The Best Tapas In Barcelona

The word tapa harks back to the days when these small dishes meant for sharing had to be covered with a “tapa,” or lid, to protect them from the swarms of flies that inhabited the dive bars that served them. These days, Barcelona’s tapas scene has evolved into a sophisticated culinary movement, with many of the city’s top chefs applying their talents to these bite-size tidbits. We’ve selected Barcelona’s best tapas bars here—from the old-school neighborhood dives to the market food counters, and those run by big-name Michelin-star chefs.

 

Bar Cañete

Despite featuring in pretty much every foodie guide to Barcelona ever written, Bar Cañete has deservedly maintained its reputation as a local joint. If you come early, you may be surrounded by tourists, but at Spanish dinner time (10 p.m.), most of your fellow diners will be speaking Catalan. Tapas are the thing to order here, in as great a quantity as your stomach and wallet will allow (all washed down with a local bottle from the extensive wine list).

Jai-Ca

Jai-Ca is all about eating until you burst—and then eating some more. This is the place to go if you like the idea of gorging on giant plates of fried seafood tapas: three different kinds of fried squid (chocos, calamares, or chipirones), fried anchovies (boquerones), whitebait (pescaditos), steamed mussels and clams, and grilled razor clams. If you’re not into seafood, the spicy bomba (fried, meat-filled potato ball), is another best-seller.

Bar del Pla

Bar Del Pla | monstagigz

If you ask a group of Barcelonians to name their favorite tapas bars, one spot that will come up over and over again is Bar de Pla. And for good reason; it’s one of a few places that has managed to nail the mix of friendly service, high-quality, affordable food, good wine, and a laid-back atmosphere. The cooking is seasonal and fresh, so it’s worth checking out the daily specials in addition to bestsellers like the squid-ink croquettes, the mushroom carpaccio with wasabi vinaigrette, and the Iberian pork blade.

Cal Pep

You won’t be offered a menu at Cal Pep, a cramped and slightly dingy tapas bar, so you’ll need to give your server a fair bit of freedom with your order. Top dishes here include the Spanish omelet with chorizo sausage (arguably the best tortilla in the city), the tuna tartare, the grilled monkfish, the whole grilled squid, the baby squid and chickpea casserole, as well as any specials of the day.

Quimet y Quimet

Quimet y Quimet opened as a wine bar in 1914 and has gradually evolved into its immensely popular current form under the ownership of four devoted generations of Quimets. In addition to its wines, the bar is most famous for its fantastic array of conservas (preserves in tins or jars) and montaditos (small, open-faced, canapé-style sandwiches). Don’t miss the brie, red pepper, artichoke, and caviar montadito, or the razor clam conservas.

Lolita Taperia

Best Bars Barcelona ~ Quimet y Quimet | Cool bars

Lolita Tapería is owned by Joan Martínez, a former colleague of famous Barcelona chef Ferran Adrià. So while the menu features all the traditional tapas dishes (anchovies, fried eggplant with honey, spicy patatas bravas, and knockout ham croquettes), the quality is quite different than what you’d find in your average neighborhood tapas bar. In addition to the classics, don’t miss the incredible truffle “bikini” (or ham-and-cheese toastie) or mouthwatering mini-hamburger.

El Quim de la Boqueria

El Quim has the kind of privileged setting no amount of money in the world could ever buy. Situated in the middle of Barcelona’s emblematic La Boqueria, it doesn’t need to create its own ambience, surrounded as it is by the flavors, colors, and buzz of one of Europe’s most iconic food markets. All the produce is sourced from within La Boqueria itself, and if that isn’t a testament to its quality, what is? Kick things off with some fresh anchovies bathed in oil and vinegar, followed by the house special of fried eggs with baby squid.

Can Cisa

One of Barcelona’s best wine bars, Can Cisa specializes in natural wines. It’s got a comfortable, inviting vibe, with a long communal table and an entire wall of industrial-steel wine cages that house just a portion of the more than 700 selections on the encyclopedic menu. You’ll be able to sample fare from the attached Bar Brutal, which serves some of the most eclectic food in the city—so come hungry.

