IT STARTED in NAPLES
SEE More SOPHIA LOREN
and CLARK GABLE on CAPRI
SOPHIA LOREN and CLARK GABLE
Shooting “IT STARTED in NAPLES”
Going to CAPRI – NAPLES – ROME
The RED AMALFI COAST TOUR BUS
By plane: If you arrive at Naples-Capodichino airport, take a taxi or a bus to Circumvesuviana station as above.
By bus: An express bus connects Rome with Positano departing from Tiburtina Rome station at 7.00 A.M. while from Naples it departs from Via Pisanelli at 8.45 A.M.
Hassle Free Transportation
Naples Airport / City to Positano
Sorrento The Amalfi Coast , Italy
PRIVATE or SHARED CAR / MINIVAN
The BEST most Affordable Way to GET to POSITANO and The AMALFI COAST
From The NAPLES AIRPORT or TRAIN STATION in NAPOLI, SORRENTO, or Anywhere on The AMALFI COAST, take a Nice PRIVATE TRANSFER from the Train Station in Naples, direct to you Hotel in comfort by a Professional, English Speaking Drive. Equiped with FREE Wifi, Air Conditioned, and Free Bottled Water. Starting at just $22.94 US Dollars
Click for Info , on the excellent car or min-van service to the Amalfi Coast of Italy
DRIVING by CAR
To reach Positano and the Amalfi Coast (Italy) by car – take direction to Naples.
Coming from North after exit to “Caserta Sud” look for the sign: “A3 – SALERNO/REGGIO CALABRIA – PENISOLA SORRENTINA”. Than exit at Castellammare di Stabia (Coming from South the exit to Castellammare di Stabia will be about 25 km. before Naples. After exit from High way look for sign of Sorrento and Positano. Reaching Meta di Sorrento , turn left to Positano which is 12 km. from Meta di Sorrento.
A Fiat 500 in Positano
Everyone has a different situation in life and travel and what you are doing on you visit to the Amalfi Coast may be the same or different than others. Many people will arrive by bus either by taking the Circumvesuviano train from Naples to Sorrento, then hopping on a Blue Local Bus or Red Tourist Bus leaving Sorrento at the Train Station and going to all points on the Amalfi Coast, including; Positano, Amalfi, Praiano, Minori, or Maiori. This is a good option, but not for everyone. This is a great option for the budget minded and most people will choose this route. On the other hand, there are those who prefer the easy option possible, which is taking a Private Car from wherever you may be coming; from the Airport in Naples, the center of Naples, or you are coming down from Rome , you may want to take a Private Car door to door, and for those who can afford it, this is great.
I do recommend that you do not take a car, unless you are on a vacation driving around Italy and you already have a car, and you will be neading it before and after leaving Positano or Amalfi. When you’re in Positano for example, you will not need a car, and it cost a good deal of money to park it each and every day you are in town, so do not get a car.
All this being said, i do hope this helped you, and have a most wonderful time, wherever you are on the Amalfi Coast, Enjoy!
Fritatta are flat Italian Omelettes, that Italians love to eat for lunch, as a light dinner, maybe preceded with some kind of green salad which might include an Insalta Caprese. Fritatta are much loved on the Amalfi Coast as they can be made with just about anything you. like, especially any vegetables that they grow in the area. Potatoes, Spinach, Sweet Peppers, and Zucchini are among the favorites, and are usually always seasoned with grated cheese. Spaghetti Fritatta is a favorite in Naples as well as on the coast. It’s tasty, seasoned with some tomato and Pecorino or Parmigiano Cheese, and it’s a great way to get rid of leftover Spaghetti.
FRITTATA di ASPARAGI e PATATE
Potato & Asparagus Frittata
Both potatoes and asparagus are much loved on the Amalfi Coast, and both vegetables find there way in many dishes, including; soups, pasta, and as here in frittata. You can make the frittata with just three 3 eggs if you like to have a nice lunch or light dinner for one. Or make it with 5 or 6 eggs as it calls for in the recipe below, and you can serve a wedge of frittata as part of mixed antipasti, eat a couple pieces for a snack in-between meals, and it is a great item to bring along with Aracini, Salami, and Cheese for a nice beacch-lunch or picnic anywhere at all. Enjoy it.
1 large Idaho Potato, peeled and sliced ¼” thick
10 medium Asparagus, washed, sliced 1” pieces
5 X-Large Eggs, beaten
¼ cup grated Parmigiano
1 1/2 Tablespoons Butter
Olive Oil, Salt, & Black Pepper
Fill a medium pot ¾ full with water. Add 1 teaspoon of Salt. Bring water to the boil and add potatoes. Once the water comes back to the boil, let potatoes cook for one minute then add the asparagus.
Continue cooking the potatoes with the asparagus until the potatoes and the asparagus are both getting slightly tender, yet firm at the same time, 4-5 minutes.
