It all started with a game of pool with a friend. After loosing horribly, numerous times, I brought up my approaching vacation time and asked for suggestions of places I should go. I needed a trip that would inspire my culinary interests. My friend responded by asking, “want to go to Europe?”, and of course I said, “yes!”. It took us about a two weeks to narrow down where we wanted to go and it was concluded by asking a random person which would they choose: Venice or Barcelona. From the title, I am sure you guessed Venice. I don’t speak Italian so Barcelona would have been a better choice as I speak some Spanish, but none the less, I am going to Italy and trying to learn the language. I downloaded a free podcast to teach me the basics of the language and phrases that will help me get around. As the date of departure was slowly coming closer, my friend and I began to realize that we needed to figure out where in Italy we are going to go, and instead of me explaining, I am going to show you on a map.
We land in Venice on Halloween; not planned at all but I am very excited about it. The goal of this trip is to hit as many food shops and vineyards as possible. The first two nights we will start in Venice. I am most interested in the architecture and wine bars in this city.
Next stop, the Dolomites. I am looking forward to mountain biking, Austrian influenced cuisine, and fresh mountain cheeses.After a few nights in the mountains we head to Parma, food mecca of Italy. All I can say about the Emilia-Romagna is “wow”. Home to Parma ham, the best balsamic vinegars, and the Ferrari museum; I don’t know what I am most excited about!
After what I assume to be a glutinous trip in the Emilia-Romangna region of Italy, we head to the Italian Riviera. There is more beauty there then I will know what to do with. Five stunning coastal villages with breathtaking views, vertical vineyards, foccacia, and home to the rich, basil sauce, pesto, I hope my stomach will have room for all that food!
The next part of the trip will be a wine tour of the Tuscany region followed by a historical experience in Florence. The Duomo is one of the most fascinating buildings in Italy and it has always impressed me. Renaissance art and the statue of David are other highlights of the town.
Next stop, Riccione. We will get to experience the east coast of Italy by bicycle. Home to numerous bike hotels, we will ride or way up the coast; hopefully working off all the food we ate in the previous week.
Our final night will be spent back in Venice preparing for the long flight home back to the states with as much wine as we can fit in our suitcases.