honeymoon part one

Get ready for the most picture dense post of our ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP.

Annnnnnd GO!

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The.Boy and I kicked off our honeymoon in Venice!! The city of love. And canals.

For those of you who haven’t been, there are no cars or motor vehicles in all of Venice. If you want to get around, you have to own a boat or walk. It’s the only way.

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Venice exists pretty much solely for tourism these days, so we were pretty happy to find that our hotel was located in one of the few districts that still has native Venetians. It was a little bit quieter than other parts of the city and a lot of the local restaurants served authentic, good food. Like cuttlefish (shown below) and their version of chocolate “flan” (which was really more like a lava cake).

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We learned that if you really want to experience St. Mark’s Square, you should get there early, before the cruise boats dock and let out masses and masses of tourists. So peaceful!

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On our second day in Venice, we meandered around Murano and Burano, two of the islands off the coast of Venice that specialize in glass-blowing and lace, respectively.

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Lunch that day was at a restaurant on Murano. I had the pasta primavera. Overall, I didn’t LOVE the food in Venice, possibly because I don’t eat seafood, but I think a lot of it was also geared towards tourists while I was really looking for something more authentic. It was tasty, just not what I was expecting.

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On Sunday night, we came home from a day of sightseeing to find that everyone in our hotel’s neighborhood had gathered to have a Sunday night meal! It looked like everyone brought a bottle of wine and a bowl of something to share. There was even live music! Getting to witness this was definitely one of the coolest moments of the trip. You just don’t find this kind of community in NYC!

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And just like that, we were off to Bologna!

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Our first pasta lunch in Bologna did not disappoint. This was just a simple tagliatelle with tomato sauce but it was AMAZING. Everything I had hoped for.

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The gelato was nothing to sneer at either. This was one of my favorite flavor combinations – speculoos and chai. The.Boy and I had gelato EVERY DAY and tried to seek out the best gelato places in each town we were in. We learned that “real” gelato has to be made fresh every day, and so gelaterias will only make a small amount at a time. Β It is never fluffy and you will never see mounds of it on display. The places that do have mounds and mounds of each flavor actually inject air and chemicals into it to make it look that way. No good. We avoided those like the plague.

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I didn’t realize how much Italians LOVE their truffles! Apparently they use dogs to seek them out instead of pigs. This was tortellini in a black truffle sauce. And yes, all those black dots are TRUFFLES. I was in heaven.

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The.Boy claimed that I always turn my head to the side when we take photos together, so he had to overexaggerate it to make fun of me. Goofball.

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On our second day in Bologna, we went on this crazy foodie tour through Modena. We visited a parmigiano-reggiano factory, a balsamic vinegar factory, and a prosciutto factory.

A.Ma.Zing.

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Our tour guide, Alessandro, absolutely made the trip for us. He was hysterical and obviously so passionate about cheese, balsamic vinegar, and prosciutto. I would highly recommend that anyone planning on going anywhere near Modena and Bologna take a tour with him (Italian Days was the name of his company).

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Parmigiano-Reggiano is only made once a day, very early in the morning, so our breakfast that day was cheese and wine! Classic.

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Balsamic jelly + fresh made ricotta + DOP Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Heaven.

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After this day of eating, the tour ended with a “light lunch” at a winery that consisted of an appetizer, three pasta courses, a main course, dessert, and coffee. Each with an accompanying wine pairing. Suffice it to say, we did not have room for dinner that night.

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Next up, Florence!!! This was my favorite city of all. I can’t really put my finger on why I loved it so much, but I just did.

I insisted that we head straight to Mercato Centrale for lunch on our first day. The bottom level is basically like a big marketplace, with vendors selling all sorts of cheeses, dried goods, spices, etc.

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And the top floor is pretty much just like Eataly in NYC. BUT BETTER.

It was really hard to decide what we wanted to eat, but we went with bruschetta smothered with buffalo mozzarella and these made-to-order pizzas. Good life choices all around.

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When we were planning our honeymoon, I knew I wanted us to take a cooking class, and it fit in with our time in Florence!

The.Boy almost never cooks at home (possibly because he has burned scrambled eggs on a number of occasions), so it was interesting to see him in the kitchen…

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We were in Florence on the saint day for St. John the Baptist, so there was a big fireworks celebration that night!

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One of the things I noticed is that you cannot get coffee to go anywhere in Italy. Also, their coffee servings are way smaller than ours are…which just meant I had to take three cappuccino breaks a day.

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Stay tuned next week for Tuscany and Rome!

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64 Responses to Wednesday Coffee Talk – Honeymoon Part One

  1. Kathryn says:

    Wow…your pictures are stunning! It looks like you guys had an amazing trip and managed to fit so much into your time. Can’t wait for Part 2!

