All posts tagged: Italy

A Year in Review

I can’t believe it’s August already!  Exactly one year ago yesterday I gained up the courage to post on this blog about my adventures in Europe.  Although it mainly started as a way for my friends and family to follow what I was up to in my studies abroad, I realized how much I liked writing about the things I was up to even after returning to Toronto.  I never in a million years thought I would have started a blog; I hated any kind of writing until recently.  Somehow that changed quickly and I have had so much positive feedback from everyone around me as well as so many great suggestions for future posts, which has been a huge help as well.  Instead of a typical blog post today, I decided to just compile a bunch of my favourite pictures from the past year to reminisce on all the things I’ve done and had the opportunities to do because of this as well.  Looking back on the photos has been so much fun and …

Rack of Lamb, Cauliflower, and Green Bean Salad

I might not be able to eat solid foods for the next few days (thank you dental surgery), but that won’t stop be from writing about it.  Last night was my last big meal for the next few days so we were going to make something good. My choice was a rack of lamb; my dad took charge of the meat while I called the sides.  It was a very simple rack of lamb recipe; just rosemary, thyme, and garlic to flavour the rack. My creative side had a chance to take charge here.  First of all, I cut up three quarters of a cauliflower into small bits that I then mixed with a splash of olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper.  Placed evenly at the bottom of a baking dish, it went in the oven next to the lamb for about 20-25 minutes at around 400°.  The rest was for a purée which I will explain shortly. Next was to make a green bean salad.  The green beans were cooked in boiling water for …

The Bests of Italy

With school starting in less than a week, I’ve got unpacking, packing, and moving on my mind which consequently means the end to my travels abroad for the summer of 2014.  Through ups and downs, but wait, no downs; it has been a great opportunity in every way possible.  To conclude my trip, I can’t wait to sum up all my faves from the past 6 weeks.  So for those looking to travel Italy or those just curiously reading, enjoy! Best Gelato – This is a toss-up.  Not only did I get to try the best awarded Nocciola gelato of 2014 in San Gimignano, but I discovered other flavours that blew me away; and lucky for me a few weren’t far from home!  The chain Amorino, which I visited in Milan, had an amazing selection and incredible depth to their flavours.  Their salted caramel definitely came out on top!  Being a HUGE salted caramel fan, I can get a little picky at times, but I had no critiques, absolutely perfect!  The Gelateria delle Olmo in …

Onward from Siena

A whole “semester” gone already; it’s hard to believe that five whole weeks have flown by in Italia.  I could go on and on about the goodbyes I had to say, but none of them were truly goodbye.  The amazing thing about this experience is that the people I got to know and become great friends with are people who live in the same city as I do; this was a mere opportunity to get to know one another in a different place.  So to those reading this from our summer abroad program, I will see you all very soon! Enough with the goodbyes, and onto new places!  After finishing classes on Thursday, my parents and I whisked off to Pisa for some lunch and a visit to this leaning tower I had never heard of before (kidding).  But this was only a stop in our journey to Monterosso, part of the Cinque Terre region.  With plans of hiking along the coast on Friday, we were in need of some good Ligurian food to get …

Roma, Roma, Roma…

Sorry for the delay, we were stuck without internet for a few days at our apartment in Rome but that just means a bigger and better post for tonight!  Another week in Italy has come and gone, time is flying by.  This past week was our last trip as a class and my last weekend with the amazing friends I’ve made on this trip and we saved the best for last: ROME!  Rome wasn’t necessarily my favourite city, but this weekend was by far my favourite.  The people, the adventures, the nights, and the sights!  My favourite sites in Rome were definitely the Piazza Navona and the Tempietto.  The big monuments such as the Colosseum, Trajan’s market, and so on were all amazing as well but it was the little things that are either hidden or less massive that made more of an impression on me.  One thing that I won’t forget, and was rather tough, were my repeats on the cobble stone around the Colosseum.  At 7AM and barely anyone in sight, the area …

The Palio!

Since I last wrote things in Siena have been nuts, of course all induced by the famous Palio that takes places twice a year.  A tradition stemming from medieval times, the Palio di Siena consists of a grueling horse race around the Piazza del Campo where 10 of the 17 contradas (neighbourhoods) take part.  The only comparison I can give to those who haven’t witnessed the Palio would be to like winning the Stanley Cup (sorry Toronto, I know it’s very hard to imagine).  The people of Siena dress up in traditional clothing and spend countless night’s prepping and celebrating the coming event.  Having been stopped multiple times in the street myself, the various parades of horses, jockeys, and other contrada members halt traffic in any direction and will go at any length (including violently throwing children out of the way, I’m fully serious) to keep their front runners free of any interceptions.  On Friday I was stopped around the piazza by this parade which included a bull-drawn carriage that was bringing up the rear …

A foodie’s paradise in Montalcino

Although this week didn’t consist of any big travels, we had one of the best experiences I could have asked for.  With our class we visited Montalcino to visit a particular contemporary art instsallation, but luckily for us, our professor knew a restaurant that could make us a lunch to go along with the trip.  Along with a Brunello from the area, we had a lunch you wouldn’t believe! I won’t go into detail with the wine (to be honest, it definitely wasn’t a top Brunello) but the lunch really set the bar high!  To start, we had some of the classics.  A tomato bruschetta, as well as three other variations; these were mushroom and garlic, tartufo, and black olive.  My personal favourites were the latter two.  I had never had truffles before this trip, they were only rumours to me, so I was definitely up for a try.  It was without a doubt one of the richest and deepest flavours of mushroom, yet not overpowering.  The smooth texture of the tartufo was only a …