Breakfast is an important meal but Italians eat a light and sweet breakfast because they eat dinner so late. Hotels and B&Bs serve breakfasts of pastry, yogurt, meats and cheeses, rolls, and of course coffee or tea. If your hotel does not serve a free breakfast … DO NOT BUY ONE! go to the nearest bar and eat like all the other Italians. Order a coffee, espresso or cappuccino and a cornetto. Cornetti look like croissants but are softer. They come filled with cream, chocolate or jelly. Be an Italian while you are in Italy. I look forward to breakfast at a bar.
Some bars are PATISSERIES and have a huge selection of pastries and cakes. These are special experiences but can affect your waistline.
Join us in the YouTube video below as we show you the different breakfasts of Italy:
Categories: Bars, BLOG, Bread, Cheese, Chocolate, Coffee, cornetto, Eating, Eating Italian, Espresso, Europe, Food, General Travel, Italian Facts, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Pastry, Sweets, Traveling without a tour, VLOG, YouTube
Tags: Bars, Breakfast, Cornetti, Cornetto, Food, Italian, Italian cuisine, No Tour Touring, Pastry, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism
The green isle is beautiful even in the rain. We went and had rain many days but the sun would always pop out for a while. We had to carry sweaters because at times it was cool and at other times of the day it was warm. We decided to stay in Dublin and use it as our base of operations. From Dublin you can get fast efficient trains anywhere on the Island. The island is divided into two countries: The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (part of the UK).
Dublin is more than just pubs. Don’t get me wrong the pubs are great. The music in the pubs are great and you can almost see Keats writing in a corner with a glass of Guinness. You can eat in the pubs as well. Dublin has good public transportation consisting of buses and trams. They are easy to ride and efficient. Dublin also has a local railroad (DART) that goes from Dublin to many outlining cities around Dublin.
We stayed at a real castle, Clontarf Castle, that had a modern hotel attached to it. It was outside of Dublin but a nearby bus took us into Dublin and ran often. We took trains to Cliffs of Moore to see the mighty Atlantic. This is an unforgettable spot. Don’t use an umbrella or you might become a real Mary Poppins. The winds here are very strong.
We also took a train to Cork where the Titanic made its last stop before its faithful journey over the Atlantic. It is also where the Lusitania was sunk. There is a square with a black angel (the angel of death) where all the dead bodies were stacked up. Not far from Cork is the Blarney Stone. This is very touristy but a most for all to see. The castle is old and the stairs are steep.
Ireland is green, friendly and a fun place to visit. Don’t forget to visit the Guinness factory in Dublin even if you don’t like beer.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Bars, Beer, Europe, Ireland
Tags: Bars, Beer, Guinness, Ireland, No Tour Touring, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism
Bars in Italy seem to be everywhere. Some blocks have more than one. No matter where you are staying or where you are going, there will be a bar nearby. In the smallest mountain towns that have seldom seen a tourist, there are bars. They are part of the Italian culture. Yes they do sell alcohol but they are NOT about drinking! These establishments are typically open all day and do not close for the afternoon break (usually between 1 pm and 4 pm).
So why are they so important:
- Is it the breakfast and coffee they serve all day?
- Is it the sandwiches and sometimes pasta they serve at lunch with a glass of wine or a beer?
- Is it the snacks or sandwiches they serve in the early evening?
- Is it the drinks they serve (always with some small amount of food)?
- Is it the gelato (ice cream) that most serve?
It is all of these things and one big additional item that is important to Italians. It is a place to socialize. You may have a small breakfast and coffee at home but you will stop for another coffee and maybe a pastry on the way to work. It is a place to meet friends and talk politics or sports or any other topic that comes up. Mid morning you need a break from work. Do you go to an office coffee station like in America? No, you head for the bar for another coffee and chat.
Lunch time sees hordes of Italian workers heading for their respective bars. They get a sandwich (panino) and a beer or glass of wine. They usually eat standing up and talking with friends. Are you beginning to see the social value of bars in Italy?
After work everyone heads for the bar for Happy Hour. Here they do have a drinks (wine, beer or an aperitif). The bar will always serve some small food items to go with the drinks. It is considered bad form to drink without eating in Italy. Then everyone heads home to be with the family. Some venture back out to a bar to meet friends before dinner.
As a tourist the bars are very important to you:
- If your hotel does not include breakfast, head to the nearest bar and get a coffee and pastry. The food is great and you will enjoy the Italians around you.
- Lunch at a bar is the cheapest way to have something delicious. Italian panini (sandwiches) are great. Try a few!
- If you have been spending too much on that great Italian clothing or shoes, eat at a bar and have a sandwich or a plate of pasta and a glass of wine. It will be very inexpensive but delicious.
- Before going out to dinner stop at a bar advertising Happy Hour and have a drink and some appetizers.
On your next trip to Italy, don’t ignore these social bars. Stop in and become part of Italia. Enjoy Italy as an Italian. These are some of the small things we love watching tourists enjoy that is hard to get on a big formal tour.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Bars, Eating Italian, Europe, Italy, Wine
Tags: Bars, Food, Italian, Italian bars, Italian cuisine, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Wine
Marina Casal Velino is a beautiful beach town on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is a small town with several restaurants, hotels, B&B’s and Pastry shops. Being Italy, it also has many bars. Remember bars are for breakfast coffee and pastry, lunch sandwiches (Panini) as well as drinks and many times gelato. We have spoken about our favorite bar for pastries is Franco’s but our favorite for sitting with a coffee, having Wi-Fi and enjoying the view is Isola Verde. There is a main street in the back of town that runs from a traffic circle south to another beach town called Ascea. Ascea is where the Greek ruins of Velia are found. There is another main street that runs along the beach. It has stores, hotels, bars and restaurants on one side of the road and a beautiful white sand beach with palm trees and on the other side of the road.
The beaches here have free sections. You must bring your own umbrella and chairs if you want to use them. There are also beach clubs that you pay to get in. They give you two beach chairs a table and an umbrella all setup. You can also order drinks and food at their bar. They can bring the drinks to you on the beach. They also have clean bathrooms and changing rooms. The beach is not very wide but nice. As you go into the water it is refreshing but not cold. The sand continues under the water smoothly. There are no rocks. You can wade far out and the water is still about 4 feet deep.
This town is very popular with Italians and other Europeans in the summer. It gets very crowded in August when everyone is off. The Italians mostly come from Naples and Salerno areas. The Europeans are mostly Germans. It is very funny to read the menus at the restaurants which are in Italian and German. The town has many vendors along the beach and closes one street each Friday for a market. It has clothes, food, household products and toys. It is fun to walk through this market and look at the merchandise which is all locally grown or made.
If you enjoy beaches and small mountain towns, this is the area of Italy for you. It is unspoiled and very beautiful.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Ascea, Bars, Beaches, Campania, Europe, Gelato, General Travel, Italy, Marina Casal Velino, Mountain Towns, Small Towns
Tags: Bars, Beaches, Campania, Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, Food, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian people, Italy, Marina Casal Velino, No Tour Touring, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism