The busy Amalfi Coast is forever busier…..I went to Positano at the very end of Sept last year, which once upon a time was the most delightful time of year to visit. Most Italian tourists had gone back to work…and the locals were slightly worn out but with bulging pockets and good humour, so incredibly flexible. This time of year was considered the best month of the year to be luxuriating on this magnificent coastline. However I was surprised how packed it was last Sept!  Very civilised but nevertheless, it felt like July!

So what’s the best way to visit this breathtaking part of the world? BOOK EARLY! The one thing I have come to realise after working with rental properties, both hotels, guest houses, apts and villas on the Amalfi Coast is that the happiest campers are the ones who get in nice and early to book their accommodation! Naturally they get a wider variety of properties to choose from and end up with the best possible spot to suit their needs.  EVERYTHING else can come later…….Boat bookings, hikes and walks, restaurants and special events can all be booked within a decent time frame of your arrival. But in my books the accommodation should always stamped ‘URGENT’!

Twelve months prior to arrival is not too early to book your ideal spot on the Amalfi Coast. In many cases you will be offered that’s years prices even though you are booking for next year…ANOTHER bonus!

The Amalfi Coast is vertical, so the hotels are not sprawling properties with 200 rooms, but the max might be from 30 – 60. Some have less than 10! Another great reason to  hop in early.

Your 50% villa or apt deposit will be fully refunded, minus bank fees if you cancel 6 months or more prior to arrival. Naturally the amount of refund diminishes the closer you get to your arrival date, but there is little harm in booking!

And hotels and guest houses who take credit cards to hold rooms, will not debit anything from your card until one month prior to your arrival. AGAIN another great reason to jump in there early with your booking.

MOST importantly, book your accommodation as early as possible. A year in advance is not silly! If you leave it till a few months before arriving, you will undoubtedly  be disappointed  with what is left and on offer and most probably you will not get exactly what you need or want.

However, here we are just a few months before the beginning of the summer season in Europe and here below are a few stunning properties and a few window-dates still available today! Drop me a line today if you are interested and I will block it for you.

We Aussies have to battle with the rest of the world for these hot spots and if we are clever we can slip in there before anyone else……., we just gotta be quick! The GFC is pretty much over and the US are on the move again…..they are big planners and big movers so we have to stay one step ahead!

DATES OF AVAILABLE VILLAS & APTS RIGHT NOW ! click in the villa names to see photos and full details.



30 APRIL –  21 MAY

28 MAY –   3 JUNE

30 JULY –  20 AUGUST



16 – 22 APRIL


4 – 17 – JUNE

10 – 29  – JULY

20 -30 – AUGUST

10 – 30 – SEPTEMBER


14 MAY – 11 JUNE





14 – 21 MAY

9 – 23 JULY



14 MAY – 6 JUNE


CASA MEDITERRANEO – Contact me! it’s new and not yet on my site.

Sensational, chic and pure paradise - Casa Mediterraneo.

Sensational, chic and pure paradise – Casa Mediterraneo.

16 – 23 JULY

6 – 13 AUGUST




1 – 20 MAY

4 – 10 JUNE

20 – 26 AUGUST







Buon viaggio!

Do you love your wines? Don’t miss this delight on the Amalfi Coast.

I’m not a huge drinker, all those additives give me a headache!…. but 20 years in Italy certainly awarded me an appreciation for a good drop! To this day, I love that glass of ‘special’ wine to accompany an excellent meal….and the Italian wines appear to have a lot less additives than many others around the world, so if the wine is a decent quality, we  are safe!

When I arrived in Positano I had come from living three years in Milano and Firenze and had become great mates with Marco de Grazia who is an exceptional wine broker, grower, exporter, producer &  motivator, Marco has assisted greatly in bringing the Italian wine industry to where it is today. He has had a phenomenal influence on us all!

my darling Marco doing what he does best!

my darling Marco doing what he does best!






My then partner Sergio was a passionate wine lover too so while living in Positano all those years I tried everything from our family’s home grown brew, a little rustic…  to some of the great Barolo wines from the north. All delicious in their own right and not a headache in sight!

So our Amalfi Coast ‘Nectar of the Gods’ tours will enchant you! This region is not well known for its wine growing like Tuscany, Alto Algide or Sicily, but the few wineries in this area do offer some extraordinary ‘vini estremi’ which I discuss in my book My Amalfi Coast. 

Where it all starts.....

Where it all starts…..

Vini Estremi (Extreme Wines) These heroic wines are the fruits of sweat & tears by hard working passionate men and women in certain unknown areas of Italy, geographically arduous, and sometime impossible handkerchief size pieces of terrain hanging from a rocky outcrop or slipping into the sea. These special wines are renowned all over Italy where Mother Nature and her ardent helper have managed to coax some exceptional and unique grapes from the ground.  Places like Trentino-Alto Adige, Cinque Terre, Pantelleria, Mount Etna in Sicily and the Amalfi Coast  all share their ability to produce exceptional extreme wines. Marisa Cuomo perched on the hilltop village of Furore on the Amalfi Coast definitely creates an outstanding extreme wine! Her Fior d’Uva white has won awards world wide and a visit to her coastal cellars is a must if in this area!

Wine growers are not always available to talk us through their wonderful products  sipping wine and enjoying the specular views with good food. In my experience they are more often than not; checking their vineyards, have their heads inside vats, are in the fields or arguing on the phone with a transporter…..so a well versed and excited ‘sommelier’ is a treat and that is exactly what we can offer.

Cristian is a local sommelier with knowledge in wines from all over the world, but just happens to be born on the Amalfi Coast  so has strong ties in this region. He  will delight you with an easy but exciting day on the coast OR beyond the coastal area and into other close by wine regions if  you have time to experience these provocative flavours. He can offer some straight wine tasting for the die-hards or an excellent wine tasting accompanied by a delicious meal.


Cristian,  Sommelier & passionate wine lover!

Cristian, Sommelier & passionate wine lover!




All your transport is included in the price to get  you to the wineries which can vary from a 40 mins drive to a 2 -3 hr drive from Positano.

Here are two of my favourite Amalfi Coastal tours:

Amalfi Coast Tour “Tramonti” includes:

Transfer from Positano to Tramonti, average journey time about 60 mins.

Visit the “Tenuta San Francesco” winery, a small family run estate set on an 18th century farm-located in the regional park of the “Monti Lattari”. The tour includes the visit of the winery plus a tasting of the “DOC classification” wines produced.

Enjoy the full experience including tour of the winery, the wine tasting and a lunch with matched wines by “Tenuta San Francesco”

package price start €180 per person 


Amalfi Coast Tour “Furore” includes:

Transfer from Positano to Furore, average journey time about 45 mins. 

“Marisa Cuomo” estate is located in Furore a small town on the hillside behind Amalfi. 

Marisa makes outstanding wines, better known worldwide for their white wine called Fior D’Uva which was awarded as the best Italian white in 2003. Marisa and her husband Andrea will offer a tour of the winery and samples of their outstanding wines.

Enjoy the full experience with lunch provided by a traditional Osteria just a few minutes away called Bacco which is part of the Cuomo’s family, here you can choose from a La Carte menu’ and wines will be paired to the food. The chef Ermina is Marisa’s older sister and one of my special chefs featuring in my cookbook, Amalfi Coast Recipes. This is a special day out.

package price starts at €200 per person

The love Marisa in her cellars.

The love Marisa in her cellars.

Slightly further afield is the following winery and a wonderful experience:

Avellino Tour Taurasi:

Transfer from Positano to Taurasi, average journey time 1.55 minutes.

Visit the Antonio Caggiano winery, a pretty small estate right in the heart of the DOCG Taurasi appellation. The Taurasi is the only red wine that hold the DOCG appellation in the Campania region. Antonio Caggiano was awarded by the famous Italian wine guide “Gambero Rosso” with the highest degustation rate.

Enjoy the full experience of the tasting, tour and lunch (with 4 course home cooked meal with matching wines)

package price startsat €215 per person

And for those who don’t have a lot of travel time to visit these exceptional wineries, Cristian our Sommelier can offer come exceptional wine tasting journeys right in Positano:

Wine Tasting. 

“Campania Journey” tasting at €70 per person including three wines of Campania region, well selected small boutique wineries of the area.

“Dream of Italy”  tasting at €80 per person  including three classic and traditional wines, 

 from Piedmont, Tuscany and other winemaker areas of Italy;

“Grand Cru” tasting at €95 per person including wines among Italy and other country of Europe, such as: grand Cru from Champagne, Burgundy, Mosel etc.;

Every tasting will be paired with a nice selection of cold starters.

Tasting can be customised on request and can also be offered privately in your villa/apt on the Amalfi Coast.


All the tours/wine tastings will be attended by Cristian our Sommelier personally and will offer an excellent Q & A for those seeking extra knowledge !

This is a journey not to miss when you visit the Amalfi Coast, so just drop me a line at amanda@my-amalfi-coast.com and I will book you in ASAP!…..as you can imagine, Cristian’s 2016 calendar is filling up fast….you won’t be disappointed.

Baci Baci e buona degustazione!

ADD SOME AMALFI COAST FLAVOURS TO YOUR XMAS…you will surprise and delight your guests!

It’s Xmas! so what can I say about Positano and the Amalfi Coast right now?


