OFF-THE-BEATEN TRACK: THE TRABOCCHI

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THE MOST CHARMING SEAFOOD RESTAURANTS IN ITALY:                                              Featuring Ristorante Cungarelle Trabocco, Vasto Marina, Abruzzo, Italy

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Off the beaten track and a short drive from Rome, Abruzzo spreads from the Apennine mountains to the Adriatic sea.  Unique to Abruzzo are the trabocchi…old fishing machines that dot the Trabocchi Coast and the Coast of Gargano since the 18th century.

A trabucco is a massive construction built from wood, which consists of a platform anchored to the rock by large logs of Aleppo pine, jutting out into the sea from where two (or more) long arms called antennae stretch out suspended some feet above the water and support a huge, narrow-meshed net called trabocchetto.

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The fishing technique is “on sight”.  It consists of intercepting, with wide nets, the flows of fish moving along the ravines of the coast.  Trabocchi are located where the sea is deep enough (at least six meters), and they are built on rocky peaks generally oriented southeast or north in order to exploit the favorable marine current.

The net is lowered into the water through a complex system of winches and, likewise, promptly pulled up to retrieve its catch.  At least two men are entrusted with the tough task of operating the winches that maneuver the giant net.  The trabucco is managed by at least four fishermen who share the duties of watching the fish and maneuvering.13592282_1094420020605945_1420260560948619390_n.jpg

Some of these old fishing machines have been restored and converted into charming, magical little restaurants that bring the meaning “al fresco dining” to a whole new level.  These unique restaurants are a “must-do” for any seafood aficionado…serving “straight from sea to table”.

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One of the most famous is Ristorante Cungarelle Trabocca                                                          http://www.traboccocungarelle.it

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For approximately 50 euros ($40-57) per person, a fixed menu (check their website for prices and options) is paraded out in an overdose of seafood delicacies…so many courses and dishes one loses count…the ultimate in seafood dining.

As you sit above the sparkling, sun-lit water and soak in nature’s glory, the feast begins…an appetizer of marinated baby octopus, calamari, stuffed mussels, clams, langoustine, small sardines, grilled small fish (whatever the nets have to offer for the day).  A first course follows with pasta and seafood…perhaps a rich seafood soup with just out-of-the oven baked bread for soaking up all the heavenly juices, followed by a main course of baked fish and roasted potatoes.  Finally, lemon sorbet and fresh fruit put on the finishing touches…and let’s not forget the free-flowing local wine, coffee, water and digestive (limoncello)…all included.

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As the courses are served and the hours blur one into another, you linger and reflect over this unbelievable spread of splendor …enjoying not only a feast for the palette and all the hard work that went into making it so special, but an unmatched setting that surrounds in all its glory…the most “perfect of days”.

This is truly a lifetime experience not to be missed.

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Tip:  Reservations are a must because as the saying goes “Full is full”!                                         Contact:  +39 340 862 9815

I appreciate these beautiful pictures from the Trabocco Cungarelle and hope that you will one day be fortunate enough to find yourself enjoying this beautiful setting along with the freshest fish you could ever have at this most special place beside the sea…

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Drone Vision Italia…http://www.dronevisionitalia.it

7 TOP REASONS TO LOVE AFTERNOON TEA IN LONDON🇬🇧

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Want another good reason to visit London…as if another reason to feast on cakes and cream teas, catch up on the latest gossip for hours at a time wasn’t enough?

Did I mention, oh by the way, it is “National Afternoon Tea Week”…August 8-14!

Here are my favorite picks for the best in themed, whimsical and “oh so much fun” afternoon teas.  I hope you will check out their websites, make a reservation, pop in and have one of the best afternoons of your life over good conversation and a lovely pot of tea.  Let’s take a peek:

  1. “The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at Sanderson”  Sanderson Hotel, LondonLQ603386_942long.jpgwww.morganshotelgroup.com
  2. “Afternoon Tea Inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”  One Aldwych, LondonCharlie Tea March 14.jpgCocktail Charlie teapot.jpgwww.onealdwych.com
  3. “Afternoon Tea with Hamley’s”   Langham Hotel, Londonhamleys-afternoon-tea.jpgwww.palm-court.co.uk
  4. “Charlie & The Chesterfield Afternoon Tea” (Oompa Loompa Tea, special children’s     version)  The Chesterfield Mayfair, LondonCHMF_CharlieAfternoonTea_002_1024x576.jpgwww.chesterfieldmayfair.com
  5. “The Ampersand Hotel’s Science Afternoon Tea”   The Ampersand Hotel, LondonAmpersand © Amy Murrell May 2016-17.jpgAmpersand © Amy Murrell May 2016-24 copy 2.jpgwww.ampersandhotel.com
  6. “It’s All in the Game Afternoon Tea”  The St. James’s Hotel and Club, LondonNiall_Clutton1287-01.jpgsjt_tea.jpegwww.stjameshotelandclub.com
  7. “Fashionista’s Afternoon Tea – Spring/Summer 2016 Collection”   The BerkeleyHero Shot 1 (1).jpg www.the-berkeley.co.uk