Sunday, 30 July 2017

Goodbye July!

July was kind on me and although I've been feeling quite lazy these days,  I've managed to explore some places and experiences closer home that can be great ideas for those visiting Lisbon.

A sunset cruise on river Tagus and a wine tasting along the Arrábida coast were two amazing experiences that I've already shared with you. A visit to Cabo Espichel was also so enjoyable and soon I'll be telling you all about it and giving you my best tips for a visit. A couple of years ago, I've visited Rome (in July!) and this July I've brought you my favorite fountains on the Eternal City and a special recipe to remember Rome. This post is the first of a new series, that I've called Travel Cooking, that I'll be writing especially for all those of you that share my passions for travel and food. Is also thinking of my foodie readers that I've created a new blog page featuring all the restaurant reviews and food related articles. You can find my Food Chronicles here!

August will bring some new places, stories, and experiences. Until the next monthly wrap-up, leave you with the nine photos that are the Top 9 for July on our Instagram account. You can follow us there for daily photos and tips.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Travel Cooking | Saltimbocca alla Romana

If you're a regular visit to the blog, I'm sure you had no trouble figuring out that I love food. For those who just recently get to know me and the Wanderer's Chronicles I must say that this is the plain truth: I love good food! Both eating and cooking it.

So, as you can imagine, while visiting a country, restaurants, cafés and markets are mandatory places to go. But such pleasant experiences can't be restricted to the days I spend on each country. Cooking books and, many times, some specific ingredients, find their place on my luggage and accompanied me home. Back home, starts the adventure of reproducing my favorite recipes!

For all those of you that share my passions for travel and food, I'm starting a new series - Travel Cooking - where I'll feature recipes from different countries and regions. Hope you will enjoy it!

I'm partial to Mediterranean cuisine and particularly Italian food. So, let's start with a favorite of mine  - Saltimbocca all Romana. Grab a glass of vino, imagine yourself on a terrace overlooking Rome and taste this delicious veal escalopes, sided by some risotto (I choose asparagus) or pollenta.

Saltimbocca is a delicious  Italian meat recipe that has become popular in many countries. The very thin veal escalopes do not even need salt, since the intense flavor of the prosciutto is enough to season them. The Marsala wine in the sauce gives a special sweet touch that combines perfectly with the salty tasty of the prosciutto and the pungent aroma of the sage. Such a tasty treat it only  can "jump in the mouth" as soon as it appears on the plate!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Lisbon Chronicles | Lisbon Sunset Party Cruise

"Digo: “Lisboa”
Quando atravesso – vinda do sul – o rio
E a cidade a que chego abre-se como se do seu nome nascesse
Abre-se e ergue-se em sua extensão noturna
Em seu longo luzir de azul e rio
Em seu corpo amontoado de colinas (...)"

"I say:" Lisbon "
When I cross - coming from the south - the river
And the city to which I arrive opens as if its name had born
It opens and rises in its nightly extension
In its long glimmer of blue and river
In its body heaped with hills (...) "

Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen (1977), in Obra Poética, 2011

I've crossed the river many times before and I know how stunning Lisbon can be when you look to the city from the water. Lisbon grew around the castle and along the river banks, and it looks like it's perching over the water, maybe to see how beautiful she is. Yes, I wrote she! For the Portuguese, although millennial, Lisbon is a pretty maiden, a young girl eternally in love with the river. And if you cruise the river and look to Lisbon, you'll have no doubt why the Tagus will forever love its lady. The vision is superb!

For a long time, I had the plan to sail along the Tagus river. A kind invitation by Confeitaria Nacional River Cruise made it possible just a couple of weeks ago and it was such a great experience, that I must share it with you and strongly recommend it as a great way to know the city.

The Cruise starts at Rocha do Conde de Óbidos (Alcântara), where Confeitaria Nacional, one of the most known patisseries of Lisbon, has a store with an agreeable terrace facing the river. If you arrive early, you can enjoy a happy hour there while waiting for the ship to leave. You can get on board in Rocha dock or near Belém Tower.