This is possibly what Positano may present in the coming months! I’ll keep you posted! brrrrr….lots of white fluffy stuff!


  1. It’s the dead of winter & quite nippy but  will enjoy at least one BIG snow dump on the coast at some point before April
  2. Most hot spots , good eateries, villas and hotels are closed till Spring
  3. The entire coast is  as quiet as a mouse….with plenty of maintenance guys walking around in overalls and heavy jackets
  4. At least one bar per town is still open for the Italian essentials – coffee & pastries  in the morning and a glass of anything alcoholic WITH a televised soccer match in the evening
  5. Most delis and food stores are open for business. So if you are in the area…get cooking!

There is plenty of winter ‘frisky food’ around at this time of year.

Although I lived and breathed this wonderful coastline for over 18 years, I did spend most Xmases in Australia with my family for at least a few weeks. But the few  Xmases I did enjoy on the Coast were exception culinary experiences, open fires, toasted chestnuts and plenty of warming red wine.

Today we can bring a lot of these mouth watering recipes to a warmer Xmas and so many of the Amalfi Coast delicious dishes can be easily translated into our summer.

If you do not want to brave the Amalfi Coast in the dead of winter, and I do recommend everyone does try this at least once in a lifetime simply to experience their winter foods, eat without ‘swimwear’ guilt and enjoy a good soccer match in the town bar with all the locals sipping  a glass of something strong and warming, then the next best thing would definitely be to embrace some of their top tasty dishes and leave the Amalfi Coast winters to the brave hard core locals!

Marco cheekily enjoying his Nonna Lucille's delicious lentil and barley soup in chilly Positano a few days ago.

Marco cheekily enjoying his Nonna Lucille’s delicious lentil and barley soup in chilly Positano a few days ago.





Last week, one brave hard-core locals, enjoyed a warming winter dish in nippy Positano. He doesn’t look too miserable to me!!!

My second book, Amalfi Coast Recipes if full of wonderful savoury delights & here are just a few  of my favourite TREASURES to wet your appetito and add some Italianess to your traditional Xmas! These dishes are perfect for our sunny seafoody Xmas.

Gamberoni con rughetta e brandy x 6 pers Secondo 

King prawns with rocket & brandy

Roberto Proto – Atrani – Rist A’ Paranza

Delicious sautéed prawns and wild rocket! a perfect Xmas dish!

Delicious sautéed prawns and wild rocket! a perfect Xmas dish!

Roberto has totally embraced the magical art of flambé in this recipe. Once a sign of great culinary prowess in the 60’s, this skill was generally exhibited by professional staff at the table in up market restaurants. Unfortunately Roberto executes his skills hidden away in the kitchen, but all the flavours are paramount!  He frequently offers unusual and sometimes untraditional twists to his dishes, but they are always beautifully balanced and much appreciated by locals and visiting clientele.


1,5 k gamberoni ( 5 lg prawns each)

125 gm EVO

1 glove garlic

50 gm di rughetta servatica piu’ forte

125 gm brandy

125gm water



Peel the  prawns leaving the heads and tail attached. Heat oil on med flame and add 1 whole garlic  cooking till golden and remove.  Turn off the  flame and add the prawns, then  turn on flame again to high and cook for 2 mins on each side. Turn off the flame and add the brandy. Set your flame  to high and the  brandy should ignite briefly. Cover your pan with it’s lid to extinguish the flame and  add 125 gm water, salt and rughetta chopped finely. Cook without the cover for 3 mins. The sauce should be very tasty and creamy. Serve immediately and garnish with parsley


Risotto alla Crema di Scampi – x 6 pers Primo

Creamy Scampi Risotto

Roberto Proto Atrani – owner/chef

This delightful creamy risotto has an explosive flavour...and you wont believe it's ingredients!

This delightful creamy risotto has an explosive flavour…and you wont believe it’s ingredients!

I actually feel quite smug about having this recipe. This is an all time favour up and down the Amalfi Coast and a well guarded recipe at Roberto and Massimo’s little underground trattoria in Atrani . EVERYONE in the area has tried it and loves it, but few have worked out the secret of its success!

After WW11 when the Americans occupied this part of Italy for quite some time , a passionate  American cook in the area, was experimenting with the local ingredients and some products from home.  This crazy mix has a USA flag on it undoubtedly, but our anonymous chef miraculously held onto the local flavours. 


1 k cleaned scampi 

750 ml thickened cream

480 gm Canaroli rice

750 gm water

30 gm Ketchup

10 gm Tabasco

250 gm EVO

150 gm Cognac



Cook rice in lightly salted water for just 10 mins then rinse well. This can be done the day before and refrigerated. It’s important to rid the rice of all the starch. Unlike a traditional risotto where it is required!

Peel the scampi and chop them into medium size pieces. Put in a heavy base pan with all the oil on a med flame. Cook for apx 5 mins until scampi have changed colour and have absorbed their own liquid. Add Cognac and let evaporate, shake the pan and it should give you a nice big flame and start to evaporate.  Add cream, Tabasco & Ketchup, turn off the flame and stir.  Relight the stove on a med flame adding 125gm water and mix well until it boils then add rice and cook uncovered for 10 mins stirring constantly.  When you have plated up the rice put a scampi head on the top of each risotto portion & a chuff of parsley on top of the head but nowhere near the creamy risotto as  parsley and cream fight each other according to Roberto. Who recants an old Italian saying:


Between what you say and what you do; there is an entire ocean!

Verdura alla Griglia x  6 pers Antipasto

Fresh Grilled Vegetables.

Consiglia Giudone Positano – Palazzo Santa Croce

Like the colourful ceramic tiles of the Amalfi Coast, these delicious but simple grilled vegetables are an exquisite accessory to your turkey!

Like the colourful ceramic tiles of the Amalfi Coast, these delicious but simple grilled vegetables are an exquisite accessory to your turkey!

I could eat plates of these flavoursome fresh vegetables grilled on the BBQ or on a ridged hotplate on the stove top. When thinly sliced, they take no time at all, retain all their nutrients and are super tasty. Consiglia has cooked these for overseas visitors for years who  always remain “a bocca aperta”! gobsmacked, which astonishes her as it’s as easy as falling off a log to prepare and as good as any gourmet meal if you follow her instructions!


4 med eggplants cut on the bias into 2 cm slices

4 zucchini cut on the bias into 2 cm slices

½ k pumpkin cut into 1 ½ cm slices

2 capsicums quartered then cut in half and flattened.

Any other vegetable you like can also be added. Mushrooms, whole large ones flattened or sliced, or wedges of juicy radicchio or fennel to name a few.


Use a heavy grill plate on the stove if you do not have a BBQ. Heat well. Sprinkle hot grill plate with a little salt. Place sliced vegetables on the hot plate one type at a time.

Cook the capsicum first as it generally takes the longest. When they are cooked on both sides, peel their skins away which should be easy once they have browned. Meanwhile start cooking the eggplant. When it has browned stripes on one side, turn over the do the other. Be careful not to overcook them or they will have a charcoal taste. Continue to cook each veggie separately  until they have all acquire the grilled stripes (except the capsicum which you have now peeled). When you have finished them, pace all the veggies on a flat serving tray and sprinkle with a good vinaigrette made with:

100 gm EVO

20 gm parsley and mint

50gm balsamic vinegar ( Ponti)

Chilli to taste ( optional)

1 clove garlic chopped


buon appetito!

La Zeppola x 8-10 pers – makes 30 zeppole  Dolce

Fried Xmas Doughnuts

Agatina Semprevivo  Positano – award winning Donut Queen!

Agatina drizzles home grown honey over her famous Xmas Zeppole!

Agatina drizzles home grown honey over her famous Xmas Zeppole!

Suspicion is so present in Southern Italian……many years ago when families could not afford to buy sweets at Xmas, these mouth-watering morsels of flour or potato where the perfect substitute. In the times of Agatina’s grandmother, they would lock themselves away in the house to prepare them, terrified that jealous prying noses would smell their delectability, bring bad luck & stop the doughnuts from rising!

Agatina has many secrets in her pantry but her biggest one must be her recipe for these famous Xmas doughnuts. She is the envy of the village and when you look at the Zeppole history of superstition and prying noses, it’s quite surprising hers ever turn out!

She frequently wins prizes for her Zeppole and has even  been on National television presenting them to the nation! If well executed, these little goodies are heavenly!

The Legend:

The Zeppola legend speaks of an Egyptian women many centuries ago who was kneading her dough of water and flour to make unleavened bread when she fell asleep. On awakening she saw before her that her dough had doubled in volume. Sad at the fate of her bread but not wanting to it throw away she picked off small chunks of dough and fried them up. They were delicious. From here the mother dough was born. Eventually this recipe arrived on the Amalfi Coast  during the Xmas period with small modifications of milk, yeast and honey. Hence the Zeppole of Christmas was born.


300 gm flour 00 (passed through a sieve)

25gm beer yeast (cubes)

Milk 100ml

Water 260 ml

Pinch salt

½ lit peanut oil

Honey – 3 tbspns

Sugar 1 tabspn

25 mls  limoncello 

Lemon peel grated 1 teaspn o amareno cherries ripped


Pour flour into a large bowl with a pinch of salt. Heat milk with water until very hot. Make a hole in the centre of the flour and pop in the  yeast cube slowly  pouring  in the  milk/water mix while breaking up the yeast with your fingers . Slowly mix all flour while adding milk/water. When mixed well  together start to whip the dough  with your  hand using it  like a whisk & moving it  towards yourself for 5 mins to fold air into the dough.  It should make a thick creamy consistency. Cover with a plate or lid in a warm place so the dough can grow to double its  volume. If you have quite a  warm place you will need apx a ½ hour but if its  cooler you will need to let it stand for longer.

