There are a lot of new and exciting things happening in the food scene in Rome. Fancy sushi hot spots opening on rooftops and all day fine dining near the Pantheon are places I will eventually try. Once the buzz has subsided a bit. I am much more likely to stick to tradition when I go out in Rome, preferring an old school Roman spot with carbonara and scottaditto on the menu.
The other day I joined a gaggle of blogger pals for a spring afternoon of artichokes, pasta and wine. Once again Elyssa was the organizer and she led us to one of her favorites, Roberto e Loretta located a short walk from the Basilica San Giovanni e Laterano.
Murano is easy to each from Venice. You can take a private water taxi or a vaporetto from Fondamente Nove or Piazzale Roma. When you arrive on the island, particularly in summer, there will be plenty of people offering you free tours of factories and lunch. My advice to you is to politely decline and seek out some of the smaller workshops and artisans. Even better get in touch with Vivo Venetia and have them show you around.
Left to our own devices Mark and I are pretty dull. We do the same things over and over again. We eat at the same places over and over again. It usually takes a visitor to shake things up. A few weeks ago when Saskia was in Rome we took advantage of her exploring energy and tried the new cafe at Rome's Opera house.
I love to friend mix. Bringing together disparate groups almost always results in new friendships and an interesting time. A few weeks ago Elyssa, my organizer pal, wrote and suggested lunch at a favorite place of hers, La Trattoria Monti. My pal Saskia was in town and it happened to be her birthday, so she invited another Dutch speaker and in a happy coincidence Holly was off island for a few days and could join us too. It was a virtual United Nations with Americans, Dutch and Australians in a restaurant in Rome eating cuisine from the little known region, le Marche at Trattoria Monti.
You know I love an island. One of my favorite places in all of Venice is the tiny, sleepy Isola San Pietro, but on my most recent trip to Venice the place normally stay was booked for one of the nights of my trip so I sailed across the canal over to another sleepy, but not so tiny island.
Directly across from Piazza San Marco the Giudecca, sometimes called Spina Longa owing to its fishbone-like shape, is the perfect spot to escape the crowds that unless you are visiting Venice in January, are inevitable.
I booked a room at the trendy Generator Hostel, bought a 24 hour vaporetto pass and lived Venetian island life for a day.