Star Pride in Asia

Windstar 7-for-7 Weekly Deals

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Every Thursday, get new, limited time deals on the small ship voyages of your dreams with Windstar Cruises. Take your pick of 7 amazing voyages at low fares. Don’t delay—offer is only valid for 7 days or until suites and staterooms sell out!

 

Here are this weeks 7 for 7 deals – offer expires August 21, 2019 

Alaskan Splendors | July 11 2020
11 days from Seward to Vancouver on board the Star Breeze

Fares starting at US $3,199 per person

 

Around Iceland | August 1 2020
7 days from Reykjavik to Reykjavik on board the Star Legend

Fares starting at US $4,099 per person

 

Autumn Revelries on the French Riviera | November 13 2020
7 days from Rome to Barcelona on board the Star Legend

Fares starting at US $2,499 per person,

 

The Allure of the Antilles | December 13 2020
10 days from San Juan to Miami on board the Star Legend

Fares starting at US $2,399 per person

 

San Juan & the Virgin Islands | January 9 2021
7 days from San Juan to San Juan on board the Star Pride

Fares starting at US $2,199 per person


Monteverde Cloud Forest & Arenal Volcano Cruise Tour | February 16 2021

11 days from San Jose to Colon on board the Star Legend

Fares starting at US $4,599 per person

 

Deep Dive Down Under: The Great Barrier Reef & Beyond | February 17 2021
11 days from Melbourne to Cairns on board the Star Breeze

Fares starting at US $4,199 per person

 

 

Connect with a Cruise Specialist today – space will not last!

 

Windstar Style 180 Degrees from Ordinary

Leave the crowds and clichés behind on small, elegant ships that carry less than 310 travelers

Windstars personalized and immersive approach brings you closer to each destination and every port

An intimate and welcoming ambiance makes it easy to connect with your fellow travelers and crew

Taste the essence of the culture you just explored with the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation

Enjoy unfailingly attentive service that delights in bringing you just the right thing at just the right time

 

 

 

Taxes and fees are additional

Exclusive Virtuoso Offer with Holland America Line

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Why Holland America Line?
Holland America Line’s carefully crafted itineraries take you to the world’s great landmarks and hidden gems. For over 145 years, Holland America Line has been introducing guests to new places and new cultures and has witnessed firsthand the transformative power of travel. With more than 500 itineraries, stopping in 100 countries around the world, Holland America Line offers spacious, mid-sized ships, truly memorable fine dining and exclusive onboard activities, making your journey an even richer experience!

SUITE OFFER UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30 2019
When you sail in a suite you will receive a 4-Bottle Wine Sommelier Package

 

We’re fortunate to have a world of resources at our fingertips, thanks in large part to our partnership with Virtuoso®, an organization of the top travel agencies, travel providers, and destinations worldwide.

Through Virtuoso, we are able to offer you, our valued client, the kind of exclusive amenities, upgrades, access, and experiences that elevate your cruise including one or more of the following offers on select sailings;

~ Onboard Credit
~ Speciality dining credits

PLUS this exclusive offer for Verandah and Suite guests:
When sailing to Europe (10+day), Alaska cruise, Asia, South America, South Pacific, Panama Canal (full transit)
– Receive dinner for two in the Pinnacle Grill AND Canaletto

When sailing on an Alaska Land+Sea Journey
– Pinnacle Grill AND Canaletto dinners PLUS Music of Denali dinner theater
– And upgrades to Junior Suites at McKinley Chalet Resort will receive $50 p.p. Denali Dollars

 

Connect with a cruise specialist to discover the world with Holland America Line 

Autism Friendly Cruising with Celebrity Cruises

Autism Friendly Cruising with Celebrity Cruises

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We understand that cruising as a family takes extra planning. And we can only imagine the extra steps that go into planning a cruise when travelling with special needs. One of our special partners, Celebrity Cruises, offer Autism Friendly programs for all ages to help make your family cruise the best it can be.

Celebrity Cruises® offers a welcoming autism-friendly environment onboard its cruise ships. This includes sensory-friendly films and toys, dietary menu options, and overall autism-friendly training for Camp at Sea staff. In addition, Youth Staff have received autism awareness training which covers the following topics: characteristics of autism and developmental disabilities, and communication tactics, such as person-first language and terms, and skills to initiate a conversation with a parent about his or her child’s needs. Your search for special needs cruise ships ends here.

Autism-Friendly Ships

Celebrity Cruises® offers autism-friendly interactive initiatives for families, including sensory-friendly films and toys, dietary menu options, and overall autism-friendly training for Camp at Sea staff and more. Additionally, we offer a wide range of autism friendly products and services, which include:

> Priority check-in, boarding and departure
> Camp at Sea toilet-trained policy exception
> Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free and dairy-free
> Pagers/phones for parents of children while signed into the care of Camp at Sea programs (subject to availability).
> Camp at Sea flexible grouping by ability for children 3 to 12 years old

Autism-Friendly Films

Autism friendly films are presented in a low lighting, low volume environment. Guests are encouraged to freely talk and walk around during the film. These films will be offered on all autism group cruises, and cruises with at least five children with autism onboard. Dates and times will be highlighted in Celebrity Today.

