There is very little sleepiness about Positano during the summer months these days. I think that ended many decades ago!
“Una notte in bianco” or an all-nighter is celebrated just 6 kms down the coast for one night a year in Praiano. Positano on the other hand has at least a few who celebrate an all-nighter ……..every night!
Whether it’s locals who have discovered foreign love or foreigners who have fallen in love with this town…….OR a local! ( which was my fate), there is always a good reason to celebrate in Positano.
Firstly just explore. Walk around the village, up and down the hundreds of tiny stone staircases that lead up, down & across and into magical villa gardens or simply offer a spectacular view. This is the best way to understand this breathtaking town. You will meet heaps of locals on these back stairways and can admire their handsome calf muscles. Watch the way the climb those stairs……”concia concia”….. meaning slowly slowly in Neapolitan. For this reason they are rarely breathless like visitors often are. They wait for any reason to stop climbing…..meet a friend or answering their cell. The grocery shopping is placed at their feet, hands on hips like Roman vases and heads tossed back laughing or leaning into a secretive whisper with a friend. This is the formula for back staircase walking…..and surviving! `
Secondly hit the shops! Boys? go for a beer or a coffee in the local bar unless you love shopping with the girls. Most don’t. Positano is worthy of at least a full day’s shopping or the equivalent of that during your stay, Shoes, linen, ceramics and bric-a-brac are my favourite purchases in store. Then there are the colourful and intriguing street stalls & their gentle owners in the alley way on your way down to the beach who sell great costume jewellery from all over the world.
A seaside lunch is the go on your first day in town. My second book Amalfi Coast Recipes is full of the best seaside eateries in Positano. Here you can study all the other options for delicious wine and food to sample during your stay and start making reservations. But I do recommend before you arrive in town, make sure you come armed with at least 1/2 your bookings in hand, especially if travelling in high season ( May – end Sept). Most restaurants & eateries have an online method to book or a phone number or an email address for your requests. This will save disappointment at missing out!
Other handy pre-bookings to make before you arrive are:
Your day on a boat! one of the best excursions to do in Positano is rent a boat, small or large to explore the coastline and get you to a sensational seaside dining table close or far from Positano. OR if you suffer sea sickness or weather doesn’t permit, a wonderful wine tasting experience in the mountains with my fabulous Sommelier. He can organise a delicious day with some of the Amalfi Coast favourite flavours in wine and food to tempt your palette. Or if you are the sporty type a mountain hike on the Path of the Gods or many other less well know options are available for the day. My guide will pick you up and take you and friends on this wonderful 4 or 6 or 8 hr tour of the magnificent Lattari Mountains that surround the Amalfi Coast depositing you in a quaint hillside eatery for good local wine and food at lunchtime…… or if you prefer he will organise a country picnic overlooking the MEDITERRANEAN SEA from the top of the mountain range.
I don’t know who took this photo of me & Carla during the shoot for my first book, My Amalfi Coast ……but she gave up her precious camera to some non suspicious local ! we look very pleased with ourselves! most because the camera came back unscathed!
It used to be the sleepy little sister village of Positano a decade ago. But today it stands proudly within it’s own rights…..lively, buzzy with some delightful attractions, great restaurants, fun sunset bars and like most ancient towns in Italy…….a couple of very decent piazzas & churches to visit. Not to mention its pride and joy of the Amalfi Coast cuisine and art. However, there is still enough tranquility to really ‘calmarsi’ (chill out!) in this delightful jewel of a village. The fact that it has always been a village of expert fishermen has given it a big responsibility towards excellent fish and seafood. Every restaurant, eatery, bar and household has THE recipe……and none of them are wrong!
ALL OF THE BEAUTIFUL IMAGES ON THIS BLOG ARE BY THE TALENTED CARLA COUSON.
Below the majestic S. Gennaro dome of Praiano with it’s dramatic views overlooking Positano. And the local bar del Sole, local meeting point, bus stop, good coffee, pastries, pizza slices or a nip of Grappa……….everything you need to start your Italian day.
