Belforte Ristorant • Vernazza – Cinque Terre

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After spending all morning exploring the smalls towns of Riomaggiore, Manarola, and Corniglia, we decided to stop at Vernazza for lunch, before heading to our last stop, Monterosso.

Your day trip to the Cinque Terre can only get better with a fantastic lunch, right? 😀

Our choice for the day was the highly recommended (by online reviewers and friends), Belforte Ristorant.

It is located literally at the beach, on the left side when you face the water, going up a set of stairs.

You will easily identify it as it looks like to be on top of a construction that resembles a fortress (sorry forgot to take pictures).

My order

We shared all dishes listed here, except for the grilled beef that we got one each:

  • Caprese salad – Tomatoes, mixed leaves, basil, fresh mozzarella, olives, and capers.
  • Spaghetti al sugo (tomato sauce).
  • Grilled beef with rockets and tomatoes.
Caprese salad - Tomatoes, mixed leaves, basil, fresh mozzarella, olives, and capers.
Caprese salad – Tomatoes, mixed leaves, basil, fresh mozzarella, olives, and capers.
Spaghetti ao sugo.
Spaghetti al sugo.
Grilled beef with rockets and tomatoes.
Grilled beef with rockets and tomatoes.

Salad and pasta were gorgeous! Nothing to add or remove, great choice.

On the other hand, our beef was a bit disappointing, bland and tasteless, although correctly cooked.

Anyways, I understand that Hubby and I were a bit naive with our choice. Let me explain you why.

They are well-known for their servings of seafood, so asking for a beef steak sounds quite wrong, right? 😜
But at the same time if a restaurant puts it on their menu it should be prepared as good as the others dishes, in my opinion.

In a nutshell, the restaurant is good, overall; it also has amazing views.
Just play safe and go for a seafood dish instead. 🙂

The verdict

Considering that we were a bit unlucky with of our choice, the place has great options (we loved our salad and pasta), good service and amazing views.

It is also incredibly popular during lunchtime, so if you can make a reservation or get there as soon as it opens (like we did).

Exact location: maps.google.com/maps/FgS3G8KFGVn

More information: www.ristorantebelforte.it


You can check more posts here on the blog about my holidays in Europe and also everything I published about Italy or Cinque Terre.

Trattoria Vecchio Mercato • Florence

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Trattoria Vecchio Mercato - Live music every Monday night.
Trattoria Vecchio Mercato: live music every Monday night.

We had our last meal in Italy at Trattoria Vecchio Mercato, and what a meal it was!

It had everything we wanted to finish our holidays in Italy with great food memories.

And that particular evening we’re super lucky!
Coincidently, it was on a Monday, the day they have live music in the house, played on the piano at the occasion by a very talented musician.

My order

As I said above, this was our last meal meal in Italy before travelling to Spain, so we decided to go above and beyond what we normally order: 😜

  • Hubby: Red chicory and gorgonzola risotto.
  • Mine: Spaghetti alla carbonara: spaghetti with eggs, ham, cream, cheese and black pepper.
  • To share: Bistecca alla Fiorentina for one person (~500 grams), with potatoes e tomatoes.
Italian bread and focaccia.
Entrée: Italian bread and focaccia.
Red chicory and gorgonzola risotto.
Red chicory and gorgonzola risotto.
Spaghetti alla carbonara - Spaghetti with eggs, ham, cream, cheese and black pepper.
Spaghetti alla carbonara – Spaghetti with eggs, ham, cream, cheese and black pepper.
Bistecca alla fiorentina for one person (~500gr.), with potatoes e tomatoes.
Bistecca alla Fiorentina for one person (~500 grams), with potatoes e tomatoes.

Everything was so delicious!

My carbonara was perfection in form of pasta, I can honestly I’ve never had a carbonara so good as this one before.

A small side note goes to the famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina though: given how famous this dish is, I had high expectations.
I might say that, yes, it is good, but not something exactly remarkable. It’s just a good steak, and that is it.

This place serves two sizes (500 grams and 1kg) – which they say are servings for one and two people. 🙀
We decided to get the smallest one to share and it was enough.

By the way, it wasn’t on their menu, but as we intended to share, the waiter also suggested a 750g version.
So maybe other fractions are also available.

The house also serves a good number of Italian wines, and of course, we decided to get a bottle of red wine to celebrate our amazing holiday in this fabulous country.

The verdict

Amazing place to have a nice and cozy dinner with your loved one.

The atmosphere is great, food amazing, service spot on.
It’s also super close to Mercato Centrale Florence, so in case you happen to be around the area, Trattoria Vecchio Mercato is a great choice to include in your itinerary.

Location: maps.google.com/maps/JrcgPCDyehP2

More information: www.vecchiomercato.it


You can check more posts here on the blog about my holidays in Europe and also everything I published about Italy or Florence.

Mercato Centrale Florence: La pizzeria sud and La pasta fresca • Florence

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In case you are a foodie like me, this is the best place to visit in Florence!

Florence’s Mercato Centrale is an incredibly rich and diverse place (culturally speaking), packed with stalls displaying fresh produce, meat, fish, cheese, and, obviously, authentic Italian food. 🇮🇹

Take your time exploring this amazing place, and to finish off your visit, go upstairs to try at least one of all the restaurants available at the food court.

The challenge is deciding which restaurant to have your meal from, when everything looks so delicious!

