Fire Island is the largest and central of the outer barrier islands parallel to the south shore of Long Island in upstate New York.


New York State
The ancient New Amsterdam 


*This story appears on May-June 2021 Terre & Culture magazine issue, in the section Ameritalia.



History & Territory The New York State is a federated state of the United States of America, the capital is Albany but the best known and most populous city is the homonymous New York City. The State of New York is located in the northeastern United States and borders Canada to the north, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut to the east, and New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south.

 The Dutch were the first European settlers to settle in the area, founding the cities of Fort Nassau, Fort Orange and New Amsterdam. In 1660 the territory passed to England which renamed New Amsterdam with New York in honor of the Duke of York, who would later become King James II. The territory was organized with a method that is still followed today, dividing the state into 12 counties, each of which divided into cities. New York was one of thirteen colonies that rebelled against England during the American Revolution and, after the Revolution, to boost the economy and overcome the natural barrier of the Appalachian Mountains, a canal was designed that could connect the Hudson River to the lake. Erie, which was completed in 1825. The Erie Canal promoted the colonization of the then depopulated central and western parts of the state, and allowed industries and farms to transport their products to the growing New York City market.

Also located in New York State is the city of New York, the only extraterritorial enclave in the United States. The New York State has been a very important territory in American history since the early days of settlement, and is home to some of the most beautiful natural areas of the East Cast. There are many important cities and capitals of the various counties, including New York. , which is divided into 6 suburbs called "Boroughs of NY": Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, State Island and Long Island.

Manhattan, also called New York City, is the most populated suburb and the economic center of the largest stock exchange in the world, the New York Stock Exchange, located in the Financial District on Wall Street, one of the oldest areas of Manhattan (the term Wall refers to the wall that was built on March 8, 1817 in the extreme tip of the island of Manhattan). The city of New York, also nicknamed "The Big Apple", has a versatile architectural complex, made up of skyscrapers, modern buildings, old stone or red brick houses, called "Brownstone House", mostly built in the late 1800s. and early 1900s by Italian immigrants, large squares, majestic bridges that connect the five suburbs, with numerous and vast parks.

You will be able to read many particular and useful information details in the next Ameritalia article, which will introduce you to this incredible, enterprising and lively city where I have lived for many years. In the meantime, however, I would like to give you some information on the other 5 suburbs that are part of the city of NY.

Brooklyn is located in the southern part of Long Island. Its famous bridge, under which you can visit the exclusive DUMBO area which offers many attractions, excellent ethnic restaurants, artistic boutiques, international crafts, wine bars and small quaint cafes, was built in 1883 and connects it directly to Manhattan. The Williamsburg neighborhood is a focal point for indie music, with an intense nightlife, and pleasant places to enjoy ethnic dishes. The Coney Island area, on the other hand, considered the beach of New Yorkers, offers a large amusement park with continuous innovations, as well as a wide range of "street food carts", where the gigantic and famous New York Hotdogs are sold !!!

There are many neighborhoods surrounded by greenery, some of which are populated by certain ethnic groups, others more mixed, such as Brooklyn Heights and Park Slopes, where characteristic houses were built in the 40s and 60s, now inhabited mostly by wealthy families. of Manhattan who have chosen to live there for the quiet, the parks and a better standard of living.

The Bronx, despite its old reputation as an extremely dangerous and infamous neighborhood, now cleaned up and improved, boasts several attractions and places of interest: it has, in addition to numerous parks, also the most complete and vast Zoo in the United States and the stupendous Garden Botanical, which extends over 100 hectares, with more than 200 varieties of roses and 15 hectares of forest. In this neighborhood you can visit a 19th century villa, where Arturo Toscanini, Theodore Roosevelt and Mark Twain lived, and the famous Yankees Stadium, dedicated to the national sport of Baseball.

 State Island, connected to Manhattan Island by fast ferries that cross the bay that divides the state of NY from that of New Jersey, sailing near the Statue of Liberty, can also be reached from Brooklyn by crossing the Verazzano Bridge, dedicated to the navigator and Italian explorer of the fifteenth century. It was started in 1959 and finished in 1964, to date the longest suspension bridge in the world.

The inhabitants of Staten Island are about 500,000, of which 44% are of Italian origin. From an administrative point of view, the island's territory coincides with Richmond County, the southernmost county in the state of New York. The establishment of the Borough dates back to the unification of New York City in 1898. Until 1975 it was officially called the Borough of Richmond.

Queens is located on the island of Long Island. It borders Brooklyn and Nassau and is a very populated neighborhood due to its proximity to New York City, so it can be quickly reached by crossing the Queensboro Bridge. The neighborhood is home to the famous St. John's University, as well as New York's two airports, John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia.

Long Island is an island known for its beautiful beaches, wonderful villas surrounded by greenery with private beaches, known above all for its economic well-being and high quality of life. According to data from the 2000 census, Nassau County is the second-largest per capita income in New York State and the sixth-richest in the United States. Suffolk County is famous for its many seaside towns, including the Hamptons and West Hamptons.