In a high sided pot apx 20 cm wide heat oil well till boiling level ( but not smoking or burning) then take a dessert spoon of pasta from the  bottom of the bowl and with a finger or tespn drop into the  hot oil. If it doesn’t’ rise quite quickly,   wait till oil is hotter. When the spoon size donut rises & as soon as golden, flip it over using two spoons. This should take less than one minute. They MUST rise up immediately to not absorb oil. Place on paper towel to drain. Do not try to deep fry more than 5 at a time.

Zeppole can be changed in size according to what suits you.

Place well drained zeppole on a serving dish. Take two spoons of honey and one of sugar and heat till boiling, when it becomes a froth add the Limoncello & lemon peel. Turn off the flame and pour over the zeppole mixing  gently and dress with more grated lemon peel or ripped cherries.

Tiramisu con frutti di bosco – 8 pers Dolce

Berry Tiramisu

Daniele Bella Positano

Daniele's mouth watering Berry Tiramisu'......a real Xmas treat no matter where you are enjoying it.

Daniele’s mouth watering Berry Tiramisu’……a real Xmas treat no matter where you are enjoying it.

Must be  prepared the day before

Like most worshipping foreigners in Italy, the Tiramisu’ benchmarked  my dessert list. But when I came to live on the Amalfi Coast, the Tiramisu’ took on a totally different dimension. It was presented  soaked in Limoncello, packed with Nutella, or layered with fine toffee! But this sensational and original  wild berry version of Daniele’s wins all my votes! Its alcohol free (great for the kiddies)  but can easily be modified  for the adults with a splash of rum or vodka! If you love your coffee Tiramisu’ as a winter dessert, this will break your heart in summer!

Best prepared the day before or early in the morning to serve that night. It really needs 12 hrs in the fridge.


5 eggs

½ k mascarpone

½ k of mixed frozen or fresh berries

300 ml water

250 gm castor sugar

400gm – 500gm Savoyard biscuits ( Italian ones are best)

32 cm x 25cm x 7cm high container

Vodka or alcohol to taste.


In two mixing bowls divide the egg whites from the yolks

In the yolk bowl add the 250 gm castor sugar and mix well with electric beater till pale, light and fluffy. Fold in the mascarpone cheese to this mix.

In the second bowl beat egg whites until stiff then fold into the mascarpone mix.

Blend 200 gm of mixed berries with 300 ml of water and amalgamate well. Pour into a third bowl (this is where you can add some vodka or other alcohol according to taste).  Then dip the Savoyard biscuits one at a time quickly into the berry mix. Cover your container or tin with one layer of soaked Savoyards biscuits, then ½ the  mascarpone mix , sprinkle with  100 gm of fresh or frozen berries then repeat this  process until all your ingredients has finished but make sure you finish with a layer of mascarpone and the final layer of fresh berries.. Put in the fridge for apx 12 hours.

Amalfi Coast Recipes will give you many delicious ideas for Xmas and these a just a few. Have a wonderful Xmas and I  hope you manage to add a few Amalfi Coast flavour to that special day.

BUON NATALE or Merry Xmas! e tanti baci xxx

Oh Dear! Did you think I had abandoned you? Not a chance!

Sorry I’ve been absent for SO long, but I just needed  a little Amalfi Coast fix myself….AND also had to visit a few other delicious spots along the way.


 I caught up with my darling son Marco in Positano  at the tail end of summer, & what a joy that was and how BUSY was it!  Oh dear gone are the days when you could waft into town any time after mid Sept and generally find a bed almost anywhere! from B & B to a five star, there was generally a spot. And please note, hotels, apartments, villas and B & B had been booked out for MONTHS! so prepare your next visit with plenty of time to give you better choices and get super organised……starting with your all important  accommodation.  All other activities  can be sorted closer to your departure.

But first my darling Mamma and I hit the shoreline between Monaco and S. Tropez in the South of France. I think my last visit to this region was many decades ago, but I found little had changed! Butter and Baguette everywhere! not great for a Dairy and Gluten free gal like me, but hey……that fish and salad will save you everytime! and boy I had lots. 

Those charming and glamorous seaside beach restaurants outside  S. Tropez on the beach of Pampelonne are as fabulous as ever, perhaps a little more grown up & less bo-ho that when I first visited  back in the 80’s, but then again so am I! Again bring on the fish, salad, wine and plenty of luxurious beach beds. Speaking of wine….how many litres  of French rose’ can one consume in an entire summer….with visiting the local hospital? I think plenty! here below is where to buy it in S. Tropez, especially if you are travelling by boat….Armel the owner will look after you and as it’s surrounded by fantastic deli shops, you can nibble while you shop!

So S. Tropez!

So S. Tropez!

My favourites being Cabane Bambou for its chicness and delicate food and decor and Club 55 for all the opposite reasons, a little gaudy, plenty of ‘people perving moments’  and a  Crudité which resembled the entire fresh vegetable market of Provence! If we had been back in the 70’s or 80’s I definitely would have been sporting my transparent white dress and cowboy boots to this spot!

And naturally I cant help but compare all this…..sea-sideness with my beloved Amalfi Coast.

in S. Tropez I walked on golden sand, I even saw a few well dressed divas doing the same in high heels….bloody amazing! On the Amalfi Coast I glided across black pebbles that most foreigners navigated by hopping, cringing & swearing. But there is a trick to this:

RELAX THE MUSCLES IN YOUR FEET!…..all of them. And it will become a lot less painful!

Adolfo my ex father in law taught me this years ago when I was struggling with my ‘barefoot’ waitress duties at Da Adolfo restaurant. While I melted into the comfort of a delicious padded beach bed in S. Tropez, I was frequently decapitated by  the heavy, loose screws head visor of the  beach bed on the Amalfi Coast.

But the one thing I have to say, you cannot BEAT the Amalfi Coast for a delicious pasta, baked fish, seafood risotto or some mouth watering grilled veggies.  The coastal views are also pretty spectacular.

That iconic view we all take home when we leave the Amalfi Coast.

That iconic view we all take home when we leave the Amalfi Coast.

Mamma and I were pretty hopping excited by the time we reached Positano. I had some business up near Salerno, so we ventured into Cetara for an amazing ‘straight from the sea’  lunch  at Acqua Pazza, on their delicately designed fish plates  &  we also had to stop and buy some ceramic fish for my courtyard wall back home. Naturally this little hole in the wall shop, IOS CERAMICA in Vietri was not even in existence when I wrote my first book My Amalfi Coast…..how good would this wall shot have been in that book? 


This fabulous wall belongs to Ios Ceramica, just before you get to Vietri….well worth a pit stop!


plenty of glamorous cheery fish at Ios Ceramica.

Acqua Pazza are just too chic!

Acqua Pazza plates are just too chic!


Mamma and me chillilng at our fav breakfast spot - La Brezza on the main beach.

Mamma and me chilling at our fav breakfast spot – La Brezza on the main beach.

I also make a new discovery each year when I return to Positano. My favourites this year are:

Bar Franco  which is nestled on the hill side right next door to it’s owner hotel Le Sirenuse.  It’s early days but I do love its exposure to the elements, it’s breathtaking vista and the mish-mash of tourists and locals alike. What a stunning location.

Wine-dark House eatery,in the back alley behind La Brezza,  close to the main beach but tucked in under the staircase opposite the big church……you know what I mean!  The great view of the main beach however is around the corner, nevertheless this place is packed –  day and night! A good sign were a heap of young locals call it home, including my son !…. young people do love a hidden shady spot but  surprisingly these  lads allowed  the likes of  me and Mamma a place for lunch on a daily basis! incredible food, fabulous wine choices, lovely atmosphere and resting under the large umbrellas was a midday treat away from the sun! And by the time all the kids arrived in the evening, we were tucked up in bed with our Kindles!   Bring on those alici marinate (fresh marinated anchovies), they do them brilliantly.  Bravo Nicodemo! (he’s the owner and takes crap from no one!) 

My favourite dish on the planet. Alici Marinate.....xxx

My favourite dish on the planet. Alici Marinate…..xxx

After Positano, we had to hit Roma for just a few days on our way home. Here we discovered  Antico Caffe’ Greco……not because we love a waiter in a penguin suit at 10am, but because our little hotel was literally perched above it !  Wow you ask for a glass of mineral water and get an entire meal! …..mind you the price of that mineral water… just like a main meal!  fabulous fun!

Then my darling mates Vale e Ale (pronounced Valley and Alley) who are true locals, took us to the institutional S. Lorenzo trattoria, Pommidoro….no it’s not a spelling mistake, just Roman! and Amedeo who runs the place and a passionate hunter,  will offer you some of their simple and delicious local delicacies like pasta alla Gricia. (pig cheeks with pasta). Sensational stuff!  & NO I didn’t eat it but loved looking at Mamma’s face as she finished the last strand….Thank heavens I have eaten enough pasta all Gricia over the decades with Ale and Vale to last me into the next lifetime!