Drain the vegetables in a colander and set aside.
Place the eggs in a medium bowl, add a half teaspoon each of both Salt & Black Pepper and beat eggs to combined. Add grated Parmigiano and mix into the eggs.
Place a large 10-12” non-stick frying pan on top of stove and add 5 tablespoons of olive oil to pan. Add the potatoes and asparagus and bring to medium heat. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring a couple times to get all sides cooked.
Add 1 tablespoon of Butter to the pan and let it completely melt.
Turn the heat on to high, and add the eggs. Mix vigorously with a wooden spoon, until most of the eggs are cooked. Turn heat off.
Place a very large plate the can completely cover the frying pan. Flip the pan so it is upside down and the frittata falls into the plate.
Add the remaining butter and a bit more olive oil to frying pan. Turn heat to medium and add the frittata with the un-cooked side going into the pan to cook. Turn heat to low and cook about 1 minute until the eggs are completely cooked. Turn heat off.
Slide the Fritatta onto a clean plate. Cut into wedges and serve immediately or let cool and serve at room temperature.
Excerpted from POSITANO – The AMALFI COAST by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
Coming Soon … June 2019
Potato Frittata , Eggplant, and Peppers
At a Salumeria on The Amalfi Coast Italy
POSITANO – The AMALFI COAST
Travel Guide / Cookbook
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
Looking for a Room
COMING SOON !
The AMALFI COAST TRAVEL GUIDE
NAPLES SORRENTO CAPRI
Coming Soon! Positano – The Amalfi Coast, Travel Guide by Best Selling Author -Daniel Bellino Zwicke, is due for Publication May 30, 2019. Daniel is the best selling author of Mangia Italiano, The Ragu Bolognese Cookbook, La Tavola, and the # 1 Best Selling Italian Cookbook on Amazon for 2 years, SUNDAY SAUCE – When Italian-Americans Cook. We’ve read our pre – publication galley copy of POSITANO and we “Just Love It!” It is a guide book and true guide-book fashion gives you all the vest information you need to know on Positano, Sorrento, Naples, Capri, and the stunningly beautiful Amalfi Cost of Southern Italy.
Yes, Daniel gives you all the information you need to know on this, one of the World’s msot prized and coveted vacation destinations of all, the Amalfi Coast. He has the inside scoop on where to eat, what to do, how to get there and getting around once you are there, and a bll the best hotels in the area, of which the charming little town has two of the most renowned hotels in all the World, in the World Famous, Le Sirenuse and the equally famous San Pietro.
Daniel will tell you the best beach spots in Capri, Positano, and all along the coast. And when it comes to eating, Daniel has been going to Positano and has eaten at all the best restaurants over the year. He’ll tell you about his favorites.
As with all of Daniel’s books and writings of New York, Italy, and Italian Food, Daniel weaves his wonderful stories throughout, something that you’ll not get on any other Amalfi Coast Guide that we’ve ever read, Daniel’s special knack for story telling. And not only will you get, all the info and the stories Daniel has to tell of Positano, Capri, and Napoli, but this book, like no other Guide Book before, is part cookbook. Daniel gives advice and more than 30 of the best and most loved dishes of Naples, Positano and The Amalfi Coast, Italy. Daniel notes, that vacations on Capri and Positano hold treasured memories for all who go, and that there is nothing like re-living these wonderful times once you are back home, and the best way to do so, is by eating the food. Have dinner partied at home, with your favorite dishes of the Amalfi Coast. You’ll learn how to make them from one of America’s best selling Italian Cookbook author’s, Daniel Bellino Zwicke. He gathered these recipes of Postano and the Amalfi Coast for over 30 years, has cooked them and written them down, and compiled the in this new book. You’re sure to Love it. We do.
So, whether you’re oing for the first time, you’ve been there before, you want recipes of the region, or you’re an avid armchair traveler, we highly recommend Positano -The Amalfi Coast, Enjoy!
BOOKS by Daniel
WELCOME to BEAUTIFUL POSITANO
And The ULTIMATE GUIDE to EVERYTHING POSITANO
EAT – DRINK – SLEEP – EXPLORE – SWIM – PLAY – GET AROUND
The MAIN Beach at Positano
Pulling Into POSITANO
This is a Great Car … But it’s Best to Leave the Car at Home
There are several ways to get to Positano, either by Bus, Car, or Boat, and some ways are much better than other ones.
If you are FLYING into the AIRPORT in Naples, you can get Affordable Ground Transportation , directly from the Airport to Sorrento, where you can take a spectacular Bus Ride, or Ferry Boat directly from Sorrento right to the center of Positano.
Use JetRadar for the BEST AIRFARES WORLDWIDE “We DO” !
DREAM VACATION – COOKING CLASSES -FOOD – WINE & SIGHTSEEING
Of NAPLES POSITANO The AMALFI COAST … “Vacation of a Lifetime.”