El Xampanyet

Restaurant El Xampanyet Barcelona

You’ll find El Xampanyet down one of the narrow, pedestrianized streets of Barcelona’s El Borne neighborhood, just around the corner from Picasso Museum. Despite its touristy location, it continues to uphold all the traditions of an old-school bar, with its blue-tiled walls and marble tables, and its no-reservations, no-website, no-nonsense approach to food and drink. The bar, which specializes in its namesake sparkling wine, is always crowded, and you’ll have to jostle to find standing room.

Bar Pinotxo

Bar Pinotxo, with its modest food counter and handful of stools, has been serving breakfast and lunch to hungry Catalans since it opened in 1940. It joins El Quim de la Boqueria as one of the must-visit stops for any food-lover in the iconic La Boqueria market. There’s really no better place to order a traditional Catalan meal than here, surrounded by all the sights and sounds that come with this legendary “gastronomic temple,” in the words of Ferran Adrià, Barcelona’s most famous Michelin-starred chef.

Tapas 24

Michelin-starred chef Carles Abellan’s Tapas 24 has been pulling in crowds ever since it first opened in 2007. His signature tapas include chicken croquettes, runny scrambled eggs (huevos estrellados), and the unbelievable truffle “bikini” (ham-and-cheese toastie). Don’t be surprised if you end up ordering a second round of everything. Although the joint is featured in all the Barcelona guidebooks—and is therefore full of visitors from every corner of the globe—you can time your visit so you won’t be jostling tourists for a seat.

Dos Pebrots

Dos Pebrots – Sanchez Guisado Arquitectos

Dos Pebrots is the second restaurant by Albert Raurich, former head chef at Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli; he earned a Michelin star for his Spanish-Japanese fusion food at Dos Palillos before turning his hand to Mediterranean fare here. Calling Dos Pebrots a tapas bar doesn’t really do it justice. Although the menu of roasted sweet peppers, grilled mussels, and Iberian hams may look standard at first glance, Raurich takes things to a whole new level. No wonder local restaurant obsessives can’t stop raving about this place.

Bar Ramón

Bar Ramón is one of only a handful of truly local Barcelona restaurants that have managed to stand the test of time. Ramón Estalella opened it in 1939 and these days his grandchildren, brother-sister pair Yolanda and David, are busy keeping his legacy alive. You’ll find classic tapas like patatas bravas (fried potatoes served with spicy tomato sauce) and croquettes, as well as house specials like steak with foie gras, char-grilled octopus, and rabbit ribs.

Pepa Pla

Don’t be tricked into thinking that Pepa Pla is a wine bar that also happens to serve snacks; the food here is seriously good. That will come as no surprise when you learn that it’s the new little sister of Bar del Pla—one of Barcelona’s best-loved tapas bars. Make sure you order the lemon-marinated duck magret, the mushrooms with strawberries and wasabi vinaigrette, and the octopus sandwich. There’s also a great list of natural wines.

La Cova Fumada

A Gastronomic Icon in Barcelona's Port District | Culinary Backstreets

La Cova Fumada has kept up all the time-honored traditions of tapas before they became trendy, with a menu scrawled on a discolored blackboard, an old-school counter displaying cold dishes, and a stream of still-steaming hot plates emerging from the kitchen. The bar is most famous for its “bomba” (deep-fried ball of potato and spicy meat), so don’t even think about leaving without trying one. Most of the other classics are seafood dishes: mussels, octopus, squid, salted cod, and grilled sardines.

Cigarette Smoking May Damage Mental Health Too

Cigarette smoking may not only be harmful to the lungs but also lead to poor mental health, according to a study.

The researchers from Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel surveyed more than 2,000 students enrolled at Serbian universities with differing socio-political and economic environments.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that students who smoked had rates of clinical depression that were twice to three times higher than did their non-smoking peers.

At the University of Pristina, 14 per cent of smokers suffered from depression as opposed to four per cent of their non-smoking peers, the researchers said.

At Belgrade University the numbers were 19 per cent to 11 per cent, respectively, they said.

Students who smoked also had higher rates of depressive symptoms, and lower mental health scores such as vitality and social functioning than did non-smoking students, according to the researchers.

