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“Foodies in Italy: 10 Slow Food Trattoria in/around Amalfi Coast!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Amalfi

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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
1 helpful vote
“Foodies in Italy: 10 Slow Food Trattoria in/around Amalfi Coast!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2009

Exploring Pompeii and Ercolano? Hiking the Vesuvio? Lounging on the Amalfi Coast? Here is my list of tasty Slow Food addresses you should consider visiting to enjoy Neapolitan food and warm hospitality!!

AMALFI-Pogerola
Trattoria da Rispoli- Address: Via Riulo, 3. Pogerola District.
This family run trattoria is located just outside Amalfi in the old Pogerola district. The place has been run for the last 30 years by the 2 Rispoli’s sisters and before them by their father, who started the business in 1947. Simple style cooking using the freshest ingredients including seafood & homemade pasta. Booking your table in advance is highly recommended!Best Bets: Scialatielli pasta with clams, Seafood Soup, Friarelli. Average Price: Euro 25€ Wine not included No Credit Cards!

CASERTA-Casertavecchia
Ristorante Gli Scacchi- Address: Via San Rocco, 1.
A lovely and well managed restaurant set in a luscious garden with trees and flowers. You won’t need the menu as the owner Mr. Gino will happily inform guests on day & season specials! Good winelist! Best Bets: Aubergine polpettine, Buffalo Stew, Apple Cake. Average Price: Euro 35€ Wine not included

ERCOLANO
Osteria Viva Lo Re- Address: Corso Resina, 261.
Located in a nice old mansion just a short walk from the Ercolano’s excavations this tasty and elegant osteria follows the best local gastronomic traditions. The day’s specials are chalked up at the entrance and the wine list includes over 1500 different wines from all over the world! Best Bets: Calzone with Ricotta cheese, Paccheri with meat sauce, Lamb Rack. Average Price: Euro 35€ Wine not included

ISOLA D’ISCHIA-Barano d’Ischia Fiaiano
Trattoria IL Focolare- Address: Via Cretajo al Crocefisso, 3. Barano district. Nestled on a hill surrounded by chestnut trees Il Focolare has been run since 1991 by Loretta and Riccardo D’Ambra and their 8 children according to slow food principles and traditional farmers’ method of cooking. Good wine list mostly dedicated to local wines. Best Bets: Eggplant Parmigiana, Rabbit, Chocolate Cake. Average Price: Euro 35€ Wine not included

POZZUOLI-Lucrino
Osteria Abraxas- Address: Via Scalandrone, 15. Lucrino district. A great restaurant/wine bar offering excellent food, a fantastic wine cellar, professional service together with a nice terrace and summer garden! The owner Mr. Nando & his wife have made this place one of the most interesting Osterie in the Campi Flegrei area where to sample Neapolitan cooking in a cozy atmosphere. Best Bets: Appetizers, Gragnano Pasta, Beef Stew. Average Price: Euro 35€ Wine not included

SORRENTO-Borgo dei Pescatori Marina Grande

Trattoria San’Anna da Emilia- Address: Via Marina Grande, 62. Borgo dei Pescatori. A Timeless Trattoria few yards from the beach where to sample traditional cooking and fresh seafood at amazing Value! Sophia Loren used to come here back in ‘60 while Ms. Emilia is still here running the kitchen and buying the freshest seafood straight from fishermen at the nearby port! Best Bets: Eggplant Parmigiana, Gnocchi alla Sorrentina, Seafood Average Price: Euro 25€ Wine not included No Credit Cards!

