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Puglia May 2015

17 May

I arrived May 6 to Lecce, Italy through Rome and Brindisi… Wow, it was hot …88 degrees. For 3 nights, I stayed at Masseria LuciaGiovanni, a Morracan themed resort hotel set around a gorgeous pool, outside of town. 

   
   

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Cooking School Day Two

24 Oct

Day two, Tuesday, was a rainy day. I went to the wholesale market early with the chef to pick up supplies for the restaurant. He dropped me inside the walls of Lucca, where i got drenched walking around, shopping and reminiscing. I took the bus back to the cooking school around 2.

At 4 we started the Tuscan Favorites class. I was joined by a group from San Francisco. Tonight we learned how to prepare ravioli, roasted vegetables, chicken liver and eggplant crostinis and cantucci, what we call biscotti in the US.

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Lucca cooking School Day One

21 Oct

I arrived at Chef Paolo Monti’s Cooking School late Sunday night. It is in a rural area a few miles outside of Lucca. He showed me to me apartment for the week and I had a delicious dinner at his restaurant.

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On Monday i had 2 classes… Risotto and basic sauces and techniques.

In the risotto class we made 4 kinds of risotto, 4 kinds of veal, 4 appetizers and a semifreddo for dessert.

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I took a walk along the river nearby in between the two classes….

The second class gave us a history of Italian cuisine, some of the basic ingredients and sauces of Italy. We made different sauces,; meat, lemon, pancetta, mushroom…all were served with different pastas…. We made bruschetta for appetizers, chicken cacciatore, pork loin and tiramisu for dessert. A lot of food!

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Santorini

20 Oct

We arrived by ferry from Crete on Monday afternoon and drove up the switchback mountain to a lovely restaurant for lunch. Then we made our way to the hotel, Petit Palace Suites, built into the side of the mountain. My first impressions of Santorini were that it was so brown and desert like. The views of the water are spectacular.

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The second day in Santorini we went out on a boat to see the red beach, white beach and walk on the volcano. Some of the women went swimming, some did a little dancing, and we all had fun!

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The last day in Santorini we visited the village of Oia. It was very pretty, however overrun by cruise ship tourists.

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The Island of Crete

14 Oct

I met the Wanderwoman group on Thursday and we flew to Chania, Crete, the largest of the Greek Islands. I met my roommate Diane and we were given a two story suite in Casa Delfino, a 5 star luxury hotel….not my usual style of travel, but I am not complaining. We had a traditional Greek Family style dinner of chicken with prunes, greek salad, and several “hummus” style spreads of eggplant and fish roe.

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Our second day in Crete was a walking tour of the market followed by a cooking class in the hills ….

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The last day in Chania was a day at leisure. I meandered around the small streets and harbour, read my book on the rooftop of the hotel, watched a local concert of Greek dancers and had another delicios meal with my Wanderwomen friends….

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Athens Greece October 2014

10 Oct

I arrived in Athens via Venice and Rome and took the metro into the center.
The metro is easy to use, very clean and an inexpensive option to get from the airport into the city. I emerged from the metro at 8:00 pm in the bustling Monastiraki square, a lively place full of people. I found my hotel, checked in and headed to the rooftop bar for a snack before bed.

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The first day I took a food tour. We went to the meat, fish and vegetable markets where the sights and smells overwhelmed me… We also tried Greek donuts, pastries , meats, cheeses.

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After all that excitement i just had to visit the Athens Fish Spa…

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The last day in Athens I did a walking historical tour through the different regions of the city. Very interesting. I must say i was pleasantly surprised with my visit to Athens. Here is some of the lovely food I tasted at the local restaurants….

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Language in Lucca May 2014

10 May

Language in Lucca May 2014.