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It has been a while, Angela and I hibernated for over a year. Our every other year to Italy trips were now memories.That time is over. Now we will be planning our next viaggio. During the Covid day we purchased a Winnebago and took a 6,900 mile trip across much of the US. We are embarking on a second trip of two to three months and it will give me time to write and plan our next trip.
I recently watched an other episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. It took place in one of my favorite cities in Sicily, Catania.
Take a brief look at the you tube video that shows what he sees in Catania
Angela and I came upon this frenetic splendor in 2008,. We had a small BnB around the corner and walked to the market after breakfast.
Crowded and lively, it is an amazing spectacle.
The market is in full swing by mid morning..
It is not all about fish, the market spill out to the street
Dinner out was a simple antipasti from Via Monte St Agata which we discovered by accident
Trattoria Monte Sant’Agata
Yes we enjoyed the meal. Not fine dining,but good food at a veru resonable cost
We always stop at an Ikea store.
A one night stay in Catanioa before we haded over to Cefalu
We found La Canoica on Via Raddusa. What a great little restaurant
Catania night time walks
There is nothing like coming home from an Italy trip and receiving a letter, or email saying you screwed up and it is time to pay. In recent years I have not run afoul of the law recently, but last year they got me good. Our trip to Italy took us to Padua and Vicenza both beautiful cities. The FAMOUS ZONA LIMITATO or limited traffic zone is found in many major cities in Italy which have congestions. My first experience was in Rome back in 2009 while returning a rental car and enjoying the sights. I went by the Coliseum and several other location while heading to the airport. Never once did I see any signs saying ZTL.
But the camera saw me. This was no big deal and paid by credit card. 100 Euros is not cheap but this was easy and I was notified soon after returning.
TRAFFIC TICKET PAID BY CREDIT CARD
This year while in Vicenza and Padua I saw one sign and tried to avoid the area. Apparently I did not do it very well. We were in these town in October 2019 and I received my first notification from Hertz/Thrifty on January 28 2020. A bit of time had gone by. I was told there was a violation in both town and I would be notified by the municipalities shortly and be advised how to handle them.
ROME TRAFFIC CAM PHOTO
SOME SIGNS YOU SEE, OTHERS YOU DON’T
A lot to time passed. In fact I was not notified until December 2020 of the amount of the violation and the need to do a wire transfer. International wire transfers are not cheap. These were $45 each for a total of $90. The fines were $139 and $156. Now we are talking about really money, no cheap lira banknotes from old times. The old way was quicker and easier. Certainly it was less expensive
My advice is to be aware of limited traffic areas before you arrive in the cities. I did this successfully in Florence. I most likely will go back to Italy again (now that the fine is paid). I will plan more carefully.. Elven years between violations and It is not the end of the world
DUOMO PADUA, ITALY
DUOMO WITH WATERCOLOR FILTER
VICENZA , ITALY
SALVATOR DALI VICENZA ITALY
MUSEUM OF JEWELRY , VICENZA ITALY
I have not posted much this month, but will continue with posts about our previous nineteen trips to Italy. 2021 has to be a better year. To escape the virus and so some travel we purchased a motor home and this has helped us travel safely.
OUR RV IN APALACHICOLA, FL
ANGELA HEADING UP I95 IN COCA FL
TI AUGURO UN FELICE ANNO NUOVO
I WISH YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR
We understand that this year Italy and our favorite Sicily is out of the question. 2022 will be in our minds while we travel in a Camper Van where we can in the US. Waiting for time to pass
It started in 2001 when we made our third trip to Italy and Sicily. The goal in visiting Sicily was to discover relatives of Angela’s family.
This is where it all began. The park in Melilli,Sicily where Angela’s Family came from My wife knew that this was not a huge town and we might find some people at the park where we could get some information. We spoke only a few words of Italian at the time and now we are straining to get some information. One gentleman referred us to a man named Tommy. He had returned to his home town after retiring from a company in Connecticut ( that is where we are from). He referred us to the Girgenti family and arranged a meeting. We met and managed to communicate with help of Enza who spoke some English and Patrizia who also spoke some. We met Ludivico and his wife and we have kept in touch and visited for almost twenty years. This began our love affair with Sicily.
