Monday, 3 December 2012

Amalfi Coast: Eating, drinking, walking

If you're joining Flavours of Italy on an Amalfi holiday, you will no doubt taste some of the best local cuisine cooked by regional chefs. Fish and seafood are the specialities of Amalfi coast cuisine, as you’d expect, though on the menu you’ll also see rabbit stew – a favourite of the traditional peasant farmer – with white wine, garlic and peppers. And of course you can get pizza anywhere: Naples, where the concept was developed, is just up the coast.

Lemons grow in abundance on the steep south-facing terraces, with those of Amalfi being prized for their sweet, tingling flavour. They feature strongly in local desserts, and in limoncello, the local liqueur – you may well be served a complimentary one after a restaurant meal as a digestif.

For good eating on the Amalfi coast, you have to look past the humdrum lines of tourist cafes and restaurants – not always easy in most of Positano or Ravello, for example.

Amalfi is a good bet for casual dining, with lots of decent little trattorie and pizzerie down the side streets. For excellent food with a panoramic, romantic view of the coast, Eolo gets rave reviews from travellers, with the chocolate aubergine dessert specially recommended.

In Positano, just off the main beach, the family-run bar Bagni da Ferdinando offers straightforward Italian food and drink for very reasonable prices. For simple, cheap mozzarella and juicy tomatoes, with a glass of red wine or two, this seems to be the place.

Ravello has one of the best restaurants in the area: Il Flauto di Pan. High-class cuisine with fine wines and 
wonderful views over the bay, at a price – reckon on 100 euros per person – but for many it’s their best meal experience in Italy.

In Marina di Praia, in Praiano, you can enjoy excellent seafood by the beach at da Armandino. Rustic, handmade local food at its best – and as usual in Italy, it’s family-friendly too.
If you need to work up an appetite for all this, the area is great for hiking and walking.

The Walk of the Gods (Sentero degli Dei) is the best-known hike on the Amalfi Coast, a spectacular 12km mountain trail that will have you gasping – for breath as well as in awe – for six hours or so. It starts in north Positano at Via Chiesa Nuova, just north of the coastal road 163, and takes you to Praiano (where a bus will take you gratefully back to Positano) or the small town of Bomerano. The route is marked with red and white stripes and takes you through incredible scenery – nowhere more so than at Montepertuso, a cliff with a huge hole in its centre.

The town of Ravello is the starting point for numerous walks too, for example to Minori, or Amalfi via the ancient village of Scala. Enough to make anyone hungry...

No comments: