Time out: What have we been eating in Florence?!

We realized the other day (in a moment of utter shock) that we had not put up a single photo of the amazing food we’ve been enjoying here in Florence. This is a travesty. We would like to remind family and friends that this by no means implies that food is not being consumed. On the contrary, some of us are upping our weekly workout routine to accommodate these amazing meals.
As a remedy to this serious oversight on our part, we would like to dedicate this special blog post to one recent meal, a particularly special meal in which we all ate like true Italians. What does that mean exactly, you ask? Oh nothing much, just 4-hours, 5-courses (not including wine and digestivos!) and as much talking and laughter as we could muster in between. It was a proud moment for us all.
The best part about the meal that is about to unfold before your eyes (warning: drooling may occur) was that it was a complete surprise. It was the brainchild of Davide Samà, owner of our favorite restaurant, Cesarino. We have mentioned Davide before (here and here). He is a very special part of Florence for us. When we go to eat with him, we never know what will come out of the kitchen and this night was no different. Enjoy! Continue reading…

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Top Ten Tips for Americans Traveling in Italy

Florence_italyThere is nothing worse than a cultural misunderstanding, especially if it has the potential to ruin a trip. I find these incidents especially painful in Italy simply because they can so easily be avoided if you’re properly prepared. Every time I happen to overhear an American traveler recounting some miscommunication, I make a mental note. There are, of course, your classic repeat offenders, but there are also some that stand out because they represent the points at which these two cultures differ. Hence, they are the same things that Italians misconstrue when they’re on American soil. So instead of letting another potential mix-up ruin even just one afternoon of someone’s long awaited adventure, I thought I’d jot down ten of the most common cultural disparities specifically for Americans traveling in Italy. Knowing these before you leave will save you headache and heartache, I promise!
Continue reading…

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So you think you know tiramisu? Try this recipe…Tiramisu al Martini

Since we can’t get enough of Davide (Florentine restaurateur extraordinaire, see here for more info), we are having an extra special Select Study Abroad feature…our first Select Study Abroad Italian food recipe!!Following the life rules we here at Select Study Abroad always adhere to, we begin this little adventure with dessert. This particular dessert is a Davide special. In fact, I think he invented it because I can’t find a single recipe for it online! It is Tiramisu al Martini. Spoiler alert: there is no coffee in this recipe! It is, as the title indicates, made with martini mix…or vermouth rather. Some of you may be shocked. As an avid coffee drinker I thought I wouldn’t like it. I was severely mistaken. Honestly. Would Davide ever lead us astray? Never. Here’s the back-story: Continue reading…

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Roma! Roma! Roma!

After all that Florence talk I feel I owe something to my other great love…ROME! Here are just a few tips, some of my favorite spots to eat, and some must-see sites in this glorious city.

Ok my inner-mom requires that I say, just for the record, that the buses are a little more dangerous in Rome. So just in general BE AWARE. Watch each other. If someone is getting too close and looks sketchy take note. If they are up to no good and see that you see them, they will usually back off.

—> Ok. THINGS TO DO!!!:
There are so many things to do in Rome it is pathetic. I also think it is one of the best walking cities so you could just roam the streets of Rome (hardy har har) for days and do nothing, per se, and be ridiculously content. My absolute favorite thing to do is wander around at night (in safe areas, obviously, and never alone!) The city is a golden color during the day and at night it seems to somehow absorb that glow and use it to light itself from the inside at night. It is just beyond magical. But there are some places you just have to go inside to experience. Continue reading…

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Best gelato in Florence (according to Kellin)

This subject is very close to my heart as I spent many years and hundreds of euro honing my gelato taste buds, testing flavor after flavor until I knew, without a doubt, the best that Florence had to offer. I present here my findings (along with some helpful tips to keep in mind for first time travelers).

Gelato (the national snack of Italy) is sold not by size (as in scoops) but by monetary value: one euro, two euro and up. The particular establishment decides how much that equates to in your cup or cone. I never get more than 2 euros unless it has been a really really bad day.
AVOID gelato places that are
a) near big tourist traps or
b) do not have their prices/sizes shown. I have had students pay as much as 10 euro for what should be 2 or 3 euro because they didn’t look for a clearly displayed price list.

THE WINNERS: Continue reading…

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