You’ve probably read about it: Italy shuts down for the month of August. Well, not entirely. Over the last 12 years, I’ve seen this shift of cities being less of ghost towns. My first visit to Italy was 2005 in Florence during August- can’t remember noticing this apocalyptic country closure. But in 2007 I was studying in Perugia for the summer and I definitely witnessed the city empty gradually through July until August arrived and all there was left were the tumbleweeds and overheated classrooms (and professors). The last years, I’ve noticed a shift of closures becoming less month-long to 10-14 days, or less.
This post is my handpicked guide to restaurants in Florence open in August- all month long. Bear in mind Ferragosto, the 15th of August/Assumption day, mostly everything in town will be closed similar to the Christmas effect. The listings I’ve handpicked are restaurants who confirmed being open all month, some even the 15th. Some will be closed or will decide last-minute to close for the 15th so better to call ahead when you make a reservation or if you plan on stopping by. Continue Reading →
I know this comes off as reporter-y, and I usually don’t write or update restaurant gossip from Florence- but Giovanni Santarpia leaving the pizzeria branded after him is worth giving y’all a heads up about.
In sum, Giovanni Santarpia is no longer spinning at Santarpia. What’s this pizzeria, you ask?Santarpia is a critically lauded, 3rd wave kind of pizzeria in Florence’s Sant’Ambrogio district originally helmed by Giovanni Santarpia, a revered pizzaiolo from Naples. But 3rd wave doesn’t quite do Giovanni’s pies justice- I’d say gourmet Neapolitan but the pizzas really reflected Giovanni’s imagination and memory of taste. It’s hard to classify the pizzas served here- which is why the news of Giovanni leaving, will leave a gapping hole in the identity and draw of Santarpia. The carb parties thrown here were distinctly Giovanni’s propriety and I’d be curious as to how those left will attempt to recreate them. Continue Reading →
You’re probably wondering why the title of this post is named as such. I’ll tell you! I snuck off to San Francisco and while perusing the events at Omnivore books, I discovered Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome would be speaking as part of her book tour in the US! What luck, right?
The new book she was presenting was Eating My Way Through Italy and it concentrates her 30 years of exploring Italian regional foods into neat chapters divided by the regions she has closest connection with, including dining advice, recipes and resources. For those of you who don’t know (which I highly doubt) Elizabeth Minchili is an American in Rome holding a varied background with Italy over her life including having put down roots with an Italian husband, children and a doggie. She is revered and a respected authoritative voice on Italian cooking and Roman cuisine, and has varied resources for eating around Italy with her apps and popular food blog. Her daughter Sophie is carrying the gastronome torch and leads culinary tours through the eternal city. Ciao, Sophie! Continue Reading →
For as long as I can remember, Sicily has been a distant curiosity. And not because I’ve never been- anzi. Post study abroad in Rome during a Spring/Summer of 2007 I took a trip through Sicily via Catania, Agrigento and Palermo. 10+ years later at my current stage of culinary curiosity- I wanted to return to Sicily. I decided, this place needed to be mine- at least for a few fleeting days.
For Sicilian food excellence, you hear mostly about Sicilian sweets- crispy fried shell smooth sweetened ricotta cannoli, marzipan enveloped cassata, mounds of almond granita said to be breakfast, cookies packed with pistachios of Bronte, luscious bold chocolate from Modica. Of course, Sicily is more than sweets. This place is a treasure chest of pastas, meats, cheeses and specialty ingredients like olive oil, saffron and pistachios.
I reached out to sommelier & Etna expert Brittany Carlisi with a wish-list to help make it happen. This post details what ensued over 4 days in the Mt. Etna area of Sicily. The subsequent 4 days of this trip covered Noto, Modica and Vittoria but I’ll get to that in a a future post. Continue Reading →