NAPLES
Hosteria Toledo-Address: Via Giardinetto, 78A-Spanish Quarters Area In this Hosteria located in the 16th century built Spanish Quarters you can find the most authentic and traditional Neapolitan food! Best Bets: Mussels, Spaghetti alla Puveriello, Genovese style Meat. Average Price: Euro 30€ Wine not included

Trattoria La Chitarra-Address: Rampe San Giovanni Maggiore, 1. This simple and clean Trattoria is located near Naples’ University, gets very busy at lunchtime with students and teachers while evening guests will find a quieter environment with a wider offer of traditional local food. Once enjoyed your lunch make sure you visit the nearby Pasticceria Scaturchio, Naples oldest and most famous pastry store.
Best Bets: Zuppa di soffritto, Spaghetti allo Scarpariello, Pork Steak with bread crumbs.
Average Price: Euro 30€ Wine not included

Ristorante & Pizzeria L’Europeo di Mattozzi-Address: Via Marchese Campodisola, 4. This historical restaurant is 150 years old and keeps delighting returning guests with its traditional Neapolitan fares matched by the quality of the ingredients. Here you can also sample the traditional Pizza Napoli Style, thicker than the one served in the rest of Italy. Best Bets: Pizza filled with Vegetables, Rigatoni with Mussel, Pastiera Napoletana. Average Price: Euro 35€ Wine not included

Trattoria La Taverna dell’Arte- Address: Rampe San Giovanni Maggiore, 1 A. Mezzocannone Area Another tasty Trattoria in the University Area. Don Alfonso is proud to offer traditional Neapolitan fares based on seasonality, changing his offer daily. Worth a mention the tasty desserts and the regional wine list. Best Bets: Seafood Bruschetta, Paccheri with Pesto, Pastiera. Average Price: Euro 30€ Wine not included

Buon Appetito!

Ciao from Rome
Nancy Aiello
ItalyTravelista.com

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Huntsville, Alabama
Level Contributor
2 reviews
9 helpful votes
“Amalfi Coast”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2009

Amalfi - The Divine Coast: May 6-14, 2009


Gene and I departed Huntsville on May 5 and drove to Atlanta where we spent the night in a motel close to the airport for our next day departure. We had a festive dinner at a College Park restaurant that evening and almost adopted a kitten that had been dropped off near the motel. I think it was part Scottish Fold from the description given in THE CAT WHO WENT TO PARIS. We knew if it was still hanging about upon our return from Italy that we would have to take it home with us to Huntsville. To Gene’s great relief, it was not there when we returned. (But I know he would have just absolutely doted upon it. One knows these things after living with someone for 50+ years!)

The next day we boarded the plane for a late afternoon departure. The plane, for various reasons, was late leaving the airport; however, we were able to make connecting flights in Frankfurt and Munich, Germany. By the time we arrived at Capodichino Airport in Naples and were picked up for a bus ride down the curvaceous Amalfi coast to the Grand Hotel Excelsior high above Amalfi, we were more than a little weary. At this point we thank Chiara Bracaloni, our fearless and seemingly inexhaustible AHI tour director, for her deftness in assembling a group of bleary-eyed travelers for the welcome reception and dinner in the hotel. It was our first chance to meet all of our fellow travelers.

The following morning after a bountiful breakfast buffet Ken Tobyn, who lives on the Amalfi coast, gave an excellent lecture on how the Amalfi Coast has inspired artists and writers through the years. The following hours were magical with a ride along the coast to Ravello and the Villa Rufolo with its peaceful gardens above the bay far below. We saw one of the stages where chamber music concerts are scheduled throughout the summer. Who can imagine a more glorious setting to listen to the music of the great masters? Gene and I had previously enjoyed a day trip on the Amalfi coast out of Sorrento, but as this trip proceeded more and more beauty unfolded before us. Following our time in Ravello we had a tour of Amalfi where we ate lunch followed by a private boat cruise along the coast to Positano.

At this point we thank the hotel management and staff for all they did to make our trip so pleasant. They made us feel at home. The hotel was open, spacious, and delightful. We’d love to stay there again.

