Food and sights I’ll miss from summer in Italy

This year saying goodbye to summer seems particularly poignant, even though I only took a week + some days off (to head to Hawaii) compared to traditional Italian summers with 3 or so weeks off. The difference is that my job allowed me to work from wherever, so I left muggy Milan early on and came back when it was starting to mellow again.

I got a Samsung Nexus S in August thanks to a concerned boss; I’ve had the iPod Touch and the iPad for years, but never upgraded my slider-text-only-phone to a smartphone, mainly because I live online and don’t really use my phone unless I’m traveling. Now that I have a camera in my pocket, I find myself capturing moments a lot more often, even when I carried my mini-camera in my purse. I’m also using the WordPress mobile app for blogging, and for quick photo posts it’s a single click!

Growing up, I pleaded and begged to be able to go to amusement parks, and I never found a ride I didn’t like. When a little fair came to town while we were in Puglia, I had to sample some of the rides. This was my favorite – the HULK! It looked slightly harmless as it jumped up and down, but once I got on I was in danger of losing my shoes, my purse, everything! I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. I also saw The American Show, and posted about it on What I See.

The Hulk carnival ride, Puglia, Italy

Caffe’ shakerato – one of my favorite summer drinks in Italy. I only had a few of these this summer, so if it heats up at all this month I’ll make sure to order a few more.

Caffe' shakerato, shaken coffee, Puglia, Italy

Two other refreshing drinks after a day at the beach – Gassosa, and Lemon Soda – the first is a fizzy sweet tonic water, and the second is a fizzy lemon soda with real pieces of lemon in it. Love both of them.

Gassosa and Lemon Soda, Puglia, Italy

Amazing pane e pomodoro (bread and tomatoes) and a few vegetables sott’olio/sott’aceto (pickled) and olives. I had mozzarella nodini / knots as well.

Pane e pomodoro, Puglia, Italy

A pizza stuffed with onions that have been cooked until they’re melting. I literally dream about this pizza. Luckily I can get this pizza in Puglia year-round. I just have to make the trip!

Onion stuffed pizza, Pizza alla cipolla, Puglia, Italy

Hands-down, one of the best fritto misto (mixed fried plate) I’ve eaten in my life – on the beach at Marina Romea, near Ravenna, Italy. Aside from super-juicy prawns, calamari, and fried anchovies and other frutti di mare, and there were fried vegetables underneath like zucchine and onions. So good.

Fritto misto, Mixed fried plate of fish and vegetables, Marina Romea, Ravenna, Italy

Here’s what the others ate – so much tagliolini that they just give you the entire pan to serve from.

Tagliolini ai frutti di mare - seafood in Marina Romea, Ravenna, Italy

Still in Ravenna, could you go to the Emilia-Romagna region and not eat a piadina? Not I. This freshly-heated piadina had sausage and grilled onions inside. Yum. (Note: when you’re desperate in Italy for Mexican food, a piadina also subs for very thick tortillas)

Romagnola piadina with sausage and onions, Emilia-Romagna

I have a peperoncino plant, hot pepper, outside which greets me every day. I’m not sure I’ll use up all those hot peppers (though I am eating spicy quite a bit lately), I definitely want them around.

Pepperoncino - hot pepper plant, Italy

The peperoncino theme is popular, check out this little table arrangement with a spiky cucumber (live) and peperoncino.

Hot pepper and prickly cucumber centerpiece, Milan, Italy

A caffe’ affogato (drowned coffee with ice cream) that was one of the cheapest things in that place (and good).

Caffe affogato, "drowned" coffee with ice cream, Milan, Italy

Crazy Greenpeace grass cars, and scooters.

Greenpeace grass car and Italian scooter, Milan, Italy

People enjoying the nice weather and sitting on the steps of the Duomo (before it started pouring that evening).

Milan's Duomo cathedral

And finally, how you know summer is really over: the stores are decorated for Christmas. I about threw up in my mouth when I saw this. I was wearing shorts.

Christmas in September, Milan, Italy

What will you be remembering about this summer?

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  1. Yan says

    Crazy, you finally got a smart phone, and not an iphone either? Welcome. BTW, you should try Evernote on Android, it’s pretty awesome :) (Disclosure, I work for Evernote)

  2. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    @Yan You’re a terrible employee – you haven’t found my Evernote account yet? (and upgraded me?) :) :) :)

    I downloaded it as soon as I got it :)

  3. says

    I enjoyed sights and tastes of Italy vicariously through you this morning – stopped in here through a link on one of my favorites – Ciao Amalfi. Thank you for the summer trip – it’s been years since I’ve been there. Lucky you!


  4. says

    Great post! Maybe I’d a leisurely bike ride in Monza park (as opposed to the get from point A to point B asap to escape the cold)! But I totally agree with all of the above since I’m based in Lombardy too- please check out my blog =)

  5. says

    I don’t like coffee but I do love me some cafe shakerato! On a hot day it’s the best! The one thing that I will miss from summer up here in Bergamo is the sagra’s. You must come up next year.

  6. says

    As always, your wonderful photographs and descriptions bring back great memories. I must confess that until we spent time in Italy, we really didn’t understand how varied the cuisine was from region to region.

  7. Liz says

    I just showed my hubby the picture of the pizza and he smiled. He’s Pugliese and his Mamma makes it! Next time we’re in Milano to visit his family, we must get together. You know how to party and I want in! :)

  8. says

    Love it! Especially the piadina.
    Now that I am living in piadina-land myself (Faenza), it has become the default go-to food item for everything.
    Ah, and in Rimini they make the piadine really thin, and those I do use as tortillas. :-)

  9. Jacqui MacNeill (Escents Aromatherapy Essential Oils) says

    That Greenpeace car is pretty neat! It looks like it’s covered in moss. Is that what it is? Scooters are of course a useful commuter vehicle. So much better on gas! :)

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