I’m a big fan of Kristina Gill and Katie Parla — two women you need to know about!
Katie is a force to be reckoned with in the Roman culinary world — she’s written more than 20 books about food and travel, and her work has appeared everywhere from The New York Times to Bon Appétit to The Atlantic. Over the years when someone has written me asking about Rome, I’ve just sent them straight to Katie’s blog.
Kristina is the Italy-based food and drinks editor at Design*Sponge — that’s where I first saw her sharing killer insider intel with others — and a photographer who has shot for National Geographic Traveler, Kinfolk and AirBnb.
When we were looking for in-the-know people for our Rome chapter in Gigi Guides, they were both a deliciously natural fit. Kristina (above left) is Gigi Guides’ Rome “go-to expert” and Katie (above right) contributed a sample itinerary describing her “Perfect Day in Rome” — because hey, the most important criteria for Gigi Guides has always been to get the coolest tastemakers to share their inside scoop with Gigi members, and these two are at the top of their game.
Restaurants in the Cinque Terre can shock you.
Some are excruciatingly mediocre. And some can be so outstanding — you buy a mortar and pestle immediately upon returning home, because you’ve become a die-hard pesto person.
The majority of the Cinque Terre villages have just one main street. The streets are lined with places to eat (Manarola is lined with boats, and the shop doors are just sprinkled between the boats). You can eat your way up one side of the street, and then down the other. It’s all there. Perfectly compact. Adorable. Delicious.
You don’t need a massive list of places for your trip, you just need the best.
The thing about traveling is that you’re often on the move. Just when you get your bearings and find the places you like – you’re gone. That’s why it’s not uncommon for travelers to eat at the same place for two nights, even if they are just staying for three. Why? Because it was good the first time, and you don’t want to waste your time “finding” the good stuff. I think there’s a better way. I hope you use this list.
The first time I went to Italy I had it all wrong.
I thought I was eating well, but when I look back, I know it was a foodie-fail.
The mistake was completely avoidable, as the song goes; you just need a little help from a friend.
A Simple Way to Order in Italy
I actually married the Italian “friend” who showed me the menu ropes, so let’s just say he did a pretty good job.
First, he explained the elements of an Italian meal.
Then, he ordered like he normally would.
What came to the table was ten times better than all the meals I’d eaten in Florence the month before. Combined.
Why? Because it wasn’t just pasta and salads.
That was the mistake I was making. Since it was my first time in Italy, I didn’t know what I was doing, so I played it safe and ordered what I knew. Even if you’re on a budget, pasta and salad shouldn’t be your go-to. No way José. There’s a better formula — I’ll get to that below.