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Pizza in Italy

Pizza is a unique experience but we all experience it differently. We grew up on New York style thin crust which is similar to Naples pizza (the original pizza). Chicago pizza is different with its thicker crust but also good. California pizza experiments with different toppings like pineapple (not our style). Pizzeria Brandi is suppose to be the original pizza in Naples. It is located at Salita S. Anna di Palazzo, 1-2, 80132 Naples, Italy. The Margherita Pizza was for the queen. It had the three colors of the Italian flag (Red the tomato sauce, White the mozzarella cheese and Green the basil). It was the original street food. It was folded twice and held with a napkin and eaten as you walked. Today pizzas in Italy are always individual and un-sliced. You eat them with a fork and knife.

English: Picture of an authentic Neapolitan Pi...

English: Picture of an authentic Neapolitan Pizza Margherita taken by Valerio Capello on September 6th 2005 in a pizzeria (“I Decumani”) located on the Via dei Tribunali in Naples. Italiano: Fotografia di un’autentica pizza Margherita napoletana scattata da Valerio Capello il 6 settembre 2005 nella pizzeria “I Decumani” situata in Via dei Tribunali a Napoli. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pizza can be very different in different parts of Italy. In the north (Milano) it is thin crust with imaginative toppings and very good. In Roma it is thin cracker crust pizza that we don’t care for. In the south it’s Neapolitan (from Naples) pizza which is what most thin-crust pizza in America is fashioned after. Here they do thin crust, margarita style pizza with buffalo mozzarella. YUM! Where ever you get it, the Italians use only fresh ingredients that smell fantastic and taste molto buono. Don’t forget a glass of great Italian Vino with your favorite pie!

 

Categories: Europe, Fast Food, Food, Italy, Milan, Naples, Pizza, Rome, Uncategorized, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

My reasons for travelling to Italy – Series – Viste (sights)

Lyn loves Italy as much as I do. She has an excellent BLOG and wonderful pictures. Enjoy

Travelling with Lyn

After many years of travelling to and around Italy, I have put together a snapshot of some of the beautiful places where I have spent time.  These are not always the places that first come to mind when one thinks of Italy. In fact they are places that were special to me and have left wonderful memories in my mind and heart.  Some of the photos you will recognize and some you may never have heard of.

So here are 25 reasons to visit Italy. Maybe  these photos will make you want to jump on a plane right now and fly to Italy.

Amalfi Coast –  this is where dreams are made.  Is a stretch of coastline on the southern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula in Southern Italy.  The Amalfi coast consists of many beautiful little townships and villages. I rented an apartment here for 2 weeks and really experienced the…

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Amalfi Coast – Capri

Capri is a beautiful island that is the playground of the rich and famous. It is also much visited by tourists. Most tourists come for just a day. They arrive by ferry in the morning and are gone by evening. This is a big mistake. Capri comes alive with locals at night. The restaurants are great and the people watching is superb. Capri is an island of two cities: Capri and Anacapri. Capri is gotten to from the ferry dock by taxis, bus or funicular. Take the funicular it is a great experience and drops you off in the main square, Piazza Umberto.

From here the roads are pedestrian only. You can have your bags taken to your hotel from the ferry stop by porters. This area of Capri is very crowded until after the tourists leave. There are small ally ways with interesting stores. All the big name designers have stores here. Take Via Tragara to the end for wonderful views of Faraglioni Rock.

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Anacapri is a short bus trip (leaves Capri from a bus station near the top of the funicular) from the piazza to the center of Anacapri. The sites of the harbor along the way are breathtaking. In Anacapri you can shop, take a T-Bar lift to the top of the highest point on the island and explore old churches and buildings. We would recommend at least 2 days to see the minimum on this beautiful island.

We took a private boat trip around the island, through Faraglioni Rock an into the Blue Grotto. It was about $200 for the two of us and took almost 2 hours. When you are ready to leave, porters can take your luggage down to the ferries and you can take a taxi, bus or the funicular. At the bottom of the funicular is the harbor with all the ferries. You can go to Naples, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and many smaller cities. Ferries run often. We chose the higher speed Hydrofoils. Enjoy Capri, have some wine and be romantic.

