When you tell people you've just been to Austria and Italy most people want to know one thing and one thing only: what did you eat?
In October I had the good fortune to take a jaunt through those two countries and thought I'd answer that question with a sampling, in photos. It's Thanksgiving weekend here in the U.S., after all. Though some of these are mine, many thanks to Matthew for the best of the images included in this post...
First up, the unsurpassed cafés of Vienna, starting with my favorite café in all the world. We visited Café Central twice in six days:
Café Demel was our first café visit this trip:
And there was also Café Landtmann, an old hangout of a certain Viennese shrink, fellow by the name of Sigmund Freud:
Vienna's not all cakes and coffee, though. The city loves its cured meat too, in endless varieties, as in this supermarket near where we stayed with friends, just outside the Ring:
Cured meat, cheeses, exotic fruits, olives, and prepared seafood is a fraction of what's on offer at the outdoor stalls of the old Naschmarkt, near the Secession Building:
Venice's Rialto market on that city's Grand Canal is legendary, a visual feast from the produce sellers to the fish market. We didn't sample the horsemeat...
In Bologna we stayed in the heart of a district packed with produce sellers, bakeries, fish sellers, butchers, and cheese shops.
But what we'll always remember about Bologna, our last stop before heading home, was the best gelato of our entire trip, right in the shadow of the city's most identifiable landmarks, the adjacent, 12th century Asinelli and Garisenda Towers.
The most intense flavor? A cherry and white-chocolate concoction called Inferno (what else?), which drew us back to the gelateria that sold it over, and over, and over again. One has to wonder whether this infernally tempting gelato is named as it is because the Garisenda Tower that looms over this fine gelateria is cited in Dante's Inferno:
As when one sees the tower called Garisenda
from underneath its leaning side, and then a cloud
passes over and it seems to lean the more,
thus did Antaeus seem to my fixed gaze
as I watched him bend -- that was indeed a time
I wished that I had gone another road.
--- Divine Comedy, Inferno, XXXI, 136-141 ---
While staying in Bologna we took a train to Ferrara for the day. On the city's central square we ordered a regional specialty, a pumpkin-filled pasta called cappellacci di zucca, cooked in butter and sage.
Satiated? Or are you salivating?
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