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French Food in Rome - Part Trois {La Renardière}

La Renardière Rome

In another life I was an international development worker. I managed projects from an office on a sandy road in the capitol city Niamey. Niger is a vast country on the edge of the Sahel and the Sahara desert. The projects I managed were far flung, in places with names like Zinder, Goure and Diffa on the far western edge almost at the Chadian border. Sometimes I did site visits, which meant days of driving through thousands of kilometers of millet fields and goats and the occasional village. There were only a few places to stop along the way. Places with gas stations, a guest house and somewhere to eat. One prescribed stop involved a rickety stand where we would get plastic cups filled with nescafe and sweetened condensed milk to fuel us for the next leg. Another stop always involved one of my favorite meals; Steak a poivre and haricots verts.  Served under a straw roofed pailote on battered tables and wobbly chairs set in the sand. The food was always fresh and filling. Not haute cuisine, but just good simple home cooking. 

Here in Rome it was all but impossible to find a simple steak au poivre and a glass of red served with bread and pats of silver and yellow foil wrapped President butter. The homey La Renadiere almost next door to Mark's office on the viale Aventino is the answer to this craving.


Winter in Positano {Lunch at Tre Sorelle}

Winter in Positano

Winter in Positano

The winter here in central Italy has been particularly mild. No polar vortex or slushy sidewalks here. I'm sorry. To take advantage of sunshine and mild weather and out of curiosity, we decided to visit some of our favorite summer destination in the off off off season. 

The morning we left for a few days of winter in Capri was bright and sunny so we took a detour for lunch in Positano. It was the annual zeppole (doughnut) festival so the town was as busy as a summer afternoon. Shops and restaurants were open, our usual parking lot was almost full. The only thing different was no lettini and umbrellas on the beach.

We booked a table in the sunshine at Tre Sorelle with its prime people watching location and colorful ceramic plates, and headed for Fornillo for a walk to stretch out legs after the drive from Rome.


Eating Gluten Free in Italy {Rome, Positano, Capri and Venice}

Eating Gluten Free in Italy {Rome, Positano, Capri and Venice}

Eating Gluten Free in Italy {Rome, Positano, Capri and Venice}

Eating Gluten Free in Italy {Rome, Positano, Capri and Venice}

We are a family of easy eaters. No allergies, few dislikes. We are lucky. Over the Christmas holidays, Noah's girlfriend came to visit for a few weeks. I had all kinds of plans for this girl who had never been to Italy before. And then Noah told me she had celiac disease.

You would think that Italy, the home of literary thousands of kinds of pasta dishes and pizza would be kind of a nightmare for a celiac. Thankfully that is absolutely not the case.


Authentic Venice - 7 Venetian Artisans You Need to Meet

Venice in Winter

Winter in Venice

Venice is a place that invites cliches. The faded glamor of crumbling palazzos slowly sinking, moonlit gondola rides on quiet canals, Drinking a Bellini in a fancy hotel bar; I get it. I have probably told you how to do it! Venice relies on these cliches and on the tourism that the cliches bring. That very thing that sustains the city also has a choke hold on it. The narrow calle get clogged with endless lines of visitors going from the Piazza San Marco, to the gondola ride on the Grand Canal to a forest of selfie sticks in front of the bridge of sighs. But lost in the crowds is another side of Venice. A quieter, authentic, living city that Venetians would really like to share with you.

At the beginning of the year, A Taste of Venice and VivoVenetia invited me to meet some passionate artisans, visit their workshops and see their Venice. They would love to meet you.


Colline Emiliane {Eating in Rome}

Eating in Rome  Colline Emiliane

Eating in Rome I Colline Emiliane

I have been traveling a lot. Which I love. I got to spend a week in both an empty and Venice and Capri last month. I highly recommend doing that. But. Traveling a lot means that when I am finally back in Rome I am playing catch up and staying home. Thankfully my pal Elyssa knows just when to insist I leave the house. Last week we met for lunch at one of her favorite places that has long been on my to do list, Colline Emiliane.