“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ― Augustine of Hippo

Two weeks ago we went to Bolzano, E had work meetings and I was able to tag along this time. Bolzano is a 5 hour drive away up into the Italian Alps and the capital of Sudtirol, in the Alto Adige region of Northeastern Italy. We went last year as well and I remember it fondly and loved it. The shops are amazing so of course I had a good time. There was a lot to see but I wasn't overwhelmed and it still felt familiar. I didn't mind roaming the streets all day by myself.

Bolzano is very close to Austria and Germany so there are many people who speak German here as well as Italian. Even when people spoke Italian I could hear an accent much different than at home in Tuscany. When I would go into the stores people would always assume I was German "Hallo" they would say, because I obviously don't have any Italian physical characteristics, and ask me a question in German. I would give a puzzled look and respond in Italian. I don't think anyone in Europe would assume I am American because America is such a melting pot. Oh the fun.

When we travel to different parts of Italy I'm always intrigued by the different way of lifestyle. Bolzano is very north compared to where we live and not located close to a sea. The style of food in each area of Italy would surprise you as to how diverse they really are. I think most people in America think that everyone in Italy eats spaghetti in a tomato sauce with those huge meatballs. Am I right? Well that is definitely far from the truth. In fact, my boyfriend has never even had spaghetti with meatballs and he has lived in Italy his whole entire life. I'll begin with sharing my knowledge of Bolzano cuisine.

Northern Italy is in close proximity to Austria, France and Germany. Strong focuses on cheese, buttery sauces, truffles and hearty meats. It becomes very cold in the winter months so it's common to serve a comforting bowl of hot polenta with ragù that will warm you from inside out. I noticed that Bolzano had a huge German and Austrian influence, I'd see pretzels in the windows next to loafs of Italian bread. I also saw a couple eating a plate of dried meats (common all throughout Italy), but this couple had miniature pickles to accompany the meats and cheeses. That is something you would never see in Tuscany and I assume that is definitely the German/Austrian influence. 

Another typical thing you will find in Bolzano is the strudel. Strudel is a type of layered pastry with a sweet filling, it can be filled with apples, pine nuts, cinnamon and sugar and is originated in Austria. Speaking of apples, red apples from the mountainous parts of Italy are supposedly the best in North Italy, our hotel had a large glass vase full of crisp red apples for the guests on each floor. Definitely came home with a dozen of my own, don't mind if I do!

Until next time Bolzano.

Bruschette al tonno


I cannot believe it is already November because it sure hasn't felt like autumn around here with 70 degree weather and humid temperatures. Wednesday was a beautiful day and I had taken a trip earlier to a nearby beach to collect some white sand for a project I had in mind. The beach inspired me to make something fresh and easy to prepare for lunch that day and tuna seemed to be the perfect answer. I grabbed a freshly baked loaf of pane (bread) on the way home and began preparing lunch.
(This dish would also be fabulous for an appetizer in the summer months served before an outdoor BBQ or packed in a basket for a day trip to the beach)


Tuna Bruschetta 

Serving size; 2-4

1 jar of tuna in olive oil (I always use Asdomar because they are sustainable and delizioso) http://www.asdomar.it/

small handful of fresh basil cut finely (chiffonade)

small handful of fresh parsley cut finely (chiffonade)

half of a cucumber cut in small dices (fine bruonoise)

1 small red onion cut in small dices (fine brunoise)

half of a lemon 

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper
Slice your bread into the portion size you prefer and place them on roasting pan in the broiler at 400° degree F (200° C) until they turn lightl brown and crispy. 
Meanwhile, in a large bowl place the tuna, olive oil, basil, parsley, cucumber, red onion, s/p and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix well until all incorporated. The longer the mixture sets the better it tastes because all the flavors dance around with each other, so if you are not in a rush this is great to make ahead of time. 
Sprinkle a little olive oil and a very small pinch of salt on top of the freshly broiled pieces of pane and place the tuna mixture on top and serve. 
Buon appetito