Caprese in love: eating for Italy

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When we booked a summer getaway to Malcesine on Lake Garda, we were pretty sure the local cuisine would float our boat having never met a carb we didn’t get along with like old pals.

This pretty part of Italy didn’t disappoint. Let’s just say it was a blessing in disguise that our hotel was a good 15 minute trek uphill because we had a LOT of daily treats to work off.

We arrived at our hotel (after a few hiccups) late last Monday night to be told they’d stopped serving food but could rustle us something up – our expectations were low, especially given how cheap the pizzas were at $6, but we were in for a treat.

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Pizza fantastico

We started off the week with a bang health-wise – swimming for hours in our hotel pool, making the trip in and out of town three times for maximum burn and tucking into salads and carrot juice for lunch (I speak for my boring pregnant self here, wisely Chaz upgraded her beverage to the first of many Aperol Spritzes but the colour theme was there).

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FML

FML

The first day effort pretty much wiped me out so our remaining days were slightly more chilled, apart from a (highly recommended) coach trip to Verona with the coolest geriatric NY-born tour guide Fred.

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Juliet’s (underwhelming and fake) balcony in fair Verona

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Masquerading as a set builder for that evening’s performance of Aida at the Verona Arena

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I thought being a five-month preggo on tour would really annoy me because I usually associate holidays with a constant flow of wine, but I was surprised how little it bothered me in reality.

Water rules!

Water rules!

I think Chaz and Sandy probably drank less than usual to accommodate the killjoy but they still enjoyed a decent amount of scoops while I regressed to childhood drinks like banana milkshake for kicks.

Wake up in the morning feeling like Brad Willis

Wake up in the morning feeling like Brad Willis

Our favourite meal of the holiday was the classic caprese salad – Chaz and Ric have long been fans but I didn’t really get it until I tried the real deal and now I’m a complete convert. We started every meal by sharing one with oils and bread in the vain hope it would make us feel vaguely healthy.

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The other stand-out meal was a pumpkin ravioli we wolfed down lakeside.

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We stayed at the Hotel Villa Smeralda and loved it – the walk was a welcome bit of cardio most days and the pool, staff and atmosphere were all perfect for our holiday needs. Friendly and chilled. The breakfasts were, as always, a high point for us and we were impressed with the surprise inclusion of goji berries and seeds to accompany our morning fruit and granola.

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We were staying close to Limone, home of limoncello so took a boat trip across the lake to check out the produce. Look at that!

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If this makes us sound healthy, let’s take a moment to talk gelato. When in Rome and all that (BJ) – we had a LOT of ice cream and it was ridiculously good. Here are a few highlights.

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Sister It

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To this day I am suffering from food regret over this one

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Going out with a bang on the last day

There was of course way more pizza and pasta than I could possibly cover in one blog post – so here’s the best of the bunch:

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And on that high note I’ll stop before I start dribbling all over my desk. Ciao for now.

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