THE IN­SID­ERS AMALFI COAST, ITALY

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - MAS­SIMO MELE

GO: When peo­ple ask where I would like to go for a hol­i­day, I take no time in an­swer­ing: the Amalfi Coast. I was lucky to live in Naples in younger years and spend many sum­mers on the coast, about 70km south. I re­mem­ber days on peb­ble beaches, af­ter­noon siestas, late-night fam­ily feasts and strolls along the wa­ter­front eat­ing the most amaz­ing gelato. Not much has changed. The wa­ter is still mag­nif­i­cently clear, the food is just as de­li­cious and the sun-drenched coast­line never loses its magic; amal­fi­touristof­fice.it/.

EAT: A must is Trat­to­ria Da Lorenzo in Ravello. Like most restau­rants on the coast, it is a fam­ily-run busi­ness with mamma in the kitchen and papa look­ing af­ter guests. Within min­utes of ar­riv­ing you feel like part of the fam­ily. The spe­cialty here is seafood and the flavours are clean, well bal­anced and ex­e­cuted per­fectly. The an­tipasti menu will over­whelm you. Take your time and or­der one of ev­ery­thing; you won’t be dis­ap­pointed. My par­ents were mar­ried in Ravello and of­ten talk about this place; trat­to­ri­adalorenzo.com.

STAY: Make sure you get your­self a room with a view of the Mediter­ranean: there is a lot to be said for wak­ing up with the sea breeze flow­ing through your win­dow and a glimpse of that blue sea. Ho­tel Villa Ser­ena fills the bill, of­fer­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion and great ser­vice that will make you feel right at home. The es­tate is set on a hill high above Sor­rento. Swimming pool, le­mon trees, views of the Mediter­ranean, olive trees … what’s not to love about this prop­erty; hotelvil­laserna.it/.

TASTE: About an hour south of where the Amalfi Coast of­fi­cially starts, the area of Cam­pa­nia is worth a de­tour. This is where moz­zarella di bu­fala comes from. It would be safe to say that ev­ery few kilo­me­tres there is a ca­seifi­cios, or dairy farm, selling fresh buf­falo moz­zarella, my favourite cheese. I re­mem­ber as a boy go­ing into these places and eat­ing the cheese, which is still warm; such an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Check out Tenuta Van­nulo, one of the old­est ca­seifi­cios still op­er­at­ing and it’s com­pletely or­ganic; van­nulo.it/.

EN­JOY: As you ap­proach Sor­rento, the air be­comes per­fumed with cit­rus. Or­ange, tan­ger­ine and le­mon groves are just blocks from the city cen­tre. En­joy the large Sor­rento le­mons in the form of li­mon­cello, gelato or, for a re­fresh­ing granita, A’Sci­ula, near the Amalfi cathe­dral; sor­ren­to­tourism.com.

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