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Bella Tuscany!  Beautiful handpicked vegetables from Alessandra’s garden, she and her husband Giovanni own the villa where I stayed.  What a lovely couple (baby Francesco too!) – they took us to an Andrea Bocelli concert in his tiny Tuscan hometown, one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had.  Grazie mille!!  :-)

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The dining room in our beautiful villa.  Doesn’t it make you want a bowl of fettucine alfredo and a heavy goblet of red wine?

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Our villa was located in the tiny, friendly village of Fauglia.  If you go there, eat dinner here.  Every night.  Send me a thank you note.

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Day trip to beautiful Florence.  WOW.  What an amazing city…the little hidden places….

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and the food…mamma mia!!  My friend Madison loves Pasta al Sugo. 

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After a week in Tuscany and Florence, it’s time to head to Venice.  What a gorgeous, frustrating city!  Being a New Yorker, getting from A to B is very important to me, Venice requires you to plan in advance for that.  Preferably before consuming molto Bellini’s.

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So many pretty streets, so little time.

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And on to Roma!  Where all roads lead.  I want to eat everything in sight.  I think I can handle this entire mortadella on my own.  Italy makes me ravenous.

cafe.jpg Scusi! Uno caffe espresso per favore?  Ahhhh……delicioso.  Ancora!!

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And of course, the gelato.  I ate it in Tuscany, Florence, Venice and Rome.  I ate it morning, afternoon and evening.  And before bed.  I felt an obligation to my SugarCookieBrooklyn readers to eat as much of it as possible.  I did a good job.  I’m back in Brooklyn, and hitting the gym a little harder than usual.  It was worth it!!  I ate, drank, licked, laughed and photographed my way through some of the greatest cities in the world, I will never forget the sights, tastes and aromas that I was fortunate enough to experience, and can’t wait to return again some day.  A presto Italia!    :-)

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21 Comments

  1. Bella Bella Italia-
    your lovely photographs remind me of what a wonderful country Italy is. Now I want to go back there again soon!
    ciao,
    Jan

    • pstone
    • Posted August 4, 2007 at 12:16 pm
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    The photos look great! Amber rocks the Kasbah!

    • Adin
    • Posted August 4, 2007 at 1:07 pm
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    Fantastic pics! You really capture the essence of the cities…and the food!
    Bravo!
    Adin

    • mike
    • Posted August 4, 2007 at 4:18 pm
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    You are making my resolve weaken with all the talk about food. I see I am going to have to make a trip to Vinny’s of Carroll Gardens. No its not Italy but its the closest I can afford at this time. Great pictures……damn I’m hungry. :)

  2. Sorry, mike, that’s what I do…talk about food! At least when I’m not eating it. Go to Vinny’s – hurry up before I get there and eat all the meat balls.

    • mike
    • Posted August 5, 2007 at 1:11 pm
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    Mmmmmmmm meat balls!

    I live in Forest Hills so Vinny’s is safe……for now.

  3. Hey Mike – alert us when you’re coming over! And at the risk of offending all the loyal Vinny’s lovers (and I am one)…the meatballs over at Frankies 457 Court Street Spuntino are UNBELIEVABLE. They are my absolute favorite in this neighborhood. Where Vinny’s are classic and straightforward – these have a Sicilian twist – raisins and pignoli nuts. Trust me on this tip. And since we are both practicing caloric resolve…I order just these meatballs (or Frankies yummy bracialo) and a salad, and life is GOOD. :-)

    • marlz
    • Posted August 6, 2007 at 10:19 am
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    The pictures are amazing. You really get around!!

    I know it isn’t fair but if you had to pick one, which was the best meal you had during your trip?

  4. Thanks Marlz!! Hmmm..the best meal…it would have to be at La Gattaiola in Fauglia – the sign is pictured here – the owner comes to your table to tell you their offerings – in Italian of course – SO enthusiastically it seems as if he’s singing. He practically dances a bit while doing it. Since you have no idea what he said you just nod your head a lot and smile. He then brings a succession of dishes made from the most in season, local, fresh fare that Tuscany has to offer. And a few bottles of red wine from the grapes that you drove by on your way to the restaurant. Their pasta bolognese changed my view of that dish forever. The noodles were thin and flat and very yellow – homemade of course, and the meat sauce was SO perfect and…well…meaty! They also did a plain spaghetti noodle, also very yellow and homemade, with local olive oil and fresh truffles (not for everyone, but I ADORE them)- unbelievable. Thanks for letting me reminisce! :)

    • Kay
    • Posted August 6, 2007 at 2:08 pm
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    Just saw Italy through your fantastic Sugar Cookie lens….what gorgeous pics! Thanks for sharing. Your own B&W self-portrait ain’t too shabby either! J

  5. Thanks Kay!! Keep those compliments coming everyone… ;-)

    • Nicole
    • Posted August 6, 2007 at 6:17 pm
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    I want to go!!!!

    • Micky
    • Posted August 6, 2007 at 6:48 pm
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    I will pay to see you eat that whole Mortadella! Don’t think dirty thoughts, it will be like watching the Coney Island Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest!

    The pictures are excellent. The shot in Venice looks like it was lit by Fellini!!!

    • Naree
    • Posted August 7, 2007 at 8:03 pm
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    SCB, your photos are gorgeous! I sent your link to my sister and she asked me if you do photography professionally too! I agree… these are right out of Fine Living… or one of those home mags.

    I’m almost drooling… gotta go eat something right now :)

    • Jojo
    • Posted August 8, 2007 at 6:17 pm
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    beautiful – take me w/ you next time! EZ E

  6. Nicole – you SHOULD go, you would love it! But word has it you’re off to Paris…not too shabby!

    Micky – how much exactly would you pay? ;-)

    Naree – thanks!! Glad you liked the pics and they inspired some snacking…

    Jojo – you’re on! We’ll do the Amalfi Coast, bring your package (you know what I mean!) and we’ll make a nice movie in Positano…..

    • mike
    • Posted August 10, 2007 at 11:13 pm
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    I hope all the meat balls did not get blown away by the tornado!

    :)

  7. No worries…the meatballs are SAFE! But a tornado touching down in BAY RIDGE??? I might’ve cause that actually, I’m not sure… ;-)

    • Valerie
    • Posted September 6, 2007 at 12:04 pm
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    I love the pictures, I love the food, I LOVE ITALY!

    • mike
    • Posted January 23, 2008 at 10:48 pm
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    Hello! Anybody home?

  8. mike!!! You’re definitely my biggest (and possibly only-est) fan! Sorry for the silence, promise to be back with some good stuff in the near future! Thanks for visiting and sticking with me! :-)


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