I can't end my series of blog posts on our Italy vacation without talking about the food. When we arrived in Italy, we expected the food to be spectacular. The truth is, while the food was always good, it was spectacular mostly when we paid a large sum of money for it. Food seemed mundane and overpriced in a number of restaurants we visited in Florence and Venice. On the other hand, we had excellent meals at reasonable prices in Bologna. Bologna is known for its cuisine, but perhaps the fact that it isn't overrun with tourists in August also contributed to this. We enjoyed pasta with wild boar sauce, Parma ham, grilled Italian eggplant, and other local specialties including pasta Bolognese (Kate's favourite).
Coffee, juice and soft drinks were generally exorbitantly priced. However, beer and wine were always good and easily available. The best value, though, was the gelato, which the kids and I indulged in every single day of our trip. For most of the trip, I stuck with the lighter fruit gelato (SO much tastier than the fruit-flavoured ice-cream we get at home) but on our last day in Bologna, I couldn't resist this marscarpone-ricotta-cocoa concoction, truly a meal in a tiny cup! We also had great food on the Venetian Lido, where we stayed in a suite with a kitchenette. We discovered a little deli with excellent salads, cold meats and pastries. I bought a lot of marinated octopus there.
Just when I thought there was a danger that the kids would turn into snobby gourmands with all this good food, they reassured me by attacking the Haribo display at the duty-free store in the Munich airport. Somehow I ended up having to lug three kilos of this German jelly candy through Munich and Pearson airports. I opted to bring home chocolates from Bologna instead, and Todd is enjoying his bottle of grappa.