I now pass to describe some of the main and most interesting counties belonging to the State of New York. The State of NY has 62 counties, I have chosen to point out the most beautiful and interesting ones, those that represent the best from a geographical, historical, cultural, tourist and agri-food point of view, so that by visiting them you can discover what this State offers.

 Hudson Valley - Hudson Valley is located on the banks of the Hudson River, where many New Yorkers have their second homes, a place that offers a great deal when it comes to history, culture and art. The town of Hudson, for example, dated 1785, about 3 hours from Manhattan, is a significant historical / cultural and artistic center - in fact, the first American art movement dedicated to the Hudson River of Painters was born here - full of art galleries and a range of excellent restaurants and B & Bs, offering an educated tourist the chance to spend an interesting holiday. It is easily accessible by the Amtrak railway line, by motorway lines or by your own vehicle.

Equally famous, although smaller and less sophisticated, is the small village of Catskill, built in 1678, where the artist Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School of painters, who maintains his studio in Cedar Grove, lived from 1827 to 1848. , organizing art exhibitions and conferences. Other famous complexes can be visited in Poughkeepsie, such as Vassar College, the USA's first institute of higher education for women only, founded in 1861, is a private eco-educational college of liberal arts. Also very interesting in Poughkeepsie is the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) which has its headquarters on the banks of the Hudson River, where in well-equipped rooms entirely dedicated to catering not only are cooking classes held at an international level, but there are also a series of excellent ethnic restaurants, among which the Caterina de Medici stands out in an environment reminiscent of a typical Tuscan villa, offering an exclusively Italian menu.

The Catskill Mountain - The Catskills Mountain, relatively close to Manhattan (about 100 miles) is known as a place of regional beauty, offering plenty of sporting activities; making it ideal to visit for active travelers who like to be super busy. In winter, you can ski, snowmobile and snowboard, while in the other seasons you can fish, hike, trek, and play golf. The parks where you can camp are excellent and very well kept. Great ski runs at Hunter and Windham Mountain, Belleayre, Plattekill Mountain and Holiday Mountain, while, especially fun in the summer, is tubing and raftfthing along Esopus Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River.

Finger Lakes Region - Wine lovers flock to the Finger Lakes region, as there are over 80 vineyards and wineries here. Also very characteristic are the buckwheat plantations which during the harvest in October show off their periwinkle-colored flowers. Finger Lakes is a vast region spanning 14 counties and 11 lakes between Rochester, Syracuse and Corning / Elmira, between New York City and Niagara Falls. It is worth planning to spend a weekend here in one of the many quaint bed & breakfasts that belong to the various wineries, it is an excellent place in New York State to be able to explore quaint villages on the famous '5 Fingers' lakes!

Adirondack Mountain Region - The Adirondacks region is huge and spans a six million acre natural area, one of the largest protected wildernesses in America. Lake Placid is one of the most popular destinations, formerly the site of the Olympic Winter Games, as is Lake George, with its rich cultural heritage and quaint towns to explore. The Erlowest Inn is a prime example, as this beautiful turn-of-the-century stone castle - built in 1898 - has been restored into a luxurious lakeside inn, with a restaurant and farm producing great produce and offering them directly on the lake. table.

The Adirondack region is a great place not only for birdwathing and fishing but also for hikers as there are over 100 peaks ranging in height from 1,200 feet to over 5,000 feet, with varying levels of difficulty. Some of the best spots for climbing are Pok-O-Moonshine Mountain, Moss Cliffs, Rogers Rock, Wallface, and Keene Valley.

Buffalo & Niagara Falls - Buffalo is the gateway city to the famous Niagara Falls, but it's also a great place to visit for sports enthusiasts and families with children who love theme parks and zoos. Foodies will appreciate the fact that Buffalo is also famous for creating the fried chicken wings, the first Buffalo chicken wings, which were served in 1964 at the inexpensive Teressa Bellissimo Anchor Bar, with a spicy sauce of chili pepper!!

From the interesting architectures of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright still existing in the city center we pass to the natural wonder of Niagara Falls, easily reachable with a breathtaking view both from the US and Canadian sides, crossing the famous Bridge of Peace or by taking a boat ride nearby to admire them from a completely different perspective.

Albany & Saratoga Springs - The capital of the state of New York is Albany, an ideal place to visit places, houses or churches that have shaped the history of this region, such as the Saratoga National Historical Park, where you can relive some moments of the American Civil War . The easiest way to see the Albany area is aboard a river cruise ship and, once ashore, attend a symphony or ballet performance or see the oldest thoroughbred horse trail in the United States. Saratoga was once also famous for its healing spring waters, now present in one of the many centers in the area, such as the Roosevelt Baths & Spa in the Saratoga Spa State Park.

Syracuse, known above all by sports fans who follow basketball, practiced by all the students of the famous Syracuse University, is also an ideal city for a family vacation, with its artistic atmosphere and beautiful architecture, with a history linked to the movement women's suffrage and the Underground Railroad anti-slavery suffrage. There are over 40 golf courses to take advantage of and one of the best foodie destinations due to the many Street food trucks and local restaurants serving local farm produce, with food at Km 0 !! Siracuse is also a great place for music lovers, as numerous jazz and blues festivals take place here.

