All posts filed under: Italy

Mapping Bourdain

As travel shows go, the many incarnations of Anthony Bourdain’s philosophical and very real take on food, yes, but more than that, culture, is definitely a must. Though Brasserie┬áLe Halles, the now New York staple he used to helm (where my boyfriend was very sweet to have taken me), did not live up to expectations as far as steakhouses, we religiously watch old episodes of No Reservations shot in places we’re going so we can choose a few spots for our own map of places to check off our bucket list du jour. Turkey: Uphill and Soggy Buns Turkey, for example, was especially interesting. We decided our first night in Istanbul that we were going to walk to Durumzade, a small spot where Tony swears the Adana kebab was the best. It was quite an adventure as we did not know that we had to walk uphill to the restaurant. We walked until we finally gave up and hailed a cab a block from the place and got to our goal: Anthony Bourdain’s recommended kebab. …

When in Rome…

There is an age-old belief that if you make a wish and throw a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder into the Fontana Di Trevi, you are sure to go back to Rome. It was also one of the items on my bucket list — so when we had the chance to go to Rome during our Mediterranean Cruise early last year, we made our way to the Trevi Fountain. As expected it was very crowded, but we still managed to squeeze into a nice spot in front, throw our respective coins, and make a wish. Later the same year, we were back in Rome. Have you made a wish at the Fontana Di Trevi? I was very happy to have checked this off my bucket list last year. What is on your bucket list that you would like to check off this coming year?

World Heritage Site Tuesday: The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa has always been on my bucket list, and when we went on our Mediterranean cruise last year, I finally had the opportunity to see the famous destination. We did our research prior to traveling and learned that Pisa is far from the port. This is the reason we decided that this time around instead of taking local modes of transportation on our own like what we did the rest of the stops, we would try one of the tours offered by the cruise line. The tour bus was crowded as expected, but the most unfortunate thing about this is that you don’t own your time. At one point we had to wait for our tour guide for an hour, time that we could have used exploring the area. In addition, not everyone on the tour came back on the time specified which caused a lot of delays. We later found out through experience that if we would have paid for a private tour, it would have cost us less than …

Pizzas from Around the World

On a quintessential Eat, Pray, Love scene, Julia Roberts tells her friend Sofi: “I’m so tired of saying no and waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before. Counting every calorie I consume so I know exactly how much self-loathing to take into the shower. I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese. I’m just through with the guilt. So this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to finish this pizza and then we’re going to go watch the soccer game, and tomorrow, we’re going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans.” I don’t recall exactly how it was written in Liz Gilbert’s book, the title character Roberts was playing, but the gist of it is the same — giving yourself permission to enjoy life’s simple pleasures without conforming to society’s ideals of beauty. I personally believe in allowing myself to indulge — after all, we only live once and there is no sense being unhappy. In the …

Wednesday Sightings: Signs Around Italy

When we were walking our way through Rome, one of the things that we found interesting were the signs on the road. They are similar to the “do not enter signs” we have here in the US but with a twist, and although definitely not the same exact signs, if there is one thing I have learned in my travels, there are things that are universal, that we all have more in common than we think — and no matter the location and variation, the signs mean the same as we are used to. We found the same themes on the signs when we were walking with our tour group in Florence (I will write about this tour another time). We of course snapped photos when we we can.

The Colosseum By Day and Night

I have decided to dedicate Tuesdays* to World Heritage Sites, places listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as those that have special significance, whether physical or cultural in nature. One of the most memorable I have visited so far being the Historic Center of Rome, which of course includes the Colosseum. It was a long train ride from the cruise ship to Rome, and the train was full of tourists. We saved a lot of money for not taking a cab, but if you are claustrophobic, I would not recommend this option. When we got to our stop, we walked to our destination. We had a full day planned in Rome — my loving boyfriend, a.k.a. Mr. Navigator and super planner mapped out all our destinations, including points of interest along our walking path. It was definitely a great way to see a city like Rome if you don’t mind walking, as you would see a lot of old, scenic streets and avoid crowded commuter trains. The Colosseum, which is …