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. 

Vieste, an enchanting town on the Gargano Peninsula

I am not sure how we stumbled  on the town of Vieste, but we were very fortunate. We visited Caserta and needed a change. Vieste is on the Adriatic and has many beach areas. DSC 1097

We arrived mid afternoon and found a good sized village on the coast which seemed very inviting.  The photo shows the major landmark, Pizzomunno, a vertical monolith standing about 82 feet high on the Spiaggia del Castello. Castle Beach

 

A link to a short YouTube video I did after one of our visits:

 

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There are many areas for swimming in Vieste.  We enjoyed the warm waters of the Adriatic.  

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The Vieste Lighthouse, or Faro di Vieste is llluminated day and night.  You see it from the beaches and the restaurants which are plentiful. 

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CIMG0921This is a  fishing town, many boats are seen in the harbor. Sailboats are plentiful, and charters are available.

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The town is built on a hill and the views from the top are incredible   We attended the festival of the bitter stone, Chianca Amara which had surprising origins. It recalls the 5,000 people who were beheaded when the Turks sacked Vieste in 1554. Not really a happy time, but the festival recounts much more and has many artistic performances. Some photos below depict the activities.

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After the festival we enjoyed the restaurants in the area.

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Like many Americans, we end up being early.  At 7:30 pm we were the only ones there.  By the end of dinner the place was full.

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Our real interest lies in gelato.  So many choices.

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We enjoyed the evening walks and the streets and piazzas were full of people.  

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Love the name of the restaurant “Sapore di Mare” “Taste of the Sea:

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It was world cup time , il mondiale di calcio  Along with the festival crowds, people flowed out from the bars and restaurants which placed TV outside to view the action.

 

You can find a lot of information on Trip Advisor, Wikipedia, and Google. There are additional sights nearby.  The National Park is a short drive. Driving is not a problem but do not speed as cyclists are pedestrians will be on the shoulders.

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Night time on the waterfront.

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The faro at night.

 

 

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Views we saw as we entered the Vieste area.   

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 our first trip we stayed in a hotel directly across from the beach.  Next to this wonderful pool, we found the country just a few feet away. 

 

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You can hear the cow bells at the pool 

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The beach was included with our hotel and it was a short drive to Vieste. 

VIESTE  FOGGIA ITALYFrom Naples figure about 3 1/2 hours using the Autostrada.  From Rome about 4 1/2 hours on toll roads.  You can visit the National Park of Gargano and Monte Sant’ Angelo. Also San Giovane Rotondo to visit the church of Padre Pio. 

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ISCHIA, a small Island Off the Coast of Napoli, a must visit location

CASTELO ARAGONESE

CASTELLO ARAGONESE

My wife Angela suggested a visit to the island of Ischia, which is a short ferry ride from Napoli. At first I did not know what to think about this. Having never heard of it I began to do some research. The online photos looked good and we have always liked islands.  Getting there was an adventure for us as we have to drive from Napoli to the suburb of Pozzuli. We were bring our rental car as this is a good size Island.  There were no problems and a pleasant voyage with a quick stop at the island of Procida. This is also a place Iw Ould like to visit when we return to Napoli.  Spend time at the beaches and enjoy the warm waters. Find a spa with hot springs feeding it. Walk or take the bus. This island is doable. Scenes from the movie, “the Talented Mr. Ripley” were filmed in Ischia. Also “While We Were Here” with Kate Bosworth.  See all the films that used ischia as a location https://www.ischiareview.com/ischia-in-the-movies.html

PROCIDA

 

THE ISLAND OF PROCIDA

ISCHIA ISLAND

ISCHIA MAP IN CERAMIC TILE 

Once on the Island we started to explore.  At  on time we were on a small dirt road when it got narrower and narrower. Eventually had to back up and work our way into town, 

MINERAL POOL

HOT SPRING MINERAL POOL

Ischia is know for its hot spring fed mineral  pools.  The springs feed the pools and they are drained out each night and left to fill overnight. At least in the case of our hotel.

HOT SPRINGS FEED POOL

HOT SPRINGS FEEDING THE POOL

 

SAPORI MOZZARELLA BUFALA

The Old Butcher Shop Selling Everyting

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Ristorante Lo Scoglio, Sant’ Angelo d’Ischia 

We headed out to dinner and found Lo Scoglio. It is located in Sant’Angelo and proved to be an excellent choice.  The name translated to THE ROCK.

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Photo from the restaurant  web site.

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View from the dining room 

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My wife’s choice,  fruit dal mare.   

 

 

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Lo Scolgio in the daylight.

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Il centro

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Peperoni

 

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The teenagers had no problem diving off the rocks. 

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View from our hotel. 

 Here is the link to the Wikipedia description of Ischia. It is definitely a destination not to miss  in Italy   https://wikitravel.org/en/Ischia

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.

Testaccio Market, Rome. Food, clothing, relaxation.

We strayed from our Campo dei Fiore market to seek out the Testaccio Market. It has moved from a covered stall environment to a new modern clean building. It proved to be a great day trip. Google maps gave us the correct bus line to make and after that is was a short walk.

 

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This is a large comfortable space with many vendors, both food and clothing. We enjoyed looking and eating at the market.

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Fresh seafood is abundant. 

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Fresh vegetables with very affordable prices.

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My favorite porchetta! Delicious.

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Tripe is a favorite of many people, ma non io.

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Bring your own bottle, look at the prices. 2.40 E for a liter. 

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Arancini or supple are a favorite of mine.

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We enjoyed lunch from this stall

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It was a great lunch.

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Clothing is also sold.

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The market is well worth the visit. Lots has been written about it and there are no exaggerations. Enjoy the many markets of Rome. I am back in Florida and our weekend markets do not come close to the Rome markets.

 

SALUMERIA AND OTHER FOOD BONANZAS

A salumeria is traditionally meat and sausages (salsiccia) are sold at the butcher and other meat products are sold at the salumeria. In more recent times, salumerie often sell various products including cheeses, eggs, pastas and ready-to-eat antipasti. These shops are spotless works of art! Amazing.

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Just like the Boars Head Provisions in the US, this little shop has it on the wall. Norcineriaviola in the Campo dei Fiore, Roma.

 

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Nothing but the best.

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You can visit this shop in Campo dei Fiore. Located at the left side towards the Farnese cinema.

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A macelleria in the Campo dei Fiore.

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More goodies in another salumeria in the Campo.

 

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And lastly, EATALY is alive and well in Roma.

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Porchetta, always delicious.

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My wife ia a trip lover. She cooked it and enjoyed it in our apartment near the Campo.

 

Buon appetito. 

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