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Transcript of Southern Italy
Giovanni Zinzi Naples The Insider's Guide to Southern Italy Food Pizza Naples is known as the birth place of pizza, and it is necessary to try both types Naples made famous:
Pizza Vera Napoletana (Pizza Margarita)- The original pizza, with cheese, tomato sauce, and basil.
Pizza Fritta- Deep fried pizza dough, stuffed full of delicious meats and cheese inside. It's sometimes called a fried calzone.
The best place to go for these is Da Michele on Via Sersale, which is world-renowned for its traditional style of making pizza. Be prepared to wait in line, though. Lines there stack up around the block on a regular basis. But don't be discouraged- it's definitely worth it. Sfogliatelle It might not sound appetizing, but sfogliatelle is probably the most famous pastry in all of Naples. Filled with ricotta cheese and baked in sweet dough until perfection, they are served as a great, traditional breakfast in Naples.
You can find the best ones at a hardly well-known shop called Scaturchio's at Piazzo San Dominigo Maggiore. Best Restraunts in Naples As mentioned above, Da Michele is one of the best restaurants in Naples. Some other notable places to go are:
Palazzo Petrucci, which offers traditional neapolitan food, on Via Maggiore
Umberto, which serves fine Mediterranean cuisine, on Via Alabardieri
Lombardi, another delicious pizzeria that serves a bigger variety of pizzas, on Via Benedetto Croce Things to see National Archeological Museum Called a must-see and a museum full of wonders, the museum is full of ancient wonders from Pompeii and glorified relics from Ancient Rome. One tip, though, is that you need to check ahead and see if certain exhibits are on display, as they commonly are pulled out for restoration for days, weeks, or maybe even months at a time. Pompeii If you are staying in Naples for a long duration, Pomeii is a must-see. Almost completely buried by pumice and ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., the ancient city remains are a fascinating look into the lives of ancient Romans. It's only a 28 km (~17 mi) drive, about 30 min, too.
Plan on spending the day there, despite the travel time, as there are many sites to see and things to do once you're there, including night tours and many full walking tours during the day. Tour the Underground Rome isn't the only city in Italy with a full network of ancient underground tunnels. Naples has it's own, too, called Napoli Sotterranea. It runs very extensively beneath the city streets; to the point that the underground metro system still is incomplete, despite being open since 1925. The best part about these tunnels, however less extensive they are in comparison to Rome's labyrinths, is that they have been very well preserved, for centuries. One can still see the ancient water basins for bathing and laundering, and the Napoli Sotterranea even exhibits an old Greek-Roman theater for curious tourists. It's a great way to take another look back into ancient life in Naples. Where to Stay Rome Food Things to see Luxury Hotels There are tons of top-notch hotels in Naples, with breathtaking views of the sea, prime location in the heart of the city, and much, much more. The one thing guaranteed from these five-star hotels is excellent customer satisfactory and service. Here's a list of Naples' finest: Cost La Ciliengina Lifestyle Hotel Hotel Excelsior Romeo Hotel Grand Hotel Vesuvio Make sure and use some sort of travel agent or vacation planning site like tripadvisor, even the most basic rooms at these luxury hotels cost upwards of $200 per night, not to mention on special holidays. Lower-Cost Hotels For most people those hotels listed probably don't fit into the budget, but you're not out of lock. Naples also has many nice places to stay that aren't quite as high-end, and offer people more room to experience what the city has to offer rather than just the inside of the hotel. Here's a list of the highest-rated hotels under $100 per night. Hotel Nuvo Hotel Napoli Palazzo Turchini Belle Arte Resort Overall Cost of Naples The price of things in Naples varies greatly depending on the quality of whatever is sold, as with the hotels previously mentioned. The specialty tours and sight-seeing trips can get pretty expensive at around 60 dollars for a half-day excursion. Food is generally a more expensive, though, with the cost of a meal at a casual restaurant or pizzeria around five to ten euros (7 to 12 dollars) per person, and at a nice restaurant at a sit down dinner prices can get up to about 15 euros (20 dollars) per person. The main cost to watch out for, however, is the cost of getting there. Trans-Atlantic flights are very expensive. Other Options As always, there are many other options than these hotels, such as a long list of bed-and-breakfast motels and what are known as specialty lodges. These places offer a unique stay, as they often are extra rooms in people's homes or small hotels with up to only about fifteen rooms each. While they are non conventional, they are a great option for somewhere different and special to stay.
