Before I share sightseeing highlights from our adventures in Rome, Cinque Terre, and Florence, I first wanted to share some photos of the food! As you guys know, Italy is famous for food, and our trip’s eats definitely lived up to the hype. Florence won out for best food and restaurants, but there were gems everywhere we went. Here are some of the highlights in each category!
One of my favorite treats in Italy was, of course, the gelato! It’s famous and it’s EVERYWHERE.
I sampled options in all the cities, and I have to say the best gelato was from when we visited Lucca, a small town along the drive from Rome to Cinque Terre. The gelato place was right off the main square on one of the side streets and SO good! I had the pistachio.
Yum. Enough said.
Espresso and Cappuccino
The coffee in Italy is so amazing. We had cappuccinos or shots of espresso every day at breakfast and occasionally in the afternoon as a sightseeing pick me up, too. Tip: get coffee standing up at the counter instead of taking a seat at the café – prices are WAY cheaper!
Yes, I did eat some healthy stuff while I was there. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil salads were to die for, as were some of the normal salads – I had a few fabulous ones made with arugula (which they call “rocket”).
Seafood & Pasta
The fish, especially in Cinque Terre, was incredible. I enjoyed tuna:
Anchovies (mmmmm Matt though this was SO gross, ha):
And lots of dishes with mussels, too!
The pasta was also incredible – I didn’t take a lot of photos of it but I had it often in the evenings!
One of the best dinners we had while we were in Italy was at a place called Acqua Al 2 in Florence. A ton of people recommended it – there’s actually a location here in D.C. because it got so popular, but everyone said it was still worth going to the original. The lighting was too dim to get food photos, but it was phenomenal – Matt and I shared a salad sampler, pasta sampler, and meat sampler. I still dream about the balsamic steak. Can’t wait to visit the DC location soon!
The other highlight, of course, was the wine. Matt and I got wine almost every night at dinner; we usually went for the house red wine (“vino rosso”), which was always the cheapest and still really delicious, too.
One of my AnneTheRD clients asked me before I left how I planned to balance all the delicious food in Italy with healthy living. The key for me, and what I told her, was staying active and also not overdoing it on portion sizes. Matt and I did a few HIIT workouts in our hotel room (FitnessGlo workouts and also the NY Times 7 Minute HIIT workout – love this! We usually did it twice in a row), got in a lot of hiking at Cinque Terre, did a TON of walking around all the cities, and I got in 3 runs while in Morruzze for the wedding, too. Regarding food, I ate whatever I wanted, but just watched the portion size. I never ate so much I felt stuffed or uncomfortable, or ate when I wasn’t hungry. The other thing to remember is it’s vacation! You can get back to healthier eating when you’re home – keep active and don’t overdo it so much that you arrive home feeling like crap, but don’t stress about only eating healthy, either. Enjoy the experience and that includes some indulgent food!
And speaking of clients, I am heading out the door! I’m partnering with a big office in the area to offer nutrition counseling to their fitness center members. I’m planning to spend one or two days a month there and just schedule as many appointments on those specific days as I can. The fitness center is happy because their members are getting what they’ve been asking for (on site nutrition counseling), and I’m happy because I have not only a space to see people, but also a whole new target market! Today is my first day (although I was there a few weeks ago to participate in a health fair) and I have three clients lined up back to back this morning. Should be good! Have a great day, everyone!
How do you balance indulgent food with staying healthy while on vacation?