Monday March 10, 2014
If you've trekked though Florence without a guide like Piero's, you know how treacherous the restaurant selection process may be, even if each menu sounds vaguely the same. It's the cooking of the Grandmother, often cheapened for tourists.
But things are changing:
All, no doubt, catalysts for the exciting new food movement. A 2014 guide to Italian restaurants, Le Guide de L'Espresso, declares that the vaunted cucina della nonna, or grandma's kitchen, has officially passed the blow torch to the cucina dei nipoti, the kitchen of the grandchildren. ~ Florence without pasta? The city's food scene grows up.
The article linked above has given me a hankering to try places like iO - Osteria Personale:
Chef Nicolo Baretti and owner Matteo Fantini use didactic chalk sketches to announce what's on the menu. One night we construct dinner choosing from four elements: fish, meat, vegetables and cheese. Think miraculously tender beef cheeks and celery sorbet with hazelnut crumble, paired with a marvelously spicy Chianti Classico.
Perhaps it's time to check out the new culinary scene in Florence. But if the menu scares you, there will always be a traditional restaurant around the corner, and maybe it will have to pay a little more attention to quality in the near future.
Saturday March 8, 2014
One of the Italian big three, The Serene Republic of Venice is a mere skeleton of what it once was. Still, its sinking bones glimmer brightly for the tourist to this unique island treasure.
Over the years we've poked into the nooks and crannies to come up with our favorite places to visit, nibble, quibble, quaff wine, and learn about the rise of Venice to a world power--and now we'd like to share them with you. Like any work of this nature, the story never ends, but gets added to and revised, painted over and rearranged, but this is our start of a "Complete" guide to the things we treasure about La Serenissima: Venice Travel Guide.
Monday March 3, 2014
Lots of people search this site looking for tips on travel safety. Well, here's one: how 'bout a slipping a SLAB magic RFID travel wallet into one of your more out-of-the-way pockets? The SLAB is a thin, three-plate metal wallet that's made of your choice of titanium or aluminum. You can stuff it anywhere, even in unlikely places. You can put your big bills in one space and the little ones in another, so when you buy an ice cream you're not flashing the big stuff you were going to use on that Bistecca Fiorentina.
You can't buy one quite yet. But you can invest in the concept. You see, this is a Kickstarter project that ends on March 5th. Check it out. Invest if you're so inclined. Seems they need quite a few more dollars to start making something artisanal to put in your pocket.
You know what I like? It's the metal and the little, precisely driven screws that hold the whole deal together. It's like a fine camera, workmanship you don't see much of anymore. In a wallet. Think about that.
I want one.
Photo of the SLAB Travel Wallet used by permission
Monday March 3, 2014
Reader Kathy Love, who spends part of her time at her home in southwest France, has come through with a great recommendation on where to stay when visiting Bruges. It's been incorporated into our Recommended Bruges Lodging page.
Kathy has also recommended a newly discovered underground cavern called Grottes de Maxanges, which we will soon incorporate into our Dordogne Maps and Travel Planner page.
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