The cruise has a duration of about one hour and takes you up the river to the Pantheon and then down the river to Belém. Enjoying the splendid scenery while relaxing with a cocktail, or a glass of wine, tasting some delicious Portuguese "petiscos" and listening to contemporary jazz mixed by the resident DJ can surely be an amazing experience.

The ship is large, very comfortable and carefully decorated, and the service is attentive and professional. There are also 2 daily cruises during the day, at 1 and 3 pm, where along with the sightseeing you can enjoy a delicious meal or just relax on the sun deck.

Confeitaria Nacional River Cruise | Sunset Party
Ticket available at Confeitaria Nacional (Praça de Figueira), CN Belém, CN Rio, ticket online
For more information please contact Mariana at:
Phone: +351 911 798 595

Cruise Hours and Ticket Prices
(From April to October)
6:00 pm Happy Hour in Alcântara and Belém
7:45 pm Alcântara Departure
8:15 pm Belém Stop
8:30 pm Belém Departure
9:30 pm Alcântara

Adults 20 € (includes one drink) | 5-12 anos 10 € | over 65 10 € | Children under 5 are free

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Chronicles from Rome | My 5 Favorite Fountains in the Eternal City

Rome has fifty monumental fountains and hundreds of smaller fountains, bringing freshness to the streets and squares and water to its inhabitants and visitors. With over 2000 fountains in all, the Eternal City has more fountains than any other city in the world. Today I'll bring you just a hand full of my favorite ones, conscient that this is an unfinished work.


The Fontana di Trevi is perhaps one of the most emblematic and well-known fountains of Rome. Who has not seen the scene of the movie La Dolce Vita by Fellini, in which Anita Ekberg enters the fountain and invites Marcello Mastroianni to follow her?

Despite its grandeur and drama, the Trevi Fountain sits on a relatively small square (actually it is the crossroads of three streets (tre vie)!), where almost all the tourists who want to visit it hardly fit. In spite of the turmoil, of the policemen who whistle when one approaches too much of the water and the queues to take a photo or to throw a coin in the basin, the fountain is splendid, with its tritons and sea horses, that seem to want to jump from the basin, ready to gallop ahead!


The Fontana delle Tartarughe it's a beautiful fountain, in a quiet little square (Piazza Mattei). It has a curious history since it was not built in the place where it had initially been planned. On the other hand, the turtles that give it its name are not part of the initial design and were added decades later, during a restoration.


Located in Piazza Navona, it represents the four main continents of the world and the great rivers that cross them: the Nile River in Africa, the Ganges River in Asia, the Danube River in Europe and the Rio de la Plata in America (the It has not been discovered!).

The lively Piazza Navona is one of the most well-known squares of Rome and it has a rectangular shape since it was originally a Roman stadium. Over time, the houses were built on the benches, and by the end of the fifteenth century it was characterized as a square. In the seventeenth century, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiume was built, following the Bernini project, in the center of the square and today it is one of its main focuses of attention.


The Fontana del Pantheon can be found in Piazza della Rotonda, in front of the Pantheon. This is another beautiful fountain, from the last quartile of the 16th century, surmounted by an obelisk, which refreshes and fills with its crystalline sound this busy square.

The Piazza della Rotonda is one of Rome's busiest places, either during the day or at night, when its restaurants and terraces fill with visitors. The fountain is a central motive of attraction, only losing prominence for the imposing Pantheon that, after having been built by Agrippa, was, after its destruction, ordered to be rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian, in order to erect a temple to all the gods, both from Rome and from the conquered territories.


