Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've hung up my dress-for-success clothes, and pulled my domestic "genes" out of storage.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekend Travel Inspiration: Italian "Food For Thought" in Rome


Rome -- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

When you travel, how big a factor is the food?

I am most definitely a foodie,
 and I have to admit that food plays almost...
almost...
as much a part in my travel enjoyment 
as sightseeing.

My traveling companions on our trip to Italy
eight years ago (Junior Goo Shoes was only 6 years old!),
were at various points on the foodie spectrum...
with Mr. Goo Shoes -- on the lower end;
Aunt Goo Shoes (my sister) -- right next to me on the high end;
and little Junior Goo Shoes --  happily in the middle, 
as long as there was pizza and gelato
for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

What is astounding to me, looking back, 
is that I did not take a single picture of the food!
 Okay, I was not blogging then, but still. 
Not. One. 

Our first day in Rome was spent sightseeing around our hotel,
taking in the Roman Forum -- the heart of ancient Rome...

Rome -- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

the Arch of Constantine...

Rome -- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

and the Colloseum...

Rome -- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
 
Exhausted and jet-lagged by the end of the day,
we asked the concierge for a causal restaurant recommendation.
He suggested Luzzi Pizzeria.

It was only a couple of blocks away, 
but at first we couldn't find it.
Finally, I noticed a doorway, 
which, upon entering, turned out to be the restaurant.

My recollection may be a bit fuzzy, 
but I seem to remember a menu on the wall 
with a short list of pastas and basic sauce options.
We placed our orders at the counter,
and they brought it to us at picnic tables outside in the street,
between parked cars and motorcycles.
  I was not a happy camper, and had a bit of a hissy fit,
due to the jet lag, and all.
I couldn't believe that we were going to 
waste one of our precious meals in Italy on this place.
How could the concierge have sent us here?

Well, wouldn't you know, it was the best 
linguine and white clam sauce that I have ever eaten,
and I'd go back there in a heartbeat for another bowl.
It's eight years later, and I'm still thinking about it.

That was my first lesson on dining in Italy -
the more unassuming the restaurant, 
the more likely the food would be outstanding.

Our second and final day in Rome 
was spent in the Vatican Museum...

Rome -- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

with each ceiling... 

Rome -- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

 more beautiful than the next.

Rome -- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The piece de' resistance, of course, 
 was the Sistine Chapel...

Rome : The Sistine Chapel - Hand of God -- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

We walked through Vatican Square, past St. Peter's Basilica...

Rome -- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

  through the Piazza Navona...

Rome -- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

and on to the Pantheon.

Rome -- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Rome -- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

All of that sightseeing made us hungry!

We had dinner at a little restaurant near the Trevi Fountain.
Aunt Goo Shoes and I thought we were being real sports
by telling Mr. Goo Shoes that he could choose 
any appetizer he wanted, 
and we would not not squawk about it.

When he picked an assortment of "salamis," 
Aunt Goo Shoes and I rolled our eyes,
and kept our mouths shut.

But, upon tasting the salami,
we had to eat our unspoken words,
because if you've ever eaten salami in Italy,
 I don't have to tell you how delectable it is.
Needless to say, we ordered it almost every night
during the rest of our stay in Italy.

Mr. Goo Shoes gloats about it to this day.

Do you have a memorable food experience
from your travels? 

*********** 

Just a little Italian food for thought...


Linking With:
Weekend Travel Inspiration
Sunday Traveler
Our World Tuesday

40 comments:

  1. We honeymooned in Italy 18 years ago and all I remember about the food was that there was so much of it! We went on one of those tours so everything was a blur. I do remember that it was quite different than our "Italian" here!

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    1. I loved almost everything we ate there, and I did write some of it down in a journal, but what was I thinking -- no photos? That would never happen now!

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  2. You know, it's funny, but a few years ago while visiting Rome I have to say I was disappointed in the food. I had been to Italy years prior as an 18 year old, but I don't remember the food at that time. I guess being so young it was secondary, but this last trip left me uninspired. I will say that the gelato was amazing though!

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    1. Wow, that's a huge disappointment, Doreen! I want to go back just for the food! And yes, the gelato was fabulous. We had it twice a day!

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  3. I've always heard that the food in Italy is wonderful, so I'm glad to hear that it true. I don't care for salami here (although it is a fave of my 13 yr old) so I bet I would be pleasantly surprised to enjoy it in Italy too. I've found it to be true too, that most good food comes from some "mom and pop" type hole in the wall place. Usually only the locals know about it too. We've had better meals at places like that rather than the big expensive touristy type restaurants. I think it's important to have good food while on vacation. Afterall, that's part of the whole experience!

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    1. I think every meal we had was outstanding, except for maybe one. But how could I have not taken photos?? I'll just have to go back, I guess! Salami never did it for me, either, and we were surprised how delicious it was!

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  4. We loved the food in Italy and one of the most memorable meals was at a small family run motel in Cinque de Terre. It was a wonderful fish dinner with the most delicious pasta and home made pesto that we've ever eaten!

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    1. I really want to go back, and the food is a big reason why. But next time, I will take photos!