St. Sebastian Church in Middletown CT was built to have the same appearance as the one in Melilli. Many residents or Melilli moved to Middletown CT over the years.
So much more.Will continue with this post next time Ciao a tutti.
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I had lived in Connecticut for fifty years before moving to Florida in 2013. During that period of time I loved the festivals , food and neighborhoods that denoted Italy and Italians.
Wooster Street is home to a large number of Italian restaurants in New Haven. My wife Angela and I returned this summer and took a day to explore the wonders of New Haven and it’s culinary attractions.
Books have been written about the Pizza in New Haven, Colin Caplan wrote Pizza in New Haven in 2018. I traced the history to the family operated pizza ristoranti in New Haven. Many are still in business today. Some with wood or coal burning ovens. Our favorite was Ernie’s on Whalley Avenue. The Wooster street area has many surviving restaurants and pastry shops. Many of the residents of New Haven came from Amalfi, Atrani, and Maori and brought their culinary skills with them.
Ernies Pizzeria , New Haven, our favorite.
Frank Pepe has been a staple of Wooster Street since the early 1900s. From their web site ” Portrait of Frank Pepe
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana was founded in 1925 by Frank Pepe (b. April 15, 1893 d. September 6, 1969). Born in the town of Maiori, on the Amalfi coast, southwest of Naples, Frank Pepe was the quintessential Italian immigrant. Poor and illiterate, he immigrated to the United States in 1909 at age 16 with little more than his health and a strong work ethic. His first job was at a New Haven, CT factory until he returned to fight for his native Italy in World War 1 a few years late”
Angela and I have stayed in Maiori on the Amalfi Coast and many of the residents of the Amalfi areas immigrated New Haven. Pepe’s is famous for its white clam pizza. The restaurant does a big business and it is not unusual to see people waiting in line outside the restaurant
Sally’s is also on Wooster Street and have been in business since 1938. It is also a coal fired pizzeria Wooster street.
Consiglios, Pasta Eatitalina Trattoria Napoletana, Zeneli Pizzeria e Cucina, Abate Pizza and Seafood, are just some of the restaurants in the area.
Libbys Pastry Shop is the perfect spot for a Cappuccino, espresso, and a dolce.
A great assortment of treats
As we leave the Wooster Street area we head over to Liuzzi in North Haven for some Italian treats.
From their website
Hailing from the Southern Adriatic region of Italy, Pasquale Liuzzi came here in 1961 followed by his brother Nick in 1972. Together they founded Liuzzi Gourmet Food Market in 1981. Dreaming of building their own business and carrying on the proud, hardworking traditions of southern Italy, the Liuzzi family’s persistence and tenacity paid dividends.
This is one of the largest salumeria or delicatessen in the state of Connecticut. It make me feel like I am back in Italy.
So many choices
I stop when the basket gets too heavy
They have large assortment of takeout.
Real Cheese Wheels, not plastic.
Great video of Pizza in New Haven
Credit for video,
Full Send Productions
A food market in Amalfi, Italy
I have been trying to learn Italian for several years. Pimsleur, Italianpod101, CD’s, and Duolingo. They all have helped me improve. Duolingo is one of the best products I have used. The free version is an excellent introduction to learning any language. Premium is a better way to speed up learning, no adds, nor stops after making several mistakes.
This has worked well and I have used Duolingo for many years with both Spanish and Italian .
It has worked well, and I have used it daily for over two years. I realized on our trip last year to Cortina d’Ampezzo that speaking to Italians in their language was fun and made our trip so much more enjoyable. One night we had the owners of our Airbnb over for dinner. The conversation was 95% in Italian as Renato, and his wife spoke little English.
At this point, I had reached the limit of my conversational abilities. It was a good conversation, but I wanted to go farther. One year later, I have started to take Italian lessons. Online Italian courses seemed to be the way to go in the ane of Coronavirus.
I searched several websites and looked closely at two of them. Lingoci appeared to be the best for me.
From the photo, you can see there are several languages to choose from.
Once you choose a language to learn, you see a list of instructors from whom you can choose.