Autism-Friendly Toy Lending Program

“In our efforts to deliver top-rated products with both entertainment and educational value, Celebrity Cruises® partnered with Fat Brain Toys—one of the most highly regarded toy companies among occupational, physical and play therapists—to offer an exclusive Autism Friendly Toy Lending Catalog. We also offer: non-toxic crayons, markers, water colors, building blocks, dominoes and picture books. Upon request, we will provide a tote bag with the Fat Brain Toys of your selection.

Autism-Friendly Activities

We offer activities for children of all abilities. Families are encouraged to consult with Camp at Sea staff regarding any special needs that their children may have in order to identify which activities are appropriate for their child and any possible modifications.

Cruising Social Story

“A Social Story is a written or visual guide describing various social interactions, situations, behaviors, skills or concepts. These Social Stories help individuals with autism to better cope with social situations. Celebrity Cruises® offers a Social Story Booklet about cruising to help families with autism prepare for their cruise vacation.

What Do You Offer For Teens With Autism?
• Expedited check-in, boarding and departure
• Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free
• Autism Friendly Toy Lending Program
• Autism Friendly Films
• Social Story Booklet
• Our Teen Program with teens-only hangouts and activities. Please note while some activities are hosted, supervision or one-on-one attention is not provided

What Do You Offer For Adults With Autism?
• Expected check-in, boarding and departure
• Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free
• Autism Friendly Toy Lending Program
• Autism Friendly Films
• Social Story Booklet
• Our Cruise Activities Program.
Please note while some activities are hosted, supervision or one-on-one attention is not provided (Adults are not permitted in Teen or Camp at Sea spaces)

Explore4 with Holland America

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BOOK YOUR CRUISE NOW FOR MORE ON BOARD*

Enjoy a special night at the Pinnacle Grill for dinner, then spoil yourself with a shore excursion or spa treatment. Stay connected with free internet when you book a Verandah Stateroom or Suite. Book your Summer 2020 to Spring 2021 vacation today!

 

Choose from tons of specially selected cruises and get ALL FOUR below:*

FREE Onboard Spending Money of up to US $800
FREE Pinnacle Grill Dinner
$25 Beverage Card (for kids or extra guests)
50% Reduced Deposit

+ BONUS DEAL: FREE Internet for Verandah & Suite Guests

Explore4 Offer Expires October 31, 2019! So don’t hesitate.

 

Exclusive Offer
When you book a Suite on select voyages between August 15 – September 30 you’ll receive  

• Pinnacle Grill & Canaletto dinner for two

• Suite guests, ask about the 4 bottle sommelier package!

 

Our Recommended Voyages 

24 day Majestic Fjords & Jewels of the Baltic
Departing Apr 22, 2020 Roundtrip from Rotterdam | Rotterdam

Cat. FF Ocean view stateroom CA $5,805 per person incl taxes
Bonus: $325USD per person onboard credit + Canaletto Dinner for two

 

7 day Alaska Inside Passage
May 02, 2020 Roundtrip from Vancouver | Koningsdam 

Cat. E Ocean view stateroom CA $2,305 per person incl taxes
Bonus: $200USD per person onboard credit + Canaletto Dinner for two

 

12-Day Greek Odyssey
June 27, 2020 fromm Rome to Venice | Nieuw Amsterdam

Cat. F Ocean view stateroom CA $3,300 per person incl taxes
Bonus: $325SD per person onboard credit + Canaletto Dinner for two

 

10 day Panama Canal Sunfarer
October 18, 2020 Roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale | Zuiderdam

Cat. F Ocean view stateroom CA $2,391 per person incl taxes
Bonus: $325SD per person onboard credit + Canaletto Dinner for two

 

Connect with a Cruise Specialist today to take advantage of Explore4 Savings!

Canadian Dollars at Par with Regent Seven Seas Cruises

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Canadian residents are invited to enjoy special savings on select voyages offering Canadian Dollars at Par pricing to fascinating worldwide destinations. Enjoy FREE Business Class Air* on intercontinental flights and FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions on all featured voyages.

The Regent Experience has long been absolute in its inclusiveness, providing you with the most enriching and luxurious journey on the seven seas. Travel the world in search of the best life has to offer, with every luxury included, and discover a truly unrivaled experience.

 

Ask about Exclusive Virtuoso Amenities such as Onboard Host, Exclusive Shore Events, Cocktail Receptions and up to $500 in Onboard Credit available on select voyages.

