2015 Italy Food Diaries, Day 1

Our oldest son and I arrived in Italy today.  It is my 5th visit (as a grown up) and his very first.  He’s quite the food guy, so I’m making an effort to diary our culinary adventures.  Here’s day 1….

First, the travel progression to arrive in this fabulous destination.  We live a modest lifestyle, our biggest indulgence being an annual escape to Italy. So, well, I’m pretty darn frugal.  Which means we don’t generally book flights through Bradley and lately we have been flying into Milan. It’s about 30% cheaper than flying into Rome.  (We also flew American this year, and I totally recommend Emirates Air, which we flew last year.) Anyhoo, when you fly frugal, your travel path may look something like this:

Drive 3 hours to JFK Airport, and use the cheap and convenient Park Plus Airport Parking. (That place really is so easy and efficient, but their restroom facilities are a bit sketchy…or should I say a good warm-up for the Italian public restroom scene. FYI, TMI, always BYOTP.)

Take the parking shuttle to the terminal.

Check bags and go through security (and do a little dance when you somehow score TSA Pre-Check status and don’t even have to remove your shoes!)

Board plan for 8 hour flight. (I am a very poor vertical sleeper)

Arrive in Milan and go through customs, baggage claim and bathroom stop.

Board Malpensa Express airport train shuttle to central train station.

Take 3 hour train from Milan to Rome….because that’s where all roads and rail tracks lead to.

Grab 10 minute taxi to rental apartment in Trastevere (because the adventure of a Roman bus is not best tackled with luggage, no matter how lightly you pack.)

Brief power nap.

So basically 18 hours later we are in the Eternal City. Plan for next year: expand blog base from 35 followers to 35,000, capture some prime advertising dollars, and buy a first class ticket on a more direct flight. Hey, a girl can dream, right ? 🙂

But I digress. Before I forget the food (and pass out from travel exhaustion), here’s a little look at our first day of food in Italy.

Breakfast: continental something in a box on the plane. Nothing to write home about but the view over the alps was phenomenal.


The brief snack stop at the Milano train station is something I’d rather not discuss. {Brings back the same feelings of disappointment from the time we ate in Piazza Navona for dinner on our first visit)

Acclimation stroll around Trastevere neighborhood – delicious artesanal gelato. Joe got chocolate chip and gianduia (chocolate hazelnut).  Quite delicious, I will find out name tomorrow. (I opted for a caffe macchiato at the next bar).

We walked over to Campo dei Fiori to meet our travel companions and popped into Norcineria Viola for some amazing salumi samples. In honor of my husband (who is staying home this trip to watch our other monkeys) we left with a small package of delicious ciangiale (wild boar) salami.  (Thank goodness for this little blog, or I would have forgotten that the savory little package was still in my purse).

Off to dinner at Da Francesco, on Piazza del Fico, near Navona.  Our go-to favorite dinner spot. Not fancy, reasonable priced, always delicious.  We dined early with the tourist crowd at 7pm….we usually arrive there after 10, but our jet-lagged bodies (and younger travelers) couldn’t manage that today. We were all in at 120 euro for 6 people, including a few bottles of house red, still and bubbly waters, foccacia with lardo (trust me), Jewish style artichokes, linguine with baby clams, a carbonara dish, a bolognese pasta, another pasta with abundant black truffles, a spicy gnocchi with artichokes and shrimp, and a crispy flatbread white pizza with parmesan, wild baby asparagus and a sunny side egg. We love the waiters there, they don’t mess around…no fancy cocktails, not even coffee service…just good fresh food with seasonal ingredients.



Finished our night with gelato at Quinto Gelateria just around the block.  The guys at Da Francesco recommended Quinto. Lots of flavors, friendly staff, but not my favorite gelato. A bit on the icy (not so creamy) side….and I had Creme Caramel and Tiramisu flavors.  I would add, however, it wasn’t exactly gelato weather around here this week, so maybe it wasn’t as fresh as it might otherwise be.

Pardon the lengthy ramble…this series is partial blog, partial diary. More tomorrow, when we hit the cobblestones with a day long wander around the city….with very frequent food breaks. Grazie for reading….buona notte from Roma!


One thought on “2015 Italy Food Diaries, Day 1

  1. Sadly, I am just getting to reading the accounts of your travels. Probably because I was insanely jealous and just wanted to be there. Can’t wait to read more and catch upon person!


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