By the time for dinner on our second evening, our group was beginning to take on the nature of Chaucer’s pilgrims who met in Southwerk at the Tabard to make their way to Canterbury, a rite of passage for travelers in medieval England. Ostensibly a religious rite, these pilgrimages served to bring people together from various stations in life to enjoy the journey itself and to share food, drink, and stories. It was not always the destination that was so important. It was the experience of traveling in the relative safety of a group and to be entertained by the dress, behavior, and conversation of their fellow travelers. So we were gathered with our own stories, experiences, and observations--all travelers on our own rites of passage.

Saturday’s excursion was to Sorrento, lovely and picturesque with lemon groves and brilliant gardens. In Italy we are always aware of the sense of stewardship of the land. Every conceiveable inch of soil is planted and lovingly tended to produce a useful crop. After some time in the central area of Sorrento, we had lunch on our own in a little sidewalk cafe where a father was sitting at a table with an active, restless little boy and presumably one of the father’s male friends. The boy’s mother, a waitress in the cafe, bustled about serving diners and feeding her son a hearty plate of pasta. The boy left the table several times, returning only when his mother returned to feed him. A British couple sitting at the table to the left of us watched in as much amusement as we. Finally, the mother managed to spoon in the last of the pasta. Then the father disappeared, the boy also. The mother returned carrying a plate with what appeared to be a huge pancake. A sweet cake I assume. The father reappeared and resumed his conversation with his friend. It took some doing for the mother to get the sweet cake down the boy. It was rather clear that feeding the child was completely the responsibility of the mother. After he had finally finished his meal, he walked over to our table and said, “Buongiorno.” When I replied, “Buongiorno,” he seemed quite amazed and scurried back to his table. These little vignettes, I think, are what make travel so restorative.

We then worked in some shopping and sightseeing on our own before our return to the hotel and a lecture in late afternoon by Federico Poole, an archaeologist in the area, who has extensive knowledge of Roman ruins. He lectured on the history of Mt. Vesuvius and the impact of its volcanic eruptions on the populations of Pompeii and Herculaneum. He was preparing us for our next day’s journey as Chaucer’s host did.



That evening we were free to have dinner on our own. Chiara suggested that we try a restaurant in a village within walking distance of the hotel. This is something that Gene and I had long wanted to do on our other travels in Italy, but we had never had the opportunity. Eventually, our little group grew to be a dozen of the sixteen in the group. What followed would have been characteristic of Chaucer’s time--wine, good food, stories and songs provided by both Jerry and the merry group of pilgrims. We were even entertained by the loud braying of what must have been a very hungry mule.

Sunday we left the hotel at eight a.m. for a most memorable trip to Herculaneum and Pompeii. Gene and I had previously visited Pompeii during a week’s stay in Sorrento in 2005, so we thought we knew what to expect. We visited Herculaneum first and were surprised, as one often is in Italy, by the stark beauty of its ruins. One can almost imagine living in such a place, and it is difficult to ignore the sense of the life that must have vibrated in these walls and courtyards. Since Herculaneum was destroyed by mud flows, it was preserved rather well. Residents who lived there at the time of the fateful eruption would have recognized it and been able to navigate its streets with ease. Since Pompeii was destroyed by ash, roofs collapsed, causing a much greater state of ruin. It isn’t hard to imagine Pliny the Younger’s description of the destruction he witnessed. Both ancient towns are fascinating for the glimpses they provide of social status and works of art and for their concept of and organization of a community. Between the two tours we enjoyed a delicious lunch at a restaurant nearby.

That evening we again met informally for cocktails before dinner at the hotel. The view from the veranda of the hotel was almost indescribable in that the water seemed to meet the sky, unbroken by the horizon.

