Una piccolo tradizione
Every year on my birthday since I have been coming to Ischia, I get a straight razor shave from Ciro Caruso. Like Giuseppina, Ciro is a local legend. He has been running his barber shop for over thirty years and has trained his son and grandson. Italian barbers have the reputation of being the best at their craft and Ciro is no exception!
10 July 2016
Il dolce far niente.
'The sweetness of doing nothing.' In Ischia this is not merely a saying but a way of life. The Ischiatani still observe the reposa every day from noon to four. On Sundays people are either at the beach, on a boat or floating in the water.
Michael and I woke up late this morning, had breakfast at the hotel and spent the rest of the day lounging on the hotel's sun deck. We took a long swim and worked on our tans while listening to music and doing some light reading.
New York, with its 'work hard, play hard' motto, feels like a world away.
9 July 2016
Giuseppina Lucci owns and operates the best frutteria in Florio d'Ischia. Right next to the port, her shop welcomes visitors to paradise with a cornucopia of local produce. She and her family have operated the store for over seventy years. She is a bit of a local celebrity known for her delicious panini. Like the sign says, 'you will find your Mediterranean panino here.' Nothing says Italy like prosciutto, tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella on good Italian bread. A panino from Giuseppina's, a peroni and the beach is the best recipe for a Saturday afternoon!
1 July 2016
On our second day in Lisbon, Michael and I went on a tuck-tuck tour of historic Belém. We visited the Jerónimos Monastery, the tower of Belém and St. George castle.
For lunch we ate at Cafe Ramiro. If Peter Luger's was a seafood restaurant in Lisbon, it would be Cafe Ramiro. Both restaurants specialize in one thing; in New York, Peter Luger's is synonymous with steak and in Lisbon, Cafe Ramiro is synonymous with seafood. Like Peter Luger's Ramiro is unpretentious yet arrogant. Both restaurants seem to say 'this is what we do, if you don't like it, get out!'
Cafe Ramiro has three floors of long communal tables covered in paper. There are tanks filled with various sea creatures that make their way onto your plate. On more than one occasion I saw a waiter take a small crab out of its tank and thrust it in the face of a pretty American tourist. She would squeal and the wait staff would laugh. Highlights included shrimp in garlic and olive oil and little clams in white wine and parsley
Michael and I flew into Lisbon and spent two days touring the historic sites and eating amazing food! Our first dinner was at Cantinho Do Avillez which offers "Portuguese cuisine with a world view." Our good friend Murilo happened to be in town for business and joined us for dinner. Chef José Avillez has created a casual but cool atmosphere in which to showcase his specific take on traditional Portuguese dishes. We had veal trotters with chick peas as a starter along with small partridge pies, farinheria sausage with bread and coriander crust and tuna tartar with Asian flavors. For a main course, I opted for the prawns special and desert was an orange flavored creme brûlée. We paired appetizers with home made cocktails and bingo verde.
After dinner, Murilo took us to the Pavilhão Chinês, a strange bar/museum boasting cheap drinks and floor to ceiling cases filled with tacky, antique knick-knacks.