The Italy Trip Series: Art of the Nosh and Italian Ice

You may have noticed my absence from the blog last month. Since I started this in 2008, I have never missed posting-and have felt considerable guilt about it. But with my big Italy trip end of June and early July (my family's homeland) I have been catching up on collecting and editing content, and getting submersed into real life. Something had to give!

I have so much from my trip to share with you all! From food, gardens, lifestyle and family memories to even simple sights and observations, I will be taking the next few weeks to pepper in highlights from my trip, right here!

First up is all about snacks and noshing while walking around town. It's no secret Europe is known for their cafes. They are a core part of the lifestyle there. It's a place where friends and family meet up in the square or by a waterfront to share a quick bite and freshen up from the glaring heat of the sun between errands and long walks-or in the evening when towns come alive in the cool night air after siestas. Freshening up could include a "spritz" or a coffee "granita"-or one of my daughter's favorites, Italian ice. Accompanying refreshing beverages or coffee are a smattering of snacks-called "saggini"-or "little tastes".


The snacks are usually little crackers, nuts, dried spiced beans, chips, olives and fried dough-sometimes filled with cheese. Sometimes cheese is also served. We often stopped for a refresher when I was dripping with sweat after shopping in the morning or doing some sight seeing. It was a nice way to relax and rest your legs before walking back to our hotel or a family member's home for the big meal of the day, il Pranzo.

This may look like a lot of eating to you. It is, but honestly in the heat and all the walking you do in Italy, you use the calories right away. I was there for 2 1/2 weeks and ate plenty, and did not gain one pound while there (thank God). 

conventional lemons bottom left, Amalfi lemons to the right!

One of our favorite sweet treats, besides gelato, was Italian ice. We found this treat street side and it's usually hand done by shaving a chunk of ice then drizzling a sweet syrup of your choice right over it. The best lemon ice we had was in Positano on the Amalfi coast, where the lemons are sweet and as big as your head. But in Naples, we had it with an almond syrup and it was delicious. So try local flavors as you travel "the boot", and you won't be disappointed.

Here is a video showing you how they have the ice by hand right in front of you!

Makes me want to get on a plane and head back right now!



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