Silversea – Day 8 & 9, July 15/16 – - Barcelona, Spain

November 22nd, 2014

Day 8:

Today we arrived in Barcelona.  After a relaxing slow start to the morning and consuming enough Champagne to last me the rest of the day, we headed to La Rambla.  Today was all about walking the city, relaxing and just taking in the local life.

Barcelona, The Harbor

 

Barcelona, The Harbor

 

Barcelona, The Harbor

 

Barcelona, The Harbor

 

La Rambla

 

Superman in Barcelona

 

Day 9: Gaudi

Today is all about Antoni Gaudí, however we failed to spend the desired time at La Sagrada Família, as we spent the majority of our time at the Church of Colònia Güel, tour guide’s call.  While the visit to the Church of Colònia Güel was enlightening and very informative, our next visit to Barcelona will focus more on La Sagrada Família – - the inside.

 

Church of Colònia Güel

 

Church of Colònia Güel

 

Church of Colònia Güel

 

Church of Colònia Güel

 

Church of Colònia Güel

 

Church of Colònia Güel

 

Church of Colònia Güel

 

 

 La Sagrada Família

 

 

La Sagrada Família

 

La Sagrada Família

 

La Sagrada Família

 

Up Next: Sete, France

 

 

Return to: Current Posting

 

Silversea – Day 7, July 14 – - Cannes, France

November 20th, 2014

Yachts & Chops

Ahhhh…I finally made it to Cannes and as portrayed, the material beauty was all the rage and yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the display.  Please feel free to deduct whatever you wish from that statement however, I decide not to post all the eye encountered.  With impressive yachts seeming to outnumbering the people and gorgeous weather with plenty of sun, I now get why people flock here and I shall do the same for my next landlocked getaway to the Côte d’Azur.  It doesn’t matter if you are here to view or to be viewed – - Cannes has something for everyone and I found mine at the Carlton Beach restaurant – - CHOPS.

 

Entering Cannes – View from the balcony

 

Entering Cannes – View from the balcony

 

The Carlton

 

Toy Collection

 

Silver Wind from the tender

 

The tender into Cannes

 

Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes

 

Cannes Port

 

Toy collection in the Bay of Cannes

 

Tony at Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes

 

Carlton Beach Restaurant

 

Carlton Beach Restaurant

 

Carlton Beach Restaurant

 

Carlton Beach Restaurant

 

2011 Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge Louis Lator

 

The Lamb Chops

 

Now that we’ve had the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful lunch, take in the sights and make a purchase or two, it was time to head back and rest up for the evening and our next port of call.  Although brief the visit was ideal as one can never tire of the beautiful Côte d’Azur.

 

Toy Collection

 

Hotel Majestic Barrière

 

Back on board

 

Leaving Cannes

 

Up Next: Barcelona, Spain

Return to: Current Posting

 

Silversea – Day 6, July 13 – - Livorno (Tuscany), Italy – Savini Tartufi

November 12th, 2014

Now that tartufo bianco season is in, I felt this was a great time to post this piece.

Savini Tartufi

 

Cristiano Savini holding the 2.13 pound white truffle – Photo by Andrew Medichini

 

 

Above Cristiano Savini holds the 2.13 pound white truffle which sold at auction in 2007 for $330,000.  This find is a symbol of the family’s commitment to providing some of the most exquisite truffles and truffle products on the market.  Known the world over for excellent high quality truffles and as we witnessed first had – - exceptional truffle preparation, our visit was one to remember and truly a once in a lifetime experience.

First and foremost a major thank you to Luca Campinotti for being so informative and professional.  His teaching on truffles and the training of Giotto gave new and special meaning to the art of enjoying and hunting truffles.  From our introduction to our heading back to Livorno, Luca made sure our time at Savini was the best visit one could possibly experience.  And I have to admit, growing up the south totally prepare me for this excursion as being back in nature was truly refreshing and exhilarating.

Upon arriving, we proceeded to turn our attention to the little four legged, tail wagging, happy go luck canine who was enjoying us as much as we were enjoying him.  Playing fetch and a few belly rubs – - his day was made, well almost.  Luca formerly introduced us to “Giotto” who unbeknownst to us, would be our secret weapon to finding that much sought after fungi we all were dying to uncover and devour.  After our truffle lesson we packed up and headed out.

Savini Tartufi

 

Savini Tartufi

 

Giotto

 

Savini Tartufi

 

Replica of the 2.13lb truffle

 

Truffle

 

Luca

 

Luca and Marina

 

Giotto

 

Giotto ready and waiting

 

We were informed that playtime stopped the minute Giotto hit the woods as we no longer would be of concern to him and true to form without missing a beat, we no longer mattered once his feet were back on the ground in the woods.  After a brief overview of what would be taking place once we hit the woods or more like “Giotto” leads, up keep up, we were off.  Imagine trying to keep up with this fast four legged canine – - brutal!!!   As we made our way through mud,  mosquitoes and any other living organism that stood in our way of finding “Black Gold”   Giotto came through several times with what would be transformed into a heavenly lunch – - tartufo nero.  To actually see Giotto go crazy over locating the scent of truffles was astonishing.  Well not so much as I behave the same way “at home” when I get truffles, but not so much in public.  After securing several sizable truffles, we headed back for what was to be one extraordinary lunch.

