My wife Lisa and I celebrated our 27th anniversary by going to Italy for 9 days. We have never been on a honeymoon, as we were married on a Sunday and began school on that Monday. We had our children and the 27 years went by in the blink of an eye.
We decided to go to Italy now as our children are old enough to not miss us that much (OK they were old enough for us not to feel guilty about leaving them).
We went straight to Venice, took a train to Florence, took a sport convertible through Tuscany to Sienna and then took a train to Rome.
The question was, and asked to me by many people, “Were you able to eat healthy while away?”
The answer is a resounding yes, but with some effort. Let me explain: We took a water taxi from the airport to our hotel (Novecento in Venice; excellent). It was in the morning and with luck, on the way, we saw a huge Farmer’s Market. We went to it right away and were elated to find the most beautiful figs, tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, cucumbers and the like. It was very interesting because nobody and I mean nobody spoke a word of English and Lisa and I only knew “Gratzi” and “Dove e la toilette? The Farmers would show us the receipt and then we knew how much to pay. As you can see from the picture, they were very nice and obliging (and liked to have their picture taken).
We went to Farmers’ Markets in Venice, Florence and Sienna. They all had them. In Rome, the Farmer’s Market just closed, so we had to find a Supermarket. Fortunately, there were two Supermarkets less than a block away from our hotel (Rose Garden Hotel; also great) so we bought the fruits, vegetables and salads we needed. It was great because we had a lot of food for the plane ride home.
We stayed in Bed and Breakfasts so breakfast was easy. There wasn’t much fruit, but there was enough and they always had unsweetened granola. We had nuts from the farmer’s market, so we were always satisfied and ready to take on the day.
For lunch we always went back to the hotel and ate our wonderfully fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts.
Dinner was another story. Not as easy to eat healthy in Italy when you are in a restaurant although it certainly is not impossible. Of course, we were on vacation, so being perfect nutritarians wasn’t our objective, but for us to feel physically well after a meal, we need to eat pretty well. In Venice, they gave us complimentary light wine fused with mango, if you could believe that, and even I who dislikes alcoholic beverages liked it. Otherwise, Lisa was very easy to please. She loves carbs and one of Italy’s top vegetables on their menus is potatoes so give her that with some greens and she is happy. I’m a little harder to please, as I really look forward to some wholesome, delicious vegetable dishes. We made sure we went to restaurants that had a variety of veggies on their menu. Italians like meat, fish and cheese, so we passed on many restaurants. Fortunately, there were so many restaurants that we didn’t have to worry about one not having enough vegetables. We always found one and they all served salad. They also serve more bean dishes than we do here. The main thing to emphasize is NO SALT. Italians salt everything and Lisa was always repeating “No salt, please” and even then we received some salt-laden dishes. With those, we simply sent them back.
So, for the upshot, we ate well, we ate healthy and we finally had our honeymoon. I’d like to suggest a fantastic restaurant in Rome, called Crispi 19. It was the best restaurant in all of Italy for us, with delicious, exotic vegetable dishes and great service. All in all, it was delicimo!