I can’t be everywhere to discover new things to do with my kids, no matter how much I wish I could. I’ve asked a few friends to jump in with what they love to do in their cities. Chanel from CulturalXplorer.com is sharing her favorite bites found in the Cinque Terra (Italy).
When traveling to Italy, partaking in the culinary scene is an absolute must. Along with floating down the canals of Venice, posing next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and visiting the Colosseum in Rome, the Italy’s food is just as iconic and some of these treats should not be missed.
Everyone consumes food. But truly eating, savoring the good stuff, is something I am passionate about. When I finally had the chance to travel to Italy this past summer, I made sure to pencil into my itinerary a list of restaurants that I wanted to try and foods that I wanted to eat. Unfortunately, I traveled to Italy during Ferragosto, when many restaurants and businesses in the cities were closed.
Ferragosto is an Italian holiday in which many Italians pack up their families, close down their businesses, and head to the sea to escape the city life for a couple of weeks. Disheartened by the fact that I was going to miss out on so many great Italian foods and the chance to bask in the beautiful Italian culture, I decided to follow the Italians and make my way to the sea, to the Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre, meaning Five Lands, is comprised of five villages overlooking the Ligurian Sea in the northwestern region of Italy. I was able to visit two of the villages during my trip: Riomaggiore and Manarola.
Tegame di acciughe alla Vernazzana
Tegame di acciughe alla Vernazzana is a dish comprised of baked anchovies, potatoes, and herbs topped with a layer of freshly diced tomatoes. The fresh anchovies in the dish are caught daily.
Caprese Salad is one of Italy’s most well-known and simple-to-make appetizers. Consisting of freshly sliced mozzarella and tomatoes seasoned with basil, the salad is a fresh start to any meal. In addition to being delicious, the salad is also representative of the Italian flag with the colors red (tomato), white (mozzarella), and green (basil).
Pansotti in Salsa di Noci
Pansotti in Salsa di Noci is a classic Ligurian pasta dish from the city of Genoa. The dish, similar to ravioli, is pasta stuffed with a meatless filling, smothered in walnut sauce.
Muscoli Ripieni are very special stuffed muscles from the Ligurian region. It is said that due to the favorable climate and low salinity of the water, the flavor of these mussels is different from any other region in Italy. After being stuffed with a couple of different ingredients, the mussels are then covered in a sauce made of tomatoes, garlic, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Tagliolini Neri con Gamberi e Peperoni
Tagliolini Neri con Gamberi e Peperoni is squid ink linguine pasta with shrimp and bell peppers. There are a number of variations of this style of pasta, however I feel that when you put squid ink pasta, shrimp, and peppers together, something magical happens.
Though I was only to visit a small part of the Cinque Terre region, I really felt as if I had discovered some amazing and fresh dishes. If you find yourself in Italy during the Ferragosto season, make sure to head to the sea, where you will not only find Italians, but delicious food as well.
Where I Ate:
- Tegame di acciughe alla Vernazzana: Trattoria La Lanterna da Massimo, Via San Giacomo 46, Riomaggiore
- Insalata Caprese, Pansotti in Salsa di Noci, Muscoli Ripieni, and Tagliolini Neri con Gamberi e Peperoni: Ristorante Marina Piccola, Lo Scalo 16, Manarola
Chanel is the New York City-based travel blogger at CulturalXplorer.com. Through her writing, she shares stories about culture, food, and off-the-beaten path experiences from her travels. When she is not running with bulls in Spain, getting tattooed in Cambodia, or eating poisonous blowfish in Japan, she enjoys exploring her hometown, brushing up on her photography, and educating children.