Non vedo l’ora. I can’t wait.

The best cheese comes from Italy. Visiting this year is out, and I got hungry, DSC 1697

So I searched on Amazon for Pecorino cheese. Sheep’s milk cheese. I found a great product and decided to order it,

 

IMG 2166It was shipped UPS Air and arrived in two days from Parma, Italy. 

 

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It was packed with a styrofoam inner container with cooling jej.

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This is it.   Just about 4 lbs.  

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It even includes a cutting knife.

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It is a softer cheese than Parmesan with a wonderful aroma and taste. Pecorino Toscano is a PDO cheese made in the Tuscany region of Italy. You can order directly from them at the following web site

http://www.parmashop.com

 

For me all cheese that I have eaten in Italy is great, and now I can bring it home. My 2 kilo order cost $79 with UPS air shipping.  That was a good price. See the photo below that show a shop window in the Trastevere section of Roma where the price for kilo was 63 Euro. 

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In Florida you can visit Doris Market in West Palm which specializes in Italian Foods.

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I Never Forget A Meal

I am borrowing the title of a book by Michael Tucker who also fell in love with Italy and has always loved food.  Italian food and Italian meals are to be savored and enjoyed. His book was great and you can find copies on Amazon. Also recommended is “Living in a Foreign Language” also by Michael Tucker which is similar to Under the Tuscan Son, but with more humor and a bit of attitude. 

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We are on the island of Ischia, a small island off the coast of Napoli. We stayed in a small hotel with great views of the area and had a pleasant lunch of  Prosciuto e Melone.

 

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We also hand Insalata Capresse with fresh mozzarella di buffala

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At anolther ristorante in ischia we had frutti di mare. As fresh as you can get.

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While staying on Lake Carda in the town of Brenzone we had a waterfront dinner of Cacio e PepeIMG 1785

Lunch at a winery in Vicenza IMG 1787

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Below is home made pasta in Milano, I took a pasta making class. 

Felt is was time to lear how to do it, I had a pasta making machine at home that my bother bought about thirty years ago.

 

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Nothing like your own fresh pasta

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IMG 1445Pasta alla Norma 

 

 

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Mixed fruit that we bought at the market in Siracusa  Sicily

Below is beefsteak Florentine

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You start with aged meet. This is from Il Pandemonio, Florence Italy

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It comes rare to medium rate, It is a think steak, about 1.5 to 2.0 inches. 

There is nothing like it.

 

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Back in Catania, Sicily

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An entire meal of antipasti 

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My wife Angel and I after a wonderful meal.

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Il Torre Del Mangia, Siena

Piazza  del  Campo

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Insalata Capresse

Pasta with Pesto

There are more to come. This Brunello from 2011 met it Demis in 2020 as we reminisced about Italy.

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The Markets of Italy

To me nothing is more beautiful than the way Italian markets display their food.  The quality is overwhelming, the aromas intriguing, and the tastes are fantastico. 

 

Catania Fish Market

Fish Market In Catania, Sicily

Catania Fish MarketCatania Fish Market

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Stall in Amalfi

 

 

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Catania

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Fruit and Vegetables

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Lemons, Catanzaro Calabria 

 

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Autogrill 

 

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A Pasticciera in Erice

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Blood Oranges, Palermo

 

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Garlic Aglio

 

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Melenzanie – Eggplant

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Mushrooms, Rome

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Artichokes, Carciofi Roma

 

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Fresh Bread, Roma

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My banana harvest, Vero Beach, FL 

Not Italy but this came from a Tree in our front yard.