 Another university city that has become a major tourist destination in upstate New York is Ithaca, home to Cornell University. This town is located at the tip of Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes region and is known for hiking trails, culture and great food. Some natural areas to spend time around Ithaca include ButtermilkFalls State Park, Robert H. Treman State Park, and Taughannock Falls State Park.

Thousand Island Region - Water lovers will love New York's Thousand Islands region, which offers the best experience on a boat cruise, or a float plane or hot air balloon. Not to be missed is a visit to the castle of Boldt and the ancient boat museum, as well as a taste of local cuisine in the quaint little restaurants of the fishing villages that offer excellent fish dishes from the "Thousand Islands"

The state of New York is an important area to know for its history, created since the first days of settlement, there are still Indian reserves and the headquarters of some of the most beautiful natural areas of the East Coast. The State of New York offers a very diversified tourism, with a particular architecture and a wide range of sports, from the possibility of going up the Hudson River in a canoe to sailing on Lake George to stopping in typical ranches and visiting ancient Indian tribes, riding immense prairies and thick woods. Finally, do not forget the typical dishes, accompanied by fruity wines, all indigenous agri-food products of this state, also famous for its cheeses and its delicious apples!


Typical NY State dishes are:

- The New York Stripe Steak - Chicken Wings - The famous bagels brought by the Jews in the 1880s

The giant hotdogs that the German butcher started selling as street food on the beach of Coney Island, becoming one of the symbols of NY The donuts or donuts as they are called here in Italy

The famous New York cheesecake .-

The humbergers of New York are among the best in the world, and quite famous it seems that the first was served in the early 1800s to German sailors to remember their hometown Hamburg. pie ”, logically imported by Italian immigrants, which, moreover, is really very good

Buffalo chicken wings Buffalo Wings are in fact chicken wings that are fried and then covered with a cayenne pepper sauce and melted butter. Excellent if served as an appetizer

Ingredients for 6 \ 8 people:

  • 18/20 chicken wings (which must be divided in two for about 40 pieces)
  • Frying oil
  • 120g of butter
  • 120ml of hot sauce, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of Tabasco, salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcester sauce - 1 teaspoon of paprika - 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • heat the oil well up to the frying temperature and insert the wings, which will be ready when all are golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, melt the butter, then add the spicy sauce, mix the Tabasco, Worcester sauce, paprika, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat over very low heat, remembering to mix from time to time.

When the wings are ready, remove them from the fryer and place them on the paper straw, so that all the oil that comes out is absorbed and does not damage the taste of the dish. Remove from the frying oil, place them on a plate or tray and cover them well with the sauce you have prepared. If you want you can decorate the dish with celery legs

New York Cheesecake

Ingredients for the base:

  • 300 g of Digestive type biscuits
  • 90 g of melted butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of fluid honey
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon


  • 700 g of fresh cheese (like Philadelphia)
  • 200 g of granulated sugar
  • 150 g of fresh, not whipped cream
  • 40 g of white yogurt
  • 4 eggs - 1 teaspoon of corn starch - the zest of 1 lemon - 1 vanilla bean


  • - 200 g of sour cream
  • - 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  •  - 1/2 vanilla pod, raspberries, or blueberries</p>


 Preparation To prepare New York cheesecake, first melt the butter and let it cool; in the meantime, place the biscuits in a mixer and blend them until they are powdered. Then transfer them to a bowl and pour in the butter

Stir with a spoon until the mixture is uniform; then take a 22 cm springform pan and line the base with parchment paper. Place half of the biscuits inside and mash them with the back of the spoon to compact them

Then, using the remaining biscuits, also line the edge of the mold. As soon as you have covered the entire surface, place the base of your New York cheesecake to harden in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or in the freezer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the cream: in a bowl, break an egg, add the yolk, the sugar and beat everything with a whisk until you get a cream.

Take the seeds of half a vanilla bean (keeping the rest aside for later use) and place them together with the eggs. Also add the cream cheese a little at a time and continue to mix with a whisk.As soon as you have incorporated all the cheese, add the lemon juice and cornstarch.

Then add the cream and mix again gently with a whisk. Take the biscuit base from the refrigerator and pour the mixture inside

Lightly level the surface and bake in a preheated static oven at 160 ° for 60 minutes, then continue cooking at 170 ° for another 20 minutes. Once cooked, let the cheesecake cool in the oven with the door open and in the meantime take care of the topping. In a bowl, combine the sour cream with the seeds of the half vanilla bean kept aside and mix everything with a spatula.

Pour the topping over the cheesecake at room temperature and spread it evenly, then put it back in the refrigerator to rest for 2 hours. After the resting time, unmold the cake that can be served plain or decorated with seasonal fruit. New York cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 5 days. Alternatively, it can be frozen for a month.