Best Sandwiches in the World

Paris

In honor of National Sandwich Day, here are some of my favorite sandwiches from my travels around the globe. The best of the best span from funky burgers in Chicago to ham and cheese mallorcas in Puerto Rico to the untouchable bread of Paris.

Share a picture of your favorite sandwich in the comments.

 

Day trippin' to Murano

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Venice doesn’t offer a ton of attractions for travelers in their 20s. This is the last year I can identify as being in that age bracket so I should use it while I still can.

Coming after Roma and Firenze, Venezia was a choppy gondola ride of emotions. Rome is epic and has more potential itinerary items than you can list. Florence had a more relaxed pace, but still offered extensive cultural and sightseeing locales.

After half a day in Venice I felt I had seen all I needed to. Venice is aptly described as an old world theme park.

In 24 hours I saw four people crying.

The island comes complete with a Hard Rock Cafe and Disney store, if you should miss the comforts of commercialism. The largest irritant was that nearly no one speaks Italian to you. After day one, I had my fill of Venice.

This morning, in an effort to do something off the guidebook, we ventured out at 5am to see the sunrise. The streets were empty. It was refreshing to not be stuck behind tourist mobs. The emptiness allowed us to appreciate the beauty of the city as the sun rose.

After stopping to see San Marco Basilica, we decided to head to Murano to see glass blowing. We attempted to see a demo near the basilica but the shop only offered tours for groups or if you physically had rick Steve’s book. I tried claiming we left it at the hotel, but the man told us to go get the book and we could see the demo. One problem: that book is back at the library we got it. In the United States. Of America.

Off we went to Murano. The hour plus boat ride took us to another quiet, not über touristy island. I multitasked and fell asleep on the boat. We ran into one problem once at Murano. All the shops close at 4, with none offering demos. It was 4:10. Walking to all the closing shops reminded me of Miss Swan from MadTV.

The only meal consumed today was breakfast; then we grabbed nectarines and had mini sandwiches we made from cold cuts at breakfast. We looked for a place to eat on Murano but all the food appeared to be reheated pizza. We snagged a donut and €3 bottle of water before catching the water taxi back to Venice.
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Could we salvage the stint in Venice and end on a high note? Check back tomorrow for the dramatic conclusion of Andrew’s Euro-Venture.

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un vasaio e il suo cane (a potter and her dog)

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Yesterday was the last night in Firenze on what I’m quickly learning is an epic and ambitious trip. The itinerary includes Roma, Firenze, Vinezia and Paris.

We had hit all the main sites on our agenda in Florence and decided to visit one more before departing today. Our “wrong” turn led us up a monstrous hill to see this potter working on a clay teapot. While watching from the street a woman came up and slowly opened the door to the workshop revealing the friendly dog.

The potter started speaking Italian, then when she saw my face, which can best be described as that of a person who is lost, drunk or supremely disoriented, she began speaking English. She said she’d been working on the teapot all day.

“I hate it,” she jokingly growled before picking it up and giving it a look of a displeased parent.

I love it when wrong turns turn out to be the best turns.

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Persone che guardano la gente

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Whether at the grocery back home or wandering the streets of Firenze, I always enjoy people watching. Yesterday was my first full day in Firenze. While there are fewer unique characters than in Roma, the more relaxed pace and overall calmer vibe are a welcome relief to the overwhelmingness of Roma.

The leisurely tempo can best be seen in workers taking a moment for a cigarette or to stare out the window looking at the tourists.

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Ballare in Santa Croce

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After traveling by rail from Roma to Firenze, we wandered around Florence after checking in at hotel Montreal. The best part–which there were many stellar moments, including seeing Michelangelo’s David–of yesterday was swing dancing in Santa Croce. We walked there after dinner. Big piazza. There was a group of people playing music. One guy with glasses had an acoustic. There was a young woman with blonde hair playing a keyboard that had a mouth piece to power the sound–think Stevie wonder. Another woman with short brown hair and a tattoo on her wrist sang. And a guy with a snare drum and brushes.

One of their friends was snapping pictures with his dSLR.

They played songs in Italian, French and English. When I heard the syncopated rhythm of Ray Charles’ “hit the road jack” I took that as my queue to dance on the piazza.

One of their friends pointed as we started to dance. Tuck turns. She goes. Under arm turn. I busted out all my moves for the piazza. Add Italy to the countries I’ve gone swing dancing.

And to think we almost stopped in a bar that offered live jazz. Truly a great moment on my 29th birthday.

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