Italy and Spain Checklist

ITALY

From the city of Milan, a train ride away lays Venice and Verona. Here is a checklist of must do’s:

See three major sights in one square

Standing in the middle of the magnificent piazza San Marco is an experience in itself with Basilica Di San Marco, Doge’s Palace and a clock tower built in the 15th century.

Get around in a gondola

Waterways in an iconic gondola is a must do in Venice. It gives you a glimpse of the city in a one round as well as plenty of opportunities to take pictures!

Tour the Venetian masters of art

Venice is a unique and precious repository of art. From the late middle Ages until the mid 18th century, artists of the highest calibre left their mark all over the city. Venice during the Venice biennale is an experience of a lifetime for an art lover.

Granitas and Gelatos

In summers this would be quite handy, as Venice can get very hot and humid. At Alaska Gelateria-Sorbetteria, passionate ice-cream makers experiment with new flavours using only the freshest natural ingredients. Hazelnut or yoghurt are my favourites and exotic flavours, such as artichoke, fennel, asparagus or ginger are available too.

Shakespeare inspired day out

Head out of town on a quick break to Verona, known for the courtyard and balcony of Juliet. It is a small town with the cutest houses and small lanes. Visitors leave their entwined signatures on graffiti-covered walls of Juliet’s home and pick souvenirs from the boutique shop.

MUST EAT AND DO IN SPAIN

Paella

Rice could be one ingredient connecting the world, and Spanish have their version too. The most traditional version is paella, which includes chicken, saffron, runner beans and butter beans.

Patatas Bravas

Patatas bravas involve chunks of fried potato. In Madrid, a brava sauce is made with sweet and spicy paprika – olive oil, flour and stock – but never tomatoes. Some people add garlic, some a dash of fino sherry too.

Tapas and Sangria

You are not allowed to visit Spain without experiencing the famous tapas! Tapas are not a particular type of food; they are a sort of little meals that Spaniards eat anytime of the day or night, anywhere. Tapas are part of the Spanish culture. Madrid, in their popular tapas bars, if you order a beer or sangria, you’ll get a nice plate with mini sandwiches, almonds, squids, or any other snacks.

Chorizo

Smoked chorizo is made and eaten all over Spain. Pork sausage with lots of garlic and paprika can be sweet or spicy, served raw as a tapa, or added in various dishes.

Churros

From the family of waffles and crepes, these stick like sweet things is eaten with molten dark chocolate. Madrid has some chocolatiers, which are a 100-year-old serving only churros with sprinkled sugar and hot chocolate.

Tortilla Española

Eggs, potatoes, onion, The Spanish omelettes are so much more than the sum of its parts. The potatoes and onions are slow fried in olive oil then mixed with the beaten eggs for the flavours to mix before cooking.  Add chorizo, ham, spinach, courgettes or whatever you have to hand to make a tasty meal out of next to nothing.

Sagrada Familia

Spain has long been a dedicated Roman Catholic nation and this church in Barcelona exhibits much of this tradition. It is a newer church that was begun in 1882 and designed by Antoni Gaudi and it is still being worked on today. This church is a combination of both Gothic and modern-era architecture to give it a longer lasting stability.

Park Guell

Park Guell was designed by Antoni Gaudi and is know to be an architectural masterpiece. For incredible views of the city, this is a must do.

La Ramblas

Neighborhood close to the fisherman’s wharf of Barcelona offers high street shopping and a range of cafes. La Boqueria is a market within La Ramblas and one can shop for fresh fish, cheese and fruits. There are plenty of squares with fountains for children to play around.

Beaches and Gothic District

Soak in the sun on clear beaches of Barcelona. One can take a stroll and eat in a number of cafes along the beach.  Walk on the Marina road towards north crossing the gothic district to see a few old galleries and cathedrals.

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