Visiting Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome was always on my bucket list, but the balance of time and money never allowed me the opportunity until now as I was saving for this 2 weeks vacation for a year. I know it sounds a bit crazy, so many people have experienced it, seen it and enjoyed it at a young age, and here I am in my 30s, finally visiting these beautiful and astonishing places. With that being said, I appreciated this vacation that much more. The sights, the history, the culture, the people, the food…all of which I found truly amazing.
This page is dedicated to the most patient person I’ve ever known, my husband. Thank you for putting up with me when I was tired and hungry, and not judging me when I told you the gelatos were talking to me as I had one everyday in Italy…but most importantly, thank you for joining me on this amazing adventure!
When people tell you Paris is beautiful, they are not just saying it, they are really feeling it! I finally understand what others are feeling.
Le Palmier, Paris
On our first day we thought we were going to take it easy, easy turned out to be strolling everywhere. We decided to be very touristy so we stopped at Le Palmier which is across the street from the Moulin Rouge. Here, we ordered cappuccinos, a cheese plate which was superb, and pate on baguette. While eating outside and relaxing, we were people watching and saw lines of people attending the Moulin Rouge.
This brasserie was very close to our hotel. It was about 10:30pm and we were looking for some food. Unfortunately, the kitchens were beginning to close at restaurants. Lucky for us, Cafe Gymnase was still serving a few items on their menu. We got ourselves the Croque Monsieur and the Niçoise Salad! I already knew that cheese tasted better in Paris, but this is when I realized that the vegetables tasted better too!
La Chope D’ Enghein, Paris
On a day we couldn’t wake up for our complimentary continental breakfast, we grabbed a quick bite at a nearby brasserie while figuring out our game plan for the day! Cappuccinos, Croissant and Buttered Up Baguette, the perfect breakfast! I was glad we missed our free breakfast at the hotel!
It was time for our visit to Laduree as we walked along the remarkable Avenue des Champs-Elysées! When I told my hubby about how they have the famous macarons, he had no idea that we were going to be waiting in a long line with no air conditioner. But with my big smile the entire time in heat, he decided to give in! I loved these puffy sweet macarons!
Madeleine Bastille, Paris
After another day of roaming around Paris, we were hungry! We stopped by Madeleine Bastille, lucky for us, they had English translation on their menu. Although the guy waiting on our table didn’t seem like a happy guy, we really enjoyed the food! The Escargots were really fresh, the Seared Foie Gras was sooooo good but I didn’t love the sweet flavors of the bread it was served with, the rare Steak Frites and Lamb Chops were simply amazing! My hubby wasn’t asked how he preferred his steak, luckily he loves rare because it was completely rare and tender!
Maison de Gyros, Paris
After we enjoyed the Notre Dame Cathedral, we decided to go to the Latin Quarter for some Gyros! There were quite a few of gyro joints but the one that caught our eyes was Maison de Gyros, the food was damn good!
Au Cadran Voltaire, Paris
After strolling in Bastille, it was time for a stop at another random brasserie, Au Cadran Voltaire. Here, we enjoyed Cappuccino, Iced Coffee and Crème Brûlée! The beauty of Paris, you can stop for caffeine just about anywhere! My hubby and I love watching foot traffic, and sitting here was truly relaxing. The best part of our stop here was we met this wonderful sweet 70 year old lady named Dominque who we ended up talking to for almost an hour. It was here that I think my hubby learned how to say goodbye the French way, with the kisses on the cheeks, that warmed my heart.
Un Jour à Paris, Paris
We found this restaurant on tripadvisor.com and wanted to check it out since it was close to our hotel! The menu was only in French and the staff spoke minimal English, it was like a quaint Parisian mom and pop restaurant. We loved it cause it seemed like a local joint! We ordered the fresh Escargots with lots of pesto and garlic, the fatty and smooth Foie Gras au Torchon, the best Smoked Salmon Salad I’ve ever had and last but not least, the tender Beef Bourguignon! The food was incredible and I’m so happy we tried it!
Venice was very touristy but a historic place in itself. We found ourselves getting lost over and over again through the small streets, bridge after bridge. Definitely a destination you should see once in your life!
Eating in Venice…
During our stay in Venice, we didn’t keep up with the names of the places we ate. So, all I can say is pictures speak a thousand words! My suggestion, walk around, Venice is definitely expensive at most places. We tried restaurants tucked in the streets instead of restaurants along the water. If there were quite a few people dining there, that was a good sign!
Florence was such a great small city, also very touristy but such a lovely city! You can walk just about everywhere and discover beauty. Our adventure in Florence made me fall in love with Michelangelo.
As we were walking around, I noticed a cute Mushroom shaped Meringue with Chocolate that caught my eye so we had to stop in! My eyes were so happy as they laid eyes on the pretty and soft looking baked goods! Cappuccino and sweets…thank you Antica Pasticceria Sieni!
There are so many bakeries in Florence…I didn’t get the name of this place but the Cannoli was yummy!
