Best New Restaurant San Gimignano San Martino 26

Best New Restaurant San Gimignano San Martino 26 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with San Gimignano Mayor, Sindaco Giacomo Bassi & Mrco Lisi along with owners Fabio & Lidia and family - Emma Pernarella, Elisa Pernarella, Ardit Curri

Gourmet Restaurateurs Fabio and Lidia have outdone themselves with their new restaurant in San Gimignano San Martino 26 – San Martino Venti-Sei.   The  new restaurant shares the name of the address, San Martino 26 San Gimignano, Tuscany Italy.  The menu is a contemporary twist on Tuscan Cuisine, perfect when you are turned off by the typical Tuscan menu.  Fabio says his inspiration for the menu was “Passion for the Palate.”  Every plate is specifically created to arouse a new sense of edible enjoyment.  The ingredients are prodotti artigianale direct from the Tuscan Contadino, farm-to-table, the freshest elements direct from the farmer to your plate!

Best New Restaurant San Gimignano San Martino 26 - Crepe Bundle filled with Rabbit and topped with delicate Creme of Leek Suace - Il fagottino di Coniglio su fondente di porri

Best New Restaurant San Gimignano San Martino 26 The Staff at the opening of the Tuscan Fine-Dining Ristorante

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Marettimo – Sailing the Isole Egadi – Aegadian Islands

Marettimo Island Sicily | Marettimo Isole Egadi | Arriving into the Charming Port by Sailboat

The reason that we decided to come Sailing in the Aegadian Islands in the first place was on friend’s recommendation.  Every year they go to Marettimo for a week on holiday.  They said, “You have to eat at La Scaletta, and say hello to Giovanni!”

So like I do before any trip, I check it out on Wikipedia for any fun facts and history bits to impress my travel companions & then on Trip Advisor: best places to eat, sleep, & do.  Its my pre-travel regimen.  Wikipedia enlightens me on the fact that there is a mere 300 residents.  My High-school student-body consisted of over 800 kids!  Trip Advisor informs me, “We’re sorry but Marettimo doesn’t have any hotels.” They have a couple of Bed & Breakfasts and less than 10 restaurants.  Forget any nightlife!  Blaspheme!!!!  That’s a desolate Isle, remote and barely inhabited!  I read on in the attractions- Visita alle grotte di Marettimo con le barche dei pescatori… WICKED!  Explore the interior of the Mountain’s Caves in a local fisherman’s boat! Marettimo just became Top of my To Do list!

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TaxiCab Confessions of our Sicilian Cabby

taxicab confessions in Sicily Image of a Traditional Sicilian Horse Drawn Cart, Carretto Siciliano

From the airport in Trapani we hop in a taxi, who I call Signor TaxiCab Confessions, to drive us to the seaport in Marsala to pick up the sailboat.  Traveling with 3 Italians plus me – my husband and a married couple friends of ours. What’s the first question an Italian asks to break the ice? FOOD! Where can we get the best CIBO around here?  Spaghetti alla cernia, Spaghetti alla Vongole, Tonno fresco! Pane Buono!!!  Our Sicilian Taxi driver, who must remain unnamed or I might wake to find a horse head in my bed tonight, he filled us in on the best spots.  He leaned in close and said in his Italia Sicilian cadence, “Senta Don Armando, questo devi stare fra me e te.  Non dire a nessuno che ho detto io!”  Translates as “Now I am going to tell you these secrets, but don’t tell anybody that I told you or I will be in big trouble.”  TaxiCab Confessions! Sicilian Secrets… about food!  I am dying laughing in the back seat feeling like I’m in some scene in a Mafia movie.  Of course I can’t tell you what he said, but he was spot-on! Grazie!

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Sailing the Aegadian Islands – Favignana – Isole Egadi

Aegadian Islands |Isole Egadi - Favignana View from Above looking down at the town and port with all of the boats

On a private sailing trip around the Aegadian Islands / Isole Egadi I found favolosa Favignana… a paradise for sea-foodies, sun-worshipers, castle ruins, rocky beaches, & Sicilian Delights where every body is a comedian!  Welcome to Favignana, Sicily a chill-tastic island in the Aegadian Islands, Isole Egadi

What day is it? Is it Friday or Tuesday, can’t remember.  What’s the name of this island? The most common questions you will hear on any sailing or cruising trip!  To be honest, I didn’t even know these islands existed : Isole Egadi.  Where? Agadi… Egodi, Argandi… wherever!?!?! Let’s go! Andiamo !!!

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Hiking to Castello Santa Caterina on Favignana Island

Castelo di Santa Caterina - on Favignana Island Sicily - the terrace at the top

Castello Santa Caterina on Favignana Island today stands as a historic castle, or more of an abandoned fortress in somewhat of a deteriorating state.  Originally built as a Saracen Watchtower (an Arab or Muslim, especially at the time of the Crusades) around 500 or 600 it was enlarged into a castle at a date suspected around the eleventh century.  It’s dungeon once housed political prisoners.  Walking through the Castello Santa Caterina is like stepping back into a war-torn abounded structure.  The debris filled rooms have molding stucco falling to the ground, rusted generators, iron post beds, Military barrels, ceramic toilets and baths.  On top of the fortress, we saw a rusted old satellite blown over that looked like the wind had beaten it badly.

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