After returning to mainland Italy from Sicily, we visited Alberobello (at the top of the heel of the boot). Alberobello is not on most tourist itineraries, but is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to trulli unique buildings. Trullis are made out of limestone with conical roofs and were originally constructed without mortar so that the homes could be quickly disassembled to avoid taxation. We enjoyed walking the streets and eating more great food including braised baby octopus, a local specialty.
Next, we traveled north to the Piedmont area near Turin (Torino). This region is famous for its mountains, sweet hazelnuts, Nutella, chocolate, Martini, the Slow Food Movement, FIAT, truffles (the mushrooms) and wine (including the sparkling Asti Spumante). Do we need to say more?! Everyone should travel here. We stayed in Asti and took day trips to the surrounding areas. A cooking class in Neive was a highlight that involved one-on-one time with the chef and learning to prepare meals such as fillet of rabbit with rosemary and garlic. We made our own pasta that was served to us during a 6 course lunch (each paired with a wine from their vineyard) to complete our class. In Turin, we explored the city via a chocolate tour. Yes, chocolate tour! The tour consisted of walking from historic café to historic café sampling the famous Turinese chocolates. In Alba, we learned about black and white truffles with their bold evolving flavors and hope to cook with them in the future.
We left Italy with a bang! Our one day in Rome, before flying to London, was incredible! Luca (a friend of my Sister In-Law--Jodi) and his girlfriend Michaela, both who live in Rome, toured us around the city in style. We covered 10 miles on foot, ate at their favorite (and best) gelato shop near the Pantheon, toured churches with Caravaggio paintings, ate at local restaurants, fell in love with a “completo” (shot glass lined with Nutella with espresso poured in and topped with whipped cream) and revisited a few sites we‘d seen on previous trips and enjoyed even more the second time. What an amazing day! Thank you Luca and Michaela!!!!!