  2. Ahhhh, Venice. Seeing all of these pictures makes me want to go back right now! I’m so glad you had an amazing trip! πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve only been to Florence, but I loved it so much! And I still use everything I learned in the cooking class I took there.

  4. Best. Honeymoon. Ever. All the cheeeeeeeese! Welcome home, lovebirds!

  5. Monica says:

    What great pics!! Looks like quite a packed trip…so exciting and wonderful to visit so many cities in Italy. This is how to do your honeymoon! Definitely unforgettable…

  6. I loved basically everywhere we went in Italy, but Florence was definitely my favorite, too. I’m jealous of all that food. And gelato, ugh. Time to plan a trip, I guess.

  7. Joanne, I love it!!!! OK, so glad that the pasta lunch in Bologna did not disappoint. What’s up with Venice?! I would have expected the food there to be mind blowing too .. love all the photos and love that you guys took a cooking class. . SO fun!!! what a great part one!!! love it all! and you guys are too cute!!!

  8. Johanna GGG says:

    oh you two look like you had such fun and packed heaps in – as well as ate heaps of good food – hope you found some time for museums too – looking forward to part 2

  9. Jess says:

    Love this post! Brings back many great memories from last summer for me! The gelato is incredible! Looking forward to seeing the next part! πŸ™‚

  10. Meg says:

    Looks like an amazing time with lots of great eats, and I appreciated the flashback to my own post-college trip to Italy in 2007! Venice is so picturesque, it’s hard not to photograph everything you pass. I had just received my first point-and-shoot camera before that trip, and I think I took 30 pictures there? Maybe 40? Today, that would probably be more like 500!

  11. Lori Rice says:

    So many great pictures! The food! It looks like you had such an amazing time.

  12. MY favorite part of your honeymoon was your Parmigiano-Reggiano adventure. OMG. So jealous!! Can’t wait for the other part!!

  13. love the food tour naturally..cant wait for more.

  14. Sues says:

    Such an awesome post! I love all of this!!!

  15. Joanne, I can’t believe you went back to NYC after all that! I think I would’ve made myself at home between the freshly made gelato! πŸ˜‰
    It really does look like the best honeymoon ever! So glad for you guys! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  16. Heather says:

    Wow – looks like you guys had an amazing trip!! I can’t wait to see more pictures – Italy is on my list of places I want to travel to eventually.

  17. OMG I looooove looooove loooove all these photos! You guys are solo happy! YAYYYY! Also OMG a lllllllllll the food! AMAZING! You did a great job planning this trip! Welcome back!

  18. sounds like a wonderful trip – love the foodie tour pics!

  19. We stayed in a residential area in Venice which made a huge difference to our time there. The best gelato I’ve ever had was in Bologna which we’ve been to a few times, including on our honeymoon. Firenze remains a firm favourite as well. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  20. It looks like you had an amazing time, and how could you not with all that delicious pasta.

    Any time we go to a city, we try to get to the main attractions before 7am, before all the people are there.

  21. sandra says:

    What a fabulous time you have had. It was a great idea to set up cooking classes while you were there. I can’t wait to hear about the next bout of the trip!

  22. Lynn says:

    A wonderful trip, looks like. Love all the food pics. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see more!

  23. Andrea says:

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful fantastic pictures! I love them!!

  24. Ahhhh! I’ve been patiently waiting for this post! Beautiful beautiful! Thanks for the tour info – good to know. And cheese and wine for breakfast? I say yes!

  25. danielle says:

    SO Jealous!!! Looks like you guys are having an amazing time.

  26. Kinsey says:

    What an amazing trip! I loved Florence, too. Something about the lack of cars on a lot of streets and the open air markets made it different from any other city I have visited. The fact that I had gelato every day didn’t hurt either!

  27. What an awesome honeymoon! Looks like you had a great time!

  28. Eileen says:

    Yes! Italy is so gorgeous and so much fun. Now I want to go back. πŸ™‚ (Also, I don’t know about your neighborhood, but in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn, there were totally big neighborhood block parties with vast trays of bbq chicken and corn on the cob in summer!)

  29. Aw yes, this is such a cute post!!!!!! Loving all the pics, food and the happy vibe of them! Congrats guys!! xxx

  30. what an awesome trip! i’ve never been to italy but would love to go. i spent the summer in nice, france one year and loved all the italian influences there. so fun!

  31. Emma says:

    Just dying of envy over here… I LOVE Italy, looks like you did it right lady. Enjoy!

  32. Kate says:

    I had such high hopes for Venice. It seems like it wasn’t your favorite!

  33. I’M SO JEALOUS

    it looks like you had the absolute best time! Everything is so beautiful and looks soo delicious (um that “chocolate flan” is epic)

  34. P says:

    Everything sounds so amazing!!! I think I can safely assume you didn’t want to leave πŸ˜‰

  35. Christine says:

    Sounds like a fabulous trip. Glad you got the cooking class in and tasted truffles (mmm). Can’t wait for the next installment!

