AMALFI COAST OPTIONS!

BOOK AS SOON AS YOU GET THE NOTION! you can always cancel.

Options:

1.

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

2.

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!

3.

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.

4.

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 !

Buon viaggio!

 

Time to jump in ! The Amalfi Coast here we come!

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.

So drop me a line amanda@my-amalfi-coast.com and don’t miss that great vacation on the Amalfi Coast this summer!

BACI BACI !

From one end of the Amalfi Coast to the other…..its all delicious!

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.

Aperol spritz

Arancini di riso / saffron arancinis with mozarella 

Polpette di carciofi e ricotta / fried artichoke and ricotta balls

1st 

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

2nd 

Zuppa di pesce / Iconic Amalfi Coast fish soup 

3rd

Petto di pollo con peperoni e olive / chicken breast with bell peppers and olives

Finocchio e arancio all insalata / fennel and orange salad 

Desert

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!

Ingredients:

½ k Rice  carnaroli to make a Risotto alla Milanese

To make:

1 ½ good quality meat broth –

0,2 gm saffron

100 gm parmesan –

30 gm butter

1 sm onion

50 gm EVO

Method:

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:

More Ingredients:

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

More Method:

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?

Ingredients:

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

4 scampi

500 gm of fresh cherry tomatoes chopped in half

500gms clams

500 gms mussels

4 cloves of chopped garlic

EVO ( 6 spoons – 120 ml)

2 glasses white wine

Chopped parsley

8 slices of ciabatta bread

1 chilli pepper

Method:

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

 

BUON APPETITO! 

BACI BACI XX

My favourite thing to do on the Amalfi Coast…

Is eat!…..and apart from some wonderful memories, this is the only part of my stay I can bring home!

Eating on the Amalfi Coast has to be one of life’s greatest joys. It is simple, full of flavour and totally harmonious with its magical surroundings. Warm summer days, al fresco dining and feeling totally relaxed at the same time while experiencing those magnificent flavours…. it is just blissful.

More than 100 mouth watering recipes from some of the Amalfi Coast’s best cooks and chefs – Amalfi Coast Recipes.

The everyday event of cooking and eating becomes something very special while visiting the Amalfi Coast. If you are lucky enough to have a kitchen, even a tiny one, see our villa and apartment rentals, then  a chat with your local Amalfi Coast butcher or green grocer will offer numerous tips of what to cook and how to do it! But going armed with a few excellent local recipes will get you started!

 

Here is one of my most treasured vegetable mains from the Amalfi Coast…and no body does it better than Angela Giannullo. Before I even finished this book with all it’s chefs, interviews and detailed recipes …I had to rush home and cook this one. It is truly a masterpiece!

PEPERONI IMBOTTITI – STUFFED BELL PEPPERS.

Peperoni Imbottiti x 8 pers Antipasto

Stuffed Bell Peppers        Angela Giannullo – Positano

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!.

Ingredienti:

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

Metodo:

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!

To accompany these delicious Pepper rolls, you can add a light and crisp summer salad with an zingy tang to lighten the palette. 

FENNEL AND ORANGE SALAD.

 

Finocchio e Anrancio al   Insalata – 6 pers Contorno

Fennel and Orange wedge salad          Rosaria Ferrara Positano

This is one of the cleanest and simplest flavoured salads I have eaten to accompany anything from fish to goat! Oranges from Praiano are well known for their juiciness and flavour (there are three of them imbedded on the town’s flag!) and the best time for this salad is around autumn when the oranges and fennel are coming into their own, this salad is a winner!

Ingredienti:

2 med fennels

3 med oranges

EVO to dress

Salt

Pepper

80 gms Pine nuts

Slice the fennel (on a mandolin if you have one) and the oranges finely and dress with pine nuts, EVO, salt and pepper and eat with joy!

And what is summer in Italy without a Stuffed Zucchini Flower? OR if you are feeling generous a nice big fat Pumpkin Flower…they look the same, you can just stuff in more filling!

 

ZUCCHINI FLOWERS AU GRATIN WITH BASIL SAUCE 

 

Fiori di zucchine gratinati,salsa al basilico

Zucchini flowers au gratin with basil sauce x 6 pers Antipasto             Tanina Vanacore Next 2 Rest. Positano

Zucchini flowers make one of the most delicate and enchanting antipasti during their season (which start at the beginning of May in the Northern Hemisphere and beginning October in the Southern Hemisphere), they are light and tantalizing. On the Amalfi Coast you will find all sizes  from the small and delicate zucchini ones to the “jumbo” pumpkin flowers! And once they have been stuffed and property cooked they are a culinary delight.  “Naturally they must be eaten immediately when out of the oven” says Tanina

Ingredienti:

30 medium size zucchini flowers.