If you want to be adventuresome and have some money stay at VillaBrunella (

http://www.villabrunella.it/en/index

) onVia Tragara, 24 near Faraglioni Rock. It costs us 500 Euros a night (about $680) but you will be pampered in beautiful suites with heavenly views. We stayed in Room 52, the best!

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View from our suite

Each room is on a separate floor terraced down a mountain side. There is no elevator and lots of steps but this is the most romantic place on Earth!

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Capri, Europe, General Travel, Hotels, Italy, Southern Italy, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Holidays to All!

We will be back after the New Year. We wish Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to all our readers. We will be back with more Italy and Europe soon. If you are headed to Italy or Europe for the holidays, let us know and HAVE FUN.

George & Jo Anne

 

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Temperatures in Italy

The temperatures in Italy range from north to south drastically. In the north with the alps, you have a snowy cold winter and warm summer. In the south you have a mild Mediterranean winter and warm to hot summer. The rain y season in the south is during the winter.

Temperatures range from mid 40’s to mid 50 in Winter (Milan) but can drop colder. In the summer they range from high 70’s to mid 80’s. While in the south (Rome) they are mid 50’s to mid 60’s in the winter to upper 70’s tp mid 80’s in the summer. Rome in August can be much hotter. As you go south of Rome the temperatures are milder in the winter and warmer in the summer. Costal areas never get too hot as they are cooled by sea brezes.

George & Jo Anne

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How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 12

It is Sunday August 31 and we are looking to explore more small cities along our coast. Our beach is in a cove. If you go north-west from here you go out on a peninsula with many small towns. It eventually ends at Agropoli, the largest town near us. You can also take the inland highway to Agropoli (it is faster but not as scenic). We started our day by having breakfast at home. espresso coffee and eggs and great Italian bread. We also had some fruit and tomatoes. After breakfast we went to our favorite WiFi place on the beach and had another espresso. With our internet needs met we left and took a small road that winds in and out along the coast toward Piopi. We had been to Piopi last trip so we didn’t stop this time but continued on to a new city called Acciaroli.

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This town has a small beach and many restaurants and hotels. It looks like it caters to a wealth clientele. After walking around the town and taking many pictures we got into the car and proceeded along a very windy road around the tip of the peninsula to Santa Maria Castelabate. Like so many Italian sea towns there are two towns. One on the sea with beaches and the other high up in the mountains protected by ancient castle walls. When pirates came the early Italians had towers along the Mediterranean coast. They would light a fire in the tower to tell the next tower the pirates were coming. They could warn people hundreds a miles away very quickly. The people would then grab their valuables and move from the beach town to the upper fortified town.

It was a very hot day and walking around this beautiful city made us thirsty. We stopped a beautiful small bar (see picture below) for a drink and a break from the sun.

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Our friend Jan told us about a clothes line that hangs on a deck railing. They had bought one for their house in northern Italy. We looked but couldn’t find anything like it. As we walked down the small streets in this town, we saw a small hardware store. Inside we could one of these clothes lines. The only one left (it was pink but who cares). After buying it, we saw them everywhere!

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We continued on to Agropoli and got on the highway toward home. This is the road that was washed out last year. Parts of it are closed and parts are one way only. We know the mountain road that parallels the highway at a much higher altitude. It brings you back down to the highway just before a tunnel that takes you through a very large mountain. That evening we had dinner at our favorite restaurant La Campagnola. We had a wonderfully fresh salad and some pasta. The head waiter knows us now and treats us very well.

