While waiting to ship out on Holland American's Maasdam headed to Canada we spent a day seeing as much of Boston as possible. What we wanted most was to seek out sites and places that had played a major role in the events that led to the Revolutionary War and the break with England.
We found a small part of this history on a walking tour entitled "Grand Freedom Tour". Now in the center of the bustling city filled with tall buildings we stopped at places that in the past had played their part in history. There was the famous Boston Tea Part and then the citizen gathering that ended as the Boston Massacre. We learned much about this while in Boston's original cemetery now nestled in the heart of the business district. The markers on the graves showed the wear of five centuries since the few that are still readable have dates like 1680 or 1690.
Our guide was a fictional character named 'James Field' dressed in the clothes of a 1770's Bostonian and Irish immigrant. We covered a good part of downtown Boston with this 'James Field'. It was over sixty years ago that Boston decided to preserve some of the downtown buildings and locations that had been a part of the American Revolutionary story.
Our visit to the Granary Burying Grounds was a memorable experience for us. Paul Revere is buried here as is Samuel Adams and the parents of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin has become so identified with Phiiladelphia I had no idea that he was originally from Boston. We only had time to follow a portion of the Freedom Tour but what we saw was a great learning experience.
That day we also toured an area of Boston called Little Italy located on the North End As an older district in the city it became a haven for immigrants early on and gradually became almost exclusively Italian early in the 20th century.
Our tour took us to some businesses with a long history, a deli had been there forty years, a bakery thirty three years under the same owner and a liquor and wine shop we visited had been owned and operated by the same family for a full century.
We were fortunate to have Michele Topor and her Boston Food tours as our hostess and guide. The North End tour she calls the "Mangia Mangia" What with our Sicilian heritage and life long exposure to Italian foods Bricco Salumeria and Pasta shop at 11 Broad Alley was a culinary dream come true. Here owner Frank De Pasquale has assembled a deli that includes just about every possible Italian sausage, luncheon meat, imported pasta and olive oil along with fresh home made mozzarella. The list seems endless.
This tour weaved us through hidden alleys, down stairs to basements and places like Bricco Panetteria. Here were the fresh baked breads for a perfect match with the above deli items. Next our attention turned to pastries and at 456 Cross Street was Maria's Pastry Shop making pastries like cannoli and tiramisu and cakes for very occasion. Maria's has been doing all of this for 32 years.
V, Curare & Son has received national recognition for its extensive inventory of Italian wines and liquors as well as vintages from around the world. It is 100 years old and now operated by the third generation of the same family. It has been rated as one of the ten best liquor retailers in the U. S.
We concluded this most active day with, well you guessed it, dinner at an Italian restaurant near our hotel called Lucca. When we entered we passed the host our card as a member of the Southern California Restaurant Writers and a short time later Executive Chef Andres Cruz came to our table to meet us. Our lobster stuffed pasta and other goodies were a fitting conclusion to this most successful adventure.
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