“Our study adds to the growing body of evidence that smoking and depression are closely linked,” said Professor Hagai Levine from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“While it may be too early to say that smoking causes depression, tobacco does appear to have an adverse effect on our mental health,” Levine said in a statement.

Women Take More Sugar Than Men: Report

The average intake of added sugar is more among women than in men said a survey report on Monday.

A survey was undertaken by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)- National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad and sponsored by the International Life Sciences Institute -India (ILSI-India).

According to the survey, women take around 20.2 grams of added sugar in a day while men’s intake of added sugar is 18.7 grams per day. The other significant finding of the study was that the mean intake of added sugar among metro cities of India, measured in grams per day, was highest in Mumbai and least in Hyderabad.

Prof. P K Seth, Chairman, ILSA-India said, “the survey shows population of Mumbai and Ahmedabad with their average intake level of added sugar at 26.3 grams and 25.9 grams per day has a much higher intake than their counterparts in Delhi (23.2 grams/ day), Bengaluru (19.3 grams day), Kolkata (17.1 grams per day) and Chennai (16.1 grams per day).”

The joint initiative of ICMR-INN and ILSI India is the first of its kind that provides information on added sugar consumption of the city dwellers in seven major metro cities of India. At a time, the country is facing malnutrition on account of over and under nutrition along with micro nutrient malnutrition, the study is of considerable importance to India to help prevent non communicable diseases (NCDs), which are engaging considerable attention of the government. National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) has collated the dietary data from 16 major states during 2015-16 and are-coded recipe-wise and metro city -wise to arrive at the conclusion.

The findings also revealed that the average daily intake of added sugar in all metro cities was 19.5 grams per day, lower than the ICMR recommended level of 30 grams per day. The average energy intake through added sugar by all the states was 5.1%, said the report.In Mumbai, the energy through added sugar was found at the highest level (6.6%) followed by Delhi (6.1%), Ahmedabad (5.9%), Hyderabad (5.4%) Bengaluru (4.1%), Chennai (3.9%) and Kolkata (3.5%).

The survey also measured the intake of added sugar by age groups. In general, adults and elderly people were consuming slightly higher sugar than the younger ones. The highest intake of sugar was observed among older adults, 36-59 years age group was 20.5 grams per day, followed by elderly (greater than 60 years) 20.3 grams per day.

The adolescents consumed 19.9 grams per day) and younger adults ( in the age group of A18-35 years) were consuming 19.4 grams per day, almost the same as that of adolescents. The school children and pre-school children were consuming 17.6 grams per day and 15.6 grams per day added sugar respectively.

The study also measured sugar consumption by community, level of literacy, occupation, activity status and by the diet intake.

Vaani Kapoor Destroys Troll Who Called Her ‘Malnourished’

Actress Vaani Kapoor gave a befitting reply to a troll who asked her if she was “suffering from malnutrition”.

Vaani on Monday morning treated her fans to a new photograph of herself on Instagram. In the image, the “War” actress is seen wearing gym wear and flaunting her svelte figure.

She captioned the image: “Back to the grind”.

Soon after the actress posted the picture, a user commented: “Suffering from malnutrition are ya?”

To which, Vaani replied: “Why don’t you find something productive to do in life? Please stop being harsh on yourself life is so much better… Stop reflecting hate.”

Another user questioned her why she did not get the iPhone 11.

Vaani said: “Cuz I’m happy with what I have… Didn’t feel the need to impress you.”

The 31-year-old’s latest photograph currently has over 1,71,799 likes.

Kids’ Diet Improves After Watching Cooking Show on Healthy Food

While exposure to television advertisements about fast foods is often linked to unhealthy eating habits among children, a new research has revealed that TV programme featuring healthy foods can influence children to make healthier food choices now and in adulthood.

Kids who watched a child-oriented cooking show featuring healthy food were 2.7 times more likely to make a healthy food choice than those who watched a different episode of the same show featuring unhealthy food, said the study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour.

“The findings from this study indicate cooking programmes can be a promising tool for promoting positive changes in children’s food-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviours,” said lead author Frans Folkvord of Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

For the study, the researchers asked 125 children between 10 to 12 years of age at five schools in the Netherlands to watch 10 minutes of a Dutch public television cooking programme designed for children, and then offered them a snack as a reward for participating.