A DREAM PLACE to STAY
If You Can’t Afford to Stay Here
You’ve Got to Hang Out Here at Least Once on Stay
FRANCO’S BAR si a Great Spot for Late Afternoon or Early Evening APERTIVO
With The Most Amazing View
Wish You Were There ???
Positano Getting There
NAPOLI DAY TOURS to POSITANO
View of Positano
How to Get There
Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. arrive by FERRARI
in “ONLY YOU”
WHERE to STAY
Le SIRENUSE HOTEL
Experience The Ultimate in Luxury and Service Par Excellence at Le Sirenuse
WHERE to EAT on The AMALFI COAST
The AMALFI COAST
The You’re in Positano
The AMALFI COAST
Daniel Bellino “Z”
Visit POMPEII – POSITANO – AMALFI COAST SIGHTSEEING TOUR
With PIZZA CLASS / LUNCH in SORRENTO
Clark Gable with Sophia Loren
Naples and The AMALFI COAST
The Path of The Gods
The AMLFI COAST
Cheapest Budget Hotels
The AMLFI COAST
VIEW From Le SIRENUSE
Thee PLACE to STAY in POSITANO
Deluxe Category Hotel
Look at This View ??? !!!!
How’d You like to Have Your Breakfast Here ?
One of Our ALL-TIME FAVORITES CASA ALBERTINA
Deluxe Quality and Service for LESS
Beautifully Appointed Rooms
Casa Albertina is a wonderful 1st Class little family run Hotel that is perfectly situated so you get a nice view of the town from just a little way up, yet a short easy teen minute walk to the Beach and Center of Positano.
I first discovered Casa Albertina way back in 1986 and had 3 glorious days staying there. The son Lorenzo gave me a special rate, seeing I was a young man (22) and probably didn’t have much cash. This hotel is beautifully appointed and the entire staff provides the most friendly service. Casa Albertina is an Absolute Gem.
Note : The first time I stayed at CASA ALBERTINA was the Summer of 1986. The owners sone Lorenzo gave me a special rate of $79 a night, and I had an absolutely wonderful time. The next year when I came back, the price had gone up to $119 a night. When I checked the prices in May of 2018, the rate was $279 a night, and actually a reasonable rate for the quality of this hotel, which is not super deluxe, but does make it in to the luxury category of hotels.
CASA ALBERTINA … Via Tavolozza 3 … POSITANO , ITALY … Reserve a Room
Me at Casa Albertina
Breakfast with Nicoletta
View From a Room
HOTEL BUCA di BACCO
HOTEL BUCA di BACC … Via Rama Teglia 4 … Positano, Italy … tel. 39 081 1892 2289
Experience Super Service in a Deluxe Category Hotel
A Room at Le Sirenuse
View From Terrace Bar at Le Sirenuse
Le SIRENUSE HOTEL … Via C. Colombo 30 , Positano, Italy .. tel. 39 0862 060556
Click Here to Book a Room at Le SIRENUSE HOTEL
View from the SANPIETRO
One of The Worlds Most Renowned Hotels
For The DREAM VACATION of a LIFETIME
One of The SAN PIETRO’S FABULOUS Rooms
Your Own Private Balcony
Find Your Room
View from the Terrazzo at Hotel Art Pastea
Lounge at HOTEL ART PASITEA
Free Wifi, Free Breakfast, Beautiful Views, afforadble Prices …
FIND a Room
View from the Terrazzo at Hotel Dimora Fornillo
A Room with a VIEW
Hotel Dimora Fornillo
About 200 Steps up to the Hotel from the Beach and Center of town.
AC Free Wifi … Free BREAKFAST Reserve a Room
View From VILLA MARIA ANTONIETTA
Posiitano has to be one of the hardest place in the World to find a hotel room, and in the Budget Category, almost but not Impossible. Villa Maria Antonietta is one of your best options if you want to pay less than $150 US Dollars a night. It’s almost impossible finding a room here in the high season (April to Mid October). You have a much better chance getting a room here in the off-season when you can get a room for about $96 a night (US Dollars).
I first stayed here in the Summer of 1985, and was recommended this place by the late Poet RENE RICARD. At the time I paid $40 a night, so considering the way things have skyrocketed here in Positano, that you can get a room for about double the price in 2018, that’s pretty reasonable.
The accommodations are basic, but most important, they are clean, the location is Fantastic, you are in Positano and it’s relatively Cheap.
If you want to stay in in Summer, Book Far in Advance !!!
Just 1,900 Feet from the Main Beach and Marina to catch Boats (Ferries) coming and going to Positano.
VILLA MARIA ANTONIETTA … Via C. Colombo 41 , POSITANO , ITALY
Hotel Conca D’ Oro
View From Balcony
HOTEL CONCA D’ ORO
Afforadable with Average Room Rate of $145 a Night US Dollars
150 Steps Up, about a 15 Minute Walk to The Main Beach
HOTEL CONCA D’ ORO …. Via Boscariello 16 , POSITANO , ITALY Info
Find Your Hotel
Positano has to be without question one of the hardest places in the World for the Budget minded to get a hotel room. There are not many options, as most hotels, the prices are astronomical priced. Seriously! This being said, it’s not impossible and there are some options available.
