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Celebrate Star Wars Day without leaving the Earth

May 4 is Star Wars Day, and we wanted to do something special to celebrate. We would like to invite you to discover the Star Wars filming locations. Feel like Luke Skywalker in that galaxy "far, far away", without leaving the Earth.

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The exotic sweets from Algiers

Algerian cuisine has being influenced by many cultures. For hundreds of years, Berbers, Arabs, Turks, Romans, French and Spanish have contributed to create an eclectic gastronomy by mixing flavours and scents.

Their exotic sweets surround you with a flavour that takes you to exotic places from One Thousand and One Nights, with a great variety beautifully presented. Vivid colours sweets with precisely detailed ornaments, often made of almonds, pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts, flavoured with orange blossom water and sweeten with honey or fruit pulp.

Among the most popular cakes, you should try makroud, samsa, hrisa, sfenj or halwa cookies, usually served with a cup of green tea and mint, one of the most consumed beverages in the country.

Algeria is, along with Tunisia, one of the largest producers of dates, specially deglet nour variety, soft, translucent light touch and smooth, like honey flavour that is grown mainly in the provinces of Algeria Biskra, at Tolga and M'Chouneche oasis, served to elaborate different sweets. Between both countries, they produce 90% exports of its kind. Algerians are also the largest consumers of honey in the world, which is not surprising, since almost all their sweets contain this liquid gold.

Qualb bel louz is a speciality from North Algeria and the name means “almond hearth”, highly consumed during Ramadan nights, along with mint tea or coffee. It’s made of semolina, almonds, orange fragrance and bathed in honey syrup.

Makroud is another typical dish from the Algerian gastronomy. This sweet is made also of a semolina base filled with date paste, cut on shaped diamonds or triangles to be fried and bathed in syrup. You'll find it in thousands different colours and varieties.

Among this delicious Eastern food, you should also try Samsa, an old and traditional Algerian sweet made of triangular layers of brick mass filled with almonds and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Or sweeten with ghribia, a round cake prepared with flour, sugar and cinnamon just flavouring or orange peel and lemon.

M'halbi is one of the most habitual desserts. It’s fresh and creamy, with a unique decoration of brown drawings made with cinnamon powder. El zlabia, which most popular version is Boufarik, was made after the carelessness of a bakery apprentice who couldn’t remember well the recipe.

Baklawa, originally from Turkey, is consumed in the Middle East. They are cupcakes made of nut paste and thin pastry, bathed in syrup or honey to finally incorporate any kind of nut. They can be a bit cloying, but certainly with an exotic and delicious flavour.

With all these recipes, we can assure you a sweet flavoured trip with you visit Algeria.

Picture ghribia by Waran18 | picture griouche by Arnaud25 | picture makrout by Latyyy

A place well worth discovering! Check out our flights here.

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On the trail of Corleone. Movie spots in Sicily

Movie tourism is a fun way to explore a city, discovering the places where some of our favorite scenes were filmed and where our favorite actors ever acted.
No one can deny the close relationship between Sicily and the cinema when 60 kilometers from Palermo, we come across a city like Corleone that makes the island a world tourist destination for curious and moviegoers.
Let us therefore take a tour around the locations of one of the most famous trilogies in movie history!

1.- Massimo Theatre

The Masimo Theatre in Palermo is located in Piazza Verdi and is the largest of the opera houses in Italy and the third largest in Europe, a neoclassical building dating from the nineteenth century.

On the front steps of this Opera House in Sicily, Coppola filmed the final scene of the film The Godfather III, one of the highlighted moments, in which Mary, Michael Corleone’s daughter, is killed by a gunman while the Intermezzo for Pietro Mascagni Cavaleria’s Opera Rusticana is played on the background .

2.- Villa Malfitano

This neo-Renaissance villa style is found in Via Dante Alighieri, 167 and is home to the Whitaker Foundation. The art collections compiled by the owner during his travels, like furniture, paintings, porcelain and Flemish tapestries from the sixteenth century garnish the rooms in the inside. Its beautiful garden is rated 5 hectares with curious plants from around the world, such as Tunisia, Sumatra, Australia, and some 150 different kinds of orchids. You can visit Villa Malfitano every morning from Monday to Saturday

Here took place the toast to Anthony‘s debut as opera singer. Anthony is the son of Michael Corleone.

3.- Castello degli Schiavi

Castello degli Schiavi, a Sicilian villa into decay already used in 1968 by Pier Paolo Pasolini to shoot some scenes for the movie The orgy is located  in Via Marina Fiumefreddo,  in the other end of the island. But surely, appearing in The Godfather I and II, has made the castle famous. Coppola used it for various scenes, especially is remembered for being Michael Corelone‘s death place.

4.- Corleone

Even if the name makes this famous family come to your mind, Corleone was not the real place for the film’s shooting. Want to know why? By the time of filming “The Godfather”,  a judge’s murderer was nearby so they had to find new location for filming scenes corresponding to Corleone. They finally took place in two small coastal towns: Savoca and Forza D’Agro.

Despite his fame, today Corleone is a key city in the fight against the Mafia. The proof of this is Laboratorio della Legalità, a museum center founded by organizations involved in fighting the mafia, and dedicated to Magistrate Paolo Borsellino, killed during the mafia’s massacres. At the time, this building provided shelter to Bernardo Provenzano, the head of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra until his arrest in 2006.

Do not leave Corleone without trying their famous cannoli, a Sicilian origin dessert prepared here as nowhere else! This is a tube-shaped pasta filled with sweet creamy made of ricotta . “Leave the gun, take the canoli” says Peter Clemenza in a movie scene.

5.- Other Sicilian movie sites

If you are interested in this type of film tourism, you can also get close to Chiusa Sclafani, the magical village that inspired Giuseppe Tornatore to create Giancaldo in Cinema Paradiso as well as Bagheria, Castelbuono, Cefalu, Palazzo Adriano  or Santa Flavia de Sicila.  Piazza Bellini in  Palermo was the scene of some sequences for Talented Mister Ripley.

Imagen de Michael Urso

A place well worth discovering! Check out our flights here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Destinations to get away from the cold

Do you hate the cold? Do you get depressed when you have to get your winter clothes out? Do you try and plan trips to the nearest beach during the winter? You can do something about it! You might have already been to these destinations to get away from the cold and this will bring back memories... or maybe it will inspire you to get away to a warm place in the next few months! Let's enjoy the good weather!

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