Food and wine experiences Sicily- Dominique Rizzo

25 Must-do Food and Wine Experiences in Sicily

Where are the best food and wine experiences in Sicily? Do you love food and wine and are you looking to experience a new culture? Sicily is the best.

Most beautiful town in Sicily - Dominique Rizzo

Where is the most beautiful town in Italy? Sicily of course.

Walking along the back tiny streets, around every corner, in every square is like finding the most beautiful village in Italy. And that’s exactly what Petralia Soprana is, the winner of the title “most beautiful village”.  As a special treat on Dominique Rizzo’s tour, you will be part of the unique cultural event in a nearby town, ready to immerse yourself in a superb dinner at Palazzo Notar Nicchi, inspired by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s novel “The Leopard” at The Sicilian House. Wine, dine, listen to tasteful readings from Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s novel, ‘The Leopard’ Vintage 2007
& Vincent Schiavelli’s book “Many Beautiful Things -Stories and recipes from Polizzi Generosa”.

Dominique Rizzo - Catalonia Costa Brava

Lloret de Mar – A Gem of the Catalonian Region

Located just seventy kilometers from Barcelona, Lloret de Mar is a booming tourist attraction and seaside resort. With more than seven kilometers of coastline and some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, Lloret de Mar is one of the most popular nightlife destinations in the world. But, this city can offer you much more than just round the clock parties. Read our guide to  find out what are the must-do activities and best locations to see when visiting Lloret de Mar.

Lloret de Mar - Dominique Rizzo Tours.

Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lloret_de_Mar.jpg

 

The Next Big Party Destination – Costa Brava

Without any doubts, Lloret de Mar is the nightlife capital of Costa Brava. With dozens of popular nightclubs and specially-themed discos, visitors can enjoy never-ending fun and experience everything, from modern music to flamenco and music from the sixties and seventies. Most clubs open in the afternoon, although some venues are open at all times. Besides this, you can also visit beach parties or take a tour on one of several party boats cruising along the coastline every day.

Lloret de Mar Beaches

Lloret de Mar Spain - Dominique Rizzo

Image by _alfons.eg

 

 

Even if you’re not that into partying and prefer relaxing on the beach and drinking cocktails while on vacation, This coastal region has a lot to offer to you. While not many people may know, there are actually many activities you can partake in Lloret de Mar that don’t involve the parties. The town is very famous for its beautiful sandy beaches, with some of the most popular ones being:

  • Lloret beach – more than 1.5 kilometers long, this is the largest beach in Lloret de Mar and is named after the town itself.
  • Fenals beach – the second largest and arguably the most beautiful beach in Lloret de Mar. More than 700 meters long, it is situated in a bay and sheltered by hills.
  • Cala Boadella – Much smaller than the two above, Cala Boadella is a charming and secluded beach perfect for those who don’t like big beaches and heavy crowds.
  • Sa Caleta cove – located right to Lloret beach, Sa Caleta cove is a fisherman’s cove that offers fantastic views of the coastline and fine sandy beaches.

Museums, Architecture, and Art

Despite being a town of a small population of just 37,000 people, there are a lot of sights to be seen in Lloret de Mar. From the church of Saint Roma to the Can Garriga Museum of the Sea, the City Dye Centre, it will take you a couple of days to get to every location. Plus, we didn’t even mention the most significant piece of history located in Lloret de Mar – St John’s Castle. Built in the 11th century, the castle is a building of cultural interest and has endured a long and rich history. It survived natural disasters like earthquakes and storms, as well as many attacks and raids over the ten centuries it stood on top of the hill between Fenals beach and Lloret beach.

Lloret de Mar - Dominique Rizzo Tours

Image by @natalie_golebiewska

Great Food

We’ve talked about the unique charm of the Catalonian region and everything that comes with it. This also applies to this charming coastal town that has the potential to be a significant economic contributor in the region, mainly through tourism. Besides unique location-based activities, most tourists also like to experience the local food of every location they visit.

When it comes to food, tourists visiting Lloret de Mar will find that the town offers very fascinating local cuisine, influenced by several cultures. Starting with the Phoenicians and Greeks, and then later the Romans and Carthaginians, all the way to the Arabs and Spanish Christians, the food in Lloret de Mar, and Catalonia in general, is a must-try for every gastronome.

The Best Time to Visit Lloret de Mar

It is the perfect summer destination. The weather is pleasant in April with around 25 degrees Celsius in the daytime. The high-season starts in June and lasts to mid-August, and this is the period when the town gets really crazy. If you want to enjoy the warm weather, swim and walk around town, but don’t appreciate the massive crowds, May and September are the perfect time to visit the town. If, however, you’re an adrenaline seeker who wants to experience everything this town has to throw at you during summertime, peak season then this is the perfect place.

 

Thinking of travelling to Spain?

As a food and wine lover, you may want to consider joining one of Dominique’s bespoke, small group Gastronomic Food Tours to Spain, travelling in 2021. Have a look at some of the highlights of her Spanish tours and see why Dominique has rave reviews for her personally escorted food tours.