I chose a sample lesson with Lucrezia, who comes from Milano and now lives in Barcelona. She is fluent in several languages. I was a little nervous about the class, but she put me at ease quickly.
Here is a screenshot of my introductory lesson in Italian.
She is very accomplished with all levels of Italian, and I felt very relaxed learning with her. I purchased a package of 10 lessons for $22.90 US dollars (each). Each lesson lasts for 55 minutes. That is a bargain for a one on one learning experience.
Here is a link to the web site
I do not get any payment from Lingoci, and I do this because I enjoy languages and this had made my learning so much more enjoyable. I have scheduled my lessons for consecutive weeks and at the same time. I highly recommend Lingoci and will continue with my studies for the year.
Most lessons are on Skype which enables a student to get vocabulary and downloads of assignments and documents. This is very helpful.
Give it a try. One on one is the best way to learn an language, and Lincoci makes it easy and affordable.
Thie above like will open up the Italian tutors section for Lingoci. Take a look.
San Pietro at night
I came across and article on Ischia today that appeared in Forbes Magazine a while back.
I remember it for its beauty and ease of transportation via the city busses. The food was excellent and thermal baths abound in this little volcanic island. Take the ferry from Napoli and enjoy your stay.
It is just s short ferry ride from Naples to Ischia. On the way uou pass the equally enchanting island of Procida.
The island of Pricida
A 2018 article in Forbes magazine said “Ischia may be one of Italy’s best kept secrets”. It is certainly a relaxing and interesting place to visit. It is affordable with excellent restaurants. It is more casual than Capri and much less hectic. Thermal hot [springs feed pools for a relaxing warm swim. Parts of the movie “The Talented Mister Ripley” were filmed here. Great seafood abounds on this 18 square mile island
On the ferry from Napoli to Ischia. We brought our car on the ferry, is was a reasonable price.
The Castello Aragones is a medieval castle next to Ischia (one of the Phlegraean Islands), at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples, Italy. The castle stands on a volcanic rocky islet that connects to the larger island of Ischia by a causeway (Ponte Aragonese).
Insalata Caprese for our lunch
Lava formations from past eruptions on this volcanic island.
Getting ready to jump.
Diving into the sea brings relief from the warm summer day.
Each day the pool is emptied and refilled from the thermal spring. The water is warm, and if filled with minerals.
We took a bus to get to Lo Scoglio, in Sant Angelo. It was s short ten minute drive to an amazing treat.
The entrance to Lo Scoglio
Frutti di Mare
My wife Angela was thrilled with all this fresh seafood.
A cruise ship passes by.
Outside dining makes for an enjoyable evening. .
Samt Angelo, Ischia. Check out the fumarole beaches with steam jets rise up through the sands. Food is cooked by burying it in the sand and letting the volcanic steam do its thing.
A salumaria or delicatessen has the real bufala mozzarella. This is best served at room temperature and best kept only on day. It is different from the fresh mozzarella which we find in American supermarkets.
It is well worth the trip.Stay for a few days to enjoy the shops, dining, and the swimming. You can bring your car over on the ferry. Busses run to many of the attractions.
As we have been in quarantine and survived, we are dreaming of staying for a year, or more in Italy.
This is not he easiest of things. Especially right now as restrictions on travel for Americans exist. I do not blame Italy, the US has had its own problems and has excluded visitors from a number of countries. The hard part is getting permission to stay in Italy for more than 90 days. Permesso di soggiorno, permission to stay, or residency permit.
After a bit of research, it first appears to be a daunting task. If anyone reading this blogs has ideas, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spacious apartment in Milan would be perfect for a long stay. Large living room kitchen combo. Bedroom with queen bed and nice shower. About 100 feet from tram stop and walk to many restaurantes
The bureaucracy of dealing with the Italian Consulate, can be very trying to ones sole. You must be financially secure and not a drain on the Italian economy. Banking records showing your last three months records are required. I am exploring several types of visas.
Our destinations would ideally be on the shore. Possibly Sicily with its many beach areas. This is going to be along project, and may never come to pass. It is possible to stay for 90 days without a visa, this is also an option. I will continue to write about this in future posts. Your comments are greatly appreciated.