We have Compiled a List of Several Affordable (Cheapest Hotel Rooms in POSITANO) Options for the Budget Minded. It wasn’t easy, but we did it.
It goes without sayint that’s it’s markedly more dificult to find a reasonably priced room here during the high season which runs from mid April to mid September, with mid May to the first weel of Septemeber being super busy.
This all being said, if it’s possible for you to go in October or April, these two months might be your best possible option. If you have plenty of cash and can afford to pay $300 or more a night for a hotel room, then you won’t have as much as a problem.
The other alternative to see Positano if you want to go during the High Season, is to stay in another town like, Paiano right next door to Positano, or Minori, Sorrento or other town near by, and take a bus or Boat to visit Positano, have a nice lunch and do some sightseeing.
MEMORIES of POSITANO
EATING on THE AMALFI COAST
At BUCA di BACCO
Positano , Italy
Yes a Wonderful Ristornate Amazing View Great Food Excellet Service … This Hotel and Restaurant is a mainstay of the hugely popular town of Positano on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Everythin about the place is First Class, the hotel of course , the restaurant and a friendly professional staff of waiter, BBs, host, Chef, cooks, and all who work at this establishment. I’ve eaten here numerous times since 1985, and it’s always been a great experience including my latest trip this past May with my cousin Tony. We went for lunch, this was my cousin Tony’s first time, and he loved as I always have. I think I created a Monster when my cousin Tony said let’s get a bottle of Champagne and a suggested we might get a good quality Italian Sparkling Wine. A few days before we were at Lo Smeraldino Ristorante right on the water in Amalfi. I ordered the Ferrari “Perle” Brut 2007. It was wonderful and Tony was hooked, he loved it, and wanted to get it at almostevry restaurant we went to for the rest of the trip. Now back to Buco di Bacco. Tony scanned the Wine List at Buco, he found the Ferrari “Perle” and ordered another bottle (Vintage 2010). We started drinking it and as with the 5 or so bottles of this wine we had on te trip, it was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed. Now when it came to ordering, for Antipasto we got an order of Melanzane Parmigiano (Eggplant Parm) and some grilled vegetables. Now, though we both love eating Seafood when down on the Amalfi Coast, when we saw Meatballs (Polpette) on the menu, we both ordered some. I ordered a plate of Spaghetti Meatballs while Tony ordered just Meatballs minus any pasta.
The BAR at BUCO Di BACCO
The service as usual was excellent, it was a absolutley gorgeous day in Positano and we were both a couple of Happy Campers outside on the lower Terrazzo of Buca Di Bacco. We both commented on how relaxing and peaceful it felt sitting there on the deck and we both sat back and thorughly enjoyed the whole experience and good fortune to having lunch there at such a nice restaurant in the beautiful town of Positano n the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Yes, we knew we were lucky and we were most certainly greatful to be sharing such a memorable meal together, two Italian-American cosuins in Italy in Positano, The Amalfi Coast. Basta !
The WINE LIST
BUCA Di BACCO
PESCE MISTI di Mare
BUCO di BACCO
POSITANO … I won’t give you the adress, as you can’t miss it. The Hotel and Ristorante BUCA di BACCO is front and center, right at the main beach in the center of town in Positano. If by some insane reason you have a problem finding it, just ask, it’s right down near the water. telephone : 39 081 837 0723
PS … If you can Affor It? The Hotel is Wonderful.
A Great View of POSITANO from a outdoor table at Da VINCENZO
That’s the terrazzo of Caffe Positano where all the people are stiing outside, which if you started going to Positano long ago, you may know that spot as the old BAR DeMARTINO, one of my favorite places ever in Positano, but sadly no longer there. Anyway, this is a spectacular spot to get an Apertivo, have lunch or dinner, and just injoy the moment and the beauty before you, and just how “Lucky” you are to be in this Gorgeous Place, known as Positano. Enjoy!
Italian Cookbook Author (Me)
Daniel Bellino Zwicke, Enjoying Lunch
at Da VINCENZO
Been Going there Since 1985
Yes, I started going to Da Vincenzo way back in 1985. Ever Since my first trip to the lovely little Seaside Town on The Amalfi Coast, that was yet to be discover by the masses all around the World. Yes, there were people who had heard about this gorgeous place, but not nearly as many as do now. Yes, Positano for the most part was still relatively un-known back then. That’s before Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. made the movie ONLY YOU that brought the town to the attention of so many more Millions of people then had ever even heard of the palce before. Anyway Cei la Vie.