The isle of Capri was our destination on Monday. Unlike our first trip there, we were treated to a tour around the island to see its towering rock formations with seabirds swirling around the crags at the summit. We also saw the White Grotto and some mesmerizing views of luminous aquamarine water. Our tour also included lunch in Anacapri and the shopping areas of both Anacapri and Capri before our return to Amalfi by boat. There were many children on the boat apparently on school trips. They were having a loud, active time but interrupted their festivities to inquire as to where we were from. An Italian man sitting near us with some friends spotted a small mirror I had dropped on the floor and returned it to me. This is only one example of the kindness of the Italians with whom we came in contact. We found them friendly, willing to answer questions, and to help in any way they could. Sitting across from us was a couple of Venezuala who were visiting relatives in Salerno. We carried on a friendly and animated conversation about our lives, interests, travels, politics, etc. They were not too sure about Obama and liked Chavez. Without infringing on each other’s views, we had a very civil discussion of world problems. Before deboarding in Amalfi, we exchanged warm hugs.

Before dinner we enjoyed a discussion with a local resident who is working on his law degree. He and Chiara had an interesting exchange of contrasting views concerning the possibility of change in southern Italy. He was not hopeful. Chiara was. We asked questions and enjoyed a lively conversation which highlighted the various views of Italians about their lives and their country.

At this time we want to thank Vicenzo for his informative talks on the bus as we were enroute to the locations of the day. Seemingly inexhaustible, he was steadfast and patient in dealing with his modern pilgrims. He kept us supplied with background and practical information about the sites we were going to visit. And we also thank Fabio who drove all those narrow, curving roads, tapping his horn at blind corners, and getting us safely to our destinations of the day and safely back to the hotel.

The next day we visited a local water buffalo farm on a high plateau. Having read Ghost Soldiers, I was curious about water buffalo. What was so fascinating was that the water buffalo, indigenous to the area, were monitored and milked by robots. Apparently, they seem to do better with a minimum of human contact, and, of course, the farm is much more efficient than if all of the “workers” were human. The water buffalo also can get massages anytime they wish by sidling up to giant rollers similar to the kind used in car washes. The rollers move all over the animal. The farm guide said they loved the massages and that they produce more milk as a result. We sampled the mozzarella cheese produced at the farm, all of which is sold locally. We also tried ice cream made from the milk of the cumbersome creatures. Personally, I would not rate it as high as some of the local gelato.

The next location we visited was Paestum. Ancient walls surround the site. Inside the walls one is in a city of what once was and still is, even in ruins, a stunning city of culture, ritual, and art. I had read about Paestum, but the reality of being there was quite another thing. The ruins of these Greek temples take one into another dimension. The past is present as one walks through the fields from one temple to the next. Everywhere as we walked fragments of buildings, fragments of ornamentation, lay on top of grass or soil. The whole scene, including the three temples rising up out of the flatness of the fields reduces one to awe. Even as ruins, they are perfect. One cannot add or subtract anything from them.

We left the hot fields of Paestum for a very pleasant lunch in a very attractive restaurant nearby. On the way back to the hotel we visited the WWII landing beach of Salerno and the memorial there. From the bus we were able to catch glimpses of Salerno as we traveled the winding coastal roads.

After our return to the hotel, we enjoyed a lecture by Jennie Humphries on the history of the food and wine of Campania from ancient times to the present. This was good preparation for the evening to come. Jennie had a wonderful dog with her. I took a picture of her dog to add to our collection of Italian dogs and cats.

Since we were scheduled to have dinner on our own that evening, a group of us walked to Jerry’s for dinner, wine, and song, a venue that Chaucer would have approved. Gene and I arrived early enough to step into the small church next to Jerry’s where mass was in progress. Surprisingly, the church was almost full with a number of men present. Some of the books I had read indicated that the celebration of mass in Italy was generally not well attended and that those who attended were mostly women. Here in this small community high above Amalfi the church is, seemingly, still a vital part of the life of the people. One morning we stepped into the small chapel just outside the door of the hotel. It was simple and restful.

The last day was a free day which we spent packing, riding the bus down to Amalfi for one last gelato, and then preparing for a festive graduation ceremony complete with cocktails and wine followed by a festive repast. So we ended our pilgrimage with many stories untold but enlightened by what we had seen and heard and heartened by the experience of being with delightful company.

