Are you consumed by the power of wanderlust which takes you to places unknown, where you immerse your soul in the ethereal fantasies of Nature and discover the art of passion? I was led by my intuitive sense of adventure which took me to seek the treasures of history, culture and revel in a journey of the most talked-about cuisines of the world. With all roads leading to Rome, I was captured by the spirit of wanderlust as I ventured into the realms of Rome to seek hidden treasures surrounded by myths, mystery and mesmerizing facts of the much-visited tourist destination of Italy.
I was totally overwhelmed by Rome which is the capital of Italy with a history of almost 3,000 years of art, architecture and a haunting background of the Roman Empire. As a much-anticipated trip and a dream vacation, I set out on my Italian Connection tour by taking the sights and sounds and sensations of Rome with St. Peter’s Basilica which was first on list followed by the eye-opening artistic Vatican Museums. The Sistine Chapel was a glorious entrée into the architecture of times gone by and an eternal ode to the celestial and captivating art of the 1400s. After a filling and satisfying ‘prima colazione’ which consisted of fette biscottate, caffè latte and cookies, I joined the merry band of adventurers to explore the treasures of Rome.
The City of Rome Makes an Offer You Can’t Refuse
I just loved the atmosphere and the warmth of the sun as it filtered through an ambience of immortality and filled the traveler’s soul with all things everlasting. I absorbed the Roman environment at the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Palace of Justice and the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II which reverberated with the culture of a charismatic time. I was just waiting to explore the taste of a Roman holiday and revel in the much-talked of Italian dishes. I enjoyed the famous Bruschetta which is a popular antipasto or appetizer, Supplì or fried rice croquettes stuffed with mozzarella and beef ragout and a pasta dish called Bucatini all'Amatriciana and of course, who could resist trying out the delicious gelato, Tiramisu and Panna Cotta?
While Rome had cast a spell over me, I was still raring to explore the romance and the dream-like sequence of gliding through the canals of Venice. Yes, I did try out the gorgeous gondola ride which was every bit like the guide books said they were. Being every traveler’s dream, Venice unrolled spectacular sights and experiences as I walked in awe through St. Mark's Cathedral, San Marco Square and the Doge Palace. The islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello held a special interest for me with their incredible glass making crafts while displaying the lifestyle of the Venetians. Fascinating and ethereal, the gorgeous canals of Venice rendered a surrealistic feeling and it was natural to try out flavors of seafood being surrounded by water. I relished the delicious Sarde in saor, a sweet sour dish with fried sardine fillets, Risotto al nero di sepia, a seafood based rice dish and Baccala mantecato or creamed dried cod including other fabulous specialties which consisted of game meats and the famous wines of Italy at the osterias and trattorias.
Delighting the Palate with the Flavors of Italy
Created for the fashionista, Milan as I expected was as fashionable as ever and chock full with famous boutiques and high-end designer outlets. I had read extensively about the historical sights of Milan and made it a point to visit the much-talked of grand Gothic Duomo. My gastronomic journey went on a flavorsome tour with Risotto alla Milanese textured to perfection, Cotoletta alla Milanese or veal cutlet, Cassouela made with pork and Savoy cabbage stew and many other delicacies.
I discovered tranquility and peace at the picturesque and picture perfect, Cinque Terre which means Five Villages and was transported into an ambience that was centuries old with colorful houses and vineyards clinging precariously to the sides of rugged cliffs. With harbors which were chock-a-bloc with fishing boats and trattorias with seafood cuisine, I marveled at the famous pesto which is a sauce from the Liguria region.
After visiting Pisa with its unique Leaning Tower which is also known as the Piazza dei Miracoli", or the "Square of Miracles", I traveled to explore the tourist destination of Sorrento, taste the famous Limoncello, relax at the Marina Grande and absorb the bustling downtown which seemed like an everyday carnival. Being an adventurer at heart, I had decided to explore the ruins of Pompeii which had been destroyed by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Crafting the Art of an Italian Romance
Known as a popular backdrop for films and a great tourist destination, the Amalfi Coast delighted me with its pastel-colored fishing villages, sheer cliffs with lemon groves and dotted with appealing beaches which stretched across a rocky shoreline along the Tyrrhenian Sea. My taste buds were raring to go and I sat down to experience a combination of seafood and other great dishes with Scialatelli, a pasta in seafood sauce, ’Ndunderi, a type of pasta, Sarchiapone made with stuffed pumpkin, Pigniatello all’ amalfitana, a blend of seafood, Colatura di alici, a fermented fish sauce and a delicious dessert, Sfogliatella.
I just loved the dashing town of Positano with its dramatic yet luxurious ambience. Painting a picturesque sight with its cliff-side village which cascaded with terracotta and pastel colored houses, this great tourist destination displayed fabulous shopping outlets, hotels shaded with hanging wisteria and awesome restaurants. Bringing the rich harvest of the ocean to satisfy the taste buds, the restaurants in Positano served an amazing array of the local dishes and I reveled in a feast of seafood fit for Neptune. Delighting the palate with a wide range of both gourmet and local tastes, the cuisine of Positano ranged out mouth-watering Spaghetti with mussels, Boiled Octopus dishes, Tubetti with Totani which squid, Linguine with Fresh Prawns, ravioli, Gnocchi, pasta and spaghetti with flavors divine washed down with Chianti Classico, Rosso di Montalcino, Falerno del massico and other great Campania wines. cheese and liquors.
As my Italian sojourn drew to a close, I was determined to bring alive the flavors of gorgeous Italy to tickle the taste buds which you will be delighted to read in my next adventure posting.
Binoy Nazareth Invites You to Delight the Taste Buds with the Flavors of Italy