Ciao

More Photos From Past Trips. The Daily Market in Siracusa, Sicily

AT THE MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SICILY

 

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Cipolla di Tropea.: The Calabrese cuisine is a reflection of its history – it is not refined or elaborate, normally simple, using most of the time vegetable such as the onions, in particular the red onion, the red onion of Tropea. These famous red onions are grown in an area which stretches in both directions along the coast from Tropea. Important enough to be sold in Sicily. (Google)

 

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My Favorite Streets In Rome

This year we returned to Rome for eight wonderful nights.  In 2017 we were in Rome for two weeks, and enjoyed becoming familiar with the city. It was no longer intimidating. On our last visit we stayed in an Airbnb on Via Dei Bianchi Vecchi. It was a great location to walk to many of Romes’s attractions. This year we found an Airbnb that did not have 67 steps to climb to the second floor. It was located on Via Cappellari about 200 feet from the Campo Dei Fiori.

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From our location which was “Via dei Cappellari, 124 primo piano” we were able to walk to the following sights.

Chiesa Dei Stata Barbara Labrari

Chiesa Dei Santa Barbara Dei Librari

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Chiesa Dei Santa Barbara Dei Librari Interior

Well worth the visit, small and beauitiful

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Campo dei Fiori

The Campo dei Fiori is a great place to wanter and view the sights night and day. Surrounded by restaurants and shops, it transforms from a daytime tent city to vendors selling everything from fruits and vegetables to clothing and other items to a huge area wandering people. 

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Stalls and shops at the Campo

St Peters is about 10 min from the area. Walk down Corso Vittorio Emanuele and cross of the bridge by Castel Sant’Angelo and make a slight left and you will see it ahead.

 

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St Peter from the dome

 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW thumb cb90St Peters Interior

On to lunch in Trastevere

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The chiesa of Santa Maria in Trastevere was another short walk

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Always a wedding seven days a week

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Crossing the bridge headed back to our Airbnb a beautiful view of St Peters in the distance 

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Osteria da Mariano, Siracusa Sicily

Ristorante da Mariano in Siracusa is a small space with all the right things. A short walk from the center of Siracusa or the waterfront this is where you can find local Sicilian cooking. DSC04838

I first went there in 2014 and came back again 2017. Same great food and excellent service. If you are in Siracusa, you will enjoy this restaurant.   

Here are some photos which I hope do the restaurant justice. The osteria is less formal than the ristorante, but with excellent local specialties. 

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The appetizer went quickly.

 

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DSC04859I poured another carafe of the house red. Delicious.

Here is a Yelp review with the address

https://www.yelp.com/biz/ristorante-mariano-siracusa

Buon appetito.

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Oh yes do not forget the docle. 

Wandering Milano With Caterina

This was my third trip to Milan.  I wanted to see and do some different things.  Airbnb experiences helped me make the most of my time for a very reasonable price.  I had arrived in Milan only 5 hours ago, found my Airbnb and was headed over to where our small group would meet to see some of the unique sights that are not always on a guided tour. As I was walking around, I got a text saying they were ready to start and where was I. Seems I did not read the start time but the end time ……MENO MALE. I was just a block away so I got there on time.  It was a small group with only 4 people and Caterina, the guide.  Two were from Belgium and one from Great Britain. Once again the only American.Caterina

Caterina, our guide.

We  met near the public gardens (Indro Montanelli) for what would be a 2 1/2 hour walk. We would go from the old to the new. And some of the most ultra modern architecture with prices that would make Manhattan look like a bargin.

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One of the classic residences.

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Amazing art decorates the outside of these residences.

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Our vintage tram a great way to see any city at a slower pace.

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Some of the modern building with high price tags.

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A Tesla showroom.  No price tags.

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Piazza XXV Aprile – Porta Garibaldi

 

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I have visited Eataly in Rome and New York City. No I had a chance to roam the one in Milano.

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If only my local Publix in Florida would have some of these delicacies. Ho fame. 

 

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Search out Catalonia’s walking photo tour of Milano on Airbnb Experiences. Here is part of her description “The Neoclassic and Art nouveau district of Porta Venezia. A residential area that represents the true everyday life of the Milanese. The brand new, sparkling and luxurious GARIBALDI’s area which is our ending point where you can easily take subway, tram, train or taxi. CUSTOM EXPERIENCE: If you would like to participate in the experience but on a different time or day, write to me and if I can I will try to organize one with your availability.”  

