Italy  
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Mariah Milano's Dinner with a Pornstar
Mariah Milano  
ITALY - Ventimiglia, Genoa, Milano, Verona
In the 1930s my great grandparents immigrated from Palermo, Sicily to Brooklyn. Then during the California boom in the 1950s my newly married grandparents moved to Los Angeles. The first time I went to Italy I fell in love with the simple way of life and the happiness that comes with it. The loud laughter and boisterous conversations you hear as you walk the streets, and the truly amazing food that is so simple and yet so fantastic. Everything there revolves around family and food and the kitchen is the place to be. The smells of great food and a passion for life make Italy so special.
A Quick Lunch Stop in Ventimiglia, Italy
Giardino del Gusto - Lunch
Piazza XX Settembre 6C, Ventimiglia, Italy
food reviews
4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
price is very reasonable at $15 per person including 1 glass of wine each.
My most recent trip to Italy was in January 2012. I had been in Southern France for a week and took the train up the coast to Milano. On the way I had to change trains in Ventimiglia and decided to have some lunch and spend the afternoon seeing the town. Right outside the train station is old town with beautiful old streets and buildings and a wonderful indoor market. It was a Friday luckily so the outdoor farmer's maket was in full swing and featured the most gorgeous fruits and flowers and fresh vegetables. You can eat the lemons and oranges like apples, with the peel still ON! There is just something magical about walking down streets that are a thousand years old.
I had lunch at Il Giardino del Gusto which was a place that was recommended by a local whom I sat across from on the train. The owner is Maria and she greets you at the door and I can say that the food was out of this world. How can something as simple as soup and a salami and cheese sandwich be so delicious? (see photos below) Thank you Maria! The place was really comfortable and they are used to train travelers so bringing your luggage isn't a problem. The service was decent, it is Italy after all and I would call it "relaxed dining". In other words, no one is in a hurry to bring your food!
So if you find yourself passing through Ventimiglia I highly recommend Il Giardino del Gusto!
Mariah Milano's Dinner with a Pornstar
Genoa, Italy
Genoa is one of the largest sea ports in all of Europe and is the largest in Italy. When I was approaching the city on the train I was really surprised how enormous the port is. I always think of sausage when I hear the name Genoa...then again I'm a BIG fan of sausage :) Ok, sorry, couldn't resist throwing that in! As the train finally turned away from the sea the area was very industrial. I knew very little about Genoa and had decided to only stay one night so I decided to read up on it a little.
Some interesting facts about Genoa: It's the 6th largest city in Italy and the largest sea port. It's nicknamed "Superba" or The Superb One due to its vast history and cultural signifigance in Europe. It is also the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. The city, since the 19th century, hosts massive shipyards, oil refineries and steelworks, while its solid financial sector dates back to the Middle Ages. The Bank of St George is among the oldest in the world and was founded in 1407! The population of Genoa exceeds 1.5 million
Hotel Melia Genova - 1 night stay
Via Corsica, 4, 16128 Genoa, Italy website
food reviews
4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
The hotel price was very good. I booked it through Venere.com and paid $179 in advance a great price for this quality hotel!
The Melia Genova is considered to be the nicest hotel in Genoa and since I haven't stayed at any other hotels, I cannot confirm this at this time! :) However, it is a really nice hotel with surprisingly large and very modern clean rooms. The hotel is brand new and very nicely furnished with a large actual king size bed rather than 2 twins pushed together which is the normal in Europe. It was also really quiet which I love. The pool area seemed nice but it was January so I didn't get to take a dip. The sea shore is just a 5 minute walk and really beauitful especially at night. This was a perfect place to stay for the one night. It isn't near the city center which would be important for a longer stay.
Trattoria Rosmarino Dinner & Lunch!
Salita del Fondaco 30, 16100 Genoa, Italy Website
food reviews
4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
very well priced for how amazing this place is! Expect to pay $50 per person with wine but worth every penny!

One of the great dining experiences of my life. When you come to Italy you expect to eat food that exceeds all expectations and let's face it, more often than not our expectations are far too high. But not this time. This was better than you could imagine. The food was truly amazing and the atmosphere was wonderful. The menu

is on a chalkboard and our waiter spoke English and translated everything for us. I cannot tell you how great the food was because there are no words. But I will tell you that we returned again for lunch the following day on our way to the train station.