This dish is SO good ...I could pick out the pasta and just eat those pig cheeks!

This dish is SO good …I could pick out the pasta and just eat those pig cheeks!

Now with all that fish and salad, where did those extra kilos come from???

The eternal question when one returns home in a pair of very very tight jeans!

Who cares?

Do I look a bit Italian? I certainly AM! I FINALLY got my Italian Citizenship after all these decades....just in time to retire into a good glass of red.

Do I look a bit Italian? I certainly AM! I FINALLY got my Italian Citizenship after all these decades….just in time to retire into a good glass of red.


Delicious Seaside Eateries on the Amalfi Coast.

Seaside eateries have to be the very best thing about the Amalfi Coast in summer… OR winter if you rug up and can find an excellent eatery by the sea that is still open, few are but go for it! Alternatively head out to sea in high summer with your best swimmers and T shirt and you are ready for action!

If you are obliged to “watch your wallet” whilst travelling, this does not mean you have to miss out on some of the better seaside eateries. Positano for example offer several ‘free boat’ services to various little seaside restaurants and beach bars close to the town – generally a 5 – 10 mins boat ride away.

Pupetto Fornillo5504

If on the other hand you can manage to hire a boat with it’s own personal boat boy for the day, then the Med is your ‘clam’, a decent substitute for an oyster.  Including swimming while sipping chilled Prosecco, visiting any of the special grottos along the way like the Grotto Smeraldo in Conca dei Marini or a quick trip out to the Galli Islands. I have sent plenty of young people out for the day on a nice sized boat, they split the bill, have the best time, and their costs are decent. If you are a bigger group of  say 12 then apx 70m euro a head to hire a fabulous boat for an unforgettable day out on the Amalfi Coast…is not too shabby.


Lined up like lovely little ducks, these vessels turn into ‘living rooms’ when you head out onto the Med. The ‘Gozzo’ is perfect for these waters.

Families with babies  can also enjoy this fabulous day out on the Mediterranean on a gentle local boat, ‘a gozzo’ with a covering canopy for shade at the back of the boat and soft lounge cushions at the front for sunning and relaxing while you float around the Mediterranean on your way tranquilly to one of the fine eateries which dot the coastline.

All the boat guys speak decent English and are a wealth of information about the area, so ask away! They can also supply you with ‘sea toys’ like snorkels and mask or floating devices but best to book these when booking the boat. Just let me know and I will get you the perfect rental. 

When you arrive at your foody destination, you can leave all your gear on the boat as the boat guy will look after your possessions and just take your wallet on land to the restaurant, bar or trattoria. You will either be dropped off at the restaurant’s jetty by your boat guy or you will be scooped up by the restaurant’s own run-about boat at your mooring.


Night time coastal dining is also a big treat in high summer!

If you get  a faster boat you can make it all the way to Capri or right down the other end of the coastline to Cetara. Both boast exceptional restaurants which are fit for a king, but you can arrive in a swimsuit and sarong OR swimsuit and T-shirt for the guys. Most  good eateries accept casual dress and ALL snack bars do!

Here are just a few of my favourite spots on the coastline. Contact me to discuss other options…there are plenty!

The tiny fishing village of Cetara possess one of the best fish restaurants on the coast. The clever owners even have their own fishermen who fish only for them every day. The restaurant is chic but easy with a definite cutting edge feel to it, like their wonderful  & original dishes. They are also the ‘kings’ of the anchovy, fresh or salted. It is a 1 min walk from the port. This is not a cheap & cheerful but  extremely cheerful & worth every mouthful.

Day 12 Gennaro-62

Mouth watering pasta with anchovies in Cetara!


Just a short distance before Cetara arriving from Positano is the town of Maiori, certainly not the prettiest town on the coastline but it does possess an amazing eatery! Just on the outskirts is a  12 century tower which is run by 4 brothers! Two on the floor and two talented chefs in the kitchen. I have know these boys for years since they ran a small trattoria in Minori, their home town and just next door to Maiori. The tower offers a myriad of opportunities, weddings, big family celebrations, birthdays…..anything you want but all with best dish for the occasion!  You can laze down by the seaside in their ‘al fresco’ section of the tower lunching almost with your toes in the water or if weather does not permit, head inside to the top floor of this magnificent and ancient structure which embraces spectacular views of the coastline looking back toward Amalfi and Positano and enjoy their fabulous service and food from high above. Open for lunch OR dinner. A little up market price-wise but easy to dress down by dining  on the rock by the sea & an unforgettable meal.

Day 5 Massimo-33

Moving back even closer to Positano is another little jewel of a town called Atrani home to yet another delightful restaurant, open not only for lunch but also for dinner. It is a 2 minute stroll into the town’s piazza from the main beach and your boat to this fabulous eatery. There is no fancy view or open air terrace, just excellent food and wine. Two brothers have run this institutional restaurant since many years and are well loved amongst locals & visitors alike, so bookings are essential. When I lived in the area this was a favourite dining spot of ours at night after seeing a concert in nearby Ravello. It is just down the hill on the sea and also perfect for a hot summer’s day lazy lunch in the shade! They do a shrimp risotto to die for! Middle of the road price range, depending on your choice of dishes.

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The well known Atrani scampi risotto….adored by locals and tourists.

Back in Positano, and a hot spot that does  not even require a hire boat to get there as it supplies its own free transfer from the main beach, is one of my favourites. Just 5  mins from the main beach is the tranquil and small beach of Arienzo which has one of the best little beach restaurants in town. Well priced with all the classic dishes of the Amalfi Coast, this is a must. But you should book your beach bed and lunch to avoid disappointment on the day if its high summer. It is a small eatery with a BIG turnover, but always feels relaxed. They do wonderful grilled fresh fish! especially their fresh anchovies! Easy and not over priced at all!

All of the above will do you a mouth watering version of THEIR Pasta con le Vongole (Clam pasta), a classic dish in this part of the world.

Heading towards Capri you will come across a beach with wall to wall restaurants on their main beach called Nerano, but be careful….some are excellent, the other are just good. One of my favourites is tucked into a corner of the beach and offers an endless  array of antipasti on arrival. These sumptuous dishes arrive at your table before your bottom has hit the seat. Juicy mozzarella, baby sweet tomatoes with rocket, naughty little seafood fried delicacies…the list is endless.   And after if you have the appetite, their pastas and grilled seafood are sensational.  To accompany all this, there are litres of chilled white wine with local peaches. A day to die for! Easy and middle of the road price-wise.

Positano - Giovanna

Restauranteur and beautiful Giovanna sets the pace in Nerano.



Next stop could be Capri. But this is another boat ride away and needs special planning. I have my own ideas about Capri in high summer so please email me and I will fill you in. There are a handful of excellent seaside eateries on this island worth noting.  A bit costly but sensational choices.


The majestic Faraglioni of Capri.


Fine dining on the Anacapri side of the island! with sensational sexy Paolo Sandulli statue to really help understand the meaning of good food!

These last two places are officially NOT part of the Amalfi Coast but are certainly very accessible so happy to include them.

Give me your dates, preferred time to eat and budget and I will book you. I promise you won’t be disappointed! I will also advise on the best things to see and do while on the open seas, depending on your likes and dislikes. This is  My Contact  or email me at amanda@my-amalfi-coast.com 


How can I soothe my nostalgia of the Amalfi Coast summer when I’m on the other side of the planet in the dead of winter? There is only one thing missing when you have someone special over there RIGHT NOW deliver to your front door step an  incredible  gift of Amalfi Coast native herbs, fruits and plants…which I lucky received just days ago from two very kind souls… How lucky am I?  THANK YOU Bruce & Chyka xxx baci! So now I have to get cooking to complete this delicious simulated vacation!

Herbs, flowers and lemons dress my kitchen table in the middle of winter to bring some Amalfi Coast joy!

Herbs, flowers and lemons dress my kitchen table in the middle of winter to bring some Amalfi Coast joy!

Some more Sydney stuff that reminds me of the Amalfi Coast!

So I am climbing into my favourite apron, not the one with William and Kate on my chest from their London wedding a few years back, but the one with all the Italian implements on it that I hand printed for my Positano T shirt shop years ago. I now have to get cooking with my favourite Neapolitan music by Pino Daniele blaring in the background. But I also have to shed a tear for my darling Pino passed away sadly at the early age of 59 just after Xmas this year. What a tragic loss! Thank God we have his music. And just the smell of those lava bubbling tomatoes, the rich odour of sautéed garlic and generous pinches of lemon zest – all start up my Mediterranean motor!

Here below are some of my favourite Amalfi Coast winter/summer recipes  which are “good to go” any time of the year. Your belly will sing Mediterranean food whilst your memories will play back up!  Any month, any season. Lots of ‘closed eyes’ humming will do the trick…from these stuffed veggie dishes and more! And just for fun, these are all ‘veggie’ dishes which will warm your soul and digest in a flash! Prepare them as a main OR as a contorno (side dish) to any of our favourite roasted or grilled meat or fish, if that is your love.  

more recipes available in Amalfi Coast Recipes.

Pomdoro Sorrentino  Imbottito  x 6 pers  Antipasto

Stuffed Oxheart Tomatoes.