Children who watched the healthy programme were far more likely to choose one of the healthy snack options — an apple or a few pieces of cucumber — than one of the unhealthy options — a handful of chips or a handful of salted mini-pretzels.

This study was conducted at the children’s schools, which could represent a promising alternative for children learning healthy eating behaviours.

Prior research has found youth are more likely to eat nutrient-rich foods including fruits and vegetables if they were involved in preparing the dish, but modern reliance on ready-prepared foods and a lack of modelling by parents in preparing fresh foods have led to a drop in cooking skills among kids.

“Providing nutritional education in school environments instead may have an important positive influence on the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviours of children,” Folkvord said.

This study suggests the visual prominence of healthier options in both food choice and portion size on TV cooking programmes leads young viewers to crave those healthier choices then act on those cravings.

But the effect that exposure to healthier options has on children is strongly influenced by personality traits.

For example, children who don’t like new foods are less likely to show a stronger desire for healthier choices after watching a TV programme featuring healthier foods than a child who does enjoy trying new foods.

As they grow older, though, they start to feel more responsible for their eating habits and can fall back on information they learned as children.

Researchers believe this may indicate watching programmes with healthier options can still have a positive impact on children’s behaviour, even if it is delayed by age.

Lyme Disease: Know Everything About the Illness Affecting Justin Bieber

On Wednesday, popular American singer Justin Bieber reveal that he is suffering from Lyme Disease. Taking to the social media platform, Bieber wrote, “While a lot of people kept saying Justin Bieber looks like shit, on meth etc. they failed to realize I’ve been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that but had a serious case of chronic mono which affected my, skin, brain function, energy, and overall health.”

A lot of people belittled the disease, while a lot others shown their concern to the singer. Therefore, it is important to know what Lyme disease is and what are the symptoms, causes and treatment.

Symptoms

Lyme Disease is a tick-borne illness, caused by ticks in the United States. Some of the common symptoms of the disease are fever, chills, body aches, headache and fatigue. One can also suffer from swollen lymph nodes, neck stiffness, shortness of breath, and rashes on body.

It typically starts with a small red bump. However, it may expand within three to 30 days, making the rash area look like a bull’s-eye. While these rashes are not itchy or painful, the area might feel a little warm. The infection can also spread to the joints, heart and nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Causes

Lyme disease is usually caused by four main species of bacteria. In the US, the main causes are Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii. An infected tick bites a person and transfers the bacteria into the human body.

The most common period to get Lyme disease is the spring and summer months, as nymphs most actively feed during these times.

First-Aid

If you get bitten by a tick, get it removed within 24 hours to cut your risk of developing Lyme disease. Use tweezers to pull the tick off, grasping near its mouth or neck. Disinfect the affected area by putting antiseptic.

If the tick has been attached to your body for more than 24 hours, call the doctor immediately.

Treatment

In early stages, oral antibiotics are suggested to cure Lyme disease. If the bacteria have spread to other body parts, like central nervous system, the patient is treated with intravenous antibiotics.

Prevention

Alike other parasite-borne disease, Lyme Disease can be prevented by applying insect repellent with at least a 20% DEET concentration. Avoid wooded areas with high grass, where ticks are most often found.

Additionally, check for ticks daily if you tend to spend a lot of time outdoors. Take frequent showers and wash clothes regularly.

If you have pets, make sure that they stay away from ticks.

Vaping May Lead to Asthma, Chronic Lung Disease, Says Study

Inhaling heated tobacco vapor through e-cigarettes may lead to increased chances of asthma and chronic lung disease, according to a study which cautioned that vaping may lead to a rise in nicotine addiction among the youth if public health education on its harmfulness is not intensified.

The researchers, including those from Johns Hopkins University in the US, said the odds of developing the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were six times greater among people who reported they both vaped and smoked tobacco regularly, compared with those who said they didn’t use either. While e-cigarettes may be safer than combustible cigarettes, the study, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, adds to growing evidence that vaping also carries health risks. As part of the study, the scientists used the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national survey data gathered by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2016 and 2017.

