While the Amalfi Coast is known for its lemons there are other products that call this region home as well. In Positano, you can find some of the finest linens in the world. I had way too much fun buying table linens in - what else - a lemon motif!
In Ravello, pottery is one of their claims to fame (wool and cashmere are two others). I only bought a small pitcher but I drooled over so much more. Sometimes, living in a condo is good for the bank account. *grin*
Ravello is a small town high in the mountains. We visited on a lovely Sunday afternoon when tourists were not thick on the ground, allowing us to leisurely stroll through the town and enjoy the open square that faces a church with an ancient bell tower and also offers beautiful views of lemon groves that line the hills as well as the sea far below. It was one of my favorite stops.
|Gotta love those massages!|
Another favorite stop on the tour was at the "cow spa" as our tour guide, Marcello dubbed it.
The actual name of this organic buffalo farm near Paestum in southern Italy is Tenuta Vannulo though in actuality, "cow spa" isn't far from the truth. The water buffalo who reside here are truly living the good life with classical music piped in every morning, self-milking stations, and massage machines.
This group is queueing up to be milked. Each cow (female water buffalo) has a tag around her neck that carries her name (Yes, they are all named. I was introduced to water buffalo Britney, named after Britney Spears.), rate of milking, output, etc. When the cow feels ready to be milked, she simply enters the queue to go into the automatic milking machine.
|Opening the gate after milking to head to the feeding station.|
All that care sure shows in the milk they produce which is used to make a variety of products, including some of the best buffalo mozzarella and gelato I've ever tasted. The organic farm grows the feed the buffalo eat as well as the fruits and vegetables that are served to the people who visit. Our lunch at the farm included fabulous organic cherry tomatoes and mozzarella we watched being made that morning!
Food. There aren't enough superlatives to describe how much I enjoyed the food of southern Italy so I'll just share a few photos. Feel free to drool. I did. ;-)
Eggplant, Pumpkin, and Fennel
Fresh seafood platter.
Antipasto at the same vineyard. I could have eaten an entire platter of just the sundried tomatoes.
Caprese Salad. I had nine of them during the trip. I could have eaten more. ;-)
Prosecco. A nice welcome to our hotel in Positano!
Seafood delight. Mussels, clams, and prawns straight from the sea. Yum!
Delicious lemon sorbet made with fresh, Amalfi Coast lemons.
Custard filled dessert.
Gluten-free pizza that actually tasted like pizza! Italian restaurants are very conscious of customers with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivities. The gluten-free dishes I ate were fabulous!
Making our dinner at an Agriturismo (tourist farm) in the mountains. What fun that was!
I couldn't have these (gluten) but there were plenty of moans and groans from everyone else at the table. The center was melted chocolate.
This lemon risotto was incredible. Made with fresh picked lemons from the restaurant's groves, it was my favorite dish of the entire trip. I could have happily eaten it at every meal!
Our final day in Positano was also one of our most enjoyable. After a leisurely walk from our hotel down to the docks, we boarded our private boat for a full day of cruising along the coast, including two swim stops (I was surprised by how cold the water was!) and lunch at a restaurant that can only be reached by water. Viewing the Amalfi Coast from the sea gives you a completely different perspective.
I'd probably give up boating if I had to climb up and down that path each time I wanted to go out on the water!
One of Sophia Loren's homes. We waved. Alas, nobody waved back. ;-)
They grow lemons everywhere!
I love the homes and villages tucked into the nooks and crannies along the coast.
No helicopter on this yacht but they brought their own slide. Looks like fun!
Our final day in Positano. This was taken from my hotel room balcony. Believe me, it was no hardship waking up to this view every morning. Saying arrivederci? Not so easy.
I hope you've enjoyed this brief peek into my Italy tour and a few of the (thousands of) photos I took. Sharing it with you has reminded me of how fortunate I was to take this trip and how very much I enjoyed it.
Have you ever gone boating in an ocean or sea? Did you enjoy it?
Which of the food dishes above would you most like to try?
What would be your biggest indulgence if you traveled to the Amalfi Coast? Linens? Food? Wine? Pottery? Cashmere? Something else?
PJ's Birthday Month Giveaway
One randomly chosen person will receive a book from my conference stash and a bar of organic yogurt and honey soap from the cow spa. (U.S. addresses only)
One randomly chosen person will receive a book from my conference stash and a linen bread bag. (U.S. addresses only)