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Posted by on Mar 30, 2019 in Gastronomy | 0 comments

Potatoes gatò

Potatoes gatò is a classic of Sicilian gastronomy; in particular its name comes from a transliteration from the French gateau. It is a very appetizing recipe of simple...

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Posted by on Mar 10, 2019 in Culture, Gastronomy | 0 comments

THE ORIGIN OF TORTELLINI While waiting for the paternity of the tortellini to be re-established in the Romagna region with a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), the legend tells that having stopped a noblewoman in Castelfranco di Romagna and having, hidden, the innkeeper admired her features, he wanted to reproduce her elegant navel. As the Secchia recalls “Imitating Venus the belico (the navel) the art of tortellino learned”. The tortellino in the Romagna cuisine is combined with the meat sauce. It takes at least 5 hours to make a great sauce.

P.S. But, if you want to do the ragù earlier, imitate the Sicilian style. Add a local tomato sauce: it is so thick (but so extraordinarily good) that it will take you...

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Posted by on Feb 20, 2019 in Grand Tour, Islands | 0 comments

A 90 minute stroll through the marvelous city of Palermo. Leaving the parking lot at the port (Calata Marina d’Italia, Amerigo Amari, 10 euro per day), cross the street, turn left.  You are on the via Francesco Crispi.  Continue until you reach the Piazza 13 Vittime (8 minutes), cross the piazza and continue straight.  You are at San Giorgio del Genovesi, a Renaissance church, a little sad and not very interesting (3 minutes).  A few steps further and you are on the Squarcialupo where you make the first right turn and you have arrived at the first stop (2 minutes) 1)	Oratorio del Santissimo Rosario Santa Cita:  a beautiful casket whose female figures were sculpted by Giacomo Serpotta, I think that Serpotta is to the sculpture of the female figure what Michelangelo is to the male figure.  The grace, elegance and refinement are without equal . Sweet and exuberant putti surround the whole.  Leave the Oratorio by the via Squarcialupo (2 minutes) on to the next stop. 2)	Chiesa di Santa Maria in Valverde: a splendid example of the Baroque in mixed marble, unfortunately open only during services.  You need luck to see inside.  The façade is decorated in a curious mixture of Christian and Masonic symbols .  Continue on the via Bambinai  (2 minutes) to the next stop. 3)	Oratorio del Santissimo Rosario in San Domenico:  another example of the stucco work of Giacomo Serpotta.  There is a late 17th century painting and altar piece by A. van Dyke.  I love the way the Virtues are represented, different from the traditional ones. We see Caution,  Temperance, Fortress, Justice, but also: Generosity, Brotherhood, Friendship..  all female, of course.  Now walk to the next stop (5 minutes). 4)	Along the way don’t miss out on a delicious ice cream, and if you are hungry, brioche with ice cream, at the Gelateria La Kala in Piazza Fonderia 8 mn. 5) You will arrive at the Cala, the ancient Port of Palermo, where lovely pleasure boats are moored. 6) After 3 minutes you will enter the Piazza Marina where you can see the Garibaldi gardens, towards the Palazzo Steri, with one of the tallest trees in Europe – a beautiful and imposing magnolia grandiflora. You should definitely visit the Palazzo Steri, seat of the Inquisition.  Then go at your right towards the sea (3 minutes). 7)	Next go towards the ‘cala’ straight in front of you where you will see the Renaissance  Church of  Santa Maria della Catena, in gothic-catalan style,  in the piazzetta della Dogana.  I especially like this church. 