 

Giotto and Luca before the hunt

 

And we are off……..

 

The dig…..

 

The dig…..

 

The find……

 

Giotto taking a break

 

Luca piercing a truffle

 

Adam taking a whiff of the fresh pierced truffle

 

Black Gold

 

Black Gold

 

The Dig……

 

The second find….

 

Water break for Giotto

 

Jason stuck in mud

 

Giotto in play mode after the truffle hunt

 

With Luca & Tony

 

Field of sunflowers on our way back

 

Back form the hunt and all cleaned up, it was time to enjoy the moment we’ve all been awaiting — Lunch!!!!  We started with an exquisite truffle beer and the rest, well here it is.

 

Back for lunch

 

The Truffle Hunting Crew

 

Truffle Hunting

 

Truffle Beer

 

Truffle Covered and Infused Appetizers

 

Villa Saletta “Chiave” – 2011 Toscana

 

Luciano & Carla

 

Ahhhhh….Fresh Shaved Truffles

 

Ahhhhh….Fresh Shaved Truffles

 

Luca with my plate

 

Fresh Shaved Truffle with pasta

 

Jason & Adam enjoying their truffles with pasta

 

Egg with Truffle

 

Egg with Truffle

 

Luca with Vinsanto

 

Vinsanto

 

Dessert with Truffle

 

After what can only be described as a gastronomic feast of truffles, we managed to find room for what I’m now enjoying back home – - chocolate truffle candy – yummy!!!

 

Chocolate with Truffle

 

Carla Savini

 

With Luca & Luciano

 

“Black Gold”

 

This excursion was truly one of my all time favorites.  Luca again, thank you so much for your professionalism and expertise in the fine art of truffle hunting and your amazing knowledge.  A greater appreciation and understanding for this delicacy shall remain with all of us.  We look forward to returning and enjoying another memorable experience.  And a very special thank you to Luciano and Carla – - the magic you worked with the fresh truffles pleased our palates in ways unforeseen.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!!!

 

Savini Tartufi

Up Next: Cannes, France

 

 

Return to: Current Posting

 

Silversea – Day 5, July 12 – - Florence, Italy

October 30th, 2014

In route to Florence I began anticipating another delightful gastronomic experience at Dino’s.  Since my first encounter in 2003 with the Cinghiale in Dolceforte (wild boar in a chocolate sauce), I make sure every trip to Florence incorporates a grand serving of this amazing dish and this return was no exception.

But first a little stop to work up an appetite at the Bargello.

 

Courtyard Bargello

 

Courtyard Bargello

 

Courtyard Bargello

 

Michelangelo Bacchus 1496 – 1497

 

Michelangelo Bacchus 1496 – 1497

 

Michelangelo Bacchus 1496 – 1497

 

Bargello

 

Bargello

 

Bargello

 

Verrocchio’s David 1475 & Donatello’s David 1440

 

Donatello’s David 1440

 

Donatello’s David 1440

 

And now – - Lunch is served!!!!

Visit: Ristorante Dino – Enogastronomico

 

Dino’s

 

Dino’s

 

Dino’s

 

Parmigiano-Reggiano and Aged Balsamic Vinegar

 

Insalata della “corte dei Medici”

 

2012 “IL Bruciato” Tenuta Guado Al Tasso – Bolgheri

 

Polpettine della “mamma Renza”

 

Spaghetti con mentuccia e ricotta fresca

 

Mezze maniche rigate con salsa d’estate

 

 The Cinghiale was so amazing – - there were two entrées!!!

 

 

Cinghiale in Dolceforte

 

Cinghiale in Dolceforte

 

Basilica of Santa Croce

 

After spending time at the Bargello, sitting down to another wonderful homemade meal and walking the streets of Florence, it was time to head back to Livorno.  My anticipation for tomorrow is building by the minute as we are heading to the woods of Tuscany in search of Black Gold!!!!

 

 Up Next: Truffle Hunting in Tuscany – Savini Tartufi

 

Return to: Current Posting

 

 

Silversea – Day 5, July 12 – - Livorno, Italy – The Four Moors

October 30th, 2014

Back in Livorno today and I decided it was time to post this pieces after visiting several times and ending up with several different opinions / interpretations on this dominating and very powerful monument.

Statue of the Four Moors – Piazza Micheli

Four Moors

 

Four Moors

 

This monument commemorates the victory over the Ottomans in North Africa by Ferdinando I de’ Medici, the grand duke of Tuscany in 1607.  The collaboration between Giovanni Bandini (marble sculpture) and Pietro Tacca (bronze sculptures), symbolizes his victory over PIRACY in the Tuscan seas.

The statue of Ferdinano is of marble and the Amazing Magnificent Ethnically Diverse slaves are of bronze.

 

Four Moors

 

Four Moors – 1

 

Four Moors – 2

 

Four Moors – 3

 

Four Moors – 4

 

Four Moors

 

Quattro Mori

 

   Now to Florence, as our return to Dino’s and the Bargello awaits us.

 

 Up Next: Florence

 

Return to: Current Posting