It consisted of telephone interviews of more than 4,00,000 adult participants and provides data on health-related risk behaviors, and chronic medical conditions. The researchers analyzed data from those who said they had smoked less than 100 combustible cigarettes in their lifetimes. Of these, about 3,100 reported using e-cigarettes, and separately 34,074 people reported having asthma.

According to the researchers, the average age of e-cigarette users was 18-24, and about two-thirds of all the e-cigarette users were men. Approximately 57 percent of the users reported they were white, and about a fifth were Hispanic, and 12 percent were black. Almost 11 percent of the e-cigarette users reported having asthma, compared with 8 percent of those who had never used e-cigarettes. Those who said they were currently using e-cigarettes were nearly 40 percent more likely to report having asthma compared to those who said they’d never used vapes.

Participants who self-reported using e-cigarettes occasionally were 31 percent more likely, and daily users were nearly 73 percent more likely to report asthma, compared with non-e-cigarette users.

“As a physician, I am most worried about those who use both e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes because they may end up taking in the most nicotine, which may do the most damage,” said Albert Osei study co-author from Johns Hopkins University. “Through public health campaigns, we finally had smoking levels down in some populations, but now with the current vaping epidemic, I foresee a whole new previously tobacco-naive, young generation becoming dependent on nicotine if we do not intensify public health education efforts,” Osei added.

Research Says Painkillers Block Ability to Feel Empathy

A new study now warns people from taking paracetamol before having an emotional conversation, stating that it blocks a person’s ability to empathise.

According to a report published in Daily Mail, the popular painkiller blunts physical pain by reducing the flow of chemicals that is responsible for making nerve endings sensitive. However, the new study finds that the chemicals keep on circulating in regions of the brain that control empathy and compassion.

The report cited an interview, Dominik Mischkowski, a psychologist at Ohio University gave to BBC, where he said that just like one should be aware that they do not drive if they are under the influence of alcohol, they should not take paracetamol before embarking on an emotionally responsive conversation. According to Mischkowski, paracetamol, or acetaminophen, warp people’s personalities by dulling their emotions, the report revealed.

In his BBC interview, Mischkowski further added that the effects of these medications in the broader context in not known, adding that “when it comes to the effects of medication on personality and behaviour… We don’t understand how they influence human behaviour.”

The study author investigated the effect of paracetamol in a study on 114 studies from Ohio University, the report revealed, adding that the volunteers were split into two groups with one half receiving 1,000mg dose of paracetamol – two large tablets – while the other was given a placebo.

The researchers found that people who took the drug felt significantly less positive empathy.

5 Things You Need To Know Before Going to Italy

Here are 5 things to know, courtesy of Jessica Spiegel, a Portland-based travel writer for BootsnAll Travel, and author of Italyexplained.com.

 

1. There’s No Such Thing As “Italian Food”

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor italian food pizza

We all know what to expect when we go to an Italian restaurant back home – the usual array of pasta dishes, maybe a couple pizzas, and of course a tiramisu on the dessert menu. Would it surprise you, then, to learn that in some parts of Italy you’ll be hard-pressed to find tomatoes in the local dishes at all?

Italy is a young country, formerly made up of independent city states – now called regions – with which most residents of those regions still primarily identify. Each region has its own personality, its own dialect (sometimes its own language), and its own cuisine. Moving from region to region – and sometimes from town to town – introduces travelers to new local specialties, and it’s a shock to those of us who think we already know what Italian food is.

Get to know what’s produced locally and what’s in season, and you’ll be eating the freshest and best of what that area has to offer. Steer clear of so-called “Italian food” that’s not typical of the region you’re in and you stand a much better chance of avoiding touristy (and overpriced) restaurants.

 

2. In Italy, Cash is King

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Most Italians pay for things on a day to day basis with cash – from their morning coffee to dinner that evening and everything in between. For those of us who have grown accustomed to paying for milk and bread at the grocery store with a debit card, it can be a little jarring when the waiter at a decent-sized restaurant balks when you hand him a Visa.

