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Explore a few of Italy's many islands

Join Jon Sebastiani as he travels to a few of the many islands of Italy and explore Taormina, Sardinia, Sorrento, Ischia, and Capri.

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VOLUME ONE: TAORMINA

First stop, Sicily! On the western coast of Italy’s largest island you will find Taormina. Sitting here, sipping rosé, the tip of mainland Italy is located directly into the sunset. On a clear day, you can actually see the land in the distance, it’s that close!

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Sicily, like many of Italy’s islands, is know for it’s incredible seafood availability and selection. On this trip, Jon visited Tischi Toschi — a trattoria known for it’s fresh, local seafood selection, yes, but also known for paying the same respect and attention to all the menu offerings. Fresh ingredients are sourced from all over Sicily as Chef Luca Casablanca and his team search for the absolute best raw materials to craft their dishes.

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Much of the local seafood selection is sourced from fishing boats that look very similar to this, caught and delivered fresh daily.

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Like this insalata di mare (or Italian seafood salad) consisting of mussels, clams, shrimp, and squid — all tossed with herbs, spices, and olive oil of course!

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Holy cannoli! Would you have known this is part of the beginning stages of a delicious batch of fresh cannoli? Cannoli are a Sicilian specialty consisting of a crispy, fried tube-shaped shell filled with rich, sweet ricotta cream, dipped in praline almonds, and dusted with powered sugar. At Laboratorio Pasticceria Roberto in Taormina, Roberto Chemi has been crafting these perfect pastries (among other sweets) since opening his shop with his father in 1989.

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The perfect final result — a famous Sicilian cannolo. Buon appetito!

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Speaking of famous Sicilian dishes, this traditional Sicilian salad consists of olives, oranges, leeks, capers, and anchovies. It’s simple, but has the perfect mix of sweet juiciness and a savory crunch.  As you could probably guess, olives are one of the most popular agricultural items in Italy — second only to grapes.

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Another famous Sicilian dish — caponata! It many not look like much, but it’s an incredibly flavorful mix of chopped vegetables including celery, onions, capers, olives, and the star of the dish, eggplant. Because eggplant absorbs flavors so well, it’s particularly good in a dish like this, bursting with the goodness of both fresh and brined vegetables.

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In addition to delicious, fresh food and stunning coastlines, Taormina is full of beautiful, historic architecture and scenic views. The Church of San Giuseppe is located in Piazza IX Aprile along Corso Umberto, the vibrant main street of Taormina, with breathtaking views of the Ionia Sea and Mount Etna — one of the world’s most active volcanos.