8)	Returning to the Corso Vittorio Emanuele (10 minutes), go to the next stop:  the Four Cantos of the City (also known as the theatre of the sun).  Admire the palaces and fountains that grace the piazza, turn to the left and shortly you will  be at the Piazza Pretoria (2 minutes). 9)	Opposite the Palazzo Pretoria you will see the palazzo of the Comune (the town hall), the beautiful 17th century Fontana della Vergogna where, local gossip says, the then queen, lover of the sculptor, Camillani, is depicted among the nude figures (2 minutes). 10)	Crossing the piazza along the passageway to the left of the Palazzo Pretoria, alongside the convent of the closed order of nuns famous for their sweets known as the ‘Trionfo di gola’ (Triumph of Greed), enter the Piazza Bellini.  Opposite you on a terrace that dominates the piazza stands the church Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, know as ‘la Martorana’, among the rarest and most precious of Byzantine churches in Italy.  Next to it is one of my favourite churches, San Cataldo, medieval, elegant and simple from the 12th century (2 minutes). 11)	Retrace your steps back to the Corso Vitorrio Emanuele as far as the Cathedral, a splendid example of Norman/ Arab art, slim and elegant on the exterior even if partly disfigured by the 19th century cupola.  Inside you will find the lovely tomb of Frederick II, know as Stupor Mundi (10 minutes). 12)	From the Cathedral continue to the right towards the lovely Piazza Indipendenza with its garden full of tall palm trees.  There you will find the Palazzo dei Normanni,  the Normands ( Nordmanni o Nordmaenner, ossia ” North men”) royal palace.  You must go to the right of the palace under the Porta Nuova to find the entrance  behind the building (4 minutes).  It is very interesting inside the palace where you can admire the marvelous Capella Palatina, in my opinion the most beautiful church in Italy together with the Cattedrale di Monreale. The Capella Palatina is a veritable jewel.  There are also exhibitions and a good bookshop (5 minutes). 13)	Turning around, go left alongside the Cathedral and bravely  follow the via Bonelli to reach the flea market, no longer of much interest. Cross the via delle Cappuccinelle, passing through the ‘Capo’, one of the historic markets of Palermo. I like shopping in this market, good quality and prices.  Be sure to buy  the local delicacy, for one or two euros, a bunch of dried herbs mixed with garlic and parsley, or oregano, or hot pepper, useful to add, with a good Sicilian olive oil, to pasta, finished off with grated caciocavallo or pecorino cheese, not Parmesan, making a quick and tasty meal.  Leaving the ‘Capo’ for the Porta Carini to the right, go towards the back of the Teatro Massimo (10 minutes). 14)	Go around on the left side of the theatre as far as the entrance where you can stop in the garden or the theatre bar for an excellent aperitif.  There is a good bookstore next to the bar.  The ‘Massimo’ is the third biggest theatre in Europe for size after the Paris Opera and the Vienna Opera.  It is a unique and marvelous example of the Art Nouveau style, designed by the architect Ernesto Basile (5 minutes). 15)	From the Teatro Massimo go left along the via Ruggero Settimo.  After a brief walk you will find two piazzas.  To the left is the Padiglione della Musica in Piazza Castelnuovo and to the right is the piazza Ruggero Settimo with the Teatro Politeama with its arch surmounted by the bronze quadriga of Apollo.  The theatre began by hosting circuses and today is used as a venue for concerts (8 minutes). 16)	With your back to the theatre, turn to the left for the via Amerigo Amari.  At the end of this street you will be back at your point of departure.