Most of us know that businesses pay a fee each time we pay for something with plastic, but in many countries businesses are willing to pay that fee because the culture leans toward the “customer is always right” end of the scale. Italy, for all its perks, is not the land of customer service. If something is an inconvenience for a shopkeeper – such as paying the Visa fee – he’d just as soon not have the machine at all. This works in Italy, because it’s already so cash-centric – it’s the visitors who sometimes get caught out.

Oh, and don’t worry – almost every hotel in the country (and certainly all the big ones) take plastic, as do train stations.

 

3. Mussolini Didn’t Make the Trains Run on Time

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There’s that great line about how “at least Mussolini made the trains run on time” – we’ve all heard it, and it’s funny, but it’s not true. It’s an urban legend (one that some older Italians still repeat – don’t try to argue with them).

Today, the trains in Italy are notorious for being a bit late, or for occasionally not running at all due to periodic labor strikes – and yet they remain, in my mind, the best way to get around most of the country. There are certainly places where you’ll want to have a car, or where a bus might serve your needs better, but in most cases I still recommend trains as transportation – especially if you’re sticking to bigger cities and towns.

I should note that while people will complain that trains are always late in Italy, that’s not licenseto show up late for your train and then be annoyed when it’s already left the station. In my experience, trains in Italy are more often on time than they are weirdly delayed.

 

4. The Waiter Isn’t Being Rude When He Leaves You Alone to Eat

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor italy restaurant

This phenomenon isn’t unique to Italy, but it bears mentioning because it catches so many off guard.

Where I live, waiters come check on you 90 seconds after depositing a plate in front of you, wondering if “everything is okay” before you’ve had a chance to even take a bite. They’ll check on you a few times during the meal, and then when it looks like you’re close to being done they’ll leave your bill on the table for you to take care of at your convenience.

In Italy, after your meal is delivered, you may not see the waiter at your table again until it’s time to clear your plates. And when you’re done with your meal, after coffee or dessert or whatever your final course was, no one’s going to come by with a bill without you specifically asking for it.

This is not the waiter being rude. This is the waiter letting you enjoy your meal and your dinner conversation for as long as you want. Restaurants in Italy are not looking to “turn over” tables every 1.5 hours – once you sit down, that’s it, that’s your table. It’s yours as long as you’re there. So when you’re ready to leave, you just flag down your waiter the next time he passes by and say, “Il conto, per favore.” You’ll get your check, and you’re not being rude for asking for it. Oh, and don’t forget to bring cash. (See point 2)

 

5. An Empty Restaurant Doesn’t Mean the Place is Bad

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor italy restaurant

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into restaurants in Italy, at what I thought was dinner time, only to find the place nearly empty. This is usually a good reason to leave a restaurant, because if the locals won’t eat there, why should you? In Italy, however, you need to check the time before you make that judgement call.

Italians eat late – not as late as the Spanish, in most cases, but the dinner hour in many cities doesn’t start until at least 8pm if not later (in Milan, restaurants don’t get busy until 9pm, even on weeknights). Many restaurants in bigger cities and towns (especially if they’re even relatively popular with tourists) will be open earlier than that, but the earlier opening time isn’t for the locals. It’s for visitors.

If you can’t adjust your dinner hour to match that of the locals, that’s fine – just remember that if a restaurant is dead quiet at 6:30 or 7 in the evening that may have nothing to do with the quality of the establishment and everything to do with the time.

 

Bonus 6th Thing: Relax

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You’ll note in a few of the things listed above that the concept of time may seem a bit fungible in Italy – and it is, in a way.

Breakfast may be a tiny shot of coffee and a pastry inhaled while standing at the bar, and Italian drivers may seem like they all think they’re in a Formula 1 race, but generally speaking Italians aren’t wedded to the clock.

You’d do well to try to adopt this mentality while in Italy (when in Rome, etc.), as it will help you avoid frustration with things like train delays and waiting to get the bill in a restaurant. Relax. You’re on vacation, after all.

Want to know more about Italy? Listen to the World Nomads podcast. A couple of places in Italy you won’t find in a guidebook – food that reduces you to tears – and what does it take to get your travel photos on the World Nomads Instagram page.