This town also boasts some of the Amalfi Coast’s splendid artists like our talented sculptor & painter Paolo Sandulli……..who for years has occupied the ancient Saracen tower of Praiano: Torre a Mare.( Tower by the Sea), this is his studio and also his retail outlet…..so you can see him at work! Any local will point you in the right direction. His cheeky rotund & robust women are ofter depicted playing tennis in tiny weeny dresses or swimming in the nude. He also presents a beautiful series of sea-creatures and underwater life. Paolo is the darling of the Amalfi Coast Art World.
Below is Paolo with his sea sponge haired female busts and a close up of one of his darlings. You will see these wonderful humorous sculptures dotting gardens, villas and restaurants all over the coast.
If you are renting a magnificent villa like FERIDA (definitely one of the best luxury villa rentals on the Amalfi Coast) you will want some supplies to let you really enjoy this magnificent spot…….this sensational villa also boasts numerous amazing sea side eateries at the foot of the villa on the beach of La Praia. But make time to stay home occasionally to savour this magnificent space!
Here below Villa Ferida’s splendid terrace at sunset overlooking the Med. The very best Villa holidays Amalfi Coast & holiday apartments Amalfi Coast !
But here is the best deli in town. Tutto per Tutti ( translated it means Everything for Everyone or Something for Everyone)! It offers all the deli goods you may need PLUS more. From their creative cellar imbedded in the bowels of this store, is has a wonderful selection of interesting local and further afield wines. Upstairs are all the local cheeses & salamis & breads you could possibly sample while on the coast: plus mineral water and loo paper! WHO COULD WANT MORE! .
Below is the entrance of one of the best delis on the Amalfi Coast! Tutto per Tutti.
If a hotel is more your speed then one of my favourites is right in the heart of Praiano who also offer a fabulous dinning area with breathtaking views. They also have an equally beautiful pool area which looks over the entire coastline…. this family run & owned little treasure is surrounded with local inviting bars and other sensational eateries to offer you even more variety.
Below is one of my favourite chill out hotels. friendly ,cosy, relaxing with amazing views……it is undoubtedly one of the great spots to be in High Summer on the coast.
And this below is one of the iconic and beautiful faces of Praiano……..Pasquale Scala, world renowned guitar and mandolin maker.
To visit the Amalfi Coast, realise all your Amalfi Coast dreams & find your ideal Amalfi Villa Rentals……. Contact me !
And if you book your villa, apartment, hotel or guest house through me you will receive a full list of my favourite eateries and restaurants from all over the Amalfi Coast plus valuable information about the best things to do while visiting this fabulous region of Italy!
OK so you may have missed out this time, but here are some tips to make sure you don’t miss out in 2020.
Booking your holiday on the Amalfi Coast is as simple as choosing a sexy partner on line!
1) if you are handling your booking on line, it’s like a first date ! Go to my website; My Amalfi Coast and check out all the properties under accommodation, whether they be hotels, guest houses, apartments or villas and select your favourites. On each page you will find all property features, photos, and even the tariffs are published…..so you can see how much this engagement is going to cost you
NB. The earlier you book the prettier and more seductive partner you will find! Hotels & Guest Houses will only accept bookings from October the year before you are wanting to travel. Whereas villas and apartments generally accept bookings anytime.
2) once you have chosen your favourite partner, just email me at; firstname.lastname@example.org to check availability for the dates that suit you. At this stage there may be a few love letters that will transpire between us. Be sure to give me as many details as possible so I can help you decide if the partner you have chosen is right for you.
3) info I need; how many in the party – any children? (some properties do not accept children under a certain age)– special position in the town – how many bedrooms – sleeping layout, how many doubles, how many singles – budget?
4) once we have decided on a partner I will need a 50% bank transfer deposit into my Italian bank account to lock in your booking. …….let’s say it’s a down payment on the ring! This is to ensure that you will not bolt at the altar! I will send you my Italian bank details for this simple SWIFT transaction via email. Once funds have arrived I will let you know.