Now back to Rene Ricard and myself and how I discovered and went to Da Vincenzo way back in the Summer of 1985 (Bar DeMartino also). It was just a few days befor my long awaited first trip to Italy, Spain, and the South of France when as I waas walking down 2nd Avenue one night I ran into my friend Alma who was with the Poet RENE RICARD. We were all chatting on the street when I emntioned my trip. When I said I was going to Rome, Venice, and positano, Rene got quite excited and told me the best places to go to in Rome, Venice and Positano. So besides all the info Rene gave me on Rome and Venice, he told me all about Positano and where to stay and where to eat which included going to Da Vincenzo where Rene told me I’d get the Best Plate of SPAGHETTI VONGOLE that Id’ ever have in my entire life.
View From a Table at La CAMBUSA
La CAMBUSA … Piazza A. Vespucci / Spiaggi Grande POSITANO … tel # 39 089 812051
Linguine Frutta di Mare , La CAMBUSA
PIAZZA A. VESPUCCI
Out of most of the places we went in Positano this was easily best. They are so friendly and the food was perfect while overlooking the beach. Our first night they were about to close and stayed open for us to get a light bite and a great bottle of wine and we told them we would be back and they didn’t not disappoint. The seafood pasta was amazing and once again the staff was accommodating. I couldn’t recommend this place more. Enjoy Positano and really get to know the people because it’s a great place.
La CAMBUSA and The Piazza Amerigo Vespucci
“Alimentari” … Via Pastea , POSITANO
“Some of The BEST FOOD in All of POSITANO”
FRITTATA FORMAGIA ARANCINI PANINI MELANZANE SALUMI e FRUTTA
The Selection at “LATTERIA” is AMAZING
And You Can Take it out and Eat on Their Lovely Little Terrazzo
The Terrazzo at “LATTERIA ALIMENTARI”
We just lucked out and stumbled into this place for sandwiches while we waited for check in time at our hotel. We took them down to the beach and ate them on benches. Several people came up and asked where we got them! They were delicious and SO reasonably priced. Fantastic!
The GIRLS at Latteria Positano
Eat out on The Terrace or Take Out to Your Hotel Room or Apartment
or for Your BEACH LUNCH
They’ve got everything you need : Water, Wine, Sandwiches, Fruit, Rice Balls, Cheese, Salami, Eggplant Parmigiano, Frittata, Olives, Sweets, evrything.
Daily Specials at LATERIA POSITANO
Yes another deli (Salumeria). Beleive it or not, Salumerias / Rosticcerias have some of the best food in almost every city in Italy, and so is the case in Positano with Latteria Deli and here at Delikatessen. We decided to grab some food to take back some food to enjoy on our balcony. The food was of great quality and very reasonably priced. We bought some Pasta, Panini, and Eggplant, Arancini (Rice Balls) . Everyhtng was super tasty. They make greay Sandwiches (Panini) taht a great to take along with some Fruit and Arancini for an awesome Beach Lunch. If you are staying in Positano for a while and don’t want to eat out all the time then this is a great option. They have a great wine selection if you like to do as we do and keep a bottle or two back at our room , as well asfruit and bottled water which you always need.
In The KITCHEN at DELIKATESSEN
Look at This Awesome Panino
Eggplant, Salami, Mozzarella, Peppers
One of the Girls at DELICATESSEN
POMPEII & PIZZA
AMALFI SIGHTSEEING TOUR
With PIZZA CLASS LUNCH iN SORRENTO
View from Beach Club at Music on The Rocks
“My own personal Favorite Beach in Positano”
The Main Beach of Positano
Fornillo Beach is a Great Spot with Several Nice Bars and Restaurants
3D BEACH MAP
The AMALFI COAST
Are You Looking for a Reasonably Price Drink with a Great View?
Go to The PARADISE LOUNGE .. Good Drink w/ a World Class View
For LESS !
The Boat to Da ALDOLFO
at LAURITO BEACH
Map of Positano and its Beaches
BEST of NAPLES
PIZZA SIGHTSEEING TOUR
TAKE a DREAM VACATION
COOKING CLASS -WINE – SIGHTSEEING
ALL INCLUSIVE VACATION of NAPLES and The AMALFI COAST
7 DAY TOUR INCLUDES 6 NIGHTS ACCOMMODATIONS
MEMORIES of ITALIAN FOOD
in POSITANO – CAPRI -NAPOLI
NEW YORK – ROME – VENICE
The BEST of The AMALFI COAST ITALY
CAMPANIA DREAM VACATION
Learn to COOK on THE AMALFI COAST ITALY
7 DAYS COOKING SCHOOL CLASSES
EATING & SIGHTSEEING VACATION VACATION
Of THE AMALFI COAST ITALY
Including : SORRENTO – NAPLES – CAPRI
POSITANO & AMALFI
STARTING YOUR TRIP in ROME ?