Without question, go to this amazing place. Plan your entire trip around having dinner or lunch here. Your opinion of Italian food will change forever, I promise. A true shame that everyone can't have at least one meal here to see what real Italian food and a real Italian restaurant should be. Don't miss it!
Genoa Italy Mariah Milano shopping
trattoira rosmarino restorante
Milano Italy
spaghetti with lobster
Milano, Italy
When I got to Milan it was about 3pm and it was cold outside. The hotel is just a 5 minute taxi ride from the Milano Centrale train station, which by the way is a truly beautiful train station! I wasn't sure what to expect with Best Western but this is in their high end Premier Boutique Hotel division and I can tell you it was fantastic. The lobby is elegant and everyone was really nice and spoke English.
While in the lobby waiting for my room to be ready I was listening to this guy playing guitar and singing and it was truly beautiful. I thought he was the hotel entertainer but it turns out he was waiting for his room to be ready also. There was a crowd gathering and people were coming in from the street to see him play so I figured he was someone famous, and it turns out he is. His name is Eddie Oliva. He is a very famous Italian singer and a wonderful, funny man. He sang his most famous song, "Nostalgia" to me which was beautiful. I recently found the song on iTunes and it is in my ipod and on rotation when I cook
Best Western Cristoforo Columbo - 2 nights
Corso Buenos Aires 3, 20124 Milan, Italy website
hotel review
4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Surprisingly great hotel for the money! I also booked this through Venere.com and paid $292 in advance. For Milan that is really cheap. Very nice hotel!
The hotel is very centrally located and on the main shopping street which is Corso Buenos Aires. After getting settled in I decided to check Trip Advisor for a good restaurant nearby that isn't toursisty and I hit the jackpot.
Da Maruzzella Dinner & Lunch!
Piazza Oberdan, Milan, Italy
food reviews
4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
the best meal I have EVER had. 2 bottles of wine, appetizers and dessert for under $100? Fantastic! Lunch for $12 each!!
It is sad that I can't express in words how amazing this restaurant was. I think about it often and have to say it was the best food I have ever had in my entire life. I went there for dinner and when I got there it was packed. I put my name on the list and waited. The pizza kitchen is in the front and as I waited I watched Nunzio (pictured to the left) make pizza after pizza as well as this beautiful antipasti with pizza dough bread. I was starving after a long day of train travel and this was killing me. I felt like a horny man watching a parade of beautiful naked busty women walking by just out of reach. Needless to say, I was HUNGRY!
Once we were seated Nunzio turned out to also be our waiter! He is a very sweet little Sicilian man who served me the greatest meals of my life. I had the antipasti and as recommended by Nunzio I ordered a margheritta pizza and spaghetti with lobster and 2 bottles of wine. I forced myself to have dessert which was a very simple yet decadent tart with ricotta cheese and chestnuts and honey. It was so good I couldn't think of any reason to not return for lunch the next day, so I did. I had calamari and pizza with Italian spicy sausage and porcini mushrooms and then a cannoli for dessert. Let me say it one more time, just to be absolutely clear: This is my all-time favorite restaurant in the world, period. Make a reservation or be prepared to wait, but it's sooooooo worth it! One of the best parts of the entire experience was the wait. I got to watch them make the pizzas and the antipasti and the breads and it built up the anticipation and made me see how much care and technique and skill goes into their food!
Verona, Italy
Verona is my personal favorite place I have ever been. The streets are spotlessly clean and the city is alive with great energy. The history is so beautiful with the love story of Romeo and Juliette being set here and the romantics from all over the world come to Verona to leave Juliette a letter asking for lost loves to return to them. I left a letter for her myself and placed a lock with my initials on it on a tree in the courtyard under her balcony. I will never forget my trip here and plan to return again soon!
Anfiteatro Bed & Breakfast - 4 night stay
Via Alberto Mario, 5, 37121 Verona, Italy
food reviews
4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
amazing place right in the heart of old town Verona and only 1 block to the arena and the piazza
I went through many many places looking for the perfect place to stay in Verona and finally decided on this B&B rather than a hotel. I could not be more happy with my choice! The room is HUGE with amazing decor and so clean! The location could not be more perfect as it's in the heart of the Old City surrounded by shops and cafes and the best stores in the world!

They offer a small buffet type breakfast which is adequate and the owner Monica is great. She gave us some suggestions for restaurants that aren't in the over-priced piazzas and tourist traps and they were perfect.