5) then there will be a loooooong silence between us for many months, so you can enjoy your Bucks party or Hens night! You can make lists of all things you like to do while on The Amalfi Coast.
6) Two months before departure our love letters will recommence. You will need to pay your 50% balance for your property OR if you need to back out now is the time to do it, having said that, each property has slightly different cancellation conditions, so please look at these carefully when selecting your property at the beginning and before you pay your initial 50% deposit.
7) At this time I will require your flight arrival details to send you some transfer options to get you into Positano and your property. This is also a good time to get that list from you of all the great things you’d like to do while on the Amalfi Coast, I am happy to help you book these. Here is a link to my Serviceshttp://www.my-amalfi-coast.com/my-services. I will also send you a hot tips list of my favourite restaurants and eateries on The Amalfi Coast with their contact details so you can start booking! again, just email me if you need more information about these eateries to help you choose.
8) One week before departure we will say our goodbyes with a hug and happy travels. Any last-minute doubts you have about this marriage should now be expressed, but unfortunately and financially it will be too late to bolt!
9) I will not be joining you for this wonderful marriage, but have been there many times before and can guarantee you a wonderful time. However one of my trusted colleagues will be on the ground to assist you with anything you may need…….Except divorce!……even this can be arranged if cause is found viable – e.g. Collapsed villa ceilings/ leaking swimming pools/broken loos etc…….
10) The Honeymoon Period: if you do not yet possess my books, My Amalfi Coast and Amalfi Coast Recipes I suggest you purchase them before you leave. My Amalfi Coast will assist you on your trip by helping you decide what to do and where to go……it is also eye candy like your partner! and Amalfi Coast Recipes will be your go to dose of nostalgia when you drag out the pots and pans on your return home and when you may start having Amalfi Coast withdrawals.
Addio my ‘Amalfi Coast lovers’ and hope to hear from you soon. Don’t forget: end Sept 2019 for all Guest House and Hotel requests is but 3 months away…..and for all Villa and Apartment requests for 2020 – contact me NOW!
BAR BRUNO is busy and crazy and has good food! All digested on a slanting side walk overlooking the pyramid of Positano……literally! surrounded by tthe Mediterranean sea. You don’t pay “un occhio” ( an eye) equivalent to an arm & a leg in English…….. but get both these treats in one fabulous experience; great view/great food!
Here is one of my stella preferred recipes of Mario’s – owner/ chef of Bruno “ PASTA CON PESCE DI SCOGLIO” – Pasta with Rock Fish!
WELCOME TO BAR BRUNO!
MARIO ON FIRE IN HIS KITCHEN AT ‘BAR BRUNO’!
MY FAVOURITE DISH AT BAR BRUNO…..PASTA CON PESCE DI SCOLGIO! – Pasta with rock fish!
VILLA SOLARE sleeps 8 pax.
VILLA SOLARE is down a short flight of stairs from BAR BRUNO and is one of those easy, kick your shoes off after the beach style villas with an amazing view and great position in town. Here are their “still available” dates, so hop in there fast! It sleeps 8 pax and will give you a holiday to remember!
SO HOP ON THERE FAST and email me with your preferred dates! email@example.com
4 July- 10 July
17 July – 24 July
16 August 25 August
7 September 19 September
24 September – 27 October
Dont forget this villa is just up the road from the magnificent LE SIRENUSE hotel with it’s two wonderful bars for drinkies! BAR FRANCO for the fast and furious and BYT’s ( Beautiful Young Things) OR the Chic OYSTER BAR with chilled music……great drinks and OYSTERS!
BUON DIVERTIMENTO on this slanted piece of Positano!
Baci baci xx
LE SIRENUSE OYSTER BAR!
Are you still undecided about that mid year break in 2019? Well here are a few enticing properties and their available dates to tempt you.
JULY is one of the most popular months on the Amalfi Coast due to overlapping school holidays in both the northern and southern hemispheres. So this BLOG is for families or friends who can only get away during this month & are perhaps still struggling to find somewhere to stay
Beautiful Amalfi Coast Images photographed by C. Coulson.