Here is a link 

https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/263117?euid=0af081a7-e582-7ee2-6cf1-0c7842fdc298

 

I Love Pasta And It Is Easy To Make

I was raised to love pasta. All kinds. I have never lost my taste and when I found a email from Airbnb about a pasta making class in Milano, I jumped on it. It was a 3 hour exploration of Italian cooking and a chance to make fresh pasta. Gianfranco holds the class in his apartment and it was a very relaxing setting. This was the second of my Airbnb activities that I have engaged in and it will not be my last. Gianfrano is a “personal chef from Palermo, Sicily, and the traditional Italian and Sicilian food is my speciality. I like making genuine homemade food, pasta, street food and dessert”.  He did not disappoint. Gianfranco served asiago   and parmesan cheese with olives and some Italian bread while we drank some delicious white wine by Corvo. He went over the process of make the pasta and discussed the two types of meals we would eat with it. 

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This is an easy relaxed time with everyone taking part in the pasta making.  Golden rule is 100 grams of flour and 1 egg.  You want a dry dough, not sticky.  When the dough is throughly mixed, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. 

Roll it a bit to make a flat sheet and divide it into 4 pieces, Then roll it out to fit the pasta maker. Insert at the widest opening and gradually decrease the thickness till you achieve the desired thickness of your pasta. After that we hang it to dry slightly. 

 

Here is a link to the video of my experience.    

 

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Gianfranco our host and chef. 

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Pasta making machine. ( available on Amzaon $26 to $200 plus)

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Gianfranco with Maria and Maria who were also in the class.

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Eggplant for the pasta alla Norma.

 

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The basic pomidoro sauce for pasta alla norma. IMG 1432

Pasta drying before cooking. 

Buon appetito 

Look for Milan activities and search for “The Secret of Italian Cuisine” under cooking classes. 

Il Viaggio – The Trip

I just returned from an 12 day trip to Italy. I visited Milan, Trento, Bolzano, Padova, Vincenza, Venice, Lake Garda and several small villages which our bike our took us through. It was an amazing trip, but I learned a lesson. DON’T BOOK YOURSELF SOLID.  I had set up so many things withs dates and times that I forgot to live the Italian lifestyle and not rush.  None the less, it was an amazing trip. But I will remember for the next visit. IMG 1186

Pasta with ragu in a small ristorante in Milano. Off the beaten path, not crowded and a great meal. 

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The The Osteria The Full Moon

This was my first dinner in Milano, and you might like to visit this quiet southern Italian ristorante if you have time. Here is the address.  Via Lazzaro Palazzi 9, 20124 Milan, Italy.  If you have not guessed, I am a big fan of Southern Italian cooking and Sicilian Cooking. IMG 1190IMG 1292

 

Bikes are a way of life in Milano and most of italy.  The bike share cycles area all over. It is not uncommon to see some in a dress and high heels, or a business suit riding down the street. In Desenzano del Garda a young man was riding in the rain with an umbrella held high above his head… Sujch is the life of those who commute on a bicci!

The next post will include the Cenaclo and the Canal District.

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La Canonica, Catania Sicily a great ristorante.

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My wife Angela took this one at La Canonica in Catania Sicily.  Angela has a great eye for composition.

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My eye heads for food. Antapasti is my desire when we are in Italy.

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I can not remember how many times I have consumed Pasta Alla Norma. My favorite from Sicily. Egg plant ( melanazanie) and salted ricotta plus tomatoes and some spices make this a favorite of mine.

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Of course, seafood is plentiful on the island.

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I highly recommend this ristorante.  We enjoyed the food and the service. In the center of Catania.  Just off Via Vittorio Emanuele.

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