Posts tagged ‘Apulia’

August 14, 2011

Travel: Sassi di Matera, Italy

Sassi di Matera, Italy

 

When I started writing The Wonderingchef, just a little a year ago, I wanted to create a travel-food-recipe-restaurant blog, but lately I`ve been concentrating more on the recipe part of the blogging. Even thou I did travel (cruise ship, holiday etc) I have been taking the pictures, collecting information, just the posts never happened. This one i been planning to send just about a year ago, and a few months ago, when i finished the whole editing, writing, wordpress played a cruel joke with me and deleted my draft. So Matera Sassi post Volume 2 here I go again and hopefully will make it this time!

Italy, this amazing country, struggles with weird politics and leaders, constant financial crisis and unemployment, with its problems could be anywhere in the world. Still it`s tourism is glowing like always, I mean a country which can call the cities Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice their own, must be proud..even if their are not. I listed the most popular tourist sites, but still it has much more to offer. Much much more! It would be difficult to name a region, or a small city that has nothing unique to offer, like making the best bread, or balsamic vinegar, or have amazing views, castles or churches. Some of them are right on the map, some of them are a bit more isolated and hidden from the masses, some of them have not much more inhabitants then a few hundred people, still when you arrive will be treated with friendly, welcoming hospitality.

Only recently I started discovering south of Italy, and just cant wait to go back and learn more. One of the most favorite places I found was Matera Sassi, in Puglia. As you can see from the pictures the view is magnificent, the atmosphere is just peaceful. Now I could give you a short history lesson about the place, but you will find the background in Lonely Planet or on Wikipedia. The city is most lilley to be one of the first human settlements in Italy, the houses are dug in the stones, which is characteristic for Basilicata and Apulia regions. When you walk around…and you should take this one seriously..try to avoid the siesta, as it will be completely empty and very very very hot! Of course I mean summertime.. if still you pick the 12-16.00 hour time, bring a hat and plenty of water with you.

When you are here make no plans, its easy to spend hours around the little hills/streets/houses, getting lost finding better and better views for photography. Some people still live here, there are coffee shops, churches  (of course), restaurants, galleries everything a tourist needs.  Still the strange thing for me was, there were no tourists, I was wondering did no one ever heard about this place? Is it really so isolated? And people apparently did hear about it, and to be honest it is easy to reach. You either sign up for a day tour at a travel agency, or rent a car and on the way you can visit other fantastic places as well.

For movie geeks just like me, its a big treat as Mel Gibson`s “Passion of the Christ” was shot here, among a few other films.

In case you were wondering which region to visit again in Italy, Puglia and Basilicata is highly recommended!

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January 31, 2011

Bari: Di Cosimo Pizzeria, picture expension.

I think Pizzeria di Cosimo, from Bari was one of my first posts on the blog, and since it`s been one of the most popular ones. Especially in the recent weeks, it was one of the most googled article from Wonderingchef. I decided to add some more photos, for the ones who are interested. Puglia is an up and coming travel points among bloggers and food lovers, the recent year has really done well for it`s popularity. And if you trust me, you`ll belive me it is worth to visit! Nothing is better than picking up some fresh giant green olives from one of the local markets, and pretty much eat your way trough the whole day! Also, after visiting New York, I have to say, Bari is one of the most cheapest places to eat around Europe, or pretty much anywhere!

So…. 3 pictures from Di Cosimo!

Picture 1: Since my first visit to Bari I`m addivted to Panzerotto. Small big, I don’t care as long as It`s fried! I’m not really a big fan of it`s ovenbaked version. I don`t know why , it`s just nothing special.  The fried version however, just had me at hello! It`s very similar to a hungarian langos – fried dough, but most of the time we eat it with sour creme and cheese. Well let me say the tomato sauce-mozarella cheese combo is even better. On this picture you can see a fried and an al forno panzerotto.

Picture 2: My latest discovery is pizza pana. It was fantastic! Also very simple, and I can`t believ I havent thought about it myself. This is pretty much, a simple pizza, with the tomato sauce basic, on top with fresh cooking creme. We have creme based pizzas here but that`s it, it`s never mixed with the tomato sauce, but it damn right should be! Try at home if you want, or at Cosimo, it`s even better:)

Picture 3; Pizza nd pizzella. Pizzella is a pizza, it`s just a small version. The food prices here are relatively small, price for a pizza is about 5 Euros, for a pizzella is 4 as far as I remember. I would suggest, if you are hungry order a panzerotto and a pizzella, so you can try as many things as possible. Also I pretty much described what Di Cosimo sells, These are the 2 items on the menu. Try and go early, otherwise you’ll be fighting for your food with the locals!