Villa Solare – Centre of Positano. This is one of the few villas that do not insist on a Sat to Sat full week rental. Still available July 4 – 10 and July 17 – 20
This easy and relaxed villa boasts sensational views over looking the main beach of Positano & the Mediterranean Sea. It sleeps 8 pers and has a charming garden for summer dining. It is a 1 mins walk to the iconic 5 star hotel Le Sirenuse for a cocktail at their Oyster Bar or Franco’s Bar on the roadside for a slightly younger crowd. The beach is a 10 mins walk through town passing many charming shops and restaurants. This is a great spot. No pool! but as the locals say; “ why do you need a pool? The Mediterranean Sea is our pool”!
Villa Giusy – Heart of Positano. Still available July 20 – 27
This spacious and delightful villa is tucked away on one of the many pretty staircases of town surrounding the beach area and only a stone’s throw from the sea. Perfect for those early morning quiet swims when the crowds are still sleeping. It sleeps 8 pers on the top floor with an additions cosy double bedroom for 2 on the ground floor. This has one of the prettiest tiled terraces in the town over looking the majestic majolica tiled dome of Positano’s Mother Church – another ancient treasure of the Amalfi Coast.
Villa Dicondra – Positano, Arienzo. 10 – 15 mins walk from Positano centre. Sleeps 8 – 11 pax. Still available July 6 – 13.
Villa Dicondra ( The Clover Villa, many three leaf clovers can be found in it’s luscious garden but the occasionally 4 leaf also!) . This villa is one of the most well known villas in the area of Arienzo and only a short walk from town. Quiet, panoramic and total serenity are just three ways to describe a week at this villa. It has a large lazy pool nestled in a spacious and lush garden with coastal views. This is a tranquil villa holiday with few reason to leave the villa!
Please click on the property name which is a link and will take you directly to that property for more photos and feature information. If you would like to contact me with any special requests or more information, please feel free.
BUON VIAGGIO E BUONA VACANZA!
Beautiful Amalfi Coast Images photographed by C. Coulson.
Spring is in the air! The locals of the Amalfi Coast are slowly waking up after a long winter hibernation and ready to start setting up their tiny villages for those long lazy summer days on the beach, boating on the Med or simply lazing around a large lunch table!
But first things first: where to stay? As the Amalfi Coast grows in popularity it is becoming more important than ever to book well in advance to avoid disappointment and rent the perfect property for you and your needs. We are only a couple of months away from the busy High season ( May – Oct) but here are a few of my favourites villette (small villas) that are still available. …..I have given you each property’s available periods ………you can still snatch one up if you hop in there fast!
If you can squeeze in a week, it will be a bonus, otherwise we are open for 2020 requests!
-But for now, here is what is still available…….RIGHT NOW!
THE MAGNIFICENT AMALFI COASTLINE ! ….PHOTO BY C.COULSON.
This adorable cottage ‘Casa Isabella’ has two double bedrooms and boasts serenity, views over the Mediterranean and is at the end of a gentle pathway……..just like in the fairytales. Availability only from the 2nd week of Sept onward.
The charming ‘Colomba’ villetta shares two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious living area and luscious terrace overlooking Positano and the sea. It is directly below Colombina villetta so they can make up a great duel rental for two families or more than two couples. Again they share the same pathway as the above properties. Still available end of Aug/beginning Sept.
This property, Torre Porta is a 12th century tower , and as was built in the day has a natural flow of air conditioning! It is charming, spacious and enjoys an annex apt for the kids or drop in friends, & houses the main kitchen & en suite bathroom! Still available most of Sept.
Please click on the property name which is a link and will take you directly to that property for more photos and feature information. If you would like to contact me with any special requests or more information, please feel free.
PHOTO BY C.COULSON.
Well THAT was a long hiatus! Sorry guys but I am BACK! A bit has changed on the Amalfi Coast over the past few years but this sensational stretch of coastline is more popular than ever! This means we as travellers have to be more organised to get the best options to have the holiday of a life time.