  36. Your trip looks perfect!!! The food, the sights…and you two are pretty much adorable. <3

  37. Oh memories!!! The day with Allessandro was an absolute highlight of our trip…What a crack up, ‘light lunch.’ I remember going back to our apartment and taking a loooong nap. πŸ™‚ Gorgeous pix, Joanne. Looks like you had an amazing honeymoon!

  38. I love your pictures, and it sounds like you had such an amazing time! πŸ™‚ That pasta with all the truffles–I want it so much!

  39. How lovely! I ate gelato everyday in Italy, too, and would love to go back soon. Can’t wait to read more about the rest of the trip!

  40. Oh wow. So much fun! Thanks for sharing and for the important tips on gelato! Duly noted!

  41. Oh Wow Joanne. You two ad a fab time. I love Florence too!

  42. Zainab says:

    I really can’t even. Like not even put to words how amazing your trip looks, sounds and tastes!!

  43. This post was AHmazING! I was hoping you’d post lots of photos. What a beautiful country, great experiences and wonderful food. You two look like you’ve been together for ages and you are having so much fun. I still think you should rename him The.Husband πŸ™‚

  44. Love Love LOVE! Also? I need a vacation. Or a honeymoon.

  45. I LOVE theses photos, especially those from the cheese tour! All those wheels of cheese! And what a great idea to take a cooking class while you’re visiting!!! I need to do something like that the next time I’m in Europe! Can’t wait to see more photos, lady!!

  46. This looks so amazing! The food! The buildings! I’m glad you guys had fun. πŸ™‚

  47. Kelly says:

    Aaw I love all your gorgeous photos girl! So glad you had a great time! Florence and Rome were my two favorites while my husband’s was Venice. Oh gosh, what I wouldn’t give for fresh gelato right now. Can’t wait to see the rest of your pics. You guys are too cute πŸ™‚

  48. Reeni says:

    It looks like you had a great time and fit in a lot of stuff! All the important things like cooking class and truffle eating and Parmesan making. My dream trip!

  49. Trisha says:

    I’m SO glad that you shared all these photos, and I’m really happy that you loved Florence. It is one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see part II!!

  50. Hotly Spiced says:

    Love all the images. It looks like you had a fantastic long awaited honeymoon. I have heard that Venice (although beautiful) has become a bit of a city catering mostly to tourists so the food tends to be not as authentic as it should be as well as overpriced. But being a country of regions, great food is just around the corner xx

  51. AH what a wonderful honeymoon! WE adore Italy. These photos bring such glorious memories of our many trips to Italy! Lol.. I had to laugh about your coffee experience, I too had to take many cappuccino breaks during the day. But when you think about it, it’s those little customs that makes Italy so spectacular, don’t you think? Can’t wait to see more.

  52. Susan says:

    Great photos! You two are so cute together! I have some many similar scenes from our daughter’s honeymoon πŸ™‚ Looking forward to the next installment!

  53. Sarah says:

    Omg omg omg this looks AMAZING Joanne! You guys are adorable together and it looks like you had an amazing time in Venice.

  54. Wow! What a perfect honeymoon. And, the food tours! jealous. You guys are super cute <3

  55. Oh, so enjoyed that post – Joanne – know what you mean about food in Venice had to get off the beaten track! And I love Florence too and Mercato Centrale was one of my first stops too:-)

  56. You took a cooking class on your honeymoon? I thought you were going to have a break from the kitchen!! It looks like you are having the best time!

  57. Love this! You look like you were having the most amazing time!!! And now all I want to eat is pasta. And pizza. And lots of cheese.

  58. This looks like such an amazing trip! I’m glad you went to the central market in Florence – that is one of my favorite places in the world!

  59. elly says:

    Looks like an amazing trip! Can’t wait to see more!

  60. Beth says:

    Gorgeous photos. Can’t wait to see part 2!

  61. Pam says:

    OMG! You have no idea how happy I am for you. Your honeymoon trip has been a bucket list trip of mine for a long time – Eating and sightseeing in Italy and taking a cooking class. I am so excited that you got to do this and these pictures has moved it to the top of my bucket list!

  62. This must have been the most A-MAZ-ing honeymoon on the planet! I love every city you visited, but especially, nostalgically my home city of Modena! I love the food in Bologna the best and feel exactly like you that the food in Venice was not as delish in Bologna and Modena. If I had known you were going to Modena, I could have called my family to give you a personalized tour. You are absolutely right that more people need to see this delicious secret place. I can’t wait to read the next post. Thank you for the memories and the lovely journal of your honeymoon!

  63. Looks like you two had so much fun!!! I love love Venice- so pretty to walk around. And that food tour you did sounds amazing πŸ™‚

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