Read about this cruisers Outstanding experience on the Seven Seas Explorer

 

RECOMMENDED VOYAGES

Bohemian Paradise | 10 nights Roundtrip Miami
Departing January 18, 2020 on board the Seven Seas Explorer

Veranda Suite fares starting at CA $5,999 per person inc. taxes & fees

Canadian Resident Offer Applied + up to 67 Free Shore Excursions + Free Roundtrip Air & Transfers + Exclusive $300 Onboard Credit 

 

Colorful Spain & The Canary Islands | 10 nights Roundtrip Barcelona
Departing April 17, 2020 on board the Seven Seas Explorer

Veranda Suite fares starting at CA $8,299 per person inc. taxes & fees

Canadian Resident Offer Applied + up to 42 Free Shore Excursions + Free Business Class Airfare & Transfers + Exclusive $300 Onboard Credit 

 

Royals, Castles & Crowns | 12 nights Roundtrip Southampton
Departing May 18, 2020 on board the Seven Seas Explorer

Veranda Suite fares starting at CA $12,699 per person inc. taxes & fees

Canadian Resident Offer Applied + up to 48 Free Shore Excursions + Free Business Class Airfare & Transfers + Exclusive $300 Onboard Credit 

 

 

Many other voyages to choose from – connect with a Cruise Specialist to select the voyage made for you!

 

Regent Seven Seas Cruise – IT’S ALL INCLUDED
ALL-INCLUSIVE FARES
FREE ROUNDTRIP BUSINESS CLASS AIR* ON INTERCONTINENTAL FLIGHTS
FREE ROUNDTRIP AIR* ON DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
FREE UNLIMITED SHORE EXCURSIONS
FREE 1-NIGHT PRE-CRUISE HOTEL PACKAGE*
FREE UNLIMITED BEVERAGES, INCLUDING FINE WINES AND SPIRITS
FREE OPEN BARS AND LOUNGES PLUS IN-SUITE MINI-BAR REPLENISHED DAILY
FREE PRE-PAID GRATUITIES
FREE SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS
FREE TRANSFERS BETWEEN AIRPORT AND SHIP
FREE UNLIMITED WIFI

Seven Seas Explorer Infinity Pool

Virtuoso Offer with Regent Seven Seas Cruises

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Discover the wonder of cruising with every luxury included. Regent Seven Seas’ highly attentive staff and crew deliver impeccable and personalized service to ensure every detail is taken care of, freeing you to enjoy… An Unrivaled Experience™.

Take in the beauty of each destination with new ways to explore alongside Regent’s hallmark inclusion of FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions across more than 450 ports of call throughout the globe.

While on board the world’s most luxurious fleet, you can relax in the comforts of a spacious and immaculate suite, savor the flavors of the exquisite cuisine in specialty restaurants and make the most of every moment, without a care in the world.

EXCLUSIVE AUGUST OFFER
Take advantage of an unprecedented 40% Savings + an additional $200 Shipboard Credit per suite when you book one of our specially selected voyages in 2019.

 

We’re fortunate to have a world of resources at our fingertips, thanks in large part to our partnership with Virtuoso®, an organization of the top travel agencies, travel providers, and destinations worldwide.

Through Virtuoso, we are able to offer you, our valued client, the kind of exclusive amenities, upgrades, access, and experiences that elevate your cruise including one or more of the following offers on select sailings:

~ Onboard Host
~ Welcome Reception
~ Complimentary Shore Excursion
~ Onboard Credit
~ Personalized Experience credit

PLUS up to $500 Onobard Credit Bonus on our specially selected voyages

 

Regent Seven Seas Cruise – IT’S ALL INCLUDED

ALL-INCLUSIVE FARES
FREE ROUNDTRIP BUSINESS CLASS AIR* ON INTERCONTINENTAL FLIGHTS
FREE ROUNDTRIP AIR* ON DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
FREE UNLIMITED SHORE EXCURSIONS
FREE 1-NIGHT PRE-CRUISE HOTEL PACKAGE*
FREE UNLIMITED BEVERAGES, INCLUDING FINE WINES AND SPIRITS
FREE OPEN BARS AND LOUNGES PLUS IN-SUITE MINI-BAR REPLENISHED DAILY
FREE PRE-PAID GRATUITIES
FREE SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS
FREE TRANSFERS BETWEEN AIRPORT AND SHIP
FREE UNLIMITED WIFI

Get All of the Perks with Windstar Cruises

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Windstar’s small cruise ships and personalized approach bring you closer to each destination and every port, so you can see the world from new perspectives. Share intimate moments away from the crowds, and immerse yourself in local, exotic cultures, all on a cruise ship where surprise and delight are constant companions.

This is 180 degrees from ordinary, where all your senses are indulged and your sense of wonder is awakened.

Right now you can go all-in with onboard amenities in a single package at an unbelievable value. Unlimited cocktails, Wi-Fi, and laundry service – what more could you ask for?

