Trastevere Food Tour

If you’ve followed along with me, you may have read about a food tour we did in Florence. One of our favorite things we’ve done in Europe. So we thought we’d try another one 🙂 This time we booked a tour with Eating Italy Tours.

Our party had 4 adults and 4 kids (ages 1-12). We didn’t pay for the baby because she wasn’t eating her own portions, but the other kids we did pay a discounted rate for. The kids did great on the tour. We all got a little bit of history and the kids were kept entertained by all the snacks and treats! Our tour was in the Trastevere neighborhood on the south side of the Tiber river. It was wonderful to be guided around the area, because we probably wouldn’t have do it on our own and our guide knew exactly where to go for the best stuff!

Here’s a peak at some of what we sampled.

IMG_6269

IMG_6283

IMG_1188IMG_1193IMG_1194IMG_1201IMG_1222

IMG_1233

Here we are being led through the back part of a bakery. Seeing where the pizza and foccia are made! And yes I’m pushing my stroller right through there.

Not pictured here are the artisan gelato spot, ristorante where we ate spaghetti carbonara and ravioli, the ancient wine cellar, and the cookie bakery. Definitely come hungry to a food tour. By the end, my husband’s stomach hurt so bad because he hadn’t moderated his portions well at the beginning. Take your time and sample everything, but be careful not to overdo it. It isn’t a cheap thing to do on your trip, but from my experience food tours are well-worth the money! Our nephew grew very fond of our guide Francesca. He was a little heartbroken to say goodbye to her.

IMG_1253

Francesca and our nephew, best buddies!

As a side note, in Rome these water fountains are everywhere. It is fresh running drinking water. I found them to be a life saver, especially when in most other european cities water is only purchased by the bottle and often more than beer or wine! Bring water bottles around with you and fill up whenever you see one!

IMG_6352

Our nephew demonstrating how to turn it into a water fountain you can drink straight from if you don’t have a bottle.

After all the walking during the food tour, we decided to find a place to sit down and sip some drinks. IMG_1295

And baby girl decided to test out a Vespa.

IMG_6363

Later that evening, we miraculously made room in our tummies for some dinner. We chose a restaurant not too far from the Trevi Fountain. We put some tables together outside, and after being in the stroller most of the day, my daughter was ready to move around. She set off crawling down the street and sidewalk. Of course, she ended up covered in dirt and dust. Before I could sit her down to wipe her down with baby wipes, this sweet Nonna scooped her up and practically bathed her in the bar of the restaurant. It was so cute. I’m not used to getting help like that from strangers, and in this instance I did really appreciate her helping me out!

IMG_1367

Wondering why she’s getting washed off by Nonna.

IMG_1376

Getting some water before dinner.

We closed the night by wandering back by the Pantheon, isn’t it gorgeous at night?! I just love going back through these pictures, Rome is a wonderful place to visit! Food, architecture, history, so much to offer!

IMG_1447

Positano

Our final destination on our grand Italian adventure was Positano on the Amalfi Coast.  We took a bus from Sorrento to Positano.  I hear the drive was gorgeous with beautiful coastline and rocky cliffs.  However, I had my head down for about 90% of the ride, trying not to be nauseous-the roads are super curvy and the A/C on the bus wasn’t exactly pumping.  Ah the joys of motion sickness…

I felt much better getting off the bus when I saw the view.  Paradise.

 We quickly found our hotel, dropped off our bags and changed so we could head down to the beach.  The streets are lined with boutiques, art galleries, and made-while-you-wait sandal shops.

We found a small market shop and grabbed some picnic supplies and sunscreen.

Giant lemons were all over Italy!

Then we spent the day relaxing in the sun!  The water was beautiful, but our wading got a little cut short in the afternoon because we kept seeing jellyfish!  We saw probably 3 of them, and that was enough for me.  It was kind of cool to see one, and luckily we saw them before we got stung.

After the beach we went back to the room to get cleaned up and then had a car pick us up and drive us to dinner.