Gelato and Waffles…
In Florence, there are quite a few places that sell Waffles with Nutella and of course Gelato! So one night we just had to try these warm crispy Waffles sandwiched with Nutella and of course, a Spagnola (Amarena Cherry & Vanilla) Gelato too!
Pizzeria A Taglio, Florence
We were really hungry as we were going to the Cathedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore. Before we reached the cathedral we saw Pizzeria A Taglio in Piazza San Giovanni. It was a pretty busy joint so we got a slice of the Sausage Meatball and a slice of the Artichoke Heart, Mushroom and Olives! They heated it up and the pizza was perfectly crisp on the bottom! Sooo good…sooo good!
I read about La Burrasca on tripadvisor.com so we decided to give it a try! This restaurant serves traditional Florentine cuisines. We ordered the Vegetable Soup which was very thick, the Pecorino Cheese Platter featuring 3 of different ages, a very delicious Ravioli and the famous Boiled Meat featuring tender beef tongue and more. It’s a great place to enjoy classic Florentine dishes!
Mercato Centrale, Florence
We loved our visit to the Mercato Centrale! This place was so lively and we walked around figuring out what to eat for lunch! The 2 stalls that caught our eyes, the very busy Perini and Nerbone! At Perini, you will smile as you see the Prosciuttos hanging throughout the stall. A very nice man behind the counter made us our very tasty Prosciutto with Sun Dried Tomatoes Sandwich! Of course we had to get the Boiled Roast Beef Sandwich from Nerbone too! The line at Nerbone was long, but for 3 euros, I can’t blame people for waiting! Both of these sandwiches were very different and very good! We definitely enjoyed the warm Boiled Roast Beef Sandwich more though, the fat was sliced off and the parsley/basil sauce and hot sauce they included enhanced the flavors!
Trattoria al Vecchio Mercato, Florence
Located in the Piazza del Mercato Centrale, there are many restaurants to choose from. We went to Trattoria al Vecchio Mercato and didn’t know what to expect but they were quite busy. We got ourselves a fresh Ham and Olives Salad, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Frutti di Mare, Grilled Veal with Porcinis in Marsala Sauce and the Creme Caramel for dessert! We were so happy we gave this place a try, the prices were reasonable and the food was simply delicious!
Boiled Meat Stall outside the Mercato Centrale, Florence
On the day we were leaving for Rome, we decided to go back to Mercato Centrale to get a Boiled Roast Beef Sandwich from Nerbone, but it was Sunday so the market was closed! However, we smelled something good cooking and saw a boiled meat stand outside! Oh my, what do we have here? The stand even had the Chinese characters for Beef Tripe on one of their signs! So we ordered the Boiled Beef Tripe and the Boiled Roast Beef served with parsley and hot sauce, it was sooooo good, we were so glad they were available!
Cinque Terre, Italy
During our stay in Florence we went on a day trip to tranquil Cinque Terre. I didn’t know that we were going hiking, thankfully we had beautiful weather!
We had focaccia during our day trip to Cinque Terre. Our first stop was in Corniglia, so we stopped by a mini market, Bistro Margherita, for a cold beverage and cheese focaccia! It wasn’t the best focaccia but it was good enough to give us some energy to continue our hike!
After our hike from Corniglia to Vernazza, we were starving and the first place I noticed was the focaccia in Batti Batti! This place had lights hitting their focaccia like a jewelry shop shining lights on their diamonds! Or maybe I was just that hungry. The warm crispy focaccias were so damn good, the bread and the ingredients were fresh! Loved the olives and the pesto!
Rome was really historic, you can walk down one random street and see open ruins. Sometimes it felt as if we were walking in one big open museum. This was a busy city without the best metro lines, but there was so much to see while strolling along the streets.
Another stop for a gelato and this time we stopped by Blue Ice, I think this place was a chain, but hey, they had gelato. They were quite busy and I got myself a strawberry gelato, it was mmm mmm good!
Antico Caffe Santamaria, Rome
Since we were early getting to our bed and breakfast hotel, we took a break at Antico Caffe Santamaria and our break turned into a lunch. The food was only okay, but I’m glad we were able to relax here while waiting for our keys. It was here where we discovered Bucatini all’Amatriciana, a thick pasta which was a tubed spaghetti! YUMMM…
Filetti di Baccalà, Rome
While watching some TV, we were watching an episode of traveling in Rome on an Italian travel channel. They showed Filetti di Baccalà and it looked good, so we had to find it in Campo dei Fiori. We walked in and grabbed it to go and enjoyed it outside! It was actually an expensive piece of fish, but it was a big piece of battered, deep-fried fillet of salt cod…delicious!
Trattoria Giuseppe, Rome
We stayed near the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and found Trattoria Giuseppe while walking in the area. The menu prices were reasonable considering we were in Rome. And I have to admit, by the end of this trip we got quite tired and were too lazy to look for a new place to eat, so we ate here twice.