I am so thankful to have been nominated by Júlia Sándor from World Viber to receive the Liebster Award. This is an online recognition given to upcoming bloggers as a way to connect with other bloggers and to be discovered by more readers.
Fun Fact: Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.
As part of the rules for winning this award, I am supposed to answer Júlia's ten questions about myself, then nominate a few other bloggers for the award.
Q. What is your favorite off-the-beaten-path destination?
A. One of my absolute favorite off-the-beaten path destinations is Grosseto, Italy. This little town is the perfect place to relax without the crowds! It’s surrounded by sunflowers in the summertime, it is only a few kilometers from the sea, Marina di Grosseto, and it is right in the center of a nature park, Parco Regionale della Maremma. Plus, being in Tuscany, the wine is fabulous (especially when you're drinking it while sunbathing).
Q. What do you miss most from home when you are on the road?
A. When I am on the road, there aren’t too many things from home that I miss. That being said, I certainly do miss my cats. In fact, when I am in Rome, I frequently stop by the cat sanctuary and spend time petting and feeding the stray gatti.
Q. How and why did you start your blog?
A. I started my blog in September of 2016 as the result of all my interests finally uniting. I was taking a travel writing class, a web design class, and I was part of the newspaper club at my university. In addition, I had been following a few fashion, travel, and lifestyle blogs (Tuula Vintage, Rosie Londoner, Gal Meets Glam, and World of Wanderlust) and had been inspired to create my own blog. This way, I could share my own travel experiences and eventually get sponsored to blog for a career.
Q. If you could earn money with anything, what would it be?
A. I would love to earn money through this blog! My dream is to be paid to wear certain outfits while I travel and review certain hotels, restaurants, and tour services.
Q. What does a perfect travel day look like for you?
A. A perfect day of travel would start by trying the coffee and breakfast food at a local cafè. I typically refer to my Pinterest boards for restaurant inspiration. In the afternoons, I love to explore a new city by simply walking everywhere. You can discover tons of hidden gems this way. Later in the day, I would find an idyllic location to watch the sunset before heading to a casual dinner, preferably involving wine. I would finish the day by writing in a journal about my experience until I fall asleep.
Q. Postcard or e-mail?
A. While I am the queen of sending emails, I don’t often have access to Wi-Fi when I travel. Therefore, I am going to have to pick postcard.
Q. What is your favorite social media and why?
A. Pinterest! I find so much of my travel inspiration here and I can keep all my thoughts and ideas organized by pinning them to separate boards. For example, I have an intire board dedicated to places I want to see in Paris.
Q. What’s your funniest story from your travels?
A. Oh goodness! I have quite a few funny stories. My mom would say that the funniest is an Italian road rage incident. I think the funniest story involved two women I met in Berlin! They tried to communicate through charades. Read about it here!
Q. What’s the craziest thing on your bucket list you want to do?
A. I’m not much of a crazy person and I have no interest whatsoever in skydiving or bungee jumping. The most daring thing on my bucket list would have to be wanting to visit Egypt.
Q. What do you collect on your trips?
A. Postcards! Living out of a suitcase, I don’t have room to buy much else. You can view a few from my collection here.
Q. What annoys you most about fellow citizens when you encounter them abroad?
A. One thing that frustrates me most about American citizens (generally speaking) is their lack of knowledge and acceptance of different cultures. This one time, I heard a girl ask for a frappuccino in a cafe in Italy. Another time, a friend of mine asked me if there was “actual civilization” in Rome.
I am now passing the Liebster Award onto the following five up and coming travel bloggers!
Travel for Difference
Girl on the Plane
Spot the Redhead
You can take the girl out of Italy, but you can't take Italy out of the girl. What can I say, I miss real Italian pizza... the perfectly thin and chewy crust, the tangy red tomato sauce, and the perfect amount of cheese accompanied by the flavorful sausage and an occasional basil leaf... my mouth is just watering thinking about it.
That is why I decided to hit up Cane Rosso, an authentic Napoletana pizzeria right in the heart of Dallas, Texas. This restaurant made the Thrillist list for The 33 Best Pizza Shops in the Country.
It has also been featured in local magazine, Dallas Observer as the best pizza and by D magazine as the best restaurant in Dallas for 5 years running.
The chef at Cane Rosso was actually taught how to make pizza in Naples by the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana, an Italian association that promotes the true art of Neapolitan style pizza.
My boyfriend spent last summer working here as a expo (meaning he was the person who put toppings on the pizza, sliced it, and delivered it to the tables). I practically have the entire inside scoop with this place thanks to him. For example, he told me that employees have the option to donate a certain percentage of each paycheck went to the Cane Rosso Rescue, a dog rescue owned by the same manager as the pizzeria. Cane Rosso means "red dog" in the Italian language.
The basic ingredients in the pizza include a crust that must ferment for two days with Cuputo or San Felice double zero flour, a bit of salt, and yeast. Simple ingredients like these often make the most wonderful recipes. Plus, the dough is vegan! The mozzarella is pulled by hand daily and the sauce is made with hand crushed San Marzano tomtoes. The pizzas are then cooked for 75 seconds in a flaming 900 degree F wood fire oven.
My boyfriend tipped me off about the Sunday Brunch menu which includes $1 mimosas.
He also told me about seasonal and holiday-themed recipes like The Big Daddy (for Father's Day) which features locally sourced brisket and jalapeño pesto.
My Betty pizza was a safe bet, topped with prosciutto, ricotta cheese, San Marzano tomatoes, and sausage. It was the perfect amount of dough, balanced with soft cheese, and little bits of meat. It certainly gave real Italian pizza a run for its money.
Cane Rosso has plenty pizza pies out there for the more daring taste buds, as well. Bacon marmalade, anyone? Try the the Delia, which is topped with mozzarella, roasted grape tomatoes, spicy bacon marmalade, and arugula. There is even a secret menu that features crazy pizzas only insiders know about. The Honey Bastard comes with habanero infused honey, mozzarella, hot soppressata, and bacon marmalade. Another off-the-menu option is the Montanara, a fried pizza topped with buffalo mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil and pecorino. The owner says it can only be ordered on Tuesday nights, or when the restaurant isn't so busy.
Don't forget dessert!
After eating an entire 14 inch pizza, you'll probably be stuffed. I certainly was. Yet, dessert pizza is a must, if you have the room in your belly! Ever had a s'mores calzone? My boyfriend loved making the Bella Mela, a dessert pizza topped with baked cinnamon apples, cookie butter spread, and Nutella. During the summer, the menu changes to feature a more seasonal peach dessert pizza. Another great new option is the Ladybird, which features sweet vanilla bean mascarpone, crushed Speculoos cookies, Nutella, and powdered sugar.
A Final Note...
I'll admit, this was some pretty darn delicious pizza. I appreciate the wholesome and fresh ingredients. The waiters were also quite friendly. $14 for a pizza? It's pricy, but well worth the investment. Our waiter did mention something about a half priced happy hour on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings. Make sure to ask about it if you go!
Open daily, 11am - 3pm, 5pm - 10 and 11 on the weekends.
Closed Monday nights.
By the way, don't ask for ranch dressing with your pizza! It'll cost you $1000.