View from our room’s terrace, not too shabby.

I wish we would’ve taken better pictures at dinner, but when you’re in the moment, it’s kind of embarrassing to be the tourist taking pictures in the close quarters of a restaurant.  Anyway this restaurant was hanging on the hill, overlooking the ocean.  The tables were literally across the street (small street, but still) from the restaurant.  So the waiters had to cross traffic to get to us.  We both ordered pasta with lobster (me) and crab (Hubby).  We thought we were just getting pasta with some chunks of meat in it.  My plate came out with half of the lobster and his with a huge crab with the biggest claw I’ve ever seen!

You can kind of see my lobster through the wine glasses, and yes-I’m wearing a bib
Giant crab for dinner.

Another wonderful meal in an idyllic setting!  We had one more day in Positano before our trip was coming to an end.  The plans for the next day were to hit the high seas…

Florence and the Foodies

Our second day in Florence we had something really fun and different planned.  We booked a tour called Florence for Foodies.  It’s a tour based all around the local food-best idea ever!  The tour we did met at the Accademia gallery, the home of Michelangelo’s famous David statue.  The city has a couple copies of the statue out on display various places, but none of them can come close to the beauty of the real thing.

Source– I like this picture because it gives you an idea of the scale of it

 Our tour guide brought us in and told us a lot about the background of Florence during the time the statue was being sculpted and about Michelangelo too.  It is so massive and realistically carved, that it truly is amazing to see.  It’s formed from a single block of marble, so there was little room for error.  It’s amazing the talent that Michelangelo had to be able to sculpt something like this freehand without models and back in the 1500’s without any modern technology.

After viewing this masterpiece our group (which was just four of us) went to a nearby bakery for some pastries and coffee.  Then our guide Sam took us to the central market, kind of like the Pike Place Market of Florence.  This is where a lot of the locals come to eat lunch and do their shopping.  We started with something I swore I wouldn’t try-tripe sandwiches, AKA cow stomach lining sandwiches.  I couldn’t finish it, but I did try it and I was proud of myself for that.  I might have been able to if I didn’t know what I was eating.  This is a common and traditional food in this region and by lunchtime there was a huge line of people waiting to get some, so hey, it can’t be that bad.

We moved on to some much more appetizing foods like fresh bread, dessert wine, almond cookies, salami, cheese, olives, sun dried tomatoes, more wine, olive oil, balsamic vinegars, more wine, pesto, prosecco, and finishing it all with gelato.  It was amazing.  Some of my favorite things we tried were definitely the pecorino cheese with black truffles, all the balsamic vinegars, and the pistachio flavored gelato.  I’m so glad we did this tour.  We probably wouldn’t have gone into the market otherwise and it was amazing.  I learned so much about the food of the region and it felt like getting the VIP treatment in there.  We had our own little private tasting sessions, and people walking by kept trying to lean in and get samples too not realizing it was a private tour.

With our tour-mates from Wales.
Sam explaining the different cheeses and salamis and how they’re made.
The market had tons of beautiful produce.

Olives and sun dried tomatoes.
In a little wine cellar tasting prosecco.

Again, can’t say enough how fun the tour was.  I’ve never seen a food tour listed for another city, but if I run across one, I will definitely be signing us up!  I would definitely do this again, worth every penny!  For the rest of the day we explored the city.

On the Ponte Vecchio (old bridge) over the Arno River.

We visited the Basilica of St. Croce where Michelangelo and Galileo are buried.  This church had a much more interesting and intricate interior than the Duomo.  There were many different frescoes, statues, and interesting floor work.

Galileo’s tomb
Michelangelo’s tomb.
The courtyard of the church.

That night we watched some more Eurocup because Italy was playing and we were trying to embrace the European sports scene.  By the end of the trip we are both much more interested in soccer and can actually name several players.  And we definitely had the Eurocup “jingle” in our heads for multiple days.  Now it was time to say farewell to Florence and hello to Rome.