Consiglia Giudone Positano

Oddly enough this was a very popular dish at Da Adolfo restaurant during those  hot summer months. It never ceased to amaze me what healthy appetites the Italians had during this warmer period. They would so often opt for warm soups and stews, big baked pastas or hearty stuffed vegetables while sitting around the beach in wet swimmers in searing temperatures! I guess the two hour nap on a sun bed under the umbrella following lunch, took care of their digestion!


6 large bullock/ox-heart tomatoes

50 gm capers in brine or salted but rinsed well (chopped finely)

150 gm fior di latte (cow milk mozzarella, best day before) chopped into small cubes.

10 basil leaves chopped

1 fillet of anchovies finely chopped

50 black and green olives finely chopped


500 gm Arborio rice boiled in water & a little salt till ‘al dente’ ( apx 17 mins) and rinsed.

½ white onion chopped finely

50 gm EVO

Tomato pulp from the 6 tomatoes


Carefully cut a decent size hole at the top of each tomato putting aside these lids. Keeping the tomatoes intact, scoop out their pulp with a spoon. Fry the onion in EVO on a medium flame and add the  rice. Cover and toss the rice then add the tomato pulp plus ½ litre of boiling water. Cook all together for approx 10 mins until rice is ½ cooked.  Turn off the flame and let cool for another 10 mins. Then add all the other ingredients except the mozzarella. Stuff the tomatoes with this rice mix and poke one 1.5 cm cubes of mozzarella into the middle of the rice stuffing and cover with the tomato lids.

Pour a spoon of EVO into a baking dish and put in the stuffed tomatoes with their lids and a thread of EVO drizzled over the top and cook in over for 25 mns for 180 .

Peperoni Imbottiti x 8 pers Antipasto

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Angela Giannullo – Positano

Oh this is such a recipe! you wont believe how good it is until you try it.

Oh this is such a recipe! you wont believe how good it is until you try it.

I do love bell peppers in this area, they are sweeter than anywhere else in the world and this could be the reason the locals have so many ways to prepare  them. Angela’s stuffed peppers are definitely at the top of the list!  I’ve listed them here as an Antipasto, but seriously if they are big & juicy enough, then just one is a perfect vegetarian Secondo with not even room at the end of the meal for a spoon full of gelato! I think this was the first dish that Julie Gibbs from Penguin and I rushed home to try as soon as we had savoured Angela’s while shooting my recipe book on the Amalfi Coast. They were an absolute triumph!


8 med red and/or yellow bell peppers. Whole and grilled on a hot plate (or baked in a hot oven) until the skin in burnt, so you can peel it away easily,  but the flesh is still al dente.

250 gms of old bread  white ciabatta bread)

1 egg

300 gm mozzarella

50 gm green olives without seed

50 gm black olives without seed

40 gm capers under salt rinse for 2 hours in water. Or from the jar without vinegar

White pepper

2 anchovies cut into small pieces

5 leaves of basil

1 glove garlic cut into small pieces

4 spns of EVOil

Bread crumbs to finish off


Wet bread in water, squeeze out water well and amalgamate with all ingredients cut into small cubes. Mix well together with one beaten egg.

Lay out each cooked bell pepper cut into four on a flat surface and cover very lightly with salt – there is no salt in the mixture due to the capers. 

Put a decent amount of  mixture onto of each pepper and roll up firmly but gently. You do need string or toothpicks to close them. in a porcelain baking dish, pack them  in tightly with the round side up. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. 

Cook at 170 in a fan forced oven for ½ hour. Eat hot, warm or cold…….they are unbelievably good!

Peperoni con Caperi e Olive – 6 pers – Contorno

Bell Peppers with Capers and Olives

Mario Rispoli – Bar Bruno Positano

This wonderfully balanced Contorno is a classic in this region of Italy. The sweet bell peppers balance beautifully with the salty capers and olives. Certainly not one of the prettiest Contorni once you have added the bread crumbs to amalgamate everything, but this is a side dish fit for a King! A sensational accompaniment for any meat or fish course…and naturally you can make a hearty winter meal of this delicious dish if you want only veggies!


6 red bell peppers – cut into stripes

6 mixed olives cut into pieces – pips removed

4 teaspns of salted capers – soaked to de-salt

5 tablespns of bread crumbs

EVO – 6 tablespns

Pinch of dried chill

1 squashed garlic clove


Heat oil in a pan with chilli , squashed garlic, capers and olive on a med flame until garlic is golden. Remove the garlic then add red peppers and lower the flame adding a little water at a time every so often. Cook together until red peppers are tender; a good half hour. At the end fold in the grated bread crumbs and serve hot.

So stock up on your winter veggies and start creating these wonderful warming dishes to keep your heart and soul humming southern Italian Joy! and if you are planning a trip to this magnificent region, let me know so I can assist you with the perfect accommodation, wonderful restaurant bookings and any other fabulous events you’d like organised whilst there. I can also give you all  the right tips and hints to get your appetite on the best tables on the Amalfi Coast! BUON APPETITO!


All food/chef shots by C. Coulson.

Stunning Positano lights up every dish I ever ate hear!

Stunning Positano lights up every dish I ever ate here!


If I could choose an unconventional pet, it would definitely be one of these girls. They are so kind, docile and…..GENEROUS! These charming females have supplied all of Italy  and afar for many centuries with one of the countries most delicious products. But where would I put her? certain not in my back yard!


I just have to wait to visit her when Im on the Amalfi Coast. She is just down the road from this magnificent holiday destination, the Amalfi Coast  and has been for centuries! yes the region of Salerno is one of the biggest producers of buffalo mozzarella  in all of Italy.

Beautiful Buffalo. Her name is Divino!

Beautiful Buffalo.

Mozzare is the verb meaning ‘cutting by hand”  then separating eatable size balls of this delicious milk produce from the milk curd to then consume. If the similar dairy product comes from a ‘cow’ it SHOULD be called ‘fior di latte’, (flower of milk), but not mozzarella which SHOULD be strictly reserved for the Buffalo variety. By the way it is  a ‘milk’ product and not a ‘cheese’ as it will go off within days. Theoretically cheese does not go off within a few days. Having said that Mozzarella from the Buffalo lasts a lot longer than Fior di Latte from the cow, not to mention the superior flavour. 

Theories of it’s origin are plentiful but the most likely is that the Arabs introduced the water buffalo into Campania around the year 1000. Either way, these animals have been around for a long time. Their original used was to plough the fields due to their strength and wide hooves which resided sinking terrains, they were plentiful and were seen everywhere along the roadside. Today they are preciously enclosed on very rich farms especially equipped for them, but none as grandly as this one particular farm just outside Salerno.

Room temperature please... always!

Room temperature please… always!

Meeting these wonderful creatures while visiting the Amalfi Coast has several benefits!  This one rare Organic Buffalo Farm is just near the Temples of Peastum (previously known as Poseidonia after the God of the Sea) outside  Salerno, apx 2 hrs from Positano, the furthest town from Salerno  OR one hour from Vietri sul Mare, the capital of the famous ceramics and the closest Amalfi Coast town to Salerno. Paestum boasts the oldest and best preserved Greek Temples out side of Athens and are an absolute treat to visit after you have done a tour of the Buffalo farm and if you like, made your purchases. They supply  fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, yogurt, butter and dont forget you can grab an unforgettable Buffalo milk gelato on the way out!

This Organic estate still supply cold styrofoam boxes to take your produce away  as they have plenty of private clients who fly in for just 24 hrs from Milano to equip their own kitchens with these delicious delicacies.  This Tenuto (Estate) do not supply any commercial activities  (shops, restaurants, markets are not allowed to purchase here ) as their demands for larger quantities outweighs that of the private buyer. For once, we private clients have the precedence!!! Not only,   Mozzarella should NEVER be refrigerated! Sacrilege! not even the cow variety.

With only a head of 600 buffalo and all treated homoeopathically, these beasts are  heavily spoilt  with all creature comforts, at the end of your visit, you will WISH you were a buffalo on this Estate! All the life stock bugs are kept at bay with hanging pots of citronella and organic products scattered around the farm area. All 600 buffalo are named and treated accordingly as a family. There is Cioccolato, (Chocolate) Veloce, (Speedy)  Coccolo, (Cuddly) and the list goes on……And they have a group shower twice a day to stay refreshed, clean and bug free and any time they are feeling like a massage they simply head over to the massage car wash and slip under one of those big bottle brushes……sometimes with a friend

Giuseppe is  head Honcho in this place & knows each Buffalo by name!

Giuseppe is Honcho in this place & knows each Buffalo by name!

After this wonderful visit you could have them hold your produce, but buy early as it’s generally finished by lunchtime. Then pick it up on your way along the Amalfi Coast for lunch.  I have some great seafood recommendations on your way home in the quaint fishing village of Cetara just outside of Vietri and apx 1 hr from Positano. But before heading off to lunch this is a great opportunity to visit the close by  magnificent Greek temples of Paestum. There are three in all and one fabulous small and well contained museum just over the road holds many treasures;  which I studied dutifully in High School! But many of these treasures in the Paestum museum were not only recovered from  the Greek Temples  but also  from previously civilisations going back as far as the prehistoric ages! Excavation bought so many remarkable artefacts to light.


