Italy. It’s almost impossible to put this trip into words. Serene, a dream, pasta, wine.
Josemi, a close friend Lauren and I jetted off to the Amalfi coast for a weekend. We flew into Naples where a driver picked us up and drove us down the beautiful coastline past Mount Vesuvius to the small village Colli di Fontanelle. We arrived late at night and walked from our airbnb to the town center to a restaurant recommended by our driver, Mezzaluna, where he said we must try the pistachio pizza. We successfully ordered in Italian! Only one embarrassing moment when I moved my hand like the Italian stereotype while saying molto bene.
Here we started with the house wine and shrimp carpaccio. I was so pleasantly surprised with the simplicity of the dish and the immense flavors. Fresh shrimp, arugula and cherry tomatoes with a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheese. I can’t wait to attempt this dish on my own. We continued with two pasta dishes and the pistachio pizza. A perfect welcome meal to our weekend. In good company and surrounded by locals. Back at the airbnb we finished off a bottle of red wine.
The next morning we woke up early thanks to the neighborhood rooster but were in awe of the sunrise over the water. We had a breakfast on our terrace with fresh figs from the garden and cheese on toast. We forced our way onto an overcrowded bus and headed down the winding coastal road towards Positano.
We stopped in Le Sirenuse for a drink near the pool. Everything about this hotel is perfect. Have we died and gone to heaven? The most beautiful place with impeccable interior design.
After our quick, luxurious aperativo, we knew no place we stopped at next could compete with where we had just been. We walked down the hill and turned into a garden open terrace to have an outdoor lunch. We had some burrata, more pasta and some eggplant parmesan. Before heading down to the rocky shore to soak up some of the last summer sun.
Next we drank an abundance of aperol spritz’ before walking up winding staircases to find a bus to take us home. Also enjoying a pistachio gelato and buying another bottle of wine for home.
We got home, showered and changed and made our way back into the town for a late dinner at Il Refugio. Had one of the most amazing gnocchi dishes as well as a delicious citrus risotto that I can’t wait to replicate in my kitchen.
Sunday morning came fast and we woke up early again due to the rooster and our British loud voiced neighbors. We made our way down the hill to Sorrento. Wish we could have spent more time here as it was absolutely breathtaking. I guess I wasn’t expecting anything breathtaking so I was pleasantly surprised. We found a small restaurant with good reviews and it turned out to be the best meal of the trip. Tavern Allegra is a home style restaurant with simple decor and great customer service. The food was to die for. Our favorite was the cozze alla sorrentina, Sorrento style mussels. I’ve already tried to make these at home and will soon post about it.
We made our way down towards the water and stopped at the lovely Hotel Tramotano. Lauren has has had this old picture of this hotel framed in her room for years and finally got to see it in person. We finished our day in Sorrento with more gelato and a few more aperol spritz’ before hopping on the ferry to Naples to catch a Sunday night flight home to Madrid. Although it was a short trip it was more than worth it. I would love to go back to these coastal towns any time. Italy is always a dream.
Photo credits: Lauren Twisselman @lotwiss