www.tripadvisor.com is a great way to find the right place to stay. Where to stay Cost Palermo Cost Trevi Fountain This is a marvel in itself. It is a masterpiece of architecture and one of the most famous fountains in the world. Designed in 1732 by Nicola Salvi, the "Fontana di Trevi" stands an amazing 26 meters high. It is very packed at all times of the day, and is located downtown. The fountain also offers an area where you can try its water, it is very filtered and extremely good water. You can simply walk right up to it and see it, no tour required. It is built from marble and is a great area to take Christmas pictures. It is located on Piazza di Trevi. Things to do Where to Stay The Colosseum This is a MUST see. It is a revolutionary piece of architecture that you will remember for years. Make sure to bring your camera. The Colosseum is an elliptical amphitheater in the center of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire, built of concrete and stone. To enter the Colosseum, one must pay 9 euros (about $12). It is totally worth it! We advise that you do not take a tour of the Colosseum, often these can be $20-$50 and are, in my opinion, not as good as experiencing it without directions and with freedom. Some of these tours are also sometimes illegal. Bibliography The Roman catacombs The Romans were architectural geniuses, they built many masterpieces. One of the most interesting and intriguing is the underground catacombs. The Catacombs of Rome are ancient catacombs, underground burial places under or near Rome, Italy. Hundreds of kilometers of catacombs run underneath the town and its outskirts. There are many tours that will help you fully experience this marvelous architecture. Tours range anywhere from $20-$100 and are usually located in the center of Rome.The Jewish community in Rome built them as cemeteries. Christian catacombs came a century later. They are something everyone in the area should check out. Additional Information Things to eat in Palermo The local cuisine of Palermo is very unique, and uses many food not common in U.S. kitchens. The key, though, is to go local. Visit the markets. Order food from vendors in open stands in kiosks; the good ones provide top-notch palermitan classics without the annoying aspects of a tourist trap.
Make sure to step outside of your comfort zone whil eating in Palermo. The ingredients seem pretty out of the ordinary to those of us in America, but to them they are staples in a deliciously different culture. Specialty Foods Where to eat There are many great restaurants in Palermo, such as:
Piccolo Napoli- a great restaurant that serves many types of fish caught fresh from the Mediterranean. It's very casual, and offers a great place to sit down and escape the rush of the city
Zena Pina- Another casual restaurant, this place offers a home-style menu with many types of salad, antipasta, and great pasta dishes that change daily.
...But the best way to experience the food here is at small, family run shops, markets, open air stands and the like. Here are a few:
Le Cremolose- The best shop for Cremolose, and thus a perfect place to take a breather from everything in the city.
Capo and Ballaro Markets- Large, fun affairs with many different vendors selling everything the city has to offer. It's always a fun experience to barter for your food! As with any city as rich in culture as Palermo, there as tons of local masterpieces that can't be found anywhere else. Although their ingredients sound exotic, they are a must-taste for any traveler to Palermo. Here's a list of things you need to try:
Pane ca' Meusa- A Sicilian original, this delicacy is a sandwich with pieces of fried spleen and lots of grated cheese in the middle. Just trust us on this one, it's good.
Pannelle- "Chickpea Fritters", these unique snacks are the most popular among street vendors. They are made with chickpea flour, giving it its special taste.
Pane con Pannelle- Pretty straight forward, as they are just sandwiches with multiple pannelles in the middle.
Cremolose- This dessert isn't found anywhere else. It's a mix between sorbet and granita, and enough of a reason to move to Palermo.
Setteveli- Seven-layer cakes made with fruity or, more commonly, chocolate flavors. As the more famous dessert served here, they vary with flavor and size.