The Fontana della Barcaccia is a singular fountain situated at Piazza di Spagna close to the Spanish Steps. The fountain was built with the shape of a half-sunken ship with water overflowing its sides into a small basin. Its unusual shape is probably due to an old legend that may have inspired Bernini to whom the design of the fountain was commissioned. According to the legend, when the Tiber River flooded, the water carried a small boat into the Piazza di Spagna that stayed in the center of the square after the water receded.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Wine Chronicles | Wine Sunset Party and a Cruise on Sado River

Sunset parties became a hit these last few years. Add to that some great wine and food, music, good company while cruising along the beautiful shores of Arrábida, in Portugal, and you will have some very well spend hours.

Last Saturday, I was invited by Sado Arrábida for one of its wine cruises, departing from Setúbal. The 2 and a half hours cruise starts late in the afternoon and its a real sunset party with DJ on board, a nice sun deck to relax (or dance), great regional food and a wine tasting from some of the best regional wine producer.

The city of Setúbal is less than an hour away from Lisbon, going South, and visiting it and the Arrábida region can be a great day trip from the Portuguese capital. This Wine Sunset Party can be a perfect way to end up your day before returning to Lisbon. The ship crosses de river Sado to Tróia peninsula and then sales close to Arrábida coast before returning to Setúbal.

During the party, food and drinks are served and we had the opportunity to taste some delicious regional cheese, charcuteries, and bread, seasonal fruits like grapes and cherries were also available. The wine tasting, held by the winery Venâncio Costa Lima presented 4 wines: a refreshing white -Vale Pereiro (Fernão Pires, Setúbal Muscat), an innovative red - 4ª Geração (Castelão, Syrah), a sweet Moscatel de Setúbal - Moscatel de Setúbal 2013 (Setúbal's Muscat), and my favorite - Moscatel Roxo 2013 (check all the information below). Not long since this tasting, Moscatel Roxo 2013 as winning the award for the Best Muscat Wine in the World. Congrats Venâncio Costa Lima Winery!

Cruising along the Arrábida coast we can see small white sand beaches and coves and several historical buildings.  Some of the more striking views are from the Fort of Santiago and Palácio da Comenda. The Fort of Santiago can have its origins in a Roman temple dedicated to Neptune that stayed in the same place. The first historical reference, however, dates to 1390 and can be found in an order of King D. João I to build an inshore watchtower. Over the centuries, it was expanded and remodeled and in the 20th century, after being jail and vacation home of the royal family, the fort was given to Queen D. Amelia for installing there a sanatorium.

Closer to Setúbal the graceful Palácio da Comenda catches our eyes. The volumetric of the building, the pale yellow walls, the contrast of the bougainvillea flowers on the porch, all combines with the woods surrounding the building. The stories around the palace, built in the beginning of the 20th century and currently abandoned, are immense and some famous visitors to the house are usually named. It's the case of Jacqueline Kennedy that is supposed to have been a guest to Palácio da Comenda, in 1963 after the assassination of President Kennedy and of Truman Capote the famous American writer.

On our trip we also had the opportunity to take a good look at the Portuguese Navy's ship "Creoula", a four-masts lugger, built in 1937, to sail as a cod fishing ship in the icy seas of Newfoundland and Greenland. Currently is a training ship, with the purpose of fostering young people's attachment to the sea.

After two hours, the sun was setting behind the hills and we head back to Setúbal. After a few glasses of wine, the spirits were high and everyone was in a good mood. People dancing and laughing while sipping the last glass of wine were the picture of a well spent afternoon. Just one thing was missing to be perfect. 99% of the times, a group of dolphins follows the ship, jumping and playing in the water. This time, we were among the unhappy 1% that are not fortunate to enjoy their appearance. If I needed any excuse to come back to Sado river, this seems to be a very plausible one to me.

These Wine Sunset Parties are organized by Sado Arrábida and the Wine Route of Setúbal's Peninsula and take place every Saturday from June to September. Start at 18:30 and end at 21:00.

Wine Sunset Party 

Information and Reservations:
Cell Phone: (+351) 915 560 342

Adults: 30,00 € | Children (until 12 years old): 17,50 €.

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