Click on title of post to view photo in large format: Chef Antonio reviews what we will be preparing for the midday meal during my cooking holiday in Puglia, Italy. On this day, we prepared pasta made from scratch with broccoli rabe, one of the many delicious recipes we learned during my week with Flavours Holidays.
I was being watched. I was certain of it. Each time the hairs on the back of my neck prickled, I spun around to confront my stalker, only to find empty space. Zagreb, in fact, was virtually empty. Just a few days earlier, I had been in the gorgeous coastal town of Rovinj, the first stop on a planned trip down Croatia’s Istrian and Dalmatian coasts. But temperatures of 100 degrees and shoulder-to-shoulder crowds of tourists soon had me rethinking my plan. Despite numerous opinions from fellow travelers that everything worth seeing in Croatia was on the coast, I headed inland to the capital city.
My route reversal was a stroke of genius. Not only was Zagreb an historic and lovely city, full of parks and more museums than I could see in a month, it was ten degrees cooler than the coast and virtually deserted. Everyone in the city had fled to the coast for their annual holiday. Read More
Click on title of post to view photo in large format: In an historic Zagreb square, a woman wears the costume of a traditional washer woman of Croatia. Characters like these roam the streets of the capital all summer, explaining to tourists what their apparel represents and keeping the history of rural Croatia alive.
Click on above photo to view it in large format: Town of Rovinj, Croatia, located on the Istrian Adriatic coast, was part of Italy until after World War II, thus both Croatian and Italian are official languages. Once a walled island, the channel separating it from the mainland was filled in in 1763, making it a peninsula.
The captain wielded his long white oars like hot knives through butter, each dip barely dimpling the glassy sea. His muscled arms moved fluidly, tiny adjustments keeping us on our course around the old city of Rovinj. We rounded the ancient pier and hugged the coast, where sun-splashed houses of many colors balanced precariously on rock outcroppings. Every so often, he abandoned the oars to smile and wave at a passing boat or residents who hung out of their windows, watching our little parade. “Ciao! Come va?” He seemed to know everyone.
Banich Zerro Giordano is one of a vanishing breed of fishermen who have for centuries plied this part of the Adriatic in flat-bottom wooden boats known as batanas. Like the 27 other owners of the remaining batanas of Rovinj, he rows out to sea each day, employing a unique collection of nets and hooks to catch fish. But on this day, rather that sinking lines or pulling up nets, our five tiny boats (one carrying musicians who serenaded us with traditional folk ballads known as Bitinadas), were bound for a seafood feast at a local taverna. Read More