If you are staying for less than1week, then a hotel or guest house is your best option as villas and apartments rarely rent for less than one week in High summer and that is often only Saturday to Saturday……so there are a few restrictions in place.
Contacting me from the end of Sept for the following summer if you are wanting a villa or apartment, and you should get a great choice of properties. If on the other hand you are happy with just a few days in a hotel or guest house then try to contact me in Oct or Nov to book for the following summer. MOST hotels will not accept bookings for the following year until the end of the present season, hence the Oct or Nov request period.
The crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea which envelops the Amalfi Coast for 40 kms. Foto by C.Coulson
Here is what is available right now……it’ll be a busy season.
VILLA FERIDA in PRAIANO. Sleeps 10 pax. This sensational villa is a few steps from the coast road and just above the charming LA PRAIA beach area which is dotted with quaint and delicious eateries for lunch or a romantic dinner. This villa is a precious find & available the LAST WEEK OF MAY, FIRST WEEK OF JUNE or 20 JULY TO 3 AUGUST. Plus a few other dates in August and Sept. So CONTACT ME!
VILLA MON REPOS. Sleeps 12 pax.
If you’d like something a bit more central, just 6 kms away in the bustling town of Positano is the VILLA MON REPOS in the heart of this jewellery box town. It sleeps 12 pax. Still available end of MAY, beginning of JUNE + second half of JULY – last week of AUGUST and first half of SEPTEMBER!
Above foto: the tranquil atmosphere of a morning dip in Amalfi……the crowds are still asleep!
BOTH these two villas have one amazing feature in common ; VERY few stairs to get into the villa! This is an Amalfi Coast miracle! Some properties require a caravan of donkeys to get a family or group of friends up to their villas.
No matter what time of year you have available to travel to the Amalfi Coast, please contact me as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. You will have less disappointment and heaps more joy!
Baci baci xxx
BOOK AS SOON AS YOU GET THE NOTION! you can always cancel.
You can go with a Travel Agency, which everyone is doing less and less as they discover the ease of direct flight bookings on line. Travel agents today appear to have a sole purpose; advising and booking tours or lengthy planned itineraries
Or you can try the global Airbnb. This however will get you possibly great, and often cheap, accommodation – no fuss, no hassle – you don’t even have to meet a living person with lock up key boxes at the front door – but any specific needs or requests are pretty hard to achieve!
You can book Direct with the property of your choice. Simply Google the town and up will pop 700 possibilities. Naturally the owner will sell his property widely no matter what your special requests may be.
Or contact My Amalfi Coast. With 20 years experience living and loving this coastline we can advise you on the best Hotel, Guest House, Villa or Apartment to suit your specific needs. But PLEASE, the earlier you contact us the more choices you will have
Beautiful images by CARLA COULSON & SIMON GRIFFITHS
We can advise on the best property in town for your Aunt with her bad knees who is desperate to see the Amalfi Coast but knows it to be a geographically challenging holiday destination.
If you or your spouse are light sleepers and you are FORCED to go in July, due to the school holidays in Australia, one of the busiest month of the year – none of the others can offer you options of accommodation to make your kids happy and give you a good nights sleep!
And none of the above options can advise on the best nooks and crannies to NOT miss while you are travelling on the Amalfi Coast – no matter what age group you are!
These are the things My Amalfi Coast can help you with. All we ask is that as soon as you have the notion to head towards Italy, book your Amalfi Coast accommodation with us asap. One year in advance in now a very normal time frame. Cancellation conditions are generally excellent and you will not loose a thing by booking well ahead of time – you will also avoid terrible disappointment when you contact us 2 – 3 months before the Italian summer season and find there is little or nothing available to suits your needs, budget or requirements.
We will always let you know the cancellation conditions when you are booking and guarantee refunds whether it be an apartments, a villa, a hotel or a guest house. This is a no brainer, so hop in and get started with the Amalfi Coast’s summer of 2018!