My order

To give you a better perspective of the place, hubby and I decided to other our lunch from two different restaurants, so here is how we did it:

La pizzeria Sud – By Chef Stefano Callegari.

La pizzeria Sud - By Chef Stefano Callega.
La pizzeria sud – By chef Stefano Callegari.
Pizza Margherita.
Pizza Margherita.

Here the option could not be anything other than a super traditional Pizza Margherita, right?

This one in particular was Naples style, with a fluffy crust, delicious tomato sauce, and a super buttery mozzarella cheese topping everything.
ABSOLUTELY YUM! 😍

La pasta fresca – By chef Raimondo Mendolia

La pasta fresca - By Chef Raimondo Mendolia.
La pasta fresca – By chef Raimondo Mendolia.
Gnocchi stuffed with four kinds of cheese, topped with butter and salvia sauce.
Gnocchi stuffed with four types of cheese, topped with butter and salvia sauce.

Another dish we decided to try was this cute Gnocchi stuffed with four different types of cheese 🧀, topped with butter and salvia sauce.

How was it? Simply gorgeous.

We finished it wanting more, and more!
Now that I’m writing this post I’m being reminded that this is something I should totally try at home, ASAP!

The verdict

Florence’s Mercato Centrale is definitely a must, even if you are not planning to have lunch there.

Just go and explore the place, there are plenty of stalls where you can have a taste of different foods as well.

Seeing where the locals shop and eat is, in itself, an amazing experience.
Added bonus to your visit is, of course, going upstairs for more good food and prepared meals!

Exact location: maps.google.com/maps/WriHDnCyaLH2

More information: http://www.mercatocentrale.it


You can check more posts here on the blog about my holidays in Europe and also everything I published about Italy or Florence.

Casa Toscana • Florence

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Casa Toscana was a pleasant surprise to us.

After all, who doesn’t love nice surprises, right? 😜

Located right in front of the Airbnb accommodation we book for this trip, we conveniently decided to have our first meal in Florence there.

The verdict?
What a meal!

Everything was super delicious, generous portions and a spot on service.

My order

We decided to order a few things to share:

  • Casa Toscana salad – mixed leaves, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, eggs, and red capsicum.
  • Lasagne della casa al forno.
  • Poposo – Tuscan beef stew.
Casa Toscana salad - mixed leaves, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, eggs, and red capsicum.
Casa Toscana salad – mixed leaves, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, eggs, and red capsicum.
Lasagne della casa al forno.
Lasagne della casa al forno.
Poposo - Tuscan beef stew.
Poposo – Tuscan beef stew.

That salad was simply – have no other word to describe it – HUGE!

It is supposed to be an individual serving but you could share with your whole family, I must say. 😜

Lasagne was super creamy and rich in flavour.
The cheese on top, so fresh, melting to make the dish even more fascinating.

Finally, Poposo, a tuscan style beef stew as melting in our mouths.
Overall, everything nicely packed with flavour and simply delicious.

The verdict

I loved their food, restaurant and staff.

Just keep in mind that their menu is different for lunch and dinner.
So make sure to double check what you’re planning to order.

Some options, like pizza, are only available in the evening, for dinner.

Exact location: www.goo.gl/maps/r62mBZwgQ6M2

More information: www.trattoriacasatoscana.com


You can check more posts here on the blog about my holidays in Europe and also everything I published about Italy or Florence.

Roma Sparita • Rome (restaurant review)

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Roma Sparita - entrance.
Roma Sparita – entrance.

Since I watched this Antony Bourdain’s episode in Rome (more than 6 years ago) my vocabulary increased by exactly two words: Cacio e Pepe.

The translation is simply cheese and pepper, and it is an authentic Romanian dish.

This is a super simple pasta made only with Romanian Pecorino cheese and black pepper, however its flavour is something from another world.

Searching online what would be the best place to try it, Roma Sparita was the top recommendation, named by a few reviewers as providing a life changing Cacio e Pepe.
So why not check it in person and get our lives changed, eh? 😜

My order

I admit that I was super excited going to this place and didn’t even consider ordering anything else in their menu.

I just wanted to try their Cacio e Pepe.
Anyways, we ended up ordering two more things as follows:

  • Simple salad (to share): simple salad – mixed leaves and tomato.
  • Main: pasta Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper).
  • Dessert (to share): tiramisu.
Simple salad - mixed leaves and tomato.
Simple salad – mixed leaves and tomato.
Pasta Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper).
Pasta Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper).
Tiramisu.
Tiramisu.

As we’re so hyped about this dish, Hubby and I decided to order one each, no sharing this time! 😁
The idea was to have full appreciation of our meals.

Oh boy, what was that cheese bowl!?
Now, do you understand the life changing thing, right?

I simply LOVED it. ❤️

It is delicious, but I must admit that’s a bit salty (I read reviews online about it too), so a glass of wine will do a great job.

Assuming you have no issues with highly salted food, I absolutely can recommend it – SUPER YUM.

To finish our dinner I had a tiramisu, it was good but nothing exceptional.
Enough to cut the saltness from our previous dish though. 😜

The verdict

I would totally go again, loved their food and service.
Our waiter was super funny and friendly.

The house gets super busy so I highly recommend you to book.

We didn’t book, but we arrived there 10 minutes before opening and they managed to give us a table, lucky us. 🙂

Exact location: maps.google.com/maps/sWArZF9RyZH2

More information: www.romasparita.com/en/


You can check more posts here on the blog about my holidays in Europe and also everything I published about Italy or Rome.