All-In Package Amenities Include:
• Captain’s Exclusive Beverage Package
    – Includes unlimited select wine, spirits, beer, cocktails, and minibar

• Unlimited Wi-Fi

• Laundry Service

• Hotel and Beverage Service Fee

Total Value = $124.35 US per guest per day

What you pay = $89 US per guest per day!

 

Connect with one of our cruise specialists for a full list of sailings and to plan your Windstar Cruise 

Crystal Cruises Kids Sail Free

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A world of shared experiences calls to travelers of all ages, with enriching adventures and luxurious details to enchant the whole family. Explore the castles, cathedrals and cuisine of Europe; experience the wonder of ancient ruins and the Panama Canal; soak in Central American rhythm and Caribbean sunshine, and more — all while sharing precious time with your most loved ones and indulging in the All Exclusive luxury of the Crystal Experience®.

Junior cruisers age 17 and under sailing with two full-fare adults can enjoy complimentary third berths when booked by August 31, 2019, plus enrichment and entertainment programs designed especially for them. From destination focused scavenger hunts to late–night dance parties and movie nights, the discoveries are endless, and the memories are priceless.

Crystal Kids Sail Free is available on these specially selected voyages 

September 28 2019 Crystal Symphony 13 night Mexican Riviera Los Angeles to Caldera
October 3 2019 Crystal Serenity 7 night Mediterranean Barcelona to Rome
October 11 2019 Crystal Symphony 14 night Panama Canal Caldera to New Orleans
October 23 2019 Crystal Serenity 13 night Mediterranean Athens to Barcelona
October 25 2019 Crystal Symphony 14 night Caribbean New Orleans to Miami
November 5 2019 Crystal Serenity 7 night Mediterranean Barcelona to Lisbon
November 8 2019 Crystal Symphony 9 night Caribbean Roundtrip Miami
November 12 2019 Crystal Serenity 12 night Transatlantic Lisbon to Ft. Lauderdale
November 17 2019 Crystal Symphony 7 night Caribbean Roundtrip Miami
November 24 2019 Crystal Serenity 12 night Caribbean Roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale
December 11 2019 Crystal Symphony 10 night Mexican Riviera Caldera to San Diego

 

Ask about additional savings for Crystal Society members.

 

 

Princess Photo op

Princess Cruises Landmark Sale

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Princess Cruises Landmark Sale gives you the chance to cruise to must-see places — places like the Mayan ruins of Tulum in the Caribbean, the Colosseum of Rome, Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska and Japan’s Osaka Castle—and come away with this incredible onboard spending money offer of up to $1,000 per stateroom. Plus bring your friends any family as your 3rd & 4th guests will receive $50 onboard spending money as well!  The Princess Cruises Landmark Sale offer includes sailings to the Americas, Japan, the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe and more when you cruise between March 2020 and May 2021.

 

7- 10 DAY CRUISES
Interior or Oceanview staterooms receive $100 Onboard Spending Money per person
Balcony, Mini-Suite or Suite receive $250 Onboard Spending Money per person

Guests 3 and 4 will receive $50 per guest

11+ DAY CRUISES
Interior or Oceanview staterooms receive $200 Onboard Spending Money per person
Balcony, Mini-Suite or Suites receive $500 Onboard Spending Money per person

Guests 3 and 4 will receive $50 per guest

 

EXCLUSIVE BONUS: When you book a Mini-suite or above and sail in 2020  you’ll receive a FREE Deluxe Balcony Breakfast for 2 compliments of us! 

 

Here Are A Few Of Our Recommended Voyages 

Alaska Voyage of the Glaciers | departures May – September 2020
7 days Vancouver, B.C. to Anchorage (Whittier)

Value Sailing: Grand Princess – May 09, 2020
Interior stateroom fares starting at CA $1,180 per person inc. taxes & fees
Balcony stateroom fares starting at CA $2,489 per person inc. taxes & fees

 

Mediterranean | departures April – November 2020
7 days Barcelona to Rome (Civitavecchia)

Value Sailing: Crown Princess – April 11, 2020
Interior stateroom fares starting at CA $1,795 per person inc. taxes & fees
Balcony stateroom fares starting at CA $2,320 per person inc. taxes & fees

 

British Isles | departures May – September 2020
12 days Roundtrip London (Southampton)

Value Sailing: Regal Princess – May 16 2020
Interior stateroom fares starting at CA $2,976 per person inc. taxes & fees
Balcony stateroom fares starting at CA $3,925 per person inc. taxes & fees

 

Many other voyages and itineraries available, connect with one of our cruise specialists today! Offer expires September 3, 2019.

A Regional Sampling of Italian Cuisine

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 83 0

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Italy? Is it ancient civilizations and wonders of the world? Bustling metropolises and passionate people? These are all things that Italy is known for, but if you’re like us, your mind skips beyond these signature staples and focuses on one thing—the food.

