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Eating in Italy

Posted on 24/09/2012

Today, as I watch the rain pour down outside I am remembering some of the best moments from my holiday in Italy this Summer. For me Italy is food heaven, so here are my top 5 things to eat in Lake Como & Milan.

1.) Eat Ice cream! Italy is world famous for its ice cream (gelato) and with good reason, Milan and Lake Como are both full of gelato shops, you could try a different flavour every day! Here are two of my favourite places to try:

Gelato Giustoor the right ice cream, is run by Cordon Bleu graduate Vittoria Bortolazzo. They specialize in quality ice cream made with only natural ingredients and their flavours change with the seasons, so you are always eating what tastes the best right now. In summertime they have exiting flavours like Basil or Ginger & Lime. I tried the Raspberry which was fantastic!

Cioccolati Italiani, is the perfect combination for ice cream and chocolate lovers. You choose either dark or milk liquid chocolate to go into the base of your cone and then your ice cream flavours to go on top. Their ice creams are organised into fruit based, cream based and chocolate. They have 6 different flavours of chocolate ice cream alone, in different cocoa strengths. If you fancy something different the essence of Rose ice cream is incredible!

2.) Buy beautiful Leone sweets at The Caffe Bar Sport in Bellaggio.

On a day trip to Bellaggio, we were rewarded for climbing the many steep steps up from the waterfront by discovering the Caffe Bar Sport, it was one of the highlights of our trip. This beautiful old fashioned sweetshop is filled with a myriad of sugary delights and has been run by one family since 1922. It took me ages to stop just looking at everything in sheer awe and actually decide what I wanted to buy. I was very restrained and only left with two boxes of biscotti for my husband’s workmates, which came in beautiful Flower Fairy tins which are now on display in my studio and some essence of Rose bon bons for myself.

The shelves were lined with beautiful ranges by Leone, an Italian company who I discovered have been in business since 1857 and are one of the oldest confectioners in Europe. Their packaging design is some of the most beautiful I have ever seen and their sweets are even better!

These beautiful professional images are courtesy of the delightful Morena from Leone.

3.) Go out for dinner. If you’re staying in Milan try Ristorante Manna. The entire experience is amazing and every course is a work of art. Chef Matteo makes fun and exciting dishes like vegetable fruit salad with lettuce ice cream. Try the gazpacho soup, It’s the best I’ve ever had!

4.) Have a picnic by the lake and take in the view. Italian supermarkets are amazing, the cheese counter alone is an experience. Buy a selection of your favourite Italian goodies and find a quiet spot to enjoy them. We bought fresh baked foccacia, balls of Buffalo mozzarella, a handful of fresh Basil and delicious roasted pepper antipasti.

5.) Stock up on Olive Oil from Premiato Oleificio Vanni Osvaldo in Lenno. Visit this wonderful local producer is used by all the local restaurants. They have been producing olive oil in Lenno since 1850, using traditional cold-pressing methodst makes a great gift and every time you use it it will remind you of your Italian adventure.