Canoli- You've probably heard of them before, but they were invented n Palermo and other places, even other places in Italy, just can't compete. The Sistine Chapel, The Vatican Museum This is a beautiful sight to behold, one of the (if not the) most amazing architecture in the world (along with art). There are many tours that I highly recommend and personally like: http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/MV_Home.html
offers a great selection of events in the Vatican museum and tours. A tour is highly recommended to further understand the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican as a whole. Castel Sant'Angelo The Castel Sant'Angelo is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. It is a great building that can help one grasp the Roman culture. It is now a museum that houses many famous important pieces of Roman history. It is located on Lungotevere Castello and is a very family friendly location. If you have kids, the kids will love it. Pizza by the slice A very traditional cost efficient style of eating is going to local pizza places and buying pizza by the slice. Pizza by the slice is enjoyed by many people, young or old. It is a must try for every visitor of Rome, locals would even recommend trying it. You can occasionally watch your pizza being made right in front of your eyes. The price depends on the weight of the slice of pizza itself. It is a very traditional way to have a snack or to have an inexpensive dinner. Where to eat (for a low price and great meal) Food is a very important part of Italian culture and can be a real pleasure. Many famous restaurants in Italy are engulfed with many people and are just too expensive for some people. For the real Italian experience, one must go to restaurants where the Italians go (When in Rome...). They are usually local, family run, restaurants that pack a real treat. Some famous "local" restaurants include the following:
Pierluigi - mainly a traditional pasta place, also comprised of Mediterranean cuisine
Maccheroni - locals know it best for its "spaghetti carbonara" (pasta with bacon and cheese)
Enoteca Cul de Sac - One of the best selections of wine throughout Italy
Colline Emiliane - Local cuisine, pasta, pizza, mediterannean Famous restaurants The Italian cuisine is a spectacular marvel. Many people travel from across the globe just to try the great foods. These following restaurants are very famous in Rome.
Hostaria de'll Orso
Nino (where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had their pre wedding dinner)
They are mostly in the downtown area. A meal normally costs above $65 (per person), as they are all considered "luxury" restaurants and are usually infested with hungry people. It is a must do if you have the money and you are in the area. Each restaurant usually serves great views and a spectacular dining experience. Teatro Massimo In case you couldn't already tell from its name, the Teatro Massimo is gigantic. As in, largest in Italy and third largest in Europe gigantic. Opened in 1897, it still operates as a theater and opera house with a seating capacity of over 1300. Plus, this is for any Godfather fans, the final scenes of the trilogy were filmed there. Experience the city Although there are many things to do and sights to see in Palermo, the nature of the city is one of the best things to do. Just walking around, visiting the markets, and getting a feel for what the city has to offer is a great pastime if you are planning on staying there for more than a day.
The main thing i recommend is to pass through the Vucciria Market, a great representation of the different influences the former rulers of Sicily have had on the city. If you're any good, you might be able to score a souvenir at a bargain price from the various vendors. The Roman Forum The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. The main sights of the Forum include the Arch of Titus (Arco di Tito), the Temple of Saturn, Temple of Vesta, and the church of San Luca e Martina. These are all linked by the Sacra Via, the main road through the Forum. Tours range from around $30-$70. This is a very family friendly location and can also be a good sight to have a picnic at. Famous Hotels Many historic hotels are found throughout Rome. Although these may be pricey, they are a marvel to behold. Famous people have walked through the doors of many famous hotels in Rome. Some of the most famous in Rome (and the world) include:
The Westin Excelsior Hotel- One of the most famous hotels in the world. Politicians, celebrities, and royal families have all been guests in this extravagant hotel. It is situated near the Spanish Steps and the most renowned shopping streets (such as Via Veneto, Via Condotti, and Via Fratinna).
Hotel Hassler- Situated atop the Spanish Steps and near many famous shopping streets. It is one of the oldest hotels originating in 1893. Can cost a ton of $$$$. usually $300 per night. Tips and Tricks to saving money in Rome Rome is a very expensive city. Many Italians try to rip off tourists due to their lack of knowledge. These tips and tricks that will be provided will nearly ensure that you do not get ripped off.
You can tell a fake accent from a real one, if someone you are trying to negotiate with keeps repeating the same Italian words in a stereotypical Italian accent (and using hand gestures), they're probably a phony.
Do not give to beggars that are near the pantheon or the Vatican, they will usually be kids that are part of a business of beggars that use their money to buy cigarets and alcohol.
If you see a hotel that has the words "hotel" in it's name, it will always be a bit more expensive. This is because there is a 30% tax on hotels that use the word "hotel" in their name. It is a trick that often lures many tourists.
Whenever buying things on the street, try to negotiate. It will save you a good sum of money.