Italy is synonymous with cooking. The techniques, recipes, and dishes born out of Italian kitchens are some of the most popular and influential throughout the world. No matter where you call home, odds are there’s an Italian restaurant nearby—though the slices of pizza and sizeable helpings of spaghetti they serve may be very different from what you can expect on your trip to the Bel Paese. Depending on the region of Italy you visit, you’ll sample many dramatically different (and delicious) dishes.

Why is that? It has a lot to do with the country’s fascinating history and the proud cultures that flourish in its 20 unique regions. If you have an appetite for learning more, join us for this four-course look at Italian cuisine.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ITALIAN FOOD
Italy is home to more than 2,000 years of culinary history dating back to the Roman Empire. In fact, the Roman cookbook Apicius was compiled in the 1st century and today is believed to be one of the oldest collections of recipes ever discovered. The name of the book was inspired by Marcus Gavius Apicius—perhaps the world’s first foodie—who has long been associated with a love of a good meal. There are some who say he compiled the collection, though no conclusive evidence of this exists.

What is indisputable, however, is that the diversity of regional Italian food took off after the fall of the Roman Empire. This massive political and cultural shift in the area gave rise to individual city states, each fostering distinct traditions—including in the ways they would cook and prepare their food. These city states and regions remained mostly autonomous until the late 1800s (well over a millennium) when Italian unification occurred, and the country of Italy was born. That said, even today, it’s common for Italians to proudly declare loyalty to their region—as well as their regional cooking style—before declaring loyalty to their country.

Now, this doesn’t mean similarities can’t be found throughout Italian kitchens and dining rooms. No matter the region, you’ll find emphasis placed on fresh, high-quality ingredients. Seasonal vegetables, meats, fish, eggs, and cheese, are hallmarks of dishes across the country. Simplicity is also an essential element of Italian cooking, with most recipes having very few ingredients—all of which are carefully considered.

NORTH AND SOUTH, NIGHT AND DAY

Italy’s not a large country—it runs about the length of California—but the culinary differences between the north and south can sometimes make it feel like you’re dining in two different worlds.

Resting in the shadows of the Alps and the Dolomites, Northern Italian meals take a great deal of influence from the European countries it borders. You’ll find notes of French cuisine in this area, as well as influences from Italy’s Swiss and Austrian neighbors. Meat and dairy both factor heavily in Northern Italian dishes, as do rice, corn, and cheeses. The closer you get to the water, the more you’ll notice seafood on the menu.

You may be surprised to learn that pasta dishes aren’t as popular up here as they are in the south, but there is a distinct richness to Northern Italian food—highlighted by the butter-based creamy sauces that often top a dish. Risotto, polenta, gnocchi, and stuffed pasta are all northern staples, as are cured meats such as Prosciutto di Parma.

Making your way south and deeper into the Mediterranean, you’ll find meals infused with Greek and Moorish influences. Sometimes referred to as Cucina Povera (poor-man’s cooking), Southern Italian dishes are where the elements of simplicity, minimal ingredients, and a touch of creative thinking shine. The naturally warm climate of Southern Italy means ingredients such as peppers, tomatoes, and olives are readily available, and form the basis for many of the South’s iconic culinary exports—including pasta dishes, olive oil, and Neapolitan pizza margherita. You may be surprised to learn that horse meat is considered a delicacy in some parts of Southern Italy, so don’t be shocked when it appears on the menu. Southern Italian dishes also take advantage of bountiful hauls from the Mediterranean. You’ll often see recipes that call for octopus, fresh sardines, anchovies, tuna, and swordfish.

When you travel to Italy, join us in the north for tomato tasting in Tuscany, a guided tasting tour through the seaside town of Rapallo that offers a seat at the table where locals love to dine, or a cooking class with the culinary masters of Elba. Then, in the south, uncover the secrets of Sicily’s dishes, perfect pasta making in Alghero, and stroll the fish and fruit markets of Sorrento. Along the way, you might just pick up a few of the secrets to mastering Italian cooking, or, at the very least, a new favorite dish!

SAY CHEESE
Across Italy, you’ll find more than 400 different types of cheese, ranging from iconic flavors like mozzarella and parmesan to lesser-known styles like la tur, the hard to come by bettelmatt, and the flavorful weinkase lagrein. Like other Italian foods, cheese varies dramatically by region. At the foot of the Italian Alps in the north, for example, cows graze pastures eating flavor-rich grass, and their milk is used to produce bagòss, fontina, and gorgonzola. It is said that some astute taste testers can tell which type of grass a cow ate—and exactly which pastures they grazed in—before the cheese-making process begins.

In the south, the natural landscape is much rockier, making it difficult to raise cattle. Instead, southern farmers began raising sheep and goats (Cucina Povera!), which produce milk for their cheeses, including pecorino, caprino d’aspromonte, and vastedda della valle del belice. The south is also where mozzarella originates. Tasting true Italian mozzarella, you’ll notice a distinct difference from its North American counterpart, which is typically made with cow’s milk. If sampling the cheeses of Southern Italy is top of your list, join us for wine and cheese at Quattro Passi, a Michelin Restaurant overlooking the waters of Sorrento Bay.