Tomorrow we will talk about our Monday adventures in paradise,

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Beaches, Campania, Casal Velino, Cilento, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Small Towns, Uncategorized, Velina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 6

The beaches by us are great! They all have the coveted “Blue Flag” award. This is an award given to beaches worldwide that are clean and beautiful. Europeans come to this area in droves for the beaches. We have not seen any Americans here and it is a place Americans would love. Clean beaches, beautiful green and blue water, waves, sandy beaches, bars on the beaches, alcohol allowed on beaches and great restaurants. What more could you ask for? We have two great beaches within a few kilometers of our house:

  1. Marina Casal Velino – This is the closest and the road along the beach has stores on one side and the beach on the other with many palm trees. It gets crowded in summer especially in August when all of Europe is on vacation.

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  1. Ascea – This is the next town south of Marina Casal Velino and has beautiful beaches, great restaurants, a train station (to go up to Salerno, Naples, Rome and all of Europe). It also has a great Greek ruin. It is onto of a hill as you enter the town.

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There are so many coastal towns in this area. Some have great beaches others just little tiny ones. They all have a great sea view. The sea here is the Tyrannian Sea (which is really the Mediterranean separated by a few islands).  In the summer the waves are mild, the water is warm and the temperature is tropical (low 80’s in daytime and mid 70’s at night). The winter brings rough currents and big waves as well as cooler temperatures (by about 10 degrees). It also brings the rain. There are still enough nice days to enjoy the area.

Many towns in this area were built on the sea. Pirates would raid them, forcing the people up into the hills to a sister town fortified by walls (castle). We were visiting our towns version of this. A beautiful old castle high on a hill.

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From there we saw a small mountain town in the distance. We used our iPhones to determine what the town was a plot a course to it. The town was called Salento.  The road up was very small with many hair-pin curves and no guard rails. We were coming around a curve when right in front of us were cattle. They all had eye contact with us and did not move. The man who owned them indicated to us to back up. We did so unblocking a driveway that lead to home for the cattle. They all walked up the driveway. We finally arrived in the small town. Parked and went to a small bar for coffee and breakfast. The town people were curious since they don’t see many foreigners. We walked all the small streets and walkways of this town.

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There are so many small towns in this area of Italy. Each has a story, local wine and local food. The people are all so nice especially to Americans. We were in our town and in the Supermercato were asked if we were Germans. We said no Americans. They gave us a big hug and smiles all around. Tomorrow we will discuss buying furniture in our small town and having it delivered.

George & Jo Anne

Categories: Campania, Casal Velino, Cilento, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Mountain Towns, Owning a home in Italy, Small Towns, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Do I Love Italy?

There are so many reasons to love Italy. So many Americans (Italians and others) love going to Italy. What is our attraction? Why do we long for this small country? Here are some of my many reasons for loving Italy:

  1. The country side is very beautiful
  2. The people are friendly
  3. Italians love Americans
  4. The food is fantastic (and you can’t get it outside of Italy – it just isn’t the same)
  5. The wine is superb
  6. The chocolate is unforgettable
  7. The gelato is soooo much better than ice cream
  8. The cities are old (ancient) and the architecture is fantastic
  9. Each small town has its own appeal
  10. The autostradas are fast, wide and make driving enjoyable
  11. The trains work and  are very fast
  12. Italians believe in “Dolce fa niente”!

If you haven’t gone yet, GO! (or as the Italians would say VAI VAI). Life is too short to miss Italy.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Chocolate, Eating Italian, Europe, Gelato, Italy, Metro Travel, Mountain Towns, Small Towns, Uncategorized, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spring Break

I am taking 2 weeks off from the BLOG to recharge batteries and do some research. This BLOG will be back on May 28.

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Bologna

The New York Times Travel Section says Bologna is everything that is right about Italy! The food and wine are great, the art is magnificent. Bologna is a modern city with an ancient point of view. It is located at the crossroads of three autostrada’s in northern Italy. the A1 goes north to Milan and south to Florence and Rome. The A13 goes north to Venice and the A14 goes south-east  to Rimini and San Marino on the Adriatic coast. A classic dish here is Tortelini in Brodo.

From here you can head to Milan, the lakes, Venice or Florence easily. Enjoy Italy and your trip.

George & Jo Anne

 

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