Amalfi, coastal love

amalfi
The town of Amalfi is high in the mountains on the Italian coast in the province of Salerno. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and used to be a stomping ground for the British upper classes.

Main sights in Amalfi include the cathedral of Sant Andrea, the campanile, the convent of Cappuccini, Chiostro del Paradiso, and the Museum of handmade paper. Amalfi is rich in culture and is famous for its lemon liqueur Limonocello and high quality hand-made paper. Festivals held annual include the feast day of St. Andrew the city’s patron saint the Byzantine New Year’s Eve and the regatta.

Country-style cooking is famous all along the Amalfi coast and some tidbits to try include cornetto which is an Italian Croissant, sfogliiatella, follarelli, pizza, mozzarella di bufala which is mozzarella cheese balls, and insalata caprese or Caprian salad.

Seafood is also a must when eating along the coast. Shellfish with pasta is just spectacular.

Some places to try along the Amalfi coast include Pizzeria Trianon da Ciro, Pasticceria Scaturchio, La TradizioneA’Sciula, and L’Antica Trattoria.

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Capri, island in the sun

isle_of_capriThe isle of Capri is an island off the coast of Italy near the city of Naples.

The island has been around as a resort since the days of the Roman Republic and some of its outstanding features include the Marina Piccola, the Belvedere of Tragara, the Faraglioni, the town of Anacapri, the Blue Grotto, and the ruins of the Imperial Roman villas.

Other places to visit include the Punta Carena Lighthouse, Capri Philosophical Park, Torre Materita, and La Piazzetta. The island was once a haven for European artists who used its beauty as a backdrop for their artwork.

The island hosts several events annual such as the Capri Film Festival, and the Capri International Film Festival, the Capri Tango Festival, and the Capri Golf Marathon. Capri is a good place to visit for natural flora and fauna of the island.

Pasta and seafood are also an important part of the cuisine of the island and some places to try include the Add’o Riccio which serves seafood and fish, Buca di Bacco da Serafina, Dagemma, and Da Paolina.

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Penne Pasta with Chicken and Bacon, sweet, tangy delight

penne_pollo_pancetta
The great thing about pasta and especially penne pasta is that it is a great accompaniment with many different types of seafood, meat and vegetables.

To make penne pasta with chicken and bacon gather I package penne pasta, 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, 6 slices bacon, chopped,2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, 1 pound deboned chicken breast, rinsed and cut into strips.

First, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil and add the penne pasta and cook until the pasta is tender but firm to the bite for about 8 to 10 minutes.

In a separate container, heat olive oil over a medium flame and sauté chicken. Remove the chicken and fry the bacon until brown and crisp. Next add garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until it’s done.

Drain water from the pasta and stir in the chicken and bacon, tomatoes, and garlic mixture with the remaining olive oil.

To add a little something extra this dish may be prepared by adding a few fresh vegetables.

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Scampi-style Scallops over Linguine

scampi
Scallops are some of the most highly prized seafood dishes in the world. Its taste is extraordinary and in certain cuisine may be eaten with pasta, fries, or as part of a bigger seafood meal.

The scampi-style scallops served over linguine is a treat and is simple and easy to prepare. All you need is 1 package linguine, 1 can anchovy fillets with oil, 1/2 onion, minced, 3/4 cup chicken stock, 1/4 cup white wine, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/8 teaspoon seafood seasoning , 12 ounces bay scallops, salt, and pepper.

To prepare first bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil and all linguine. You may add a few drops of olive oil to the water to prevent pasta from sticking together.

Cook the pasta for about 10 minutes and once cooked but firm, drain.

In a skillet over a medium flame, cook anchovies in oil until they melt and add the onion and cook until tender. Add the chicken stock, wine, garlic, parsley, and seafood seasoning. Add the scallops to the liquid and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until the scallops are opaque. Serve over the linguine with a glass of white wine!

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Venice, Queen of the Adriatic

venice
Venice is a city in Italy on the banks of the Po and Piave Rivers. The city is renowned for its canals, bridges, beautiful setting, architecture, and artwork.

The city and its lagoon are listed as Unesco World Heritage Sites and is known as the Queen of the Adriatic.

Its beauty makes it one of the most demanded tourist destinations in the world and visitors can embark on a Grand Tour which takes them through cityscape, musical heritage and culture. One of the most famous aspects of the city is being able to take a tour through the canals on a gondola.

The city also hosts several international conferences and festivals as well as the Carnival of Venice annually. The Venice Film Festival is world renowned; other attractions include St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Ca’ d’Oro, Grand Canal, Piazza San Marco, and Lido di Venezia.

Music is also very important to the culture of Venice as is food which relies heavily on seafood.

Risi e bisi, fegato alla veneziana and risotto with cuttlefish are a must try. For food try La Cantina and for bacari try the Alla Vedova.

The city has a humid subtropical climate with cool winters and very warm summers and is served by the Marco Polo International Airport.

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Paella, Spanish delight

paella
Paella is the dish associated with Spain. This combination of rice and seafood or meat and vegetables such as green peas is seen outside of Spain as the country’s national dish but is really a regional speciality from Valencia.

To make a paella gather 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of paprika, 2 tablespoons of oregano, salt and black pepper, 2 pounds of skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 2 cups uncooked short-grain rice, 1 pinch saffron, 1 bay leaf, 1 quart of chicken stock, 1 Spanish onion, 1 red bell pepper, 1 pound chorizo sausage, and 1 pound deveined shrimp.

First: season chicken with olive oil, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. Then heat olive oil in a large skillet, add garlic, red pepper, and rice and stir for 3 minutes. Add the saffron, bay leaf, chicken stock and lemon. Lower heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 20 minutes.

In another, skillet heat oil then add chicken and onion and cook for a few minutes; add bell pepper, sausage, and shrimp, turning the shrimp until both sides are pink. Decorate paella with shrimp. Paella is best enjoyed served warm.

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Corfu, castle island

corfu

In the Ionian Sea sits the Greek island of Corfu. The birthplace of the Duke of Edinburgh, the whole island of Corfu is made almost entirely of limestone formations.

The island was heavily fortified against the Ottoman Empire and its capital city, also named Corfu, is enclosed by castles. It has been declared a Kastropolis or castle city by the Greek government. Among the islands sites is the Achilleion palace. The palace is famous for itsItalianate architecture and was after the Homeric hero Achilles.

The palace is is filled with paintings and statues of Achilles and depicts the scenes of the Trojan War. The historic Palaiokastritsa monastery on the west coast has beautiful coastal views of small, picturesque bays.

The Nymphes waterfalls in the north and the deserted 14th century village of Perithia high in the mountains near the highest peak of Mount Pantokrator are also worth seeing.

The foods of Corfu are similar to those of mainland Greece such as olivesolive oilcheeses,fresh fruitsvegetables and seafood.

Things to try include Bourou-Bourou Vegetable and Pasta Soup, Bourtheto a Scorpion Fish in a Spicy Sauce, Pastitsatha Rooster with Pasta and Sykomaïtha – Spiced Fig Cakes. The island is served by the Corfu International Airport, two miles south of Corfu Town.

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