I used to visit this area at Xmas when the red myrtle berries where ready for picking with Adolfo, my son’s grandfather, a long time before Marco was born. Adolfo couldn’t care less about those Doric temples which sent me into a delightful spin, he had spent too much time in concentration camps in Greece during the 2nd WW to have any affection for their sacred temples.  But he loved to steal the Myrtle berries from the massive bushes that were scattered over the fields around these temples. We would all be give plastic bags and were instructed to fill them with Adolfo’s precious berries. He would then rush back to Positano and make litres of his Myrtle Berry Liqueur  to see him through to the next Spring. A couple of 2  litre bottles where always stashed under his bed to keep his thirsty kids away!  But before heading home we would always stop in a local trattoria for a massive Buffalo based lunch in the sun. My God, what a treat.  I would stand picking my bag of berries whilst hypnotised by these breathtaking temples. Naturally we would stash our booty in the bushes if we saw any official looking guards lurking.

And every time I had a sip of Adolfo’s magnificent Myrtle Berry Liqueur during the year, I would think of Paestum with it’s Buffalo and Temples!

Adolfo’s Myrtle Berry Liqueur recipe was sacred. Good luck first finding those berries outside of Italy! OR that recipe…..I never did get it!  Daniele, Adolfo’s youngest son and great chef has interpreted this recipe with Mangos, strawberries and many other exotic  fruits available in Australia. Perhaps I can squeeeeze this recipe from him on his next trip to Australia. Sadly Adolfo is no longer with us, thank the Lord Daniele has so many of his wonderful recipes in his head…..AND in my book! Amalfi Coast Recipes! 

you cant see them, but the myrtle berry bushes are everywhere!

you cant see them, but the myrtle berry bushes are everywhere!


Since the Greek era, not only the temples where highlighted but also the  wonderful digestive myrtle berries which were sacred to the God of Venus. These berries were understood to be the symbol of love and poetry.  How amazing these temples in Paestum (the ancient Poseidonia) is surrounded by Myrtle berry bushes!  Perhaps they were planted by the Greeks as a gesture to the God of Venus?

The myrtle berry was then used in perfumes and natural pharmacology & also renown for it’s magnificent oils which hold  astringent and anaesthetic properties, but is  was also used in cooking  to give flavour to meats. Although known and well cultivated in Sardinia, it found it’s way to Campania and this nearby town to the Amalfi Coast but who knows how long ago?

The internet is full of Sardinian Recipes to make Myrtle Berry Liqueur, but most anglo countries will not sell you 95% proof alcohol in a 2 lit bottle from the local deli for just $20!!! which is how we used to make it in Positano! You also have to find fresh Myrtle berries…..the rest is easy.

But one  tip when preparing Buffalo Mozzarella to eat!  Fresh is best! This juicy dairy product contains a lot more liquid than the cow’s variety, Fior di Latte, and if used in cooking will exude even more and give your dish quite a watery consistency. For this reason I do not love cooked Mozzarella (from the Buffalo)…..not even on a pizza which is much better prepared with the traditional  Fior di Latte variety which is naturally a bit sturdier, and better still if we are talking pizza, a few days old!

Caponata with Mozzarella di Buffola.

Agatina Semprevivo – Positano

You will find the “caponata” salad all over Italy and it is quite different in every region. The Caponata in Campania where the Amalfi Coast lies is generally prepared  with dried hard bread known as  le freselle or in Neapolitan “o viscuòtt” that has been quickly soaked to soften then dressed like a salad with herbs, tomatoes and oil. Sometimes other goodies like tuna or mozzarella are added. In this case we will go with the delicious and juicy ‘true’ Mozzarella……Buffola. The Sicilian one however is more like a ratatouille – a stew of “nightshade” veggies.

Although Agatina is originally Sicilian, after 40 years in Positano she prepares her caponata in pure Campania style! and will always use an excellent Buffola mozzarella if available.

Now just toss those torn big juicy chunks of  buffalo mozzarella on top! Foto by S. Griffiths

Now just toss those torn big juicy chunks of buffalo mozzarella on top! Foto by S. Griffiths.


6 thick slices of mozzarella di buffola chopped into 2 cm squares or better still, just ripped apart with your clean fingers at the last minute before serving.

6 slices of  oven dried ciabata bread OR freselle

400 gms of ox heart or bullock tomatoes 

1 white Onion

4 Basil leaves

3 good pinches Oregano

100 gm EVO   

Pinch of Salt 

200 gm of fresh rocket


Cut onion into chucky slices and tomato into rough wedges. Add rocket.  Dress with salt oregano and oil

Using 2 -3 day old bread if you don’t have time to make your own freselle Put the bread in oven at 160 for apx 15 – 20 mins until hard and golden. When cool run the hard bread or freselle under cold water for a few seconds. They should soften immediately. Break up the bread with your hands into large bit size chunks.

Add to onion/tomato mix and toss well adding drizzles of extra virgin oil ionce you have added to Mozzarella di Buffola on the top. Eat immediately while drinking a chilled glass of white – Falanghina or Fian d’ Avellino.


To get more information about our fabulous organic Buffalo Farm experience, just contact me and let me know what sort of day you’d like to spend in and around Peastum…..I’ll do the rest and give you some great eatery options on the way home as well! amanda@my-amalfi-coast.com

THE AMALFI COAST IS MAGICAL – no matter what your budget! PART 2.

When I think of my Mum Maggie travelling to the Amalfi Coast in the gentle winter years of her life, it’s a very different  itinerary to my sons’! Here are some lovely  easy suggestions I hope she’ll approve of. I’ll let you know when we return next October… Fingers crossed she’ll love it!

Me and Mum travelling!

Me and Mum travelling!

My Mum is not a princess by any means and has always embraced simplicity and minimalism, especially if it comes in all white! This is a wee challenge on the Amalfi Coast as there is so much colour…starting with the gelato coloured houses which cascade down the town, but the charm makes up for it.   For Maggie I  believe travelling has to embrace the functional with the least amount of fuss at the same time. Naturally we’d all love to be helicoptered onto the roof of our hotel in Positano to avoid all the roadside curves, inevitable summer traffic, not stand in  cues for the ferry to Capri or Amalfi and certainly not hang around outside the local eateries waiting for a table!

I recommend the following B.A.T. when travelling in summer to ANYWHERE in Europe!

1) BOOK as much as you can before departure. I can help with this, especially if you are obliged to travel during those busier months. Accommodation is paramount and if you want a good choice I suggest doing this at LEAST 6 months prior to departure. 10 months is ideal! Then book all those other  fun things you’d like to do! Get those bookings in place, restaurants, boat hire, treks, tours, Pompeii, etc…. you can always alter them once you are there but an initial booking is the best way to go. I give my clients all the necessary phone numbers once bookings are in place so they can alter or  cancel bookings if necessary on their arrival. This is also a courtesy to restaurant or venue to make space for other keen travellers.

2)  AVOID Peak Season, July and August! It is extremely crowded and often incredibly hot! Two good reasons to stay away… unless you are a BYT! (Beautiful Young Thing) who ADORE these two things about the Amalfi Coast during Peak summer months…..CROWDS!

 Peak Season on the coast!

Peak Season on the coast!

2)  TRANSFERS are essential to  book before leaving home. Most importantly  taxi/limo pick ups from the airports to your hotel or B & B plus any other necessary internal transfers during your stay whether it be for a day out on a boat heading to a seaside eatery or a taxi to drive you out to the organic Buffalo farm to savour their mouth watering mozzarella, gelato and yogurt via the ceramic  village of Vietri for a little shopping.

This is what I might suggest to Maggie for her trip…

For her arrival I would suggest a few nights in Roma to get over the long haul trip from Sydney, staying somewhere central  & close to the shops/restaurants area so she has easy access to move around without getting tired but also  have her hotel handy so she can slip back for a little nap if she gets tired of walking around. The Gregoriana Hotel is small and quaint and very central in Rome. More up market but in the same vicinity as the famous Ingelterra and Hassler hotel.

if your budget can afford it, then a private limo pick up in Rome to drive you directly to your accommodation in Positano is  450 euro one way & well spent being only 3 1/2 hrs on the autostrada in total comfort. OR if you can swing a direct flight into Naples which is much closer to the Amalfi Coast and I can have a limo pick you up and get you into Positano for just 120euro and apx 1 hr. All my drivers speak excellent English and being natives to this area, are a wealth of information, so ask away! They are full of ‘consigli”! (advise) and also know the best spots to stop for an espresso on the way down to the Amalfi Coast. 

After checking into your hotel/villa in Positano, please dont expect a villa for just 2 pers, the smallest villas generally start at 6 pers ( three bedrooms). If you are one or two pers a lovely apt would be perfect, but please also remember in High Season (May to Oct) they are only available for a full week from Sat to Sat, so check your calendars before booking!

If you cannot work the Sat to Sat dates into your travel time, then you are best to opt for  any of the following charming hotels or  guest houses, and please remember I have many other amazing choices in each category. Here are a few simply examples:

For a quaint 3 star hotel ( which generally have no pool but are very nice enjoying the same views as the 5 stars next door!)  I have some delightful Residence or  suite apts down near the beach for apx 250 euro a night for a  large superior suite or some charming hill top spots for less with breathtaking views.  If you’d like a pool then you’ll have to move up to a 4 stars hotel, I have several depending where you’d like to be in the town, up high with an amazing view or down on the beach with easy water access.These are apx 350 – 400 euro. I do however have one fantastic 3 star B & B which has a pool AND a private beach! you really have to get in early for this one!  If you’d like something a little more up market then a wonderful 5 star hotel might be your choice. There are several magnificent ones in Positano ranging from 800 euro to 2500 euro a night. A handful are very central then there are a couple just on the outskirts of town which enjoy total peace and tranquility.