ROME to POSITANO
DOOR to DOOR LUXURY TRANSPORT
PRIVATE CAR (Mercedes)
From YOUR HOTEL or The AIRPORT in ROME
DOOR to DOOR to YOUR HOTEL on The AMALFI COAST
RELAX on YOUR RIDE DOWN
With a PROFESSIONAL DRIVER
ROME to POSITANO
POSITANO – AMALFI COAST to ROME
Door to Door
Direct From ROME
REMEMBER ! The Electrical Current in Europe (Italy) is 220 Volts. In the USA we use 120 Volts … If you Want to Use your Computer, CHARGE Your Camera and Phone, you’ll need a TRAVEL POWER ADAPTER KIT ..
We Recommend THIS ONE
It’s The HIGHEST RATED on AMAZON
And We NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT IT
LOOKING FOR The CHEAPEST FLIGHTS
To ANYWHERE ?
The AMALFI COAST ITALY
HOW to GET to POSITANO
ROME to POSITANO
Me & Vincenzo
Villa Maria , Minori
I flew into Napoli direct from JFK New York. I stayed at a hotel in Napoli for one day before heading off to Minori and Villa Maria Agriturismo Lemon Farm. So I had a littel breakfast at the hotel, and I headed over to the train station to catch the Circumvesuviano local train that runs from Napoli to Sorrento and makes stops at Pompeii, Castelamre di Stabia, and all the coastal towns along the way.
It took about one hour and the train arrived at Sorrento where I would catch a bus from here to Amalfi, the end of the line. I would then have to take another bus for a short 15 minute ride from AMalfi to the center of Minori.
The bus arrive in Minori, I got off and went to the nearest and best caffe in town, the Pasticceria Cagge Gamberadella. I asked the lady if I can make a telephone call to the place I was staying. I told her I was going to Villa Maria, and the lady said, “ah Vincenzo!” She was very kind and she made the call to Villa Maria and told then I was at the caffe. The lady hung up the phone and told me that someone would be down to pick me up in 15 minutes. I thanked the lady profusely for making the call from me, and she said, “niente,” meaning no problem, it’s nothing.
I got a gelato (Crema di Limone e Pistachio) and sat around waiting for my ride. About 20 minutes later, Mr Vincenzo Manzo arrived in his little white Fiat Panda Station-wagon to bring me up to Villa Maria. We threw my bags in the car and it was off to Villa Maria. The ride was a little scary, but I’ll get to that at another time.
So we made it up to the Lemon Farm and Vincenzo brought me to the dining room to meet his wife Maria, his son, and daughter Nadia who I was emailing back and forth and she made the reservation for me to stay there for 3 days. Vincenzo gave me a picture of Lemonade that I was dreaming of ever since I say the video on Youtube where I luckily mde the discovery of Agriturismo Villa Maria two weeks prior when I was just looking at videos to get me excited for my upcoming trip to Sicily and the Amalfi Coast. I came across the wonderful video that David Rocco had made of Maria Vincenzo and Villa Maria . I savored my Lemonde, we chit-chatted for about 15 minutes then Vincenzo asked me if I wanted to go to my room. I did, and Nadia brought me there and showed me everything. It was a gorgeous little room, and I just loved it.
I started unpacking some clothes and then took a nice refreshing shower. I got dressed then when out on to my private terrace to look at the view and take everything in. Needless to say, the view was spectacular, looking to the sea and the town of Minori below and the town of Ravello up and to my right as gazed out onto the Tryyhenian Sea ahead. The Lemon Farm of Villa Maria is up in the hills of Minori a t its highest point, and the land is a natural amphitheater. The slopes are lined with terraces of the many thousands of Lemon Trees that make up a large part of the farm but not all of it. Vincenzo has Olive Trees nd naturally makes his own olive oil, as well as having grape vines by which he makes his own red and white wine. They have Peach and Apricot Trees by which the make fresh Jam, and of course they grow all sorts of other fruits and vegetables that are part of your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
So I gave out over the farm, out to the seam to Ravello and the town of Minori below. everything was wonderful, and I felt quite lucky to be there. After enjoying the beautiful scene before me I walked back toward the restaurant area. Vincenzo spotted me and asked me if I would like something to eat. Hell Yeah, I thought but didn’t say that, but replied, “Yes Please.” Vincenzo asked me if I wanted some Pasta. This statement was part question and part command, if you know what I mean when someone ask you a question in that way. Again I said yes. He didn’t say what kind of pasta, and I didn’t ask, no need to, I knew it would be good. Vincenzo pointed to a table out on the terrace if I’d like to sit there, and so I did.
I made myself comfy and Vincenzo asked if I’d like some wine, “yes,” again. “Red or White,” he retorted. I told him I’d have some white wine. A minute later Vincenzo brought me over a bottle of his Villa Maria Rosso local red wine. Then a picture of water. I poured myself some wine, sat back and enjoyed the beautiful view as I waited for my plate of pasta.
