ZAP Wanderlust: Italian Holiday


Is it Friday yet? That’s what I’ve been telling myself all week as I count down the days until Zapwater’s winter break (probably one of the biggest employee perks we get over here), Christmas and my upcoming trip to Italy. Needless to say, I’ve got a lot to look forward to and the days, hours and minutes this week seem to be dragging. Did I mention I still need to pack? However, it will all be worth it when we take off from O’Hare headed to Venice via Heathrow.

When I lived abroad, I discovered that everyone has a different thing when they choose to immerse themselves in while they travel that to them measures the culture of the destination. Some choose museums and study the art that defines a country, while others immerse themselves behind the lens capturing photos to bring home with them. This may come as no shock to anyone who knows me, but I choose food.

In preparation for any trip, I did my due diligence scouring the internet and immersing myself in travel guide to discover the best places to dine. In Italy, the specialties are quite obvious, and I’ve already told my husband (and my waistband), that diets are out until we return and it’s pizza for breakfast, pasta for lunch, and pizza and pasta for dinner with a side of gelato thrown in for good measure for the whole 12 days we’ll be there.

So today, I’m sharing my research for the three major cities we are headed to, scoured for from friends and family, and the September 2016 issue of Food & Wine magazine with some Conde Nast Traveler guides thrown in too!


  • All’Arco – located under the Rialto Bridge, this spot is the perfect spot for people watching while enjoying some prosecco and cicchetti
  • Caffe Florian – Venice’s iconic, albeit expensive, coffee shop
  • Trattoria Gatto Nero
  • Alla Maddalena
  • Da Celeste
  • Gelateria Alaska


  • Ciro & Sons – confession: I may have cried when my meal ended here back in 2010. I cannot wait to go back for their Pear and Cheese Ravioli
  • La Giostra – Brad Pitt proposed to Angelina here, RIP
  • Trattoria Sostanza – Danny Meyer loves their Tortino di Carciofi and Butter Chicken
  • Tre Panches
  • Vivoli and La Carraia - for gelato
  • Secret Bakery


  • Romolo’s – in the quaint, student-filled, Trastevere neighborhood, where my parents introduced the owners to their friend, Joe DiMaggio
  • Gino – A Mario Batali recommendation that we just had to take
  • Spiriti E Forme
  • Roscioli – this one was in ever guide book, magazine and personal recommendation, a day-time sandwich shop that at night becomes the perfect spot for French wine and Italian food, known particularly for their Carbonara
  • Gelateria I Caruso, Fior di Luna, Fatamorgna, Sciascia and MANY others for gelato

Images via Instagram here, here and here

Carly Kuikman, Senior Publicist