I can book any of these hotels or apt/villas, so just give me some dates and a few details about your needs and I will send you a list of choices. PLEASE REMEMBER FOR ALL BOOKINGS, Xmas is never too early to book for the your summer holiday the following May through to Oct! This will give you first choice and help avoid disappointment. Contact me on:  my-amalfi-coast.com

My Mum is not a walker or hiker (neither am I) so the Walk of the Gods is a miss for us. However this is a fabulous day out and a 4 hr trek along the top of the mountain range that surrounds Positano, I have done it and no, it is not a tough walk. The views are sensational and my guide Frank is heaps of fun. He will most likely sing you along to the finishing line and has many other fantastic walks to offer from Capri to other parts of the coast. What my Mum however WOULD enjoy would be the lovely mountain top lunch at the end of the walk. So a hop on the local bus or a 10 mins limo drive up the mountain would fix this!  This way we can enjoy  the same magnificent views and delicious local trattoria food as the hikers!

Walk of the Gods.....spectacular views of the coast!

Walk of the Gods…..spectacular views of the coast!


Plenty of great food after that big walk….or in our case, just plenty of food with no walk!

A lazy boat trip up the coast to Nerano or Recommone for a fabulous seaside meal is something she would love. These lovely easy  local boats called ‘Gozzo’ will drift you along the coast with a glass of Prosecco in the shade of your boat’s canopy to the amazing grottos, islands and villages ending up in a quaint seaside eatery. This is a fabulous day out on the Mediterranean.


Us girls enjoying our boat day out on the Med!

One of the many fabulous 'gozzo' boats to hire in Positano to cruise up and down the coast!

One of the many fabulous ‘gozzo’ boats to hire in Positano to cruise up and down the coast!

A drive along the coast to the ceramic town  of Vietri sul Mare is a must if you are a fan of these delightful naive  ceramics and their wonderful history. All the ceramic houses will ship your goods home so contact me re: which are the best to check out. I can also suggest an amazing seafood lunch in the tiny fishing village of Cetara right next door to Vietri after your ceramic  shopping to savour some of the best seafood on the coast.

I am so looking forward to enjoying all this with my Mum this summer when we head over to the Amalfi Coast together!

So anything you’d like booked or  organised on the Amalfi Coast, just contact me. From special events, weddings, a romantic getaway, family fun holiday, restaurant or tour bookings, villas, hotel or apts suggestions –  We do it all!

BUON VIAGGIO ! and make sure you get a copy of my fabulous travel guide, MY AMALFI COAST before going  and BUON APPETITO. – check out my second book, AMALFI COAST RECIPES.


THE AMALFI COAST IS MAGICAL- no matter what your budget!

Whether you are as wealthy as the King of Brunei  or as poor as a church mouse, The  Amalfi Coast holds the same enchanting magic for everyone on this planet !   From the budget to the not- so -budget trip to the Amalfi Coast please read on…

We swim in the same silky blue sea, we marvel at the same breath taking panorama and we sleep under the same star studded sky! We all share the same enthusiasm when travelling to any magnificent destination like the Amalfi Coast, rich or poor, no matter what our budget is!

The magnificent  & very vertical Positano!

The magnificent & very vertical Positano!

PART 1 – Young, cool and possibly……..poor!

When I think of my son in his 20’s travelling to the Amalfi Coast I often wonder where he would stay and how he would enjoy this stunning coastline if he had not grown up there and known half the village! not to mention a good part of his family who still live there. But If Marco returned for a holiday with mates and did not know this area at all, here are a few things I might suggest:

The BYT’s of today (Beautiful Young Things) may be short on $$’s, but the one thing they appear to have in abundance is TIME! So take it easy and hop on the train OR bus at Rome Termini train station to head down to Naples then onto the Amalfi Coast.

Most overseas flights from the Southern Hemisphere arrive into Rome. If you have not managed to build into your International ticket a  reasonably priced domestic flight from Rome to Naples (the closest international airport to the Amalfi Coast) then hop on the Airport train into the Roma Termini train station (apx 1/2 hr). The taxis into Rome SHOULD be capped at apx 50 euro, but could take over an hour if traffic is bad.

At Rome’s Termini train station you can purchase your train ticket to Naples. The AV (Alta Velocita’) take only one and a half hours. Then there are a zillion other trains which take longer but cost less. The faster you go, the more you pay so ask at the bigletteria (ticket office) re times and prices.

Once you arrive in Naples, if the weather permits and the ferries and hydrofoils are running, it’s a quick taxi stop to the port, or a bus if you are game!. The ferry/hydrofoil may stop in either Sorrento then the island of Capri, if its the PEAK season DONT get off in Capri, this island can get over crowded and quite costly! Save if for a few years down the track., Stay on board and head to Positano, the first stop on the Amalfi Coast coming from Capri. These sea routes to the Amalfi Coast generally only run in the high summer season, June – Sept, so make sure when you board the ferry that you are going to  POSITANO!.

Gelato coloured houses of Positano.

Gelato coloured houses of Positano.

In my opinion by sea is the best way to arrive. You come into the wonderful beach area dotted with seaside eateries and boats with the entire town as a vertical backdrop like a breath taking theatre scene. you then simple walk up into the town or hop on the local bus that circumnavigates the 5 km town to your pensione (B & B) or room rental.

Alternatively once you arrive into Naples Central train station, don’t leave the main station, just head to the Biglietteria and you will see signs to also purchase tickets to the  Circumvesuviana. This is the little train that circumnavigates all the small town around Naples and the Vesuvius. It is apx an apx one hour ride to Sorrento which is your destination and the end of that line. If you are travelling alone e especially if you look decidedly foreign, like I did,  I probably wouldn’t suggest this trip at night, there are some very colourful characters hopping on and off this train who could be trouble. I did however catch this train at all hours but only with my Postanese partner  on tow who spoke fluent Neapolitan and was built like a refrigerator!   From Sorrento you must buy another ticket and hop on the SITA bus for Positano which leaves from right outside the little Sorrento train station and you will be in Positano at the ‘top’ of town so just walk down to your accommodation. The bus ride is apx  30 – 40 mins.  If you are not sure where your B&B or apt is, ask at Bar Internazionale which is literally AT the bus stop



The institutional BAR INTERNAZIONALE! an early morning coffee and home made pastry, a mid day snack of pizza on the run, a cocktail before dinner, a late night grappa or leave a message for a local! They will get it!

The captivating pyramid of Positano.

The captivating pyramid of Positano.


When you have settled  into your accommodation (check out my well priced guest houses  http://www.my-amalfi-coast.com/guest-house or perhaps a small apt http://www.my-amalfi-coast.com/appartments,) you may feel like sleeping for 24 hrs  possibly from ‘travel fatigue’….! after I suggest heading down to the beach area to check out La Brezza bar a great meeting/drinking/ Internet spot for the young right on the beach. You will find a mixed bag of guests at breakfast (they do good veggie and fresh fruit juices ) but definitely a younger crowd at night!

Chilling out at LA BREZZA bar. They do a mean Sptritz after a long day in the sun!

Chilling out at LA BREZZA bar. They do a mean Sptritz after a long day in the sun!

You can get take away pizza from most of the beach front restaurants and have your own feast sitting on the beach. All the delis in Positano sell beer and wine so make this a good stop, not a restaurant. The local bars also sell these products.  If you are in the top part of town, then head to:

Bar Internazionale, the local bar that sells home made pastries, pizza, snacks, drinks, alcohol and is open from early morning till late at night.

 Music on the Rocks for some late night dancing and fun after midnight you can head down to the main beach, but beware there is a cover charge  to get in OR if you have the energy to hop the local bus to Praiano (6 kms away) then  the local disco built into the rock face and accessed by a vertical lift is Africana  also great fun….and a bit less expensive.

C’era Una Volta just around the corner from Bar Internazionale at the top of town is great for an inexpensive and hearty lunch or dinner

 Bar Bruno is only a few minutes up the hill from the main square Mulini in Positano, Great views and not too costly. But they are very popular so book! Lunch and dinner.

Ristoante Capricci on the main beach also have great snacks and restaurant food.

 Pupetto Hotel/Ristorante on Fornillo Beach is a terrific not expensive pizzeria and restaurant. They also a good beach bar and the hotel is a very pleasant 3 star if you can afford it, apx 180 euro a double in high season.


FORNILLO BEACH is a much less expensive spot than the main beach of Positano and an apx 15 mins stroll from the main beach around a panoramic pathway heading to the right looking out to sea. It has a great local atmosphere, sometimes great music &  very relaxed, there are a lot of card games happening in these beach bars. The food in all beach bars (apx 4) is good and simple. you’ll get big salads, sandwiches etc at a decent price. But like everywhere if you sit on the beach beds with brollies they change between $10 – $15 euro for the day ($15 – $20) but it is like your house for a day and can be worth the money sitting on your own bed under the sun eating a fabulous giant size panino (sandwich) dripping with fried goodies and mozzarella cheese and a cold beer!

