to be wonderful. Different from the Roman pizza, this pizza place is less of a sit-down restaurant and instead is more cheap to-go with a few places to sit down (I think the pizza ranged from only 5 to 9 euros each). You order at the counter and scavenge a table while waiting for your number to be called. Although I yet again was only able to have a marinara pizza (which I have gotten used to), this pizza was absolutely delicious. It had a thicker crust than that of the Roman pizza which allowed it really to be moist and flavorful. However, Gusta pizza was a little more touristy than Pizzeria da Remo since it is close to toursity destinations and yet again comes highly recommended on tripadvisor. The additional touristy yet friendly touch was that under the glass surface of the tables were slips of paper from various people’s order number with a message written on them. Most people wrote their names or where they were from; one of the slips had “CET Siena 2013,” which although is not our program made me smile because it was Siena! To say the least, I would definitely come back to this place!
Venice: Alfredo’s Fresh Pasta To-Go
In our History of Italian Food class, we have learned that there are quite common types of Italian street food like pizza and pasta, but this place in Venice has made pasta also into a street food. Since we were only in Venice for a few hours one Saturday afternoon after Florence, I wanted to eat a good yet cheap meal (college-student style). Therefore, I asked my friend who is living in Venice this summer for a recommendation. One of his favorite places which also happens to be close to where he lives is Alfredo’s. Not knowing what to expect, we trekked through the tiny streets of Venice to find Alfredo’s all the while we saw people with these little Chinese-style take-out boxes filled with pasta. The quite inviting place smelled wonderful once we got there. It was different from many of the other places we had previously eaten at since it was very modern with a menu on the TV and nearly everyone was speaking English. However, when the 7 of us ordered in Italian, they spoke right back to us in Italian. They truly seemed to appreciate that we were trying instead of immediately resorting to English. This was quite refreshing in a city as touristy as Venice, since while in both Florence and Rome I did not feel the need to speak Italian at all because even when I tried people would speak to me in English. Not only were the people nice, however, but the food was amazing. I wish I could have taken a picture of the menu (they don’t allow you to), because the choices were quite a spin off of classic Italian pastas. Many of the dishes had curry even. Since I have been missing any sort of exotic flavors (or even anything different from a tomato base), I choose one of these curry pastas. Along with the curry came tender pork and a mix of veggies. After choosing which pasta I wanted to go along with the sauce, I was given a number and only waited a few minutes. The pasta was amazing. In this deceivingly large box, each of us ate a delicious new-wave take on Italian pasta. Not to mention that where we ate was beautiful–just above where many gondole take tours. In fact, this is where our gondola went! Since coming to Alfredo’s all of us have been craving it again. Wish it were in Siena!
Riva del Sole resort
Although this food is not quite as worth mentioning, I thought it would be a good contrast to the other foods I’ve talked about in this post. One of the first weekends, the five of us ventured to the beach and although we aimed to go to Follonica we ended up at Riva del Sole since the other bus was already full. (PS, did you know that a major form of transportation around Siena at least is by coach bus? I definitely wasn’t anticipating it, but it is good to know if you ever want to visit Siena since the buses are much more convenient than the trains are.) This bus took us to a resort, which we were unaware if we could really be at. Nonetheless, there was still some public beach nearby (mostly, the beaches in Italy are filled with private umbrellas and chairs that you rent out). When we got hungry, we ventured back to the resort to find some food at their bar. Their menu was rather confusing, as many Italian menus are because things are not explicitly written out as much as they are in the US. Therefore, my first round of food was an average sandwich. Still hungry, I went back up to the busy counter to order some bruschetta….which has turned into my favorite food. After waiting probably 20 mins for it (yes, I know a really long time), I finally got my food. It was different than the bruschetta I previously knew. On this large piece of toasted bread was olive oil, garlic, melted mozzerella cheese (couldn’t have it but I ate it anyway), and slices of tomatoes. Then, the entire thing was cut into slices. It was a wonderful take on bruschetta and even though I waited for so long and technically was allergic to it; I ate it and truly enjoyed it. It wasn’t the typical food that you find at the beach in the United States; instead, more care and precision was put into the dish. That is something that I’m finding much more here in Italy. It makes sense, there are better ingredients and the Italians care much more about what they are eating. Therefore, most things are better.
….I think I’m gonna miss the food here…..and this is just some of it
More Blogs From This Author
<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Ciao!! I’m a rising senior from Bowdoin College in Maine studying Psychology and Education. Even though I go to school in a small town, I’m from the big city of Chicago, but I am ecstatic to explore yet another beautiful small town, Siena! Starting in high school and continuing onto college, I have blogged about the various delicious desserts that I have been lucky enough to enjoy. This has been my way of expressing my sweet tooth for all to see and try. It has also allowed me the privilege and opportunity to try things that I never would have otherwise, such as a wide range of cuisines in various “local” areas that I may never have ventured to. For me, trying a new dessert—or food in general—is not only about how it tastes but also who you are with, what the atmosphere is like, and how you feel about the food. I aim to convey these experiences to my readers through photographs and short descriptions. I am anxious and open to try all that Italy offers to add onto my delectable list!</span></p>