When I say that I knew the pasta would be good, that was the understatement of the decade. The pasta was Great with a capital G. Reading my diary of this trip, it says “I just ate the Best Pasta of my life! I kid you not.” Yes, Vincenzo’s wife Maria made me what may very well be the best pasta dishes I’d ever had in my life. The pasta in question was a plate of Paccheri al Frutta di Mare (Seafood Pasta). Paccheri are a favorite pasta of the area, they are big short tubular maccheroni that are perfect for catching all the tasty little buts of shellfish, including Shrimp, Mussels, and Clams with little bits of fresh Cherry Tomatoes from the garden. Wow, the pasta was perfect and the Vincenzo’s wine wasn’t bad either. It was without question one of the best lunches in my entire life, why wouldn’t it be, with such elements as # 1 me being in Minori on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. I’m at one of the most fabulous places anyone could dream of, in Villa Maria a working Lemon Farm on the Amalfi Coast, not only one of the most beautiful spots on Earth, but also, thee number one best spot for growing lemons in the world, and here I am on a lemon farm in that area, with one of the coolest loveliest person you could ever want to meet, and I’m here having Vincenzo have his wife making me the most incredible Pasta Dish Ever, (Recipe ) and I’m sitting at a table up on the Amalfi Coast, sipping wine that Vincenzo made right here on this farm, and I’m looking down upon the lemon farm, and down to the lovely town of Minori and out onto the sea beyond, with Ravello off in the near distance. I ask you all, what could possibly be better than all this. Not really much in my book.
These was just the beginning of a wonderful 3 day stay at Villa Maria. It all started off with the affable Vincenzo Manzo picking me up at Caffe Gambradella, taking me on a slightly harrowing ride up to his property, giving me a pitcher of fresh Lemonade made with the World’s finest lemons from his lemon farm, introducing me to his family, and having his wife make me the World’s Best Plate of Seafood Pasta on God Good Earth and all this was in the first 3 hours of a three day stay at Villa Maria.
After my unforgettable lunch of Paccheri di Mare, I went back to my room for a few minutes to get my little travel bad together with my camera, diary, pens, and what-not and I was headed down into the town below. I walked down to the center of Minori walking partly on the road, side walks, and alleyways. Along the way with the view changing as I walked, I took about a 100 pictures as I made my down from Vincenzo’s farm up in the highest part of Minori and down to the center of town, to the sea at sea level below. There were lots of wonderful things to see along the way, like little shrines of Jesus, or the Virgin Mary or both, all the little homes, Olive Tree and Lemon Groves, Ravello above, and the sea below. It was wonderful.
I reached the town, and began to explore, looking at little shops selling the famous local Ceramics, antiques, clothing, and what-not. I checked out the local caffes and restaurants to see where I might want to go during my 3 day stay in Minori. I went into the towns main church, the Basilica of San Trofimena.
Even though I had that tasty plate of pasta that Maria made me, after all the walking I was still just a bit hungry, so I bopped into a nice little salumeria (Italian Deli) that I came upon. I went in, and asked if I could get a panino. I asked the girl for some local Salame, and pointed to the Provala Affumicato that I spotted. She sliced a little of both and put it onto a nice panino roll and gave it to me. This was quite a discovery I can tell you. That tasty Salame combined with delicious local Smaked Provolone (Provala Affumicata) was a combination that just blew me away. I was smitten. Smitten by a simple little Italian sandwich. But it was the simplicity and fine quality of the Salame, bread, and cheese that mde for one of the most wonderful sandwiches of my life, and a sandwich that after tasting this one, I would order several more of this same combination at salumerias in Positano, Amalfi, Capri, and Sorrento.
So I had a nice little time exploring the town of Minori, but it was now almost 6:30 and I needed to catch the little town bus up to Villa Maria to get ready for dinner, at 8:00 .. I took the little mini-bus that leaves from the Municpal Hall across from the Basilica, and the bus left me off right by Villa Maria. From the road it’s a shor little walk up hill to the main house and my room at Villa Maria. I said hello to everyone as I got back, and Vincenzo asked me to confirm if I was having dinner. Of course, this was one of the main reasons I came here, to eat 4 course dinners of dishes made with products from their farm. I went back to my room to freshen up, take a shower, and get dressed for dinner, and so I did.
All dressed for dinner, I left my room and walked from my room and 50 feet along the terrace pass the 5 other rooms until I came to the terrazzo of the restaurant. The tables were outside on the terrace, but I would learn on my stay here 3 years later that it can be slightly cold sometimes in May, and that time Vincenzo had us eating inside on the 2 days I stayed at Villa Maria in 2018. More on that for another time, this is May 2015. Vincenzo pointed out my table out on the terrace, overlooking the farm, the town, and the sea below. Again, quite the gorgeous spot, and as I had my lunch out in the bright Mediterranean Sunshine, it was now twilight time and the Sun would soon be going down.