I would not come to Verona again if I couldn't stay here. I would arrange my trip around their availability. Bravo!
Osteria Giulietta e Romeo - Late supper
Corso S. Anastasia, 27, Verona, Italy
food reviews
4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
the price for 2 with wine was under 40 euro so a good value for late night convenience.
The place was busy and it was locals not tourists it seemed which to me is a great sign. The service was rushed and there wasn't an ounce of personality from our waitress but that's ok as long as the service is good and the food is good, which it was.
I had the penne with meat sauce which was good and then went with the roasted chicken and potatoes which I rarely would do but the potatoes sounded good. My partner had a filet and potatoes which was actually great and we shared a pappardele pasta and duck ragu that was really excellent.
*** something worth noting, only southern italian sauce is tomatoe based for the most part so when you order it in the north it is not red!.
I wouldnt say it was great, but it was decent for sure. it would be nice to at least get a smile from someone expecting a tip :) Would I go back? Probably but I wouldn't make plans to.
Osteria de Ugo - Lunch
Vicolo Dietro S.Andrea 1/B, 37121 Verona, Italy Website
food reviews
4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
very well priced for how amazing this place is! Expect to pay $50 per person with wine but worth every penny!
Our B&B owner suggested this place to us as away from the over-priced tourist places in the piazzas and we were not disappointed. The place is hidden away and not easy to find as we got 3 different sets of directions from 3 different people but finally found it.

The waiter spoke some english and was very nice. We had the onion soup and the pasta fagoule soup which were both amazing! For main course I had the pappardele with duck ragu with truffle shavings that was to DIE for and my companion had the penne with lamb ragu and artichokes. Outstanding. Washed all down with some Proseco and it was back to the room for siesta!

Do yourself a favor and take a trip to Verona. Stay at the Anfiteatro and walk around the streets and see what a city is supposed to be. Clean and vibrant and so full of great energy.

Genoa Italy Mariah Milano shopping
the verona arena
pasta with black truffle shavings
Mariah Milano's Dinner with a Pornstar
Ratings based on Hotel + Food + Location + Available Transportation + Accessibility
Ventimiglia Genoa Milano Verona
Nice old city but I need to see more of it before I can say! loved "old town" streets and midevil feel to it. I think there is a lot left for me to see here! :) Nice for a big city - I would return for sure! loved the town along the shore and the diversity of the city from modern to very old! A little industrial for my liking though. Loved it. Big city but a lot of character! great shopping and of course, the food Mama mia! I would strongly suggest to stay in the center of the city. I am really glad that I did! My favorite place I have ever been. So romantic and clean and so beautiful. I can't imagine it gets better than Verona. Romeo & Juliette had it right! If you ever want to go someplace different, try Verona!
4 stars 4 stars 4 stars half star
4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
CLICK HERE TO READ MY REVIEWS OF ROME, FLORENCE AND VENICE!
Mariah Milano's Dinner with a Pornstar
My photo gallery
Pizza with truffle oil and porcini mushrooms in Milan Calamari in Milano Pappardelle Pasta with Ground Lamb
pasta with black truffle shavings Calamari in Milano Pappardelle Pasta with Ground Lamb
Florence Pasta with Marinara Pecarino Cheese Pumpkin Risotto in Verona Espresso after dinner in Verona
Florence Pasta with Marinara Pecarino Cheese pumpkin risotto esspresso in Verona Italy!
On the way to Juliette's House in Verona A Cuban cigar after dinner in Verona The Verona Arena built in 40 A.D.
casa julietta cuban cigar in verona italy verona arena
My room at the Anfiteatro in Verona My room at the Anfiteatro in Verona An amazing Gelato Shop in Venice Italy
bedroom at b&b in Verona bedroom at b&b in Verona gelato in venice italy
Canoli in Rome Best of my life! Gelato in Naples that was amazing! Flowers at the Ventimiglia Street Market
canoli i had in rome italy gelato in ventimiglia flowers at the outdoor market in Ventimiglia
shopping in Milano Italia mission impossible poster pasta with fresh anchovies
shopping in Milano Italia mission impossible poster pasta with fresh anchovies
Juliettes balcony in Verona Duck ragu pasta in Rome - I LOVE this! Ventimiglia street market
juliettes balcony duck ragu pasta Ventimiglia street market
putting a lock on a vine under juliette's balcony pizza and red wine in Milano antipasti in milano
putting a lock on a vine under juliette's balcony pizza and red wine in Milano antipasti in milano
Mariah Milano's Dinner with a Pornstar
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"The old believe everything: the middle-aged suspect everything: the young know everything.” - Oscar Wilde

home page all about me! my travel reviews videos and photos from my travels read my articles and editorials! food porn! guest chefs happy hour cocktail hour! red light district click here for my links
Home Page About the Chef Travel Reviews Videos & Photos My Articles Food Porn Erotica Special Guests Happy Hour Red Light District Links