1kg.ricotta

300gr.mozzarella chopped into small cubes of apx ½ cm

100gr. Grated parmesan cheese

8 basil leaves

50gr EVO

Pepper and salt

Metodo:

Sieve the ricotta cheese through a fine colander to eliminate any lumps or whip ricotta with a egg whip. Add the chopped mozzarella, grated parmesan cheese, basil leaves ripped into fine pieces, EVO, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients until well homogenized and put into a pastry piping bag

Clean the zucchini flowers by cutting off all extra little green leaves at the base and remove the pestle in the middle. Delicately wash and patted dry them.  Stuff each zucchini flower half full with the ricotta mix, make a twist at the end of the flower to close it well so the stuffing does now expand out while they are cooking.

Ingredienti for the sauce:

100 gm basil leaves

40 gm pine nuts

60 gm EVO

20 gm grated parmesan

20 gm grated pecorino

Rock salt

2 ox heart tomatoes cut into 1cm cubes and dressed with EVO, salt and basil

In an electric blender or mixer, mix the well washed and dried basil leaves; they must be dry or your sauce will oxidize and go black! Together with the pine nuts, oil and a pinch of rock salt. Just give the mixer  very short bursts to blend all the ingredients, do not let it go for too long.  This stage can also be done in a mortar and pestle if you have the technique and will power!


By hand add the two cheeses and put all in a container covered with EVO to avoid oxidization.

Place the zucchini flowers on a baking dish and cook in the over for 4-5 mins at 100 C. When they are ready to serve, plate up with finely diced and dressed tomato salad. and the basil sauce dribbled over the zucchini flowers only or on the side in a small dish.

This is one hell of a classy dish! Just like Tanina.

These hidden treasures & their recipes can be easily savoured up and down the pantries of the Amalfi Coast, whether they be in a fine dining restaurant, a seaside eatery or a mountain top vineyard degustations.  Even if you are a passionate cook, take time  during your vacation to experience these authentic and simple dishes prepared by local devoted chefs. We are happy to help you make the best bookings to suit your needs!

BUON APPETITO! & if you are a kitchen lover…..BUON DIVERTIMENTO! 

YOUR AMALFI COAST BOOKINGS AND HOW TO MAKE THE BEST OF OUR SERVICES!

Hi all Amalfi Coast lovers! I’d like to talk to you today about how to enjoy your stay on the Amalfi Coast once you have your accommodation all sorted. Naturally this is the first and most important thing to book!

The magical pyramid of Positano.

The magical pyramid of Positano.

 

Once you have booked your accommodation for your Amalfi Coast holiday, www.my-amalfi-coast.com  website is an excellent starting point, I believe getting some good bookings in place before you leave home is a must!

If you booked your accommodation through my-amalfi-coast.com  you will be sent a list of wonderful activities we are happy to book for you to make your holiday forever memorable. These activities will be booked and confirmed by us at no extra charge. They include day boat cruises, limo transfers to and from Naples or Rome, restaurants, seaside eateries, walking adventures, wine tasting, excursions to Pompeii or Herculaneum  & many more. Only a few of these activities will require a ‘non refundable’ deposits, and naturally I will let you know what they are at the time of booking. 

THE BREATHTAKING VIEWS YOU WILL ENJOY ON THE AMALFI COAST.

If on the other hand  you have booked your own accommodation, we are still happy to advise and book the best events and tours for your holiday, according to what attracts you and your passions by way of  a small ‘non refundable’ booking fee. This fee will be scaled according to how many bookings you require. You will have all bookings in place before arriving, no deposit (very occasionally a tiny venue will require a credit card as a  guarantee) and you will also have full information re: contacting your venue once there if you need to alter your booking or cancel. Plus you will have my valuable advise on what is the best choice for you!

With 20 years experience living & loving this breathtaking coastline, I do know a thing or two about the best things to do while visiting the Amalfi Coast. 

All activities I book for you will be accompanied by apx costs and quotes.