DIVING DEEPER: ITALIAN FOOD BY REGION
While looking at Italian cooking through the lens of northern style or southern style can be helpful, it doesn’t quite capture the diverse nature of the food. Italy is home to 20 unique regions, each of which lends its own flavor to the dishes we know and love. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect from the regions you visit when traveling through Italy with us.

SARDINIA
West of the Italian peninsula, Sardinia’s limestone cliffs rise high above crystal clear waters. The second largest island in the Mediterranean, Sardinian cuisine has largely been influenced by its history as a safe place to stop on trade routes. Phoenicians, Spaniards, Carthaginians, Arabs, and Romans would frequently dock along the shores of Sardinia, bartering their goods, as well as sharing their gastronomic culture.

Because Sardinia is an island, it should come as no surprise that seafood is in favor here. In Cagliari, visit La Scala to sample incredible handmade fregola Sarda—a signature Sardinian pasta topped with seafood sauce. Further northwest in Alghero, lobster is king. Often prepared the Catalan way (a result of Catalonian conquerors visiting the area at the tail end of the Middle Ages), expect your lobster—known as aragosta alla Catalana here, to be boiled with tomatoes and onion, then seasoned with oil, lemon, salt, and pepper.

CAMPANIA
The food of Campania is more commonly known as Neapolitan, and the region is responsible for two of Italy’s most appetizing exports—spaghetti and pizza. You’ll have no trouble finding spaghetti alla Puttanesca—a seafood pasta featuring anchovies, capers, olives, tomatoes, chili peppers, and garlic—in any restaurant, but we recommend Ristorante Pizzeria Il Mulino in Amalfi for a quiet, flavorsome experience.

For another Amalfi favorite, make your way to the Marina Grande. Beginning life a seaside bar in 1918, Marina Grande moved to Spiaggia Grande in 1935 and has been serving locally-inspired dishes using ingredients sourced from farmers and fishermen from along the Amalfi coast. Be sure to try their selection of local artisanal cheeses, including caciotta di bufala, a buffalo soft cheese this region is also famous for. This is the type of restaurant where you’ll continue to savor the meal long after the food is finished.

If an authentic slice of Neapolitan pizza is a must-try for you, you’ll find it at Pizzeria Da Franco in Sorrento. This restaurant exudes a charming Italian aesthetic—which is wonderful—but what you’re really here for is the pizza. You may have to wait a few minutes as the pizzeria is typically filled with locals, but the wait is certainly worth it.

MARCHE
Relatively isolated compared to many other Italian regions, farmers in Marche are known for overseeing their crops with a little help from lunar methods (think the Farmer’s Almanac). Legends handed down from generation to generation continue to play a significant role in when work gets done on farms throughout the region—including when their delectable casciotta d’urbino cheeses are produced.

Marche has staked its claim as the origin of porchetta, a boneless pork roast stuffed with herbs and spices and roasted on a spit. This savory and fatty dish is held in very high regard through Italy. So much so, the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food, and Forestry named porchetta a prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale, a traditional food product of great cultural significance.

Marche is also a region where you’ll find delicious pasta, especially in the coastal city of Ancona. Wide noodles such as lasagna and pappardelle are preferred here, and you must try the region’s signature dish, vincisgrassi. This pasta casserole is highlighted by a rich meat ragù and a creamy bechamel sauce. If you ask us, any chance to sample authentic vincisgrassi makes a trip to oft-overlooked Marche essential.

PUGLIA
The heel of Italy’s boot, Puglia is not to be walked away from when it comes to food culture. For many, Puglia is their first stop on any culinary tour. Considering we’re in Italy, that’s saying a lot. But there’s no denying just how special this agricultural haven is—especially when you sink your teeth into their fresh fruits and vegetables for the very first time. They’re so flavorful, they transform antipasto from an appetizer to a full-blown meal—you simply won’t be able to help yourself from going back for seconds (and maybe even thirds).

Orecchiette is the pasta of choice here, which translates into “little ears.” A quick look at the shape of this pasta—made with just flour and water—should clear up any confusion on the name. Typically served with cime di rapa, or aged ricotta and fresh tomatoes, orecchiette is ideally shaped for soaking up and enjoying sauces (chefs were clearly “listening” to what their patrons wanted when they created orecchiette).

Puglia is also where much of Italy’s olive oil is produced, which you can sample for yourself on our ancient tradition of olive oil shore excursion. You may even want to bring some home with you to add an authentic Italian flavor to your next meal.

LAZIO
Home to Rome, Lazio truly was once the center of the known universe. Many of Italy’s most famous pasta dishes—including spaghetti carbonara, cacio e pepe, and pasta alla gricia—originated here, and in general, the region prefers long strand noodles (think the aforementioned spaghetti and fettuccine). During your time here, you can join us for an authentic pasta making workshop at a local farmhouse, where you’re certain to pick up a secret or two from local paste producers.