Catania La Pescherio Markets Dominique Rizzo

Catania and “La Pescheria” Markets

One of my favourite Sicilian tours takes in the region of Eastern Sicily, the rich lands surrounding the famous Mount Etna, the provinces of Catania, Syracusa and Ragusa, the towns of chocolate-loving Modica and the island of Ortigia and the alluring Aeolian Islands. We welcome you to charming, lively Catania which is, after Palermo, the second-largest city in Sicily.

Summer travel tips - Dominique Rizzo

Chef Dominique Rizzo’s Top Summer Travel Tips

My tours to Italy, Spain, and Greece are always in the European summer, so in preparation for my upcoming tours to Italy, here are my top summer travel tips for you.

I love flying and I fly all the time for my food and wine tours. Living in Australia means that the flights to Europe are long, at least 24 hours, and as a tour host, I need to arrive at my destination refreshed and ready to greet my very important guests with warmth and enthusiasm.

Sicily your perfect holiday - Dominique Rizzo

What’s So Special About Sicily Anyway?

Is it the food? Is it the people? Is it the culture? Is it the history?

Yes, it is all of these things in that wonderful interaction of the slow way of Sicilian life, where little old nonnas (grandmothers) sit outside their front door of the house they have lived in for 50 years; where older men gather in the afternoon to play bocce in the town square;  where the traditional ways of slow cooking are passed on from family to family.

Scintillating Sicily - Dominique Rizzo

Scintillating Sicily

Have you been dreaming of experiencing a trip to Sicily? It’s scintillating and fascinating, it’s tasty, it’s colorful and passionate. Your senses will implode as you experience rich ancient historic sites, pristine turquoise waters, sandy beaches, and white-washed coastal villas.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins – One of My Favourite Ingredients

Pumpkins would have to be one of my favourite ingredients: their magical and enchanting connotations, their golden, almost jewel sparkle when cut and their sweet clean flavour.

The versatility of the pumpkin is not to be sneezed at either, taking it from savoury to sweet in any nationality of cuisine.

The history of the pumpkin dates back over 7000 years ago with its origin coming from the squash family and a relative of the cucumber. Known all over the world, Antarctica is the only continent where the pumpkin is not grown.

The pumpkin and its many varieties Queensland Blue, butternut, Jarrahdale, Jap, Golden nugget, are widely used as ravioli fillings, soups, gnocchi, scones, pies, stews, curries and really just about anything as its delicate flavour lends itself to all manner of dishes, cooking methods, flavour combinations, and additional spices.

Rich in beta-carotene, high in fiber and potassium the pumpkin, like all other orange-coloured fruit and vegetables, is a great antioxidant. So versatile is it that even the shells of the pumpkin have been used and woven into mats.

The flowers like those of the zucchini are also edible. When cooking, steaming or roasting is preferred to boiling which makes them rather wet and not so appealing.

For intense flavour, pan-frying, roasting or chargrilling over moderate to high heat is best as it caramelises the natural sugars. You can now purchase pumpkin seed meal, oil and pestos that are ideal for salads, dressings and baking.

How to cook pumpkin

Tip for a nutritious snack:

Dry pumpkin seeds on paper towel and then toss with a little oil and sea salt or tamari or soy sauce and roast in a moderate oven of 150 c until dry to touch ( about 40 minutes).

Tip for a perfect side dish:

Zucca Fritta Con Cannella Ed Aglio
Fried Pumpkin with Cinnamon and Garlic

Serves 4

Ingredients:
• 125 ml olive oil
• 700 g kent (jap) pumpkin (peeled, seeded and cut into 5 ml thick slices)
• 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 1 ½ tbsps. White-wine vinegar
• 3 tsp. White sugar
• ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steps:
1. Heat a small amount of the olive oil in a shallow frying pan over medium heat and cook the pumpkin in batches for 30 seconds on each side of until golden brown. You may need to add a little more olive oil to the pan. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pumpkin to a serving dish.
2. Keeping about ¼ cup (60 ml) of oil in the pan, gently fry the garlic over low heat for 30 seconds, taking care not to burn it. Remove the pan from the heat and from yourself as it may splutter when you add the vinegar. Add the vinegar, sugar and cinnamon and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 30 seconds, and then pour the mixture over the pumpkin.
3. Set the pumpkin aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavours to infuse. Serve at room temperature.

This how-to cook pumpkin recipe is taken from “My Taste of Sicily” cookbook.

Try some of my other pumpkin recipes like  Salmon and Fennel Risotto with Carrot and Pumpkin 

or   Coconut Poached Wild Caught Barramundi with Chili spiced Pumpkin Salad   

Roast Pumpkin and Basil Almond Pesto

Western Sicily

Western Sicily for Food Wine and Culture

Tour Western Sicily, personally guided by Dominique Rizzo to take an in-depth look at of Sicily’s most historic cities and sights.