positano

At home in the Amalfi Coast - part 3

And then you want to enjoy the view, or at least one of the best perspectives, since it’s all about breathtaking sights around here, in the Amalfi Coast. bruno1

The cosiest yet stunning foodie spot to do so, along with some good old fashioned people watching, is Bar Bruno. “It’s not a bar, it’s a restaurant” – insists Ornella, the owner, who runs this place, open 18 hours a day, along with her husband and her children, three handsome guys in their twenties who crack up jokes with the young ladies and are the epitome of the Neapolitan chap.

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Haut couture designer Giambattista Valli comes every day during the month of August, and when he’s not around, his friends are: Lee Radzivill (sister of Jacqueline Kennedy) as well as Hollywood stars of the likes of Meryl Streep are all returning customers. The peculiarity about this small place located on the public road is that it’s not only about Amalfi Coast dishes.

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Some people may fall for them, but others, who are seaching for fuss-free gastronomic purity, would like to enjoy some simple Italian standards, and that’s where they’d come, certain to be in for a treat.

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When I've been served marinated fillet of fish with oranges, vegetables, Parmesan cheese and rocket I couldn't believe my senses as I tasted the latter one. The rocket here grows as an erba spontanea (spontaneous herb), and is particularly bitter, almost peppery. Excellent on its own, it was a sublime indulgence in front of the wild horizon.

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And then there's Lemon. Definitely the king around here, you find it on top of your drink, inside out any kind of food, on granita (lemon slush), it’s transformed in candles, home & personal scents. I wouldn’t’ be surprised if people would even pray in front of it. Honestly, one never gets enough of it.

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Fillet of fish of the day & seafood au gratin on a bed of lemon leaves is one of the most audacious and well achieved food ideas I've seen around here these last days.bruno10

A gentle breeze welcomed the evening in, and the clouds layered with the sky. The Sfoglia alle Fragola, the signature dish of Bruno, is fragile and filled with antioxidants. Every meal seems effortless and successful. Maybe because of this lack of stress, that put me in a delightful state of #foodhappiness.

With love and the sea in front of my eyes,

Eleonora

At home in the Amalfi Coast - part 2

Suddenly yesterday it started raining. I'm talking pouring down like nothing else. Raining cats and dogs. Since I'm always at the right place at the wrong moment, just about ten minutes earlier I decided to take a walk, unaware of the possible meteorological shift. I obviously found myself in the middle of it all without the occasional umbrella, so I started to dance with it. I opened up my arms and drank the tears of water. I couldn't quite believe it but they tasted something like limoncello (the typical lemon liqueur produced in this area), probably because they went through the terraced lemon groves before touching the ground. The smell of citrus fruits literally filled the air. That’s when I started to be hungry. arienzo3

A few minutes later, I found a clearing along the coast, with a pretty little beach in the middle. An indication on the road pointed towards “Bagni d’Arienzo”, but didn’t precise exactly how long or what would it get to finally arrive there: 243 steps later, I had my feet on warm sand (it was sunny again), and I met Amalia. arienzo2

This young, extremely kind woman (who is obviously already married and has her husband working with her in the premises) is the daughter of Ada, the cook and behind the scenes queen of this family run snack bar turned restaurant on the way between Positano and Praiano. This immaculate beach is nestled under the splendid former Zaffirelli’s holiday villa now turned 5 star resort Treville. arienzo4

You can either access the Bagni  by foot or, more simply, there’s a free boat shuttle service departing from the pier of Positano every half hour.

foto-224There’s only a few umbrella on the beach, sorted out by Peppe, Ada’s husband, who is also the one who makes sure all the guests get on and off the boat safe and sound when they reach this paradisiacal destination for a scrumptious meal.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