YOUR ITINERARY: ( what we can pre book before you go!)
In the meantime if you already have your own accommodation sorted for 2017 but need transfers booked, restaurant bookings, best tours, great walks, boat day out on the Mediterranean with a special eatery, visit an organic Buffalo Farm or ANYTHING else – please contact us asap with your requirements and we will send you information on all the various fabulous things on offer that we can pre book for you at no cost. All we need are the following
*THE DATES YOU’D LIKE TO DO THAT SPECIFIC ACTIVITY
*HOW MANY PERS IN YOUR PARTY
*WHAT TIME YOU’D LIKE TO LEAVE
*AN ADDRESS IN TOWN AND WE WILL DO THE REST!
However we are NOT a tourist office and cannot assist you with the following:
- send you ‘’lists’ of our favourite eateries & restaurants – but we are happy to make your bookings.
- Give out the names of our transfer companies, but again we are happy to make your bookings.
- Give you the names of all the great tours and transfer people we collaborate with, but again, we are more than happy to book these for you.
Our prices are the same as you will be offered if you book direct or on line, so the cost & hassle to you as a client is zero. We do run a serious accommodation and events business and this is hard work and time spent on making sure you have a wonderful holiday. We take your well earned pleasure and leisure very seriously! We hope you do ours as well.
For all info on the Amalfi Coast, including much of the above, please seek out my books MY AMALFI COAST & AMALFI COAST RECIPES. These books took the best part of 6 years to compile, photograph and write and were executed with the best intentions of offering you, the Amalfi Coast wanderer, the most complete & detailed information about the magnificent Amalfi Coast !
Sorry for the long absence but holidaying in sunny Australia over Xmas is a lengthy business. In the meantime he Amalfi Coast is buried under a huge dump of snow, the geography is right for skiing but there are no chair lifts! They just have to manage with quiet streets, ( a rarity) roasted chestnuts, blazing fireplaces, and many glasses of red wine, not a bad alternative if you ever want to visit the Amalfi Coast in winter, just let me know!
But it is now time to take action if you’d like to visit the coast this coming European summer ( May – October). It is time to jump in to avoid disappointment! Many properties are already booked out for the entire summer but here below are three of my favourite tranquil spots still available this coming summer. The lovely dip pool is shared ONLY by these three properties and perfect for a quiet cool off at any time of day or night!
As I mentioned, properties and hotels are filling up fast so don’t waste time and book as soon as possible. Check the cancellation conditions on my website so you understand when you will forfeit funds for this booking and when you must confirm it. This is a good safety net and allows you some breathing space. Better to book now and be sure of a great spot than wait too long and be disappointed.
Remember ‘most’ properties, villas or apts ( but not all) require a minimum stay of one week starting every Saturday. Hotels & Guest Houses do not require minimum stays. However to understand which is the best Hotel/Guest House for you & your partner, friends or family if you choose this option, drop me a line with all your requirements, budgets, likes & dislikes and I will book you my very best recommendations and send you the hotels cancellation conditions. For this type of booking a simple credit card is required.
CASA ISABELLA – Available most of JUNE! This is the fairytale cottage at the end of an enchanted walk way apx 5 mins from the Positano internal road side and right opposite my old T shirt shop and Capitano’s bric-a-brac little store.
shop. This fabulous central spot overlooking the main beach of Positano. Sleeps 4 pax
COLOMBINA apt. Available all of July! This charming one bedroom, two bathroom apt has a delightful sunny terrace overlooking the main beach of Positano. It sleeps 4 pax thanks the twin pull out sofa bed in the living area, which I have slept on and can vouch for!
COLOMBA Apt is available most of AUGUST! This gem of a spacious apt with its vast terrace is the way to go during the warmest and busiest month. Just up the hill from the main centre and bustling beach, this is the perfect hide away. Home deliver all those deli goodies, sit back on your terrace and watch the Mediterranean float by! the perfect vacation.
