Sicily and Sardinia.

In spring 2012, my friend and I traveled to Sicily and Sardinia, the two largest islands of Italy. We were ecstatic because neither of us had been there before and we were of course eager to try all the different kinds of food. We had been learning at school that the cuisine is much different than the Tuscan food we had been eating the last six months.

Here are some snapshots from Palermo, the capital of Sicily.

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Streets of Palermo.

I Want One!

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Cutest Puppies!

Exploring Palermo!

Exploring Palermo!

Beautiful Mondello Beach.

Beautiful Mondello Beach.

Now onto the food! Sicily in particular has an interesting history of food because of its proximity to Northern Africa. Arab influences play a great deal in their cuisine today since many of their dishes contain citrus, rice, spices (saffron, nutmeg, cinnamon), dried fruits, and nuts. Here are some photos of modern and traditional foods that I ate in Palermo.

Octopus Balls with Chickpea Purée.

Octopus Balls with Chickpea Purée.

Sea Bass Carpaccio with Capers and Pine Nuts.

Sea Bass Carpaccio with Capers and Pine Nuts.

Squid Ink Risotto.

Squid Ink Risotto.

Ravioli with Scallops and Asparagus.

Ravioli with Scallops and Asparagus.

Dessert.

Dessert.

Typical Sicilian Sandwich with Beef Spleen.

Typical Sicilian Sandwich with Beef Spleen.

Caponata (Sweet and Sour Eggplant)

Caponata (Sweet and Sour Eggplant).

Octopus Carpaccio.

Octopus Carpaccio.

Eggplant Balls Stewed in Tomato Sauce.

Eggplant Balls Stewed in Tomato Sauce.

Pasta with Anchovies, Breadcrumbs, and Tomatoes.

Pasta with Anchovies, Breadcrumbs, and Tomatoes.

Busiate Pasta al Pesto Trapanese.

Busiate al Pesto Trapanese.

Spaghetti with Swordfish and Tomatoes.

Spaghetti with Swordfish and Tomatoes.

All the food I ate in Palermo was sooo delicious! Fresh seafood every night which was a nice change from all the hearty meat dishes that I was eating in Florence. One of my favorite dishes I tried in Sicily was the busiate pasta al pesto trapanese. First of all, I had never seen this shape of pasta before! Strange long corkscrew like pasta tossed with pesto trapanese, a sauce made from garlic, almonds, tomatoes, and basil, was not only really tasty but also fun to eat!

After spending four days in Palermo, I was off to Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia.

View of Cagliari.

View of Cagliari.

Exploring the City Center.

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Day Trip to Pula.

Dead Jellyfish Washed Up Shore.

Dead Jellyfish Everywhere!

They’re Everywhere!

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So Serene.

Alright back to the food! Sardinian cuisine is also quite particular because there is a mix of meat and seafood dishes. Most common seafood items that I found in Sardinia were aragosta (rock or spiny lobster), tuna, octopus, and crustaceans (shrimp or langoustine). I did not take as many photos as I did in Palermo but here are a few dishes that I ate.

Garlic Shrimp.

Garlic Shrimp.

Salmon with Pineapple.

Salmon with Pineapple.

Marinated Mussels.

Marinated Mussels.

Whole Spiny Lobster! Yum!

Whole Spiny Lobster! Yum!

I hope you enjoyed looking at my photos and that I was able to transport you to the beaches of Southern Italy and made your tummy growl a little!

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