Here are a half dozen suggestions for clients staying on the Amalfi Coast for one week;

  1. A two hour stop over via Pompeii or Herculaneum with an  English Speaking tour guide on your way into town with one of my excellent drivers who will guard your car and luggage with his life!….while you stroll through the ruins. 

images

  1. 2) a simple and easy first night dinner reservation so you don’t have to think about shopping, where or what to eat. Just let me know your likes and dis-likes, an apx budget and I will do the rest.

    3) A fully equipped boat ride with a good local driver, snorkelling gear & chilled Prosecco!  – discover grottos to swim in, the Galli Islands, and a fabulous eatery I will book up the coast for a long lazy seaside lunch……then a gentle cruise back home while perhaps snoozing on the boat cushions under a shaded canopy! .

     

    imgres-2

    4) a cooking class to take home some memorable dishes? I know some of the best in town! and most of the chef appear in my second book AMALFI COAST RECIPES. 

    OR

    5) If you are a walker & delight in those breath taking panoramas, then the Walk of the Gods is for you! I will book your passionate and incredibly well read guide to take you into the magnificent Latteri Mountains for this 3 – 4 hour walk finishing in a simple mountain side eatery for that well deserved glass of vino and bowl of pasta!

Amazing panoramas from the Path of the Gods walk.

Amazing panoramas from the Path of the Gods walk.

 

6) The best ‘apperativo’ terrace for a drink before a last night romantic dinner in one of the finer restaurants in town. A glass of excellent wine, delicious food and a tear drop to farewell this  remarkable coastline!

Hotel poseidon  positano 1779

a teary farewell dinner must be part of this wonderful journey

The best terrace in Positano for a good bye drink and a toast to the sunset!

 

 And if you need to squeeze 10 kilos of activities into your 2kilo bag and perhaps have more than a week, I have plenty of other suggestions! so ask away……

http://www.my-amalfi-coast.com/contact

Fishes Dishes…..Piatti di Pesci! 

 ALICI – Fresh anchovies. My favourite, raw and marinated! One of the best spots in the world for this delicacy.

COZZE – Mussels. Pump and delicious. This is the place to eat them. With pasta or just stewed in a tomato base. 

PEZZOGNA –  Seabream …But tastes more like a Snapper. The most delicate and delicious white fish on the coast. 

BANDIERA –  Scabbard or Ribbon fish. Few bones and is easy on the palate. Kids ADORE this non-fishy fish!

VONGOLE – Clams. Who doesn’t love Pasta with Vongole? and they are very special in this area.

TONTANI – Flying Squid. No matter how it’s made, if it’s done right, you will be a fan for life! fried, grilled or stuffed!

 

BUON APPETITO! 

 

THE BEST ‘HOW TO TIPS’ FOR YOUR AMALFI COAST TRIP!

If you have your ticket booked for Italy and are heading to the Amalfi Coast this European summer here are a few tips that I could possibly help you with before you leave. Whether its your first or tenth visit I think these tips could apply to all lovers of this sensational coastline.

Ahhh...that breathtaking coastline!

Ahhh……that sensational coastline! 

  1. – The first thing to sort out is your accommodation! This is paramount as hotel and properties fill up fast  all over Italy during these warmer month – May – October. Whether you are wanting an elegant hotel, a cosy apartment or a breathtaking sea side villa…the earlier you book the more choices you will have and avoid disappointment. I understand this is not always possible but please try and get in early. The Amalfi Coast today is an international playground and the WORLD is drawn to this region of Italy….and for good reason! So hop in as early as possible before all the good properties are snapped up!
  2. CANCELLATION conditions are important so get all the details from your villa, apt or hotel. These will give you some leeway when booking knowing you can always cancel your booking before a certain date and not be penalised with cancellation fees, e.g. September/October 2016  is a great time to book your stay for European summer 2017 …SO START THINKING 2017 HOLIDAY ON THE AMALFI COAST NOW! …. I can start taking bookings from today, so jump in!
The sensation terrace of Casa Mediterraneo

The romantic & panoramic terrace of Villa Mediterraneo 

Evening pool side at Villa Dicondra

Villa Dicondra shines between her pool and the Mediterranean Sea 

Terrace top panoramas from Mulini Penthouse

Penthouse Mulini embraces the town of Positano 

The next important thing is to book your arrival. Do you want to get your breath in Rome for a few days before heading south?  shopping, eating and exploring this sensation city. ‘Airport to bed’ is a great way to get over a long haul flight. I have several fabulous and central apts/rooms to rent in Rome to ease you into your Amalfi Coast stay, just let me know.  OR perhaps you are keen to arrive on the Amalfi Coast so a limo pick up at the Rome airport is an easy thing for me to organise for you. You will be driven to your hotel or property within 4 hrs from Rome airport. An excellent restaurant or eatery booking for your first night is also a great idea so you just don’t have to think. I can do this for you, just let me know and you’ll be waking up surrounded by the deep blue Mediterranean Sea!.