I have just returned from the magnificent Amalfi Coast. I made a quick end of summer trip to make sure nothing had changed, I needed those reassuring ancient churches, lemon leaves and clams to be exactly the same as they were last time! I wasn’t disappointed and had two added bonuses; I took Mum along as partner in crime to help me sample these delicious dishes and hug my beautiful son who barely had time to say hello he was so busy helping run his Dad’s restaurant Da Adolfo! Boy that place is all fired up!
There is no doubt about it, the simpler the food the better. I believe its better in flavour but also for your health. Mum and I came from different generations; she wore cat’s eyes sunnies, stilettos & ate the odd TV dinner during her busy career days, while I wore head bands, thongs & nibbled on nuts & seeds!. She turns 80 in a few weeks and somehow over the decades our two generations have melted into one. We both appreciate a healthy and sumptuous meal and what better place to get this than Italy.
Did you ever stop to read all those things you grab at the super market or even the health food shops? Not the whole foods, I’m talking packets, cans, boxes……anything processed.It seems that the less ingredients, the better the goods are BUT you may have to mortgage your house at check out. And the more they pack into those goods, the less they cost and I often think are questionable for your health.
So Whole foods MUST be the answer. Stuff Mother Nature brings to our table without passing GO – no heating or filtering through machines or lists of additives & chemicals as long as your leg! .Just basic ‘real’ food which are actually good for us. Yes I am also a lover of Organics…….just not a big fan of pesticides and chemicals all over my food.
A few nights ago we did our FORTH supper to celebrate the Amalfi Coast at Bei Amici Ristorante in Darling Point Sydney. Felix the chef/owner is a Swiss gentleman with a huge twist of Italianissmo in his DNA, especially when it comes to preparing classic Italian dishes!……and on more than one occasion has translated my Amalfi Coast Recipes brilliantly into these fun and exciting degustations! I have yet to try a Zuppa di Pesce (Fish Stew) outside the Amalfi Coast as good as the one Felix does at BEI AMICI in Darling Point Sydney. It is superb!
The simplicity of these dishes is their staring quality, and although there is some preparation time, it’s worth every mouthful.
Here is what we ate on the night followed by a few of the recipes and their creators below to get you going in the kitchen.
Arancini di riso / saffron arancinis with mozarella
Polpette di carciofi e ricotta / fried artichoke and ricotta balls
Seppie e sedani con gherigli di noce / cuttlefish and celery with walnuts
Sardine incinte / sardines with provolone and prosciutto
Carpaccio di ricciola / kingfish carpaccio with lemon and rocket
Zuppa di pesce / Iconic Amalfi Coast fish soup
Petto di pollo con peperoni e olive / chicken breast with bell peppers and olives
Finocchio e arancio all insalata / fennel and orange salad
Torta caprese, gelato / chocolate and almond cake with icecream
Arancio di Riso 6 pers Antipasto – Giant Rice balls – makes 12 balls – Carla Rispoli – Buca di Bacco Positano
Carla’s Arancini are famous all over the coast. They are enormous not only in fame but also in size! And totally delicious. Normal Arancini are generally a lot smaller than Carla’s, & can sometimes be dry and uninteresting. But the first time I tried Carla’s Arancini, I was hooked! They actually dissolve in your mouth, are packed with flavour and can be a meal all by themselves!
Carla’s secret? Her base is a full blown Risotto alla Milanese, saffron and all. So if you are doing a Risotto alla Milanese for dinner, just make sure you make enough to enjoy the next day’s leftovers as Carla’s Arancini!
½ k Rice carnaroli to make a Risotto alla Milanese
1 ½ good quality meat broth –
0,2 gm saffron
100 gm parmesan –
30 gm butter
1 sm onion
50 gm EVO
Heat broth. Fry onion in oil till lightly golden. Add rice and sauté on a medium flame for a minute or two. Then start to add broth a ladle at a time till each one absorbs and continue like this for apx 15 mins until rice is cooked but al dente. Add saffron at the very end dissolved in 1 table spoon of hot water.
