As our holidays start quite late this year (November is ours!) and the weather is quite holiday-friendly right now, I’ve decided to go back in time a little bit ant take you on a short culinary trip through south Italy. There we travelled extensively, saw many great places and even managed to return to some of them. We ate kilograms of pasta and pizza and probably tons of seafood. No… tons of pasta. There were definitely tons of pasta :).
As a radical fan of Spain, at the beginning I was a bit skeptic. Don’t get me wrong, Italy is beautiful and offers great food but that’s nothing compared to tapas, sangria, tinto de verano and clara. How about siesta and mañana? Oranges and street fiestas until early morning hours? My personal favourite churros con chocolate? Thousands of flavours, scents and sounds that still remind me of Spain?
Still, Łukasz knew how to make me take to Italy: as a starter I was served the town called Positano…
It’s a small town situated on a hillside on the Amalfi coast not far from Napoli. The drive to Positano is quite tiring (lots of hairpin turns! Look out if you have motion sickness!) but the views from the city compensate for all the inconveniences.
Wikipedia says that until the second half of the 20th century Positano was a poor fishermen village. It all changed in the 1950s, when John Steinbeck wrote in Harper’s Bazaar: “It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” Dream Place? Definitely! What did I say to Łukasz when I first saw Positano is no secret (my quote stands right next to Steinbeck’s J): “If you took me here for an ordinary trip then where are you going to propose to me?” :). The boy has set himself some high standards! 🙂 Let’s get back to Positano…
Nowadays, Positano is a tourist magnet. Mainly for the Americans. Maybe that’s why it is so expensive. Even though, it’s worth visiting for a day or two!
Where to eat? Last time we went to Positano for Easter in April . The sky was cloudy so we managed to check quite a few restaurants. You should visit:
– Caffe Positano (http://www.caffepositano.it/) – quite high on the hill, with an amazing view (look how they marked their location on their website!)…
Start with a mix of appetizers; it’s best to try both del mare (fish) and de la tierra (non-fish)
then you have to try pasta… rigatoni for instance:
Not far from Caffe Positano you will find another place worth visiting – Da Vincenzo on Viale Pasitea 178 (http://www.davincenzo.it/) considered one of Positano’s best restaurants… They serve great seafood and heavenly ravioli!
Pasta — the culinary protagonist of our Italian adventures strikes again:
If you prefer something more luxurious, sophisticated or as the Spaniards call it pijo try Next2 (http://www.next2.it/). The name is not Italian at all and getting there requires a bit of a hike but the perfectly designed interior along with fantastic dishes will make you euphoric! What’s there to eat? Thick octopus soup and semifreddo for dessert…
and semifreddo for dessert…
If you’re looking for a nice and cosy place try Saraceno d’Oro (http://www.saracenodoro.it/) on Viale Pasitea 254. Home-like atmosphere, simple but delicious pastas and wooden tables — it’s all there.
What else did we love in south Italy apart from Positano?
For me Trani was a really nice place. It’s a small city in Apullia, near Bari. I remember a little white town with a harbour, quiet in daytime and lively on the Saturday evening, and delicious food at reasonable prices.
Be sure to check out one of the restaurants in the harbour.
Then we visited Gallipoli in Lecce and Apulia at the end of the “heel”. The town is divided into two parts. A modern one with a skyscraper (that does not fit there at all) and an old one that looks as if time has stopped there. Old Italian women sit in front of their houses and chat while men play cards. When we asked for a room they told us to “look for signora Mariolina” which added even more to our impression of time travel 🙂
In Gallipoli we ate very good pasta with fish (swordfish to be exact) and tomatoes. It’s a great combination, very popular in south Italy.
I remember some other places and flavours from Italy. Scilla, Tropea and Cefalu, just to name a few. These were all amazing placeswith fantastic cuisine. Bu that’s enough for today; I’m not going to “torture” you and myself with these spectacular pictures. To make up for it, I’m going to prepare a tomato, anchovy and tuna pasta 🙂 Have a tasty day!