The next area we visited on our vacation was the Amalfi coast. We travelled form Rome to Naples (Roma to Napoli) on one of the fast trains. These trains are not inappropriately named, as ours reached a top speed of 295 kmh (that’s 183 mph) during our trip.
In Napoli, we were met by our guide Salvatore and driven via Mercedes (no Rolls Royce this time – I had enough paparazzi in Rome) from Napoli to the coastal town of Amalfi (Amalfi is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno). The drive was fun and entertaining as we wound through serpentine roads that took us over the mountain range that separated us from our destination.
We thought the views going up the backside of the mountain were great, but even pictures we had seen in books and on the Internet did not prepare us for the beautiful views of the Amalfi coast coming down the mountains on the coastal side of the range.
Salvatore dropped us off at our hotel (the Miramalfi), and after a quick lunch, we were off exploring the town of Amalfi.
Dinner at La Caravella
Dinner our first night was at a Michelin rated restaurant, La Caravella, in the city centre of Amalfi. Daniela and Tonino greeted and served us, while Antonio (owner, chef) was working away in the kitchen – preparing not only food for us, but for his family whom were dining at the table next to us.
Instead of the traditional Italian menu of starter/appetizer (antipasta), first course (pasta), and second course (meat/fish), we decided to do appetizers and pasta.
Beth had the appetizer sampler (trio of fish), which we thought would be three smaller portions of Caravella’s appetizers, but what turned out to be was three different appetizers served back-to-back. The three starters consisted of, fried anchovies stuffed with smoked mozzerella, a fish crudo, and steamed fish wrapped in a lemon leaf. All three were very good! Of course, she had some assistance from me in eating these.
I had the stuffed mussel appetizer for my first course which was served on the most flavorful, deep red cherry tomatoes (due to being grown in the volcanic soil of Mt. Vesuvius) and was truly delicious.
For our entrees, Beth had the black ink ravioli stuffed with lobster and I had “scialatielli alla carbonara”. Scialatielli is a pasta that has flat sides and is almost square in its circumference. It originated here in Amalfi and was used in the past for special celebrations. My second course was a twist on a traditional Italian first course dish; spaghetti carbonara. The “scialatielli alla carbonara” uses this special pasta and is prepared with smoked tuna instead of the traditional bacon/pancetta. Very good!
While the appetizers and pasta courses were delicious, what compared equally was the dessert; a HUGE lemon soufflé. The Amalfi area has large amounts of lemon trees, and as such, food dishes and drinks have lemon mixed in as an ingredient. So we thought, “When in Amalfi…”
Just look at the size of that soufflé! It was the perfect end to a meal of deliciously prepared courses. The bottle of 2004 Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino wasn’t too bad either.
However, our evening was not complete as this evening the town of Amalfi was celebrating a Centennial, so they had a parade and a fireworks display at midnight. Everyone knows I hate fireworks… 🙂
We sat on the rooftop terrace of the Hotel Miramalfi and watched the fireworks display in the city below us.
This was a great finale to a wonderful day…