Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In Italy, "let's go to the bar" means.........

a delightful meeting with friends or business associates.   And the beverage is coffee!   Coffee made a number of ways.  
On Sunday Yle took us to her favorite bar to show us how to have un cafe, Italiano!
Many times while traveling in Italy I would stop in a friendly looking bar that was not too crowded to have a cappuccino and a brioche.   Since you ONLY drink cappuccino in the mornings in Italy I always found it more difficult to order coffee later in the day.
Expresso is troppo forte, to strong for me and asking for another brew with milk is beyond my limited language skills.  I think I am asking for a coffee with a lot of hot milk and have received warm milk instead......   just another fun experience.
So lets have Yle show us how to prenda una cafe!

Andiamo al bar a prendere un caffĂ©:  Let’s go to the bar for a coffee
One of the sentences you will most frequently be asked in Italy is to go to the bar for a coffee: will happen among friends, during a business meeting or after basic greetings.

 Coffee at the bar infact, in Italy, is a kind of anthropological key to make have a conversation or just interact with others, or simply relax and enjoy a gorgeous espresso or cappuccino on your own or in good company.

You can find a bar  everywhere in Italy (even at the beach) and in the bar,  it is possible to taste and try so many delicious things:      coffee, tea, soft drinks, snacks, pastries and excellent wines as well.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Travel Convention to Promote Puglia..

Each week we have been viewing Sunday in Italy with Yle, in Lecce, Italy.  
This week Yle is returning from a large travel convention in Milan.   Even after a busy week out of town, Yle found time to tell us how she spent Sunday!

Let's step into the local shops in Lecce, Yle's favorite places to buy the freshest items for Sunday lunch with mamma Anne and her family.     I can almost smell the wonderful  aromas coming  from the stove, see the table spread with all my new "Italian favorites".  So let's hurry with our shoping so we can get to mamma Anne's........

Next week Yle, can you take us to the bar for una cafe?  All the many choices, so little time.....
SUNDAY:  among fascinating places and a magical atmosphere
By Ylenia Sambati

It has been a very busy week..oh mamma mia..  1. Spring tour to finalise for a group of women who contacted me for a tailored travel experience:   a 50th birthday to celebrate on a vespa scooter and fiat '500' car, amidst olive trees, white-washed walls and amazing country houses to explore 
2.   an international tourism fair (BIT) I attended in Milan for the announcement of an educational workshop tour for travel agents and tour operators interested in the Puglia Salento area.    “Buy Salento”,  will take place in September,  to discover the area and meet professional local tour agents.   

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday with Yle in Lecce, Puglia: the Chocolate Festival!

This Sunday we find Yle at the chocolate festival in Lecce!   Almost everyone loves chocolate and now you can experience the trill through Yle's description.
You can almost smell and taste the wonderful treasures she finds at the festival....
Our guide, Yle
What would life look like without chocolate?
By Ylenia Sambati
This will be a very special Sunday! Since my awaking I knew that tons of chocolate were right calling me in the main “Piazza” (Square) of Lecce, my beautiful baroque city. An event totally devoted to chocolate in any possible shape and made by artisans from all around Italy. I was excited like a little girl..chocolate is a very important part of my daily food program..every night after dinner – Love it! – I have a little “quadratino” of dark chocolate so as you can imagine this event in my town meant a lot of joy and caloric photos to me
                                                                                                           Before heading  to the
Piazza, I went to the Sunday farmer market to shop for some fresh vegetables (and balance a good salad with a big chocolate dessert). There are several Sunday farmer markets actually, it’s always up to you were to shop: a couple are in town and some others by the ocean. This time I decided to visit the one in town because I did not want to waste time and go to the choco market as soon as possible.
On my way to the Piazza, I enjoyed another delicious break with a cappuccino and a “cornetto”, just like the typical Italian breakfast usually is. It is always difficult to choose a bar for breakfast in Italy because most of the time they display irresistible things!
Because spring is not that far – despite the snow in Italy – my attention was captured by some lovely bikes on sale. We have wonderful itineraries in the countryside or by the ocean – although a bike ride amidst the Leccese baroque stone is a must - and a bike ride is always a good idea to stay fit, breath some uncontaminated air and take the chance to stop in little coloured villages. I will probably contact the number on the sign and ask the price of this old bike.
I walked to the Piazza and what my eyes saw was unbelievable: any shape and kind of chocolate with plenty of artisans asking all the same question:
          “would you like to taste?"  
My first (of many) stops was in front of a giant Rocher, something the kind boy cut like parmesan although it was chocolate.
Probably my enthusiasm was contagious on that shape because several people stopped and even without tasting it they just bought!
Next to me there were some Chinese tourists that I supposed were going to take hundreds of pictures, but I can honestly promise, they were more interested in tasting than anything else (so did I).
Romantic chocolate is another good excuse to eat it and choco hearts were actually all around me.  Legend has that Valentine’s Day is for lovers and I always suggest to my friends to offer chocolate rather than flowers.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A new series on life in Puglia, Italy

Buono Cibo, amici e Famiglia, in Puglia with Yle

Good food, Friends and family in Puglia Italy wit Yle, a personal travel consultant who can make YOUR dream trip to Italy a reality..... 

Sunday at mama Anna's house. Yle's sister (right)
Each Sunday we will try to share an Italian experience with Yle, visiting family, eating Sunday dinner exactly at 1:30 at her mama Anna's table so not to miss wonderful food, visiting with family and enjoying life minute by minute.   Step inside an Italian home and sit at the table.  Become one of the family and enjoy the beautiful life.......

Are there any other Italian Americans who remember Sunday's in the USA?    Did you visit your grandparents or did Nonna and Zia or Zio come to your house?   I always thought it was "normal" to have a large meal on Sunday.    We were at home that day, not going to the movies or a ball game.   This was the one day my dad did not work all day.   We would often go to the bakery for Italian bread and buns but nothing as wonderful as Yle will show in the following.     And I remember Nonna watching Lawrence Welk before she went back to her house!

Future topics will include wine, outdoor markets, homemade bread and pasta, Italian festivals,  how to spend an Italian weekend.....    and much more.  
What would you like Yle to tell us about?