You have to believe me when I say that I didn’t originally plan our trip to Italy earlier this year purely for the food. Honestly. It just so happens that Italian food is, unquestionably, one of the best cuisines that we’ve ever have the pleasure of eating on our travels, and so our sightseeing trip very quickly turned into a foodie trip (with a little bit of sightseeing on the side of course).
I’ve always been a huge lover of pasta while Mr Ayla is a massive pizza fanatic, so Italy is the perfect place for us to travel together. I’ve had a bit of a craving for some proper authentic Italian food recently which has had me thinking about our time in Italy and all our delicious foodie finds, so I thought it was about time I shared these with you. We ate our way from the historic city of Florence to the gorgeous Cinque Terre and I’m pretty sure that if we hadn’t done so much hiking and walking around sightseeing we would have come back twice the size!
Cacio Vino Trallalla
It’s places like this that make me so glad I do the research before we visit a new destination as otherwise I never would have known about this place. Cacio Vino is a tiny little deli with only three tables for those lucky ones who manage to get a booking. The menu is a fairly small one but everything on it is as delicious and authentically Italian as can be.
We started with goats cheese in white chocolate and beer sauce – yes, sounds very weird, I know, but it was a wonderful start to the meal and I love to try something different. It was a little too weird for Mr Ayla but – woohoo, that only meant more for me!! I scooped up every last dollop with some fresh crusty bread.
I never knew a lasagne could taste so utterly divine but our main course was out of this world, and the polenta with ragu was almost as good. We kept swapping plates, both eager to get a bite of each other’s meals!
We then shared the trio of cheesecakes for dessert – ricotta and cream (yum), pear and chocolate (yummy) and blueberry (even yummier). Each and every one was as deliciously mouth-watering as the last and no cheesecake has been able to compete since – and I eat a lot of cheesecake!
Being the pizza fanatic that he is, of course Mr Ayla wanted to find Florence’s best pizza and it came courtesy of I’Pizzacchiere, a small relaxed restaurant at the bottom of the walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo.
There were so many different types of pizzas and toppings to choose from that I had to ask the friendly owners what they recommended otherwise I would have been there all day trying to decide. We ended up with a Four Cheese and a Sun of Florence, each one big enough to share but we greedily tucked into our own anyway. The outer edge was thick and crusty but not so filling that we couldn’t finish the soft tasty centre that oozed with mozzarella, spicy sausage and grilled peppers.
This wasn’t my favourite place to eat at in Florence and fussy eaters may struggle to find something here, but I had to include it simply because the feta cheese and plum jam crostini was so amazingly delicious. I would have been perfectly happy to eat just a whole plate of these with a few glasses of wine.
The pear ravioli that the restaurant seems to be so popular for was a little too dry for my liking but the tasty tagliatelle with guinea fowl, and some limoncello shots to end, made up for that.
You can’t go to Italy and not have gelato every day. I’m pretty sure there’s a law against it and we were more than happy to oblige. Grom was one of the best places we found for gelato, right in the centre of the city just off the main square and the Duomo. We took our pick from the vast amount of flavours on offer (which were all soft, smooth and completely heavenly by the way) and happily devoured it as we wandered around looking at the sights.
There are plenty of gelato shops all over Florence and I strongly advise you to work your way around them all. Don’t go for the ones that have the gelato piled high in tubs; go for the ones where the good stuff is stored in metal tins as these are much fresher and more natural.
You can read more about our adventures in Florence here, from The Best of Florence with Walks of Italy to Becoming a Wino in Italy. Make sure you also check out our delicious adventures Eating Our Way Around The Cinque Terre!
Do you have a favourite restaurant or foodie find in Florence? Let me know in the comments below or at: