Exploring the Emerald Isle

Ireland

For a geographically very small country, Ireland has certainly made its presence felt the world over. Indeed, many American families are part Irish owing to the widespread emigration of Irish ancestors to US states such as New York during the Great Famine between 1845 and 1852. Ireland is a country boasting verdant scenes of nature, rich culture, rustic and contemporary cuisine, as well as examples of indigenous architecture. Below are listed just a few of the Emerald Isle’s highlights:

The Burren

One of the largest karst landscapes in Europe, the Burren is located in the northwestern County Clare. Measuring approximately 250 square kilometers, this natural phenomenon is home to a wide assemblage of floral and fauna and makes for memorable bracing walks, with the breeze from the bordering Atlantic Ocean whistling through.

The Book of Kells

Housed at Trinity College Dublin, the Book of Kells is one of Ireland’s foremost relics. An illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, the book dates all the way back to ca. 800 AD and contains the four Gospels of the New Testament along with various prefatory texts and tables.

Guinness Storehouse

Located in one of Dublin city’s most charming districts, the Guinness Storehouse offers a fascinating history lesson as well as a unique experience to sample the king of stouts in its home environment.

Your next stop could be Italy. Italy is renowned for its cuisine and while you are there, you should definitely get your fill of traditional food. And odds are, it will be much different from what you usually eat here at an Italian restaurant. Here are some suggestions on what to eat while you are there:

Pizza

This is a no-brainer for anyone who is in love with pizza. But if you want to eat the best pizza in Italy, we recommend you head to the famous city of Naples. The birthplace of pizza, no other city in the world–with the possible exceptions of New York and Chicago–takes pizza as seriously as Naples does.

Prosciutto

Pork fans rejoice! This is dry-cured ham thinly sliced and it is quite delicious. While you can find prosciutto pretty much everywhere in the country, cities like Emilia, Parma, and Friuli are exceptionally famous for producing high-quality dry-cured ham.

Tortellini

This type of ring-shaped pasta is very popular amongst pasta eaters in the States, but is actually served differently in Emilia, its birthplace. In the city and its surrounding area, tortellini is actually served in a broth, called “tortellini in brodo.”  The broth is either made from beef or chicken.

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