If you want something a little different, then head out of town on a SITA or local bus to the area of Arienzo (apx 5 mins) and walk down the hundreds of stairs to Arienzo beach You can get the boat from the main beach, but this is just for the restaurant clients and you may not want to eat in the restaurant, although it is well priced and a plate of pasta if you can stretch your budget is well worth it. It is very simple and lovely. They also do sandwiches outside the busy lunch period, (1 – 4pm)

The delicious beach of Bagni Arienzo where the water is crystal clear and the food is delicious!

The delicious beach of Bagni Arienzo where the water is crystal clear and the food is delicious!

The Bagni Arienzo family! great spot.

The Bagni Arienzo family! great spot.

If you do the stairs you can sit on the free side of the beach on your towel and enjoy this magnificent beach purchasing a sandwich or drinks from the restaurants, if you haven’t already bought your own with you.

But dont forget, the local delis have delicious food and are your best friends if trying to travel on a budget. They are open into the evening and quite late and do delicious sandwiches all day, naturally toward the evening supplies finish.

Here are a some more fun young spots, (that should not break the bank!) around Positano with decent nibbles and/or good food. They all sell alcohol.


Bar Li Galli ( at  La Sponda) finger food.  

Collina Positano Bakery (Piazza Mulini) finger food

Bar Delicatessen. finger food. 

Wine-dark house (Beach area). very good restaurant and finger food. 

Lounge Bar Paradise ( Beach area). finger food, great snacks and fabulous multi screen room to view all international sporting events together with the  less enthusiastic sporting fans, a great view of the twinkling beach of Positano!

Snack Bar L’Alternativa (Beach area ) only snacks, non grog.

Guarracino Night (between main  beach & Fornillo  beach). restaurant food. 

Da Ferdinando beach establishment  (Fornillo beach) great snacks,salads and panini!…with a cold beer! lunch. 

Grassi beach  establishment. excellent salads and snacks. Also a great free boat service to and from Positano for clients. Lunch 

La Marinella (Fornillo beach)  snack food. 


Bar Il Pertuso (Montepertuso)  another different aspect of Positano from above. 

Ristorante Da Costantino (road to Montepertuso but still within walking distance of Positano) Great views, great pizza. Lunch & dinner.

Ristorante La Terra  (Montepertuso)  Well priced restaurant in quiet mountain top area with great views! Lunch & dinner.

This coast in summer is perfect for the young,  you can simply hang out anywhere, on the pebbled beaches, sitting on the low wall on any road curve, on taking a local bus to the next town (just beware of bus timetables as most STOP at midnight …..then it’s a walk home) or just hanging around the town!. It’s safe, fun and you can check everyone and everything out at a glance.

If you want to get on the sea, then try the slow ferry boat to Amalfi or even as far as Salerno it’s a great and cheap way to see the coast, hop off in Amalfi where there is heaps to see and have a few hours wandering around before heading back. Don’t forget to head through the back alley ways behind the main Church of S. Andrea  in Amalfi to the next tiny town of Atrani, only 20 mins walk away! This spot also has an amazing beach for a dip if you are hot!  It is a jewel like village and worth a coffee in their delightful fairytale piazza! …………PLUS you avoid all those curves on the bus!

Get the bus up to Montepertuso from Positano, just a few euro and then head to Nocelle where the Walk of the God ends, you can do it backwards heading towards Praiano! This walk  has  the most sensational views of the coast all the way from Salerno up one end to Capri at the other! once you arrive in Praiano you can head back to Positano by bus!

Here are some great, not over- the -top eateries in Praiano, just 6 kms from Positano and a great alternative for less expensive accommodation! Again check it out !

The Praiano Dome!

The Praiano Dome!


Bar Mare at La Praia beach – lunch or dinner

BAR MARE at La Praia.....open till late and right on the beach! also great music!

BAR MARE at La Praia…..open till late and right on the beach! also great music!

Vivarom wine bar – right on the main road. Excellent sunset drinks hole in the wall and fab nibbles. evening

Trattoria S. Gennaro tucked in under the main church. Breakfast, lunch dinner

One Fire – down on the sea in Praiano, its a walk but well worth it. Good music.  Great fun. Lunch

I dont know the following spots, but some are all reasonably new to Praiano and sent to me by a well informed lovely local gal!  Check them out.

Ristorante  “Che Bontà”

M’Ama – Ristorante

Voce e’ Notte Grill and Sunset Bar

Il Rifugio – ristorante pizzeria


KASAI (ristorante pizzeria)


And guys …get onto GOOGLE! it’s all there !

When I was your age GOOGLE didn’t exist but it would have been my best friend if it had! However so much in the ancient parts of the world just never change. the transport into town &  what the young want to do without spending a fortune and still have fun.

And PLEASE get a copy of my book MY AMALFI COAST, grab your parents’ copy or check out the local library, they should have a copy.  Have a good read so you can work out what you’d like to see and do. Its worth photocopying the last 5 pages with all the addresses and phone numbers.

This could be your best friend on the Amalfi Coast!

This could be your best friend on the Amalfi Coast!

Stay tuned next  time for a few slightly more up market tips & hints in PART 2 for a touch more up market trip! some of which I will be doing with my  Mum when we head to the Amalfi Coast this summer




Gourmet Safari with me on the Amalfi Coast – let’s go early October 2015!

One of the best things you can do on the Amalfi Coast is EAT! But how often are we not in the right place for long enough to research those great ‘eateries’, restaurants, hot spots and places to visit? All too often.

My Gourmet Safaris will take all the anxiety away. All you have to do it get yourself to Rome and we will do the rest! And I highly recommend a few days in Rome to get over the jet lag, so a mid/end week arrival is ideal and we will get you into Positano and your lovely four star accommodation by Saturday when we start our fun and food. We will farewell each other and our tweaked appetites the following Saturday. Click on the Gourmet Safari link below to take you to our brochure with all the details and contact me on amanda@my-amalfi-coast.com if you have any questions.


Click on the following link GOURMET SAFARI to give you an idea of where this magnificent week of fun and food on the Amalfi Coast will take you. Only 8 of us will go at one time so book now for your  Gourmet Safari!


Our second Amalfi Coast dinner at Bei Amici in Darling Pt Sydney on April 14 is now a full house… again! But please contact Bei Amici if you’d like to book in for a future Amalfi Coast dinner, OR you never know, we have an excellent ‘ wait list’ for this one. The more requests, the more chances of  getting Felix our talented chef to whip up plenty of my delicious dishes from  Amalfi Coast Recipes, which he does so brilliantly!

Bei Amici Restaurant Sydney

Bei Amici Restaurant Sydney

In the meantime, here is one of my favourite Amalfi Coast dishes! …and as easy as falling off a fish!

Pesce sotto il sale  x 6 pers Secondo 

Infallible Baked Fish under Salt!

Pasquale Marino Praiano

Pasquale taught me to cook this dish years ago and I have never tried better anywhere else in the world, whether at a friendly fisherman’s dinner party or a 5 star restaurant.”Your fish MUST be screaming fresh” says Pasquale, “ and only have it gutted…….you NEED the scales to protect the fish  from taking in salt, to trap the flavour  and for easy skinning once cooked”. The other trick is in the stiffened egg whites you will need to bind your two different salts together ( fine and rock); you don’t need too much, and always use wet hands while preparing your salt shell!

Pasquale has it down to an art; once the fish is cooked  he gently chisels around the base of the  shell and simply lifts off the top in one piece like the lid of a sarcophagus exposing the treasure within!


Two x 1 k snapper fish (any good white fish will do but snapper is best) gutted but NOT scaled

2.5 kilos of salt (mixed half rock & half fine)

2 egg whites stiffened

For every kilo of fish I use just over a kilo of mixed salts.



EVO 300 ml

Mint ripped into pieces (a lot)

Vinegar – white or a drop of aged balsamic

Mixed well together until you get the right balance by tasting. Everyone’s palate is slightly different according to acidity.


Mix your two salts together and fold in the stiffed egg whites.

Spread a fine layer of salt mix onto a large baking tray then lay your two fish on top –   head to tail to head. Pour all remaining salt over the top and with wet hands start to pack the salt onto the fish being careful to seal every holes, you don’t want to see one scale poking through!. The fishes should be well sealed (except perhaps the tail which can poke out – but not the head!) and they should resemble a white snowman sculpture when finished and very well sealed.

Bake in a mod oven ( 180) for apx30 – 40 mins . Apx ½ hr per kilo. It is better to do two x 1 k fish than one 2 k fish………tastier and easier cooking time. I never do this recipe with fish bigger than 1,5 k.

You will see the salt crust is golden when ready.

Crack crust near the base of the  fish shoulder ( somewhere you don’t mind a little mess as the crust will be very hard!) with a kitchen hammer and knife. It should come away in one piece, but don’t despair if it doesn’t. Check the fish flesh is done then proceed to crack the rest open o pop the salt lit back on and  into the oven if not yet ready. Then  chisel away removing all the salt and gently peel off the scaled skin, this should come away easily. Plate up swiftly so the fish doesn’t get too cold, avoiding those bones. Drizzle each portion with the mint dressing. IF you have a terrific aged balsamic, you will need just a few drops on each portion of fish and a mint leaf or two with nothing else! Buon appetito!

Day 4 Anna-123

Have your hammer at the ready to crack open your mouth watering surprise!