It’s been a little while since I’ve posted last – things are always busy but they have been particularly crazy recently. I’ve been thrown back into the deep end at work after the Christmas holidays and I’ve been trying to exercise, eat well and keep up with a social life as well as travelling as part of my job. It’s been mental!
My latest trip was a pretty last minute one to Italy – it was a whole new experience where I had to give a training course to people who didn’t speak much English and I had to drive a left hand drive car on Italian roads, I was terrified!
The work part was pretty boring so I’ll leave that out – but as ever with trips abroad my first stop off was breakfast and duty free at the airport!
I stopped off for some poached eggs and a pot of tea – knowing I was likely to be eating some pretty unhealthy dishes over the next few days I tried to keep away from the pancakes….
I had a very short browse around duty free and picked up my favourite Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer and a new lipstick from Urban Decay – post coming very soon!
Then it was time to get on board, the weather was absolutely beautiful and I had clear skies all the way from Heathrow to Bologna. This has never happened before and as I haven’t been on many flights I still absolutely love planes – my face is practically glued to the window the entire times and being able to see the coast on the South of England followed by the Alps in the image below was something I won’t forget for a while.
This picture doesn’t do them justice at all – the amount of snow was stunning and I wish I’d taken more photos as this was just at the beginning!
I was quite proud of my plane snaps until I saw that Tim Peake had taken a photo on the exact same day of the exact same place, his is without question so much more amazing than mine! I would 100% recommend following him on Facebook even if you’re not bothered about space, his photos are beautiful and awe inspiring. Just look at his image below!
But let’s get back to my trip – I’m in Italy, what’s the first thing I want to eat?
OF COURSE IT’S PIZZA!!!
Pizza is my favourite food, but as I’m intolerant to bread and dairy it’s one of those things that I have to limit and save for a treat. However in Italy the base is so thin and the cheese is proper mozzarella and it doesn’t affect me at all – HOORAY!!!!!
In celebration I ate the entire 12 inch pizza for lunch and then ordered the same again the next day. The work was a challenge but this pizza single handedly sent me to my happy place and I didn’t leave that cloud nine for at least 12 hours.
Another evening I had a beautiful hazelnut dessert, I couldn’t tell you what it was to be honest (my Italian is limited to hello, goodbye and thank you) so I saw the ‘cioccolato’ and knew it would be good. I wasn’t disappointed and the warm melted centre was amazing.
I also wanted to eat pasta whilst I was in Italy. I mean let’s be honest my priorities were pizza, pasta and gelato. I went with my aim and I ticked them off one by one!
The pasta below doesn’t look like much. It arrived and I wondered what on earth I’d ordered, it looked boring, bland and dry.I could not have been more wrong and the parcels were stuffed with pumpkin and so absolutely wonderful I find them hard to describe.
I didn’t talk for the full 20 minutes that I was eating them and I was torn between stuffing my face and savouring every mouthful – I need to find somewhere in the UK that makes this and I will spend allllllllllllllllllllllll of the money to eat this again…..and again….
The pasta was followed up with a dish that is particular to the region that I was visiting; Beef in Balsamic Vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is from the region that I was visiting, there are two different styles; one from Modena and the second from Reggio Emilia where I was staying.
It doesn’t look anything special but the beef was perfectly cooked and on the rare side, and marinated in the balsamic sauce. I’m not sure I would have chosen it but it was advised to me by my Italian colleague and it was very good.
One evening after the pizza I was so full I couldn’t have dealt with eating a meal – instead I went for a walk at a shopping centre and conveniently found a gelato store…
It would have been rude not to have a bowl with three scoops right? So I chose chocolate (obviously!), pistachio and the stracciatella which is a milk based ice cream sometimes flavoured with vanilla that contains shavings of chocolate. It didn’t disappoint and I was super happy I’d managed to eat everything from my list.
With all of the food I needed to sample, I thought it was about time I went for a walk! So I drove into the centre of Reggio Nell Emilia and had a wander around, not really knowing where I was going.
A favourite thing of mine about Italy is that there are so many beautiful buildings everywhere, the images above and below show a random church that I walked past and it was beautiful. So good to see parts of it being restored too.
I finally made my way over to the main star of the show, the Reggio Emilia Cathedral. This was also beautiful and had all the details lit up, the Piazza itself was busy with so many people wandering through – and of course a few statues to balance it out!
Considering the work part was pretty busy, the food and the sight seeing was really good. And I picked up a few bottles of genuine balsamic vinegar straight from the region itself! With the red label it means it has been matured for a minimum of 12 years before selling – at 8 euros per bottle my family had better be grateful too!
Where have you been lately? Have you been to Italy, or anywhere near Reggio Emilia recently?
I have never been to Italy and not enjoyed myself, the food alone would put it top of my list!