I sat down and Vincenzo brought over my un-finished bottle of wine from lunch. The six lovely rooms at Villa Maria all have names not numbers, and my bottle of wine had a name tag of my my room, a nice little touch. I poured some of the wine into my glass and took a sip of it. A few minutes later, Vincenzo’s son brought me my antipasto course. It was an Antipaso Misti consisting of; Caciatorini (Salami), Vincenzo’s homemade Prosciutto, grilled Zucchini, homemade Cheese, and marinated Eggplant. Needless to say the antipasto was excellent, made with Vincenzo’s homemade Salami, Prsociutto, and Cheese, and vegetables grown on his farm. And oh yes, his own olive oil as well, let’s not forget that.
The antipasto was excellent, and Vincenzo’s homemade wine was going down quite nicely, when Vincenzo brought me a plate of Fried Zucchini Flowers, a specialty of the region, they were stuffed with some of Vincenzo’s homemade Provala and they were superb. As I ate them, I thought of my good friend Pat Parotta, I had written in my travel diary, that knowing Pat and enjoying many meals with him, I knew this was one of favorite dishes, I I knew he would love to eat these here at Villa Maria on the Amalfi Coast of Italy.
Vincenzo Jr. said his mother Maria made some homemade Ravioli and that would be next. “Yumm,” I thought to myself silently. The Ravioli came, ad you know they were delicious. They were filled with eggplant puree and cheese and dressed with fresh Sugo di Pomodoro (tomato sauce) with tomatoes from their farm and cubes of fresh made Mozzarella sprinkled on top. Yes, my previous thoughts of “Yumm,” were spot-on,and I kept sipping the tasty local wine, “Farm o Table Dining doesn’t get any better or fresher than this.
I ran out of wine so I asked Vincenzo to bring me a bottle of Vino Rosso. He did. Vincenzo’s red wine is quite tasty, made of a local grape called Piedirosso. After these three dishes, I had a grilled Pork Chop served with a Salad of Lettuce & Fennel, it was quite nice.
After the main-course they brought me the tastiest Fruit Salad that I’d ever had. It was made of the freshest Cherries, Watermelon, and Kiwi. Dam it was good. As I ate this, probably the best Fruit Salad I’d ever eaten, I thought that if all the catering halls in America served fruit salad like this one, the dish would not be so maligned as having the bad reputation that fruit salads have at so many wedding all over America.
As I sat there eating the tastiest fruit salad ever, Vincenzo came over and asked if I wanted some Limoncello. Well I sat there thinking to myself, how could anyone ever come here to this gorgeous lemon farm, in the World Capital of Lemons, and not get the homemade house Limoncello? The answer to Vincenzo’s question was a solid, “Yes.” of course.
Now, if I didn’t have enough “Best Ever’s'” already on this trip, the next morning another was about to occur. I got up, took a shower, ad made my way to the breakfast room (same as dinner). I put my diary, pad, and guide books on my table and walked over to the breakfast buffet table, and “Wow!” The table was filled with fresh fruit, coffee, juices, toast and about 6 different homemde Fruit Jams, and a enticing array of sweets, including the local favorite pastry Sfogliatelle, and Maria’s homemade Lemon Cake. Did I say “wow!” Yes I did. I dug in and I wasn’t shy, I got my coffee and fresh OJ, and I filled up two plates with pastries and the Lemon Cake, with toast, Cherries and Apricots. I took everything to my table, and guess what? I was once again in “7th Heaven,” for this was without a doubt, easily the most wonderful Breakfast in my entire life. Again, there’s the view and just being here on the Amalfi Coast, with my Cornetto, Coffee, Maria Lemon Cake, and Sfogliatelle, “My God,” what did I do to deserve this? I guess I’ve been a good boy, and God was rewarding me no doubt. To say the least I was loving every minute of it, and didn’t want this breakfast to end. I went back and got seconds, even making myself a tiny little Panino with the Salame and Fresh Cheese on the table.
I sat there savoring my coffee and all the goodies on my plates. I read my books and plotted the day ahead, taking notes of the ferry timetable and places I wanted to check out. After and hour and a half, I finally and oh so reluctantly I left the table.
Excerpted from my forthcoming book, POSITANO – Capri Napoli The Amalfi Coast.
This excerpt may not be reproduced or used in any manner without the permission of the author – Daniel Bellino Zwicke …
This story to be continued in, “A Day in Positano.”
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
The WORLDS BEST BREAKFAST
My Bottle of Wine
And a partial View from The Terrace, looking to RAVELLO
At VILLA MARIA
View from TERRAZZA
At VILLA MARIA
That’s RAVELLO in Upper Right Corner
The FEAST of 7 FISH
MARIA’S PACCHERI d’ MARE RECIPE
POSITANO MINORI The AMALFI COAST
MY 1st Lunch at Villa Maria
PACCHEri FRUTTA di MARE alla MARE