Try to go to bars and restaurants that have italian names, these are usually local and family run. Overall cost of Rome Rome is a very expensive city as mentioned before. Your usual day in Rome will roughly be about $90. This is due to the fact that there is so many things to see and do. There are many tours that take tourists to majestic places. A tour of the major landmarks can cost anywhere from $30-$100. The real cost is getting to Rome. Transatlantic flights are always very expensive. Italian cuisine Italy is very famous for it's food. In fact, many people travel from all over just to get a taste of Italy. The usual Italian restaurant will consist of many things, such as:
An appetizer (anti-pasto)
Primo (such as Mediterranean fish, lake fish, pasta, risotto)- The first course
Secondo (The main dish of fish or meat)
Contorno (a side dish, such as vegetables or salad)
Dolce (the dessert)
Italian cooking is mainly based on wheat products such as bread and pasta and the food is prepared in such a way that their natural taste is preserved. Hotels Palermo offers a more limited selection of hotels, but here's a list of the top 5:
Hotel Palazzo Sitano
Hotel porta Felice
Hotel Giardino Inglese
All of these are more moderately priced than those in Naples, with even the luxury ones under $120. The best way to eat (inexpensive) In our opinion these are the best methods to eat an inexpensive breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Your average day will usually begin downtown. An inexpensive breakfast will usually be downtown in a secluded area away from tourists, or outside of town near an inexpensive hotel. To truly save money on breakfast go to a "bed and breakfast" hotel. A cheap lunch will usually be on the street, where street vendors are selling very good sandwiches for about 2-4 euros ($3-$5). A nice inexpensive dinner can be at a local, family run, restaurant or at a pizza place. If using these tips, food will cost about $20 a day per person (which is very cheap). Overall Cost If you stay out of the tourist traps as recommended, things in Palermo get much cheaper. Average meals from the street vendors are about 3 euro, or 4 dollars, per person. The same goes for everything in the city. The key, though, is to know the right places to go and the right places to stay Inexpensive hotels Inexpensive hotels will usually comprise the outskirts of Rome. They will normally cost $40-$80 a night (this is really cheap for Rome). Stay away from hotels that have the name "hotel" in them as mentioned before, it will usually save you $20 a night. Stick to older looking hotels that were established a long time ago and most likely are family run. Bed and breakfast hotels are usually your best bet. http://www.italylogue.com/things-to-do/top-10-things-to-do-in-palermo.html
http://www.parlafood.com/a-guide-to-dining-in-palermo/ Great deals For the best deals, be sure to check out the following sites:
http://www.hotels.com Cultural Link Rome is in the region known as "Lazio". It has many roman dishes and Rome is very known for it's white wines. Roman dishes have evolved through politics and culture, as the Empire grew and subsequently shrunk over 1500 years ago. The Romans had conquered many territories, that is why there is so much roman influence all over europe. The Roman food that evolved from this sophisticated culture and unique geography is remarkable in and of itself. Transportation techniques The best modes of transportation depend on where you are staying. If you are staying away from the center of Rome (the expensive area), then you will most likely want to use the metro system. The roman metro system is very good and safe, tickets cost between $3-$5. To reach the metro, it is recommended to take a bus. In the outskirts of Rome there are buses that only go to and from the metro. Watch out on these buses though, it is advised not to go late at night. The bus fees can range anywhere from $2-$4. Packing Italy is a lot like the southern area of the United States. It is hot in the summer and pretty cold in the winter (occasionally hot). One must keep in mind that many places in Italy (cheap places) don't have AC and "normal" hygiene appliances. That is because Italians have a different view on these things than others. Keep in mind that it does not snow often and rains occasionally. If one is going to the beach, they should not be worried of cold weather. Information for survival Common Italian phrases:
Ciao- Hello or goodbye
Buongiorno- good morning
Arrivaderchi- see you later, goodbye
Debo andare al bano- I need to go to the restroom
Cuanto costa- How much does it cost?
Grazie per la auito- thank you for the help
Dove sta la stazione- where is the train station?
Currency Rate: The exchange rate between euros (€) and dollars currently is at about 1.34 dollars per 1 euro.
Best way to travel: Metro (or, in American, Subway)
Almost every city has one
Cheap and fast Cultural no no's Don't spit in the streets, Italians take it very seriously and sometimes disrespectfully.
Never go against (talk bad) the Italian soccer teams, Italians take soccer VERY seriously.
Never talk bad about the Italian food, they take it as disrespect to them personally. The Church The Catholic church is very powerful in Italy, and the Pope is one of the most important figures in Italy (if not the most important). A picture of the pope signifies a connection to the leader of the catholic church and is a very important part of Italian culture.