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  5. How funny - we were also in Rome 8 years ago last month. I was pregnant with Littlest. We also only spent the day we landed and the second day / night there and then went on to Florence, Venice then to France. All I know is that the meal we had near the Vatican Museum on the day we landed - well everything was a blur. We took oldest with us - he was 11 at the time - but I will have to post more about that trip at some point (and we just had a get together with friends yesterday and had some awesome salami encrusted with black peppercorns... YUM).
    Love your pics as always! I really need to dig mine out and start scanning. LOL xo

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    1. That is funny, that we went the same year! You must post about some of your travels, Claire. I remember you writing about how much you have traveled, and I'd love to hear about it!

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  6. I have never been to Italy - although I'm anxious to change that soon! I have heard that when dining in Italy you should always order the "house wine" and it will be fabulous. Love the pictures!!

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    1. Yes, when we were there, we had the most amazing house wine. I wanted to buy it, but we couldn't -- that is the downside of house wine!

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  7. Such gorgeous photos Amy !
    I've been to Lake Como but never to the rest of Italy - I must see it one day !
    Although I'm definitely a foodie I think I'm more about sight seeing than the food when travelling - I loved eating baguettes and cheese on our Paris trips almost as much as the 5 store restaurants we'd sometimes have to take customers to !
    xoxo

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    1. Lake Como is on my bucket list! I wanted to go this summer, but it didn't happen. Baguettes and cheese? Oh, I am swooning.

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  8. Beautiful pictures. Thank you for a lovely walk around Rome:-)
    I was in Italy a few times but Rome is not ashamed to admit I visited:-(
    And when it comes to food, it's still in my mouth taste wonderful fish soup eaten on the Polish coast in Gdansk. Fish, crisp lime and warming ginger ... yummy
    Regards

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    1. Glad you came for the walk, Iwona! I love great food with lasting memories! The fish soup sounds wonderful!

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  9. I'm not a foodie, and we don't travel much except for a yearly beach vacation, but if I can get fresh fish every day, I'm in! I love eating locally and in season, so when we head near the water, I like to order the fresh catch of the day. When we went to Greece, I couldn't get over the taste of the tomatoes, and now that I have my own garden, I know why they tasted so good - they were fresh! Thanks for posting the lovely pics of Rome, I hope to get there some day!

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    1. I hope you get there some day, too, Beth! I think everything tastes better in Europe - I think it has to do with the soil. The tomatoes in Greece were fantastic!

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  10. Like the fabled army, I travel on my stomach. Many of my travel memories are centred on what I ate, and where. Italy and Germany have food high points. China - probably some of the worst meals ever.
    You've inspired me - I'll have to pull up a food memory and write about it.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not alone in how important food is to my travel enjoyment! I think one of the reasons that I don't really want to go to China is because I'm afraid to eat the food! I can't wait to read about your food memory!

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  11. Food is most definitely an important role in my travels. If I get bad food, I get grumpy! Looks like you certainly ate well while in Rome. Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!

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    1. I get grumpy, too, Adelina! We ate extremely well all through Italy! I want to go back, and this time, I'd take photos!

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  12. Your pictures are really nice. We ate in a very good looking restaurant in a medieval village with a friend last week and the food really wasn't good. Two days later we ate in a very shabby ooking beach restaurant and it was dellicious... Don't judge a restaurant by its decor!

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    1. Thanks, Magali! I think it is true that the decor doesn't tell the story. So many restaurants think they can get by on their decor alone, and that the food doesn't need to be that good.

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  13. Ah - good memories and fabulous shots!

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    1. It was a good trip for me, too, going back eight years in time!

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  14. What a great series of stunning pictures...Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Okay, you forgot to take photos of the food, but you made up for it with all of the fantastic pics of the place!! Gorgeous images, Amy, and I actually feel like I've been there. Super snapshots, my friend!!

    Poppy

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    1. Thank you, Poppy! That just shows you how things have changed. I can't imagine going away now and not taking photos of the food!

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  16. Sounds heavenly! You made me hungry, too!

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    1. I made myself hungry...and unfortunately nothing I'd eat now could compare to what I ate there!

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  17. Nice to find your blog. We saw all those sights last fall; had a great time.

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    1. Thank you for finding me :) Italy is amazing, isn't it?

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  18. The closest I have come to Italy is watching Rick Steves Europe! But I did read a book once that said the same thing. Basically that hole in the wall restaurants are the best. If you see locals lining up, it's almost sure to be amazing!

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    1. I've done a lot of "traveling" but watching Rick Steves! I love his shows. Yes, it's true about the locals lining up, I think!

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  19. Amy, I love your "lesson" on unassuming restaurants. I think that is true many places in the world. Our rule for choosing a restaurant is pay attention to the ones the locals go to and are packed. Thanks for linking up with Weekend Travel Inspiration. I know I'm a bit late, but the first day of school is tomorrow, and we arrived at our new location only a week ago....been a bit busy! Happy new school year to Jr.Goo!

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    1. It's so true, Corinne. I know people who go on tours, and eat in all the touristy restaurants, and come home saying they don't know why everyone says the food is so good in Italy, or France! Crazy! Good luck in your new locale. I have been super busy, too, so sorry I haven't been commenting on your blog lately.

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