A Pizza in Pisa…

Posted in Travel on February 28th, 2010 by Coffee

Another weekend away in Italy last weekend. This time we nipped off to see what we thought of Florence and Pisa…

Again it was a weekend of walking, but Florence appeared to be a lot more compact than Rome so the walking did not hurt the legs as much (but they still hurt a bit), either that or we have just gotten used to it.  Florence has some very cool streets to walk around and it has a nice feeling to it. The pizza’s are pretty good too.  But for dinner one night (when we didn’t have pizza) the chef had over done it on the garlic, so lets just say there we quite a few mints required the next day.

What we’ve realised now is that Italy really shuts down on Sundays! Like really shuts down! You’d think that there might be a tourist office open at least in Pisa, but no! Heaps and heaps and heaps of tacky souvenir stalls, but no info! But not many people around either, which was nice.

I think the highlight for me ended up being the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and I suspect that for Bec it was seeing the statue of David up close and personal.

Of course the picture we have posted is one of the two replica’s of the statue, as you are not allowed to take pictures of the real one.  This happened in Rome to when in the Sistine Chapel  – no photo! (though only in the chapel – pretty much everywhere else in the Vatican gallery it was fine)   How do we feel about that? Mixed feelings really I guess.  I get that they are not sure what the infra red light does to things, but I am also sure it is just so people have to buy a postcard or a souvenir of it! But the statue is quite impressive, and it did not disappoint. The detail is pretty fantastic. And the tower really does lean! I was expecting to be underwhelmed, but it was much more impressive than expected. Especially as I wasn’t expecting all the other buildings and square around the tower too.


Another random highlight for Bec was the dinky small electric buses that tootled around Florence. So cute!

Oh and the ice cream we had too was worth it, there’s something about Italian ice cream, it truly is probably the best in the world (well from the countries we’ve managed to sample from anyway).

White Curry

Posted in Food and Drink on February 14th, 2010 by Coffee

This is one of our favourite  dishes lately. White chicken curry. YUM!


I think we’ve made it about four times now, including on New Year’s eve. As always with these sort of recipes,  each time has been slightly different, and never as good as the first time!

It’s got really nice, subtle, flavours, doesn’t take too much work or weird ingredients. Max points!

There’s quite a few other recipes in the same book that we’ve tried and liked too, but this one is the best so far!!

When in Rome….. Walk!

Posted in Travel on February 6th, 2010 by Bec

January is normally a long, cold, dark horrible month here. So we normally try to do something to break it up a bit. This year we decided to go have a look at Rome for a couple of days. Not that Rome would be tropical, of course, but at least it’s not London!  I’d been before, but Mike hadn’t. In the end we couldn’t have had better winter weather for it, dry, crisp and sunny on day one and warm and cloudyish on day 2 – just as well with all the walking that we did.

Highlights of day one, would have to be the Vatican and Sistine chapel.  The Vatican is such a grand building and it even had a very large nativity scene in it with its own working water wheel!  But the Sistine chapel, always impresses me with the amount of paintings and art within the building.  It was funny this time as they were not letting you take pictures,  however, they are not so good at publicising this so we managed to get quite a few before we realised!   The rest of the day we pretty much just kept walking around and taking in all the tourist sites, including Spanish steps, Trevi fountain, Pantheon and I am sure there are more!

By the time we got back to our hotel and sat our weary bodies down it was very hard to get back up again and set off on yet another walk to find somewhere for dinner.  Eventually we ended up back where I wanted to go from the start, but only after doing a few circles around the local area. But it was a final choice of Japanese (yes I know its not very traditionally Italian) but it was fantastic (if you are ever looking for a good place to go when there and fancy Japanese, go to Taki)!  All that was left after a big meal was to sleep well and recoup for tomorrow. When we started walking again!


Day Two – pretty much started by heading as far away from our main point of interest for the day – The Coliseum, and then the train station.  But it allowed us to get some more exercise and take in a few other tourist sites.  But the Coliseum was worth a visit even after standing in a massive cue to get in.  It really is a massive structure that is still quite well preserved.  Oh and the pizza slice we had for lunch from what was probably more of a local shop than a tourist one was fan-bloody-tastic.  We were just gutted we couldn’t find another shop later in the afternoon before having to leave so we could have another piece, hungry or not (of course we didn’t need it)!

What’s my view of my second visit to Rome? The first time (about 8-9 years ago) I had absolutely loved it and it had become one of my favourite cities.  Now I’m a bit undecided I think… Parts of it did not have the same ‘wow’ factor as I remember the first time did.  However, I think the first time I went I really had not been anywhere else (or maybe anywhere for that matter) within Europe with such history or buildings.  But I got more and probably better pictures due to the quality of camera’s nowadays.


Google Earth paths of our 2 days walks are here: Day 1 walk, and Day 2 walk.