Rose – Seina and Florence (Tuscany), Parma and Bologna (Emiligia Rogmana), and Travel Tips
Dimitris and I did the Three Kings Tour in Parma. The tour of the Parmesan factory was a highlight - is it ok to be starstruck by cheese ?!
Il Santo Bevitore is a fine dining restaurant in Florence with a trattoria ambiance, and where we had one of the best meals of our trip. Reservations are a must.
We loved the atmosphere and classic Tuscan fare at Trattoria da Mario—this hole-in-the-wall, also in Florence, is only open for lunch and does not have an English menu.
Bologna has a gelato university and gelato stores abound (yum-O!). We really enjoyed La Sorbetteria di Castiglione.
We held our welcome reception at Il Podere Casale in Seina. We would absolutely recommend this working farm for simple, yet hearty, organic meal. The views are to die for and it doesn’t hurt that they have an array of cooking classes to partake in!
There are ton of places to hang your hat in Seina but the cottages at La Foce Ciarentana were absolutely exquisite. The views are To. Die. For. If a hotel is more your speed we loved Poggio Piglia.
For olive oil enthusiasts, do ask each estate and area you visit about their olive oil. I found that many small places made and bottled their own (excellent) olive oil.
And remember: No cappuccino post noon. Eat pasta always—each town serves up something different (yumm-oo). And, where possible get a car and head into rural towns—it's the best way to enjoy Italy!
Julia – Piemonte and Resources!
The first time I visited the Piedmonte region, my husband and I stayed at luxurious and oh-so-comfortable refurbished castle. What a dream!
But on our next visit to Piedmonte region with Rose and Dimitris we opted for something quirkier. Located in the heart of Neive, Al Palazzo Rosso, is next door to amazing restaurants and corner store where the entire town gathers for aperitivo hour!
Although not in Neive, the cramped Restaurant Centro Storico located in Serralunga is beyond amazing and absolutely worth the trek, regardless of where in Italy you are. But maybe that’s because I have a soft spot for Northern Italy! (Rose says it's her fav meal of 2016!)
Before I travel I always a get a good book/cookbook to sink my teeth into and really understand the food landscape. For Italy it was this one.
But for an everyday cookbook and wonderfully direct writing, nothing beat’s Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.
I am also partial to smaller B&Bs and more unique accommodations and this guide was right up my alley.
My travel research also includes scouring local blogs to find trusty recommendations. Jul’s guide to Val d’Orcia was especially helpful as I planned non-wedding related activities! I would totally trust her other city guides as well!