Half of our group, including Gene and me, had a three a.m. departure for Naples to catch our plane back to the USA. This, again, was a very long day of flying to Munich, Frankfurt, and then to Atlanta. The next morning we left our motel to drive home to Huntsville. Within five minutes of our arrival home, Nightmare, the neighbor’s cat (our adopted grandchild!!) trotted over to welcome us back. She knew that treats would soon be forthcoming from her human friends.

It was a pleasure to be with you all during our pilgrimage, and we hope that one day our paths may cross again on yet another pilgrimage.

Happy trails to you all!

Jean and Gene

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australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
11 helpful votes
“Overrated and expensive”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2009

now amalfi is cute, but very expensive and quite frankly a disappointment when you come from a country with beautiful open and free beaches. ok, so we werent in australia, but even comparing amalfi to greece and the islands there, even then it just doesnt compare. people talk about how lovely the amalfi beaches are, but i can tell you that i have been to much cleaner and cheaper beaches around europe and now i know why the italians holiday in greece and in the greek islands. 1. because its cheaper even if you hire beaches chairs/umbrellas, 2. because you also have the option of sitting on a beach and not having to pay at all by putting your towel down and 3. because greek beaches are bluer, cleaner and larger. anyway, amalfi is not somewhere i would go again, everything is too expensive and given we were there for our honeymoon, it really wasnt that romantic a scene. dont get me wrong we still had a great time and made the most of it because we had each other, but as in the rest of italy, you struggle also to find a good place to eat where, as a tourist, you get ripped off and it really wasnt that romantic a place to be honest. the brochures are very deceiving and i dont think it is as pretty as some of the other places i have visited, price or not. we preferred ravello quite frankly!

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new york
Level Contributor
117 reviews
101 helpful votes
“Little Boy and his Beetle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2008

On a day trip to Amalfi my wife and I walked up the main roadway over the old river bed and noticed a sign that stated the ancient stairs to the city. I said I wanted to see where the stairs went. My wife said she would wait for me in the pastry shop across the roadway.
Up the stairs I went and at the top there were a couple of ways to go. But I heard a small voice greet me in Italian Ciao. I turned to see where the voice was coming from and there was a small blond headed boy. He waved for me to come over, after a momentary hesitation I waked over to the small little boy to see what he wanted me for. When I stood next to him he pointed to what he wanted me to see, it was his prize black beetle seated on a lump of pasta dough. He was so happy to show me his little pet. I told him, Bene, and I said the beetle was very nice and asked where he lived. The little blond headed boy said he lived in the Bella casa, he indicated with a wave of his little hand. I said arrivederci and he said Ciao again.
I returned to my wife and told her of what was a very pleasant moment I had in Amalfi

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Ginosa, Italy
7 helpful votes
“A great place in Italy!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2008

I'm Italian and you might think that I side for my home country...which is true ;-) the fact is that I'm from Apulia..a gorgeous place in the extreme south of Italy and, for the first time in my life, last year in summer I went to Campania, to visit the Amalfi Coast.
Miles away from the sad "rubbish" experience of the countryside, I found it just amazing!
In one day with our Vespa (easily rented in Positano), we could have a look at the main towns, like: Praiano, Conca dei Marini, Minori, Maiori, Erchie, Vietri sul Mare and Salerno.
I admit it was a bit tiring, but it definitely worth it! We stayed in a cozy house in Positano with an astonishing view on the sea, rented through an online rental agency based in Salerno, which I recommend as very professional...they also gave us good tips about where to go and what to do, through which I strongly advise:
- Pasticceria De Riso in Minori: you could try, the typical "ricotta & pera" cake..mmm delicious :-)
- Jazz on the Coast, Minori, at the end of July...very nice!
- Cetara, "Sagra del Tonno"
- Ravello, Villa Cimbrone and, if you like wine, go to Episcopio, they have been producing wine for more that 100 years and I'd suggest to try the superb Vigna San Lorenzo Costa d'Amalfi Doc...you will love it!

and many other things...just go and see!

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