The stylish Rome Apt 3 

An Al Fresco corner of Rome Apt 1 

A quiet corner in bustling Rome …as  a great price! 

The heart of Rome.…at an affordable price.

The eternal paradise of lunch at Da Adolfo! And remember…if you dont book….you dont eat!

 Prebook as much as possible before leaving home! A few good bookings never hurt to have in place before you arrive on the Amalfi Coast -it will give you more time to enjoy the coast and less time wasted asking around for bookings. You also minimise your risk of disappointment with unavailability. I have many favourite spots from both my books to recommend and am happy to make these bookings or offer details to my clients. All these tour, restaurant or boat reservations, treks or road trips can all be cancelled or changed once you arrive on The Amalfi Coast, so there is no harm in booking.  Here are just a few great things I can book for you:

 

An easy boat day on the Tyrrhenian Sea swimming in the many grottos, sipping chilled Prosecco while your captain slowly drives you up the coast to a special eatery for lunch.

A trip up into the wonderful Latteri mountains enveloping the Amalfi Coast to one of the award winning wineries with an English speaking, experience & local Sommelier who will guide you through the flavours of this coast followed by a mouth watering meal to accompany these special wines.

Contact me for all Wine Tour information and bookings! 

The Walk of the Gods has to be one of the most breath taking walks in Italy. My local English speaking guide can show you a section of the magnificent pathway in a morning, take your iPhone or camera – you wont believe the views ! All this naturally can be followed by an easy lunch at a simple hillside eatery which I can book in advance.

Organise a good departure. This means not only your transfer driver but also if your flight or train will allow you time enough to visit the magnificent ruins of Pompeii or Herculaneum featured here below…. on the way back to Naples or Rome to continue your journey. This will add apx 2 hours to your return trip.

There many other things to do on the Amalfi Coast so just let me know the sort of things you love and I will send you my best suggestions.

See you on the pages of the Amalfi Coast…….if not, I’ll see you there!

Buon viaggio e buona vacanza!

What’s The Best Way To Do The Amalfi Coast? Check Out What is Still Available For 2016!

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!

The splendid Hotel Poseidon, Positano. A great boutique hotel find!

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!

Zeffirelli’s old villa today is the magnificent Villa Treville.

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!

My first home in Positano – La Fenice….you gotta be super quick here!

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.

A special spot on the Amalfi Coast nestled between Vietri & Cetara. Palazzo Suriano……charming!

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.

A modern touch in the ancient village of Praiano! Casa Angelina…..luxury!

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.

VILLA LIGHEA

9 MARCH –  23 APRIL

30 APRIL –  21 MAY

28 MAY –   3 JUNE

30 JULY –  20 AUGUST

8 OCTOBER – 31 DECEMBER

VILLA GUISY

16 – 22 APRIL

30 APRIL- 6 MAY

4 – 17 – JUNE

10 – 29  – JULY

20 -30 – AUGUST

10 – 30 – SEPTEMBER

COLOMBA VILLETTA

14 MAY – 11 JUNE

27 AUGUST – 1 OCTOBER

COLOMBINA VILLETTA

ALL OF SEPTEMBR

TORRE PORTA

14 – 21 MAY

9 – 23 JULY

10 SEPT ONWARD

CASA ISABELLA

14 MAY – 6 JUNE

ALL OCTOBER

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

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Sensational, chic and pure paradise – Casa Mediterraneo.

16 – 23 JULY

6 – 13 AUGUST

27 AUGUST- 1 OCTOBER

VILLA  UNICA.

ALL APRIL

1 – 20 MAY

4 – 10 JUNE

20 – 26 AUGUST

ALL OCTOBER

VILLA DICONDRA

1ST 3 WEEKS OF JUNE

2ND WEEK JULY

ALL SEPTEMBER

 

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!

Where it all starts…..

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. 

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.

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 

Cristian, Sommelier & passionate wine lover!

A wine tasting under the vines? makes sense!

Gaetano, owner of S.Francesco winery in Tramonti…with Cristian

Some delicious local dishes to accompany some wonderful wines.

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

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

The love Marisa in her cellars.

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!