A trip to Lazio isn’t complete without sampling saltimbocca—one of the area’s most iconic meat dishes. Imitated around the world, authentic saltimbocca is highlighted by veal that is wrapped in thinly sliced pieces of prosciutto, then pan-fried in white wine and butter. You’ll also want to try an order of Arrabbiata—a traditional pasta dish notable for its particularly spicy tomato sauce.

You’ll find more chicken-based dishes in Lazio than in most other regions of Italy, which makes it the perfect place to try pollo con i peperoni. Commonly associated with Ferragosto, a holiday celebrating the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, pollo con i peperoni has become a much loved warm-weather dish consisting of seasoned chicken and a colorful mixture of bell peppers.

Artichokes are also integral to cuisine in Lazio (especially when deep-fried whole in a dish known as carciofi alla giudia), as are sizable green olives, which are used in the production of canino dop extra virgin olive oil (try some as seasoning on your bruschetta). This is also the home of pecorino romano, a hard cheese made using sheep’s milk and often served over pasta dishes.

SICILIA
Like Sardinia, Sicilian food has been inspired by cultures that have carved out their spot on the island over the centuries. It’s not uncommon to find Greek, Arabic, and Spanish influences in dishes served here—and Sicilians take pride in blending these elements into something that is distinctly their own.

As a region, Sicilia is amazingly fertile, and the variety of crops that can grow here (everything from oranges to eggplants, tomatoes to pistachios) is nearly unparalleled. Combine this with a wealth of seafood found just off the coast, and you have the recipe for a fantastic gastronomy scene.

Order sfincione in Sicilia and you might expect a hot slice of pizza, but you’ll be in for a surprise. Instead of a traditional pizza pie, expect a rectangular, thick, and doughy crust—actually quite similar to focaccia. As for toppings, you’ll find the traditional tomatoes, onions, anchovies, and herbs for seasoning, as well as strong local cheese—often caciocavallo, a stretched-out curd cheese made of goat’s milk. This will all be covered by the sauce, which goes on top to ensure it doesn’t soak into the thick crust.

To get a sense of Sicilian snacks, make a point of trying arancini. These fried risotto croquettes are a sought-after street food that, while easy to find, prove difficult to replicate (if only because every vendor puts their own spin on them). Some arancini are stuffed with meat ragù, others may contain mozzarella cheese and peas. Try a few while exploring a Sicilian market and you won’t be disappointed. Just make sure you leave room for cannoli—the signature deep-fried pastry tube of Sicilia!

If you’re still hungry—and a little adventurous—treat yourself to the crunch of a few raw red prawns. Often served in elite restaurants around Italy, Sicilians know the secret to a tasty prawn is a splash of lemon juice and a drop of olive oil. That’s it, no need for cooking. If you consider yourself to be a serious foodie, your stop in Sicilia isn’t complete without trying this tasty—albeit unconventional—snack.

TUSCANY
Perhaps Italy’s most renowned food region, Tuscany’s reputation is well earned. Hearty, simple, and seasonal, a trip through Tuscany is like a trip through Italy’s culinary heart.

You’ll quickly notice almost all meals in Tuscany are served with a simple loaf of unsalted bread. This tradition dates back to the 16th century when a tax placed on salt forced local bakers to get creative with their baking. The salt tax is long gone, but the tradition has carried on and in many ways is the signature element of Tuscan bread. Initially, this bread may seem a little flavorless, but you’re missing its main purpose—to soak up leftover sauce and juices on your plate after the meal is done. Keep this tip as fresh in your mind as the bread in your basket and you’re in for a delightful meal.

Bread shows up throughout Tuscan meals, from fettunta (a traditional bruschetta) to ribolita (a twice boiled soup). You’ll even find bread salad, better known as panzanella, which is day-old bread mixed with a medley of sun-ripened vegetables, drizzled with olive oil and vinegar.

But it’s not all bread in Tuscany! Pasta is also (unsurprisingly) popular, particularly pappardelle alla lepre, which is an egg noodle dish served in a wild hare sauce. For many, this is the signature Tuscan meal. Other enjoyed meat dishes include cinghiale in umido (a wild boar stew) and bistecca alla Fiorentina—a Tuscan steak that comes from the Chianina breed of cow.

And speaking of cow, don’t miss the chance to try lampredotto—the fourth stomach of a cow. Now hear us out, this may seem like a strange choice, but locals love it, and you’ll often find them queued up on the street waiting for a serving. You’re on vacation, now’s the time to eat adventurously!

