One of the reasons I love Italian food is that it trusts the ingredients to take center stage. That’s why every ingredient must be the freshest you can find. It doesn’t compensate for poor quality ingredients with pounds of sauce. Sometimes sandwiches can have so much sauce on them that the flavor of the actual meat, veggies, and bread gets lost.
Three of my peak sandwich experiences have happened at:
In Florence, tourists and locals alike will line up for sandwiches from All’Antico Vinaio. There have only been a few times Paul and I have walked by this place when it did not have a line out the door. The sandwiches are FRESH, large, and packed with local tuscan ingredients. It’s so popular that it has a second location … across the street. And still, you will see lines out BOTH doors. The place is pretty small so most people will get their sandwich and make their way to the curb outside for a seat. Later at night huge groups can be seen drinking wine and enjoying their sandwiches al fresco. I usually get the sandwich with “soft sausage” – a crudo, raw sausage that’s been cured and is soft and full of flavor. We were a bit surprised when we first saw it on the sandwich but it’s really tasty – lots of flavor and fat that melts like butter in your mouth.
After a day walking around the small Tuscan hill town of Lucca, we stopped for a late lunch at Pan di Strada. This sandwich shop boasts 30 some sandwiches on a list displayed on the door frame. I bought a sandwich and a glass of wine for 5.50 euros!!!
This was the best sandwich I’v ever had in my life. It was sausage, onion, mustard, and a melted, gooey cheese.
Venice sandwiches, Tramezzino
Walking around Venice we noticed that the sandwiches in the window were made with soft, crustless white bread, stuffed with tuna, eggs, olives, bacalla, shrimp. These type of sandwiches are called, tramezzino. The best tramezzino I had in Venice was at a small cafe on the island of Murano. A tuna and sliced olive sandwich. The flavors complimented each other so well, vinegar and fish and a bit of pepper on top.