A 90 minute stroll through the marvelous city of Palermo. Leaving the parking lot at the port (Calata Marina d’Italia, Amerigo Amari, 10 euro per day), cross the street, turn left. You are on the via Francesco Crispi. Continue until you reach the Piazza 13 Vittime (8 minutes), cross the piazza and continue straight. You are at San Giorgio del Genovesi, a Renaissance church, a little sad and not very interesting (3 minutes). A few steps further and you are on the Squarcialupo where you make the first right turn and you have arrived at the first stop (2 minutes) 1) Oratorio del Santissimo Rosario Santa Cita: a beautiful casket whose female figures were sculpted by Giacomo Serpotta, I think that Serpotta is to the sculpture of the female figure what Michelangelo is to the male figure. The grace, elegance and refinement are without equal . Sweet and exuberant putti surround the whole. Leave the Oratorio by the via Squarcialupo (2 minutes) on to the next stop. 2) Chiesa di Santa Maria in Valverde: a splendid example of the Baroque in mixed marble, unfortunately open only during services. You need luck to see inside. The façade is decorated in a curious mixture of Christian and Masonic symbols . Continue on the via Bambinai (2 minutes) to the next stop. 3) Oratorio del Santissimo Rosario in San Domenico: another example of the stucco work of Giacomo Serpotta. There is a late 17th century painting and altar piece by A. van Dyke. I love the way the Virtues are represented, different from the traditional ones. We see Caution, Temperance, Fortress, Justice, but also: Generosity, Brotherhood, Friendship.. all female, of course. Now walk to the next stop (5 minutes). 4) Along the way don’t miss out on a delicious ice cream, and if you are hungry, brioche with ice cream, at the Gelateria La Kala in Piazza Fonderia 8 mn. 5) You will arrive at the Cala, the ancient Port of Palermo, where lovely pleasure boats are moored. 6) After 3 minutes you will enter the Piazza Marina where you can see the Garibaldi gardens, towards the Palazzo Steri, with one of the tallest trees in Europe – a beautiful and imposing magnolia grandiflora. You should definitely visit the Palazzo Steri, seat of the Inquisition. Then go at your right towards the sea (3 minutes). 7) Next go towards the ‘cala’ straight in front of you where you will see the Renaissance Church of Santa Maria della Catena, in gothic-catalan style, in the piazzetta della Dogana. I especially like this church. 8) Returning to the Corso Vittorio Emanuele (10 minutes), go to the next stop: the Four Cantos of the City (also known as the theatre of the sun). Admire the palaces and fountains that grace the piazza, turn to the left and shortly you will be at the Piazza Pretoria (2 minutes). 9) Opposite the Palazzo Pretoria you will see the palazzo of the Comune (the town hall), the beautiful 17th century Fontana della Vergogna where, local gossip says, the then queen, lover of the sculptor, Camillani, is depicted among the nude figures (2 minutes). 10) Crossing the piazza along the passageway to the left of the Palazzo Pretoria, alongside the convent of the closed order of nuns famous for their sweets known as the ‘Trionfo di gola’ (Triumph of Greed), enter the Piazza Bellini. Opposite you on a terrace that dominates the piazza stands the church Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, know as ‘la Martorana’, among the rarest and most precious of Byzantine churches in Italy. Next to it is one of my favourite churches, San Cataldo, medieval, elegant and simple from the 12th century (2 minutes). 11) Retrace your steps back to the Corso Vitorrio Emanuele as far as the Cathedral, a splendid example of Norman/ Arab art, slim and elegant on the exterior even if partly disfigured by the 19th century cupola. Inside you will find the lovely tomb of Frederick II, know as Stupor Mundi (10 minutes). 12) From the Cathedral continue to the right towards the lovely Piazza Indipendenza with its garden full of tall palm trees. There you will find the Palazzo dei Normanni, the Normands ( Nordmanni o Nordmaenner, ossia ” North men”) royal palace. You must go to the right of the palace under the Porta Nuova to find the entrance behind the building (4 minutes). It is very interesting inside the palace where you can admire the marvelous Capella Palatina, in my opinion the most beautiful church in Italy together with the Cattedrale di Monreale. The Capella Palatina is a veritable jewel. There are also exhibitions and a good bookshop (5 minutes). 13) Turning around, go left alongside the Cathedral and bravely follow the via Bonelli to reach the flea market, no longer of much interest. Cross the via delle Cappuccinelle, passing through the ‘Capo’, one of the historic markets of Palermo. I like shopping in this market, good quality and prices. Be sure to buy the local delicacy, for one or two euros, a bunch of dried herbs mixed with garlic and parsley, or oregano, or hot pepper, useful to add, with a good Sicilian olive oil, to pasta, finished off with grated caciocavallo or pecorino cheese, not Parmesan, making a quick and tasty meal. Leaving the ‘Capo’ for the Porta Carini to the right, go towards the back of the Teatro Massimo (10 minutes). 14) Go around on the left side of the theatre as far as the entrance where you can stop in the garden or the theatre bar for an excellent aperitif. There is a good bookstore next to the bar. The ‘Massimo’ is the third biggest theatre in Europe for size after the Paris Opera and the Vienna Opera. It is a unique and marvelous example of the Art Nouveau style, designed by the architect Ernesto Basile (5 minutes). 15) From the Teatro Massimo go left along the via Ruggero Settimo. After a brief walk you will find two piazzas. To the left is the Padiglione della Musica in Piazza Castelnuovo and to the right is the piazza Ruggero Settimo with the Teatro Politeama with its arch surmounted by the bronze quadriga of Apollo. The theatre began by hosting circuses and today is used as a venue for concerts (8 minutes). 16) With your back to the theatre, turn to the left for the via Amerigo Amari. At the end of this street you will be back at your point of departure.

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