LIGURIA
Nestled between the mountains and the sea in Northwest Italy, Liguria is synonymous with the Italian Riviera. And being a coastal region, it also has a close association with fresh seafood, particularly fish, mussels, and squid—all of which is often combined in ciuppin. A soup originally conceived as a way to use up what was left at the end of the day at the fish market, ciuppin offers a beautiful hodgepodge of flavors. Because fish is more common the meat in Liguria, you’ll also find fresh seafood in most pasta dishes. You can even order antipasti ai frutti di mare, which is essentially a charcuterie board from under the sea.

If you’re craving seafood (alongside a view you simply must see), we recommend booking a terrace table at Ristorante Belforte, where the carefully curated menu is certain to tantalize your taste buds. Located about an hour northwest of Portovenere, the view alone is worth the trip.

Pesto is also a prized ingredient in Liguria cooking, in fact, you can trace its origin back to Genoa, the region’s capital city. If you’re looking for tips on making your own perfect pesto, you’re in the right place, as you can make your own when you join us for an authentic cooking class in the seaside villages of Cinque Terre.

EMILIA-ROMAGNA
The northern region of Emilia-Romagna is sometimes referred to as “Italy’s breadbasket” for its robust gastronomy scene. This is a region to visit if your heart is set on eating well, and eating a lot.

Balsamic vinegar and parmigiano reggiano (known as parmesan around the world) were born here, as were favorites like prosciutto di parma and cappellacci pasta. One thing you won’t find, however, is spaghetti bolognese. This may seem strange, considering Bologna is the region’s capital. So why the name? It probably comes down to a miscommunication after WWII, when American soldiers returned home hoping to find something as delicious as the ragù they ate on deployment. When they asked Italian immigrant chefs to replicate it, something obviously was lost in translation. Spaghetti bolognese was born, but don’t bother looking for it on the menu in Emilia-Romagna. Instead, sample the many unbelievable ragù-topped dishes waiting for you.

While it’s arrivederci for spaghetti bolognese, you will find plenty of tortellini, as well as two different types of gnocchi: pisarei e faśö, which is made from flour and breadcrumbs, and borgotaro malfatti, which is made using ricotta and herbs bound together by eggs and breadcrumbs. When we visit, we never miss a chance to try erbazzone, the region’s iconic savory country-style tart stuffed with spinach, chard, parmesan cheese, and pancetta.

FRIULI-VENEZIA GIULIA
Bordered by Austria to the north and Slovenia to the east, it should come as little surprise that the culinary traditions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia are influenced by its European neighbors. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll discover that everyone from Napoleon to Attila the Hun has passed through the region on their way to the Adriatic—bringing with them recipes and spices that locals have absorbed and incorporated over the centuries.

Polenta is popular here, and it is often served with stewed meats, or fried flat with cheese and potatoes into wafers known as frico. When you visit Trieste, stop by Tavernetta al Molo for polenta with fish (and enjoy the lovely sea view while you dine).

In the western parts of the region, cheeses such as montasio and frico are favored, as are smoked meat meatballs known as pitina. To the east, the neighborly influence really comes into play, and it’s not uncommon to dine on goulash, apple strudel, and jota—a stew comprised of beans, sauerkraut, potatoes, bacon, and spare ribs. This is where you can also try cherry gnocchi. This dish is served during cherry season, which occurs in the summer. As the seasons change, you can expect to see less cherry gnocchi on the menu, but more plum gnocchi—a dish again inspired by the neighbors to the north.

Eager to learn more about the food emerging from Friuli-Venezia Giulia? Take a cooking class at EATALY Trieste, where your chef-instructor will guide you through the creation of an authentic Friuli-Venezia Giulia meal.

VENETO
From the mountains down to the shores of the Adriatic, Veneto is a region steeped in dramatic shifts. That goes for more than just the landscape, the food also varies greatly—both from Italy as a whole and even within the seven provinces that make up the region.

It may surprise you that pasta doesn’t play a significant role in Venetian cuisine. Certainly it’s not unheard of to find a restaurant serving a bigoli dish, but here in the north, polenta and rice have usurped it as the carbohydrates of choice.

If you’re a foodie, the risotto you’ll try in Veneto is as awe-inspiring as the gondolas navigating the canals of Venice, the region’s capital city. On the shores of the Adriatic, seafood risotto is common, but the further inland you travel, you’ll find plenty of variations—including pumpkin, radicchio, and even frog legs.

While debate has raged for many years over where tiramisu was invented, the consensus is that it’s a Venetian dessert. Even if this weren’t the case, we’d still recommend a visit to I Tre Mercanti to try what many locals and visitors alike consider to be the best tiramisu in the city—which makes a good case for it being the best tiramisu in the world.

CENTO ANNI!
A common Italian toast before a meal, cento anni is a wish for one hundred years of health, and we could easily spend that amount of time discussing Italian fare, but we’d much rather be sampling risotto in Venice, ordering pappardelle alla lepre in Portoferraio, and investigating the finer points of Neapolitan pizza along the Amalfi coast.

 

 

 

 

Post By Azamara Club Cruises on Thursday, April 11, 2019
Original Post can be found here