April 2023, we visit Cetraro and make dishes from UK and Italy as the weather starts to warm

Weather is improving, but it was a mixed bag in April

It was definitely warmer but we have had rain, hail along with the lovely warming sunshine. Typical spring weather. So summer has not arrived completely in Scalea yet. But on some days, it has been warm enough to use the outside kitchen and put the cushions on the outside furniture.




On one sunny day, we felt the need to visit somewhere, but did not want it to be too far away. We decided to return to Cetraro. The last time we went was to the hospital for John’s cataract operation. It has been around three years, so we thought we would take another trip. We automatically were drawn to the marina which we visited before and wandered around there to look at all the boats, yachts and catamarans. It is a tranquil place, a relaxing place to be.


After that lovely stroll, we thought we would walk around the town itself. So we drove from the marina to the town which is around a 5-minute drive. We stayed close to the coastline as John didn’t fancy going up to the hill town which means we have a reason to go back. We had a wander around until we were peckish for lunch. We bought some bread, mortadella, cooked aubergine slices, some water from a small salumeria and grocery store and made panini sat on a bench overlooking the sea. They were very tasty.


Concert at La Rondinella Agriturismo, Scalea

Our friend Moira saw an advert for a free event at La Rondinella Agriturismo called Progetto Tarantella and asked if we would like to go as she has always wanted to see a tarantella dance and so did I. The Tarantella is a fast southern Italian music and dance that originated in Puglia but is also popular in Calabria, Campania and Sicily. Apparently, it started as a way to cure people of a condition called tarantism which was a form of hysteria believed at the time to be caused by a bite of a tarantula. This one was the Tarantella Riggitana which is the Calabrese version from Reggio Calabria.

The three of us went along with Rachel and Helen. The advert stated it starts at 9pm. When we arrived at around 8.45pm the act had just arrived on stage and started doing sound checks. The music they were playing sounded quite fun. We bought ourselves panini and beer (more about that beer later) and settled on a bench. Luckily there was no rain forecast so all was good and we were anticipating a great night.

The sound check went on for around an hour and a half. So the show did not really start until a little after 10.30pm. Some people left, obviously not expecting that much of a late night. The music was good, fast and we had a little dance. It was a great a workout ha-ha. It was good to hear the local tarantella. Unfortunately it was only the music without demonstrating the dance. Hopefully we will see a show containing the Tarantella dance in the future.

The beer that was sold at the concert was called Birra Cala and it is brewed right here in Scalea. They do various types: lager, IPA, gluten free and others. John and I had seen the name on local social media but the only wany to buy from them is to purchase a large box. We did not want to spend nearly 50 euros for something we may not like. Also we do not know which bars in Scalea sell them. So we were looking forward to trying. We tried the IPA and the lager. I liked them, John wasn’t so sure, but he is not a lager or IPA fan. Maybe he would like one of the others, so perhaps he will try the others at the next opportunity.



Meal at Vularie Siciliane for a birthday

John’s birthday is in April. He says he doesn’t like to celebrate but our friends Justin and Michael were not going to let it pass. So they arranged a meal at Vularie Siciliane. Unfortunately, everyone became ill with various things around that day so it was cancelled. When all were better, Justin and Michael still wanted to have that meal. John hoped everyone would forget ha-ha! So two weeks later, Justin, Michael, Corina, Moira, John and I went to Vularie Siciliane for a meal. It was a lovely meal, so lovely in fact that I forgot to take photos. But it will be on Prego Italia You Tube channel at some point. Thanks Justin and Michael for forcing him to have a celebratory meal.

Making Panelle

Later in the month we decided to try to make Panelle which are fried street food fritters made from chickpeas served in bread roll from Palermo, Sicily. We had tasted them when we visited the city over the new year in 2017-18 and loved them. They are made from chickpea flour, water, parsley and salt. So, very few ingredients. We looked it up on You tube to find a method to make them. There are many on there so we watched a few to get an idea of how we would make them. The traditional way is to spread the paste after cooking and stirring until the paste is thick on a marble top or small wooden moulds which we didn’t have. So we opted use a method to place the cooked paste in a bread tin and when set and cold, cut into relatively thin slices then deep fry.

It was quite a success but not as good as we had before. John was chatting to Ilenia from Vularie Siciliane and she said you must make sure the paste is cooked in the pan which takes a lot longer than you think. Thinking back we did not cook for the required 30 minutes as we thought the paste was getting really stiff. So next time it will be cooked for longer.


Fish and Chips

I can’t remember how it happened but somehow, we agreed to make British homemade fish and chips for Justin and Michael. We had not had them since we moved here. So we bought some frozen cod as it is a long way from the North Sea or north Atlantic. We did not make the traditional mushy peas as we do not have marrowfat peas here, nevertheless we decided to use normal peas and crush them with a little mint and butter. We made a beer batter and home cut and cooked chips and a tartare sauce. I suppose we could have made a curry sauce but I don’t think they like curry.

I would have like the batter a bit thicker so it would coat the fish more but I was pretty much happy with it all.  The main thing was that Justin and Michael said they loved it. Thank goodness for that.

Fish, Chips and peas with batter bits
Fish, Chips and peas with batter bits


I thought I would leave you with photos and video of a walk around San Nicola. We came across these lovely sculptures near the club called Il Clubbino del Cancarieddru.

To watch the video check it out my You Tube Channel

If you are new to this site, check out the archive to learn more about what we have done in previous months since May 2018.

Until next time. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great month of May.



9 thoughts on “April 2023, we visit Cetraro and make dishes from UK and Italy as the weather starts to warm

  1. Hi Michelle, great read, that’s what we love about Scalea and Calabria.
    Kev & Santina

  2. Not a great fan of seafood, but love a good fish & chips, problem with Australia is the fish used, Mum & Dad always talk about the Cod & Haddock with mushy peas, probably the best we have tasted was a visit to Whitby more than 25 years ago, agree that it all is about the batter.
    Kev & Santina

  3. Fish and chips washed down with a pint of ipa, my dream meal.
    Never seen ipa after having a place in Scalea for 20 years, is it available to buy from the supermarkets?
    Thanks for the read, very enjoyable

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