Italy: For the Love of Coffee

Since my first trip to Italy all I have longed for was another Italian cappuccino. I have had multiple conversations with others about our love for the coffee of Italy. My former co-worker from France begrudgingly but completely agreed; The Italians do it better. And my recent trip confirmed that: from the hotel coffee machine to the café on the corner Italy’s coffee is delicious.

During my first trip there wasn’t a cappuccino that I didn’t try. From Rome to Florence to Venice, any chance I broke the rule of cappuccinos only at breakfast and drank until I could drink no more. But this time I had little time and a lot of stops on the itinerary, so I did what my lovely guides and hosts did. Well, most of the time.

My first morning was the breakfast buffet at the NYX Hotel in Milan. (Side note: if you’re an American reading this you would die of shock of how wonderful these buffets are compared to our sad hotel breakfasts). After gathering my plate of fresh, delicious treats I stood in front of the ultimate sacrilege: an automated cappuccino machine. Desperate after being up 36 hours traveling the previous days and unsure if there was coffee service, I filled my cup. Gratefully there were actual waitstaff who brought me a cappuccino. But not before I had finished what was a really terrific cappuccino, actually, better than most chains-that-will-not-be-named. Yes, even the Italian automated machines are better.

Outside the Duomo I expected a less than stellar experience being a high tourist area. Before lunch we popped into this cute place, literally called Caffeè and sidled up to the bar. That is the one thing that the coffee culture offers in Italy: fast bar service. There is no need for a to-go experience when you can simply walk up and get a quick shot of espresso or cappuccino. The speed in which the baristas delivered our varied drinks was outstanding with a glass of water on the side.  Oh yes, I was falling deeper into my coffee stupor.

FTIW1680hotelbelleriveNext destination was Lake Garda and the Hotel Bellerive did not disappoint (again these breakfasts are a whole other post). The waitstaff brought me coffee with steamed cream. It’s why you’re seeing multiple pictures of this. If there were a perfect cup of coffee, it was here. The perfect temperature and the cream. I savored each delicious cup. Later after lunch I would have another first, shot of espresso. This is not something I normally drink. But the little cup, with the little bit of sugar and the cream was just a little slice of heaven. Rich, dark, almost like a dessert in the way of satiating a sweet tooth, but with coffee.

Now that I’m back, I’ve been told that if I truly want to dive into coffee, I must go to Naples and enjoy the coffee culture there. So it’s now on my next spring trip list. But I’m afraid I may never come back. Maybe I won’t…

@2019 JennieOSix














My Writings on Italy

I have not been blogging personally for a while, but have been getting paid to blog on various websites. Here’s a couple from Cultural Italy, the luxury travel tour company that I also write their monthly Travel Tips newsletter:

Marina Abramovic: A Body of Art

Flight Network’s World’s Best Journeys

Winter to Spring Festivals

Ancient Theatre among the Ruins

Becoming the Art: The Klimt Experience

Manifesta 12: Palermo

Andy Warhol Superstar

Sneek Peek at the Summer Festivals

The Price of a Savior

Foodies Paradise: Eataly World

Winter Travel Wonders

An Unconventional Thanksgiving







Simple Sexy Food Part 2: Arugula Parmesan Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

You can get all the ingredients at Trader Joes.

It’s so yummy and easy you’ll wonder if you could just eat this every day and if anyone else in the house would mind if that happened.

Here you go:

1/2 a bag of Arugula

Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes 5-6 chopped

Parmesan Cheese (the powdery kind) 1/4 c or less

Red Onion about 1/8th chopped

Sweet little bell peppers 2 or 3 chopped

Toasted sunflower seeds 1/8 c (if you by them raw you can do it yourself in the toaster oven just before serving)

Dressing (makes enough for 2 servings)

1/4 c. Apple Cider Vinegar

3/4 c. Olive Oil

1-2 TBSP. Honey

1-2 TBSP. Water

Salt & Pepper to Taste

Take all salad ingredients, chop bell peppers, tomatoes and onions. Sprinkle Parmesan on top.  Add Sunflower seeds.

Take all dressing ingredients and whisk until blended.  Drizzle over salad. Toss.

I used 1/2 my bag and ended up eating most of the salad part and had leftover tomatoes, onion and dressing in the bottom. I just added more arugula and had more salad. Enjoy.



simple sexy food part i

As my husband can attest, I can come up with some really delicious things to eat.  When I was a vegetarian, I ate so many salads that I almost never eat raw vegetables anymore. And they don’t always make things so sexy later. But this recipe incorporates raw and cooked, so things are a little more, yummy…

This recipe is simple, easy and all of the ingredients can be purchased at Trader Joes. If you follow this recipe, it makes about 4 servings and they run about 450 calories each. Yeah.

Sexy Veggie Wraps

1/2 package Firm High Protein Tofu cut into strips

Brown Rice Tortillas

3 TBSP Peanut Butter

1-2 tsp of Chili Sauce depending on how hot you like it

Red Bell Pepper

1/2 Red Onion

2 Tbps Olive Oil




Sauce: Take the peanut butter and chili sauce mix together. Add more or less chili depending on how spicy you want it. Set it aside.

Heat olive oil in pan. Saute chopped Red Bell Pepper and Onion, you can add salt if you want, saute until soft then place strips of tofu in and begin to brown in pan.  Once they’re almost done take them off heat. Heat up the Brown Rice Tortillas, they work better warm and when almost finished, spread your sauce mixture on the tortilla in the middle. Add the sauteed vegetables, 1/4 of the avocado, lettuce and sprouts. Wrap, and enjoy.