These tentalising little anchovies were served to me on a bed of fresh lettuce and wild rocket salad, the very bitter and crunchy kind, to be found only when organic cultivation applies. While Ada is busy producing hundreds of ravioli (a Neapolitan fresh pasta typically filled with cheese) every morning for the hungry customers, Peppe goes to their 16 hectares plot of land, located just on top of the bay, to pick up the daily vegetables. A perfect family team, which I’m  starting to understand, seems to be the winning rule around this area.foto-225

People from all over the world greatly appreciate this kind of informal, warm hospitality, so much so that they come every year for more. Peppe gracefully showed me a stone sculpture representing their whole family, a creation offered to them by a Russian kid who spent a couple of weeks here last year. Upon his return a few days ago, this young boy couldn’t believe his eyes as he found out that Peppe had kept his gift with such care – “We remember people, and they remember us”. This sentence alone tells a lot about the incredible humanity that one breathes around here.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

As I breathed out, here came the desserts (two for me, oh yeah!): a delicious pastiera napoletana (a typical festivities cake – but then again here is always a celebration!) and freschezza amalfitana - Amalfi style freshness, a trumphal chocolate sponge cake topped with almonds mousse. An unmissable spot near the path of the gods. Wanna find out more about my Amalfi Coast project run in collaboration with Pasta Rummo? Click here to enjoy the first episode.

With love and a hint of lemon zest,

Eleonora

A night in Positano

Sooner or later, we all have been nurturing a dream where medieval towers overlooking the Mediterranean sea meet trouble-free states of mind. Or haven't we? Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

The switch-off mode is immediate as I visited the Amalfi coast, where these long wished for dreams got surpassed by reality, especially during the absolutely somptuous night I spent at the hotel "Le Sirenuse", the boutique-styled gem of Positano. More than an hotel the place is truly another dimension. The glorious hospitality linked with a unique off-the-etiquette approach of its glamourous yet down-to-heart owners, Antonio & Carla Sersale, made for a delightful stay among friends, by way of gently disclosing doors that would have normally been accessible to locals only. Until today.

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This magical corner of Positano looks very much like a very private key to the secrets of living: here the triptych for excellence binding "luxe, calme and volupté" is topped by one of many glasses of well stirred Martini's, preferrably served on one of the numerous terraces overlooking the gulf of this spectacular island that is Positano.

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Yes, there's a pool, but not only. Enjoying the spa, designed by archistar Gae Aulenti, has been one of the highlights of my stay, as this movie by talented Poppy de Villeneuve shows, with breath-taking scenes capturing the enchanting scenario of the sorroundings.

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Back in the kitchen, fully equipped with copper elements, Tuscan native chef Matteo Temperini blends tremendously well the Mediterranean gastronomic heritance with highly skilled local product sourcing. Not only did he treat us to a lavish dinner, perfectly al fresco on a terrace enlightened by the moon and a few shy stars. The breakfast ceremony, which on holiday is to be consumed (compulsorily as part of a #foodhappiness state of mind!) as if time stops, was dotted by smells and tastes of unimaginable purity. I was happy to find the local buffalo yogurt provided by Casa Madaio,

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as well as a selection of signature breakfast delicacies from the Amalfi coast, ranging from the Capri Chocolate Cake through to the perfumed Sorrento lemon pie to the Babà , the epytome of Neapolitan bakery tradition. All prepared in an immaculate open kitchen. Just taste and see for yourself.

Luckily the whole place, which was Sersale's family summer palazzo turned into a hotel in 1951, is accessible to the general public for meals and spa treatments.  On our way back from what was a too short of a break, we couldn't help but going to the hip & chic hotel shop graciously run by Carla Sersale, the Emporio Le Sirenuse, and got ourselves the refinely scented Eau d'Italie, a fragrance originally created in honour of the hotel guests only and now widely sold around the world. For those who can smell it.

We then wondered around the area, finding delight in purchasing fresh products from Anna, picking the best anchovies from Delfino in Cetara and visiting Sorrento to pick some juicy lemons.

The moon is the same moon above you Aglow with its cool evening light But shining at night, in Positano, Never does it shine so bright

With #foodhappiness and love,

Eleonora