When quite thick and creamy add parmesan and butter. Heat a little until all is well amalgamated. Then pour onto table, or large marble surface to cool. When cold:
6 eggs beaten (2 beaten and separately 4 beaten)
250gms mozzarella cut into 12 cubes.
150 gm bread crumbs.
1lit or more of peanut oil
Add 2 beaten eggs to the cooled risotto and mix. TASTE to check for salt and flavour if necessary. If paste is too hard add some water or another beaten egg. With wet hands create 12 tennis balls.
Insert one piece of mozzarella into the middle of each ball.
Dip each ball into the beaten egg mix and then cover with bread crumbs. You may be left with some extra crumbs and egg mix but you need a decent amount of both to do the job well. Don’t’ be stingy.
In a small but deep fry pan fill with peanut oil, enough to cover the balls by 1 mm. Heat the *Peanut oil at 160 degrees, no hotter or the Arancini may burn and this temperature is perfect to melt the mozzarella in the centre and just heat the rice balls through. Try not to reuse the oil. This process should take apt 8 – 10 mins.
Let rest for at least 2mins on paper towels before serving.
*Peanut oil is one of the best oils for frying as it does not penetrate the food if you get the temperature right.
GIULIANO, THE PASSIONATE SON OF A FISHERMAN SHARES HIS SEA-CRETS…THERE IS LITTLE HE DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT THE SEA AND THE DELICACIES WITHIN!
While compiling these recipes I acquired more fish soups than I knew existed. But Giuliano’s recipe drew me in for two reasons. Firstly for its amazingly complete ingredients using literally EVERYTHING that you can pull from the sea and secondly, the fact that Giuliano is the son of a fisherman and knows more about loving fish, eating fish, talking to fish and cooking fish than anyone I have every meet! He suggests you get the freshest and most wild seafood available for his majestic Fish Soup. This is a truly important dish and you will need little else to accompany it, perhaps a lettuce leaf to start?
100 gms of octopus (apx 4 sm ones)
300 gms cuttlefish (apx 2) cut in half
200gms calamari (apx2) cut into rings
1 whole 800 gm – 1 k groper
1 whole 800 gm- 1 k monkfish (angler fish)
1 whole 800 gm – 1 k scorpion fish
4 king prawns
500 gm of fresh cherry tomatoes chopped in half
500 gms mussels
4 cloves of chopped garlic
EVO ( 6 spoons – 120 ml)
2 glasses white wine
8 slices of ciabatta bread
1 chilli pepper
Clean all fish, molluscs and shellfish very well, all fish should be scaled and gutted and molluscs scrubbed, shelled and bearded.
In a deep heavy based high pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on a low-med flame and add 2 cloves of chopped garlic. When golden (be care it doesn’t burn) add the molluscs (octopus, cuttlefish, calamari) and 1 gl of white wine. When wine has evaporated, add tomatoes and cook at a simmer for 40 mins.
Separately in a large heavy based round casserole dish heat 4 tablespoons of oil and add the 2 remaining chopped garlic cloves, heat gently until golden then add the four cleaned whole fish add 1 gl white wine and mollusc sauce, cover and simmer for 30 mins.
Add the shellfish (clams, mussels, prawns & scampi)
As soon as the clams and mussels open, the soup is pronto!
Serve with freshly grilled ciabatta toast, freshly chopped parsley and finely chopped chilli pepper if desired.
This dish should be eaten at least 6 – 8 hrs after your last “light” meal so you are near starvation level to appreciate it. Eat heartily and don’t be embarrassed where a bib!
Why does food taste better when eaten on a dilapidated jetty or pontoon, and just cms above the water…??? Here is just another fabulous sea side spot on the Amalfi Coast!
OPS! In last month’s BLOG I also forgot to give you some more fish translations for your restaurant menus while travelling around this magnificent coastline. Here you go! –
MERLUZZO – COD
RICCOLA – KING FISH
SPIGONA – SEA BASS
SPADA – SWORDFISH
TRIGLIA – MULLET
SCORFANO – SCORPION FISH
BACI BACI XX