NAPOLI AND ITS SURROUNDINGS AND A CAPRESE SALAD

For 4 persons

2 balls of mozzarella

1 nectarine

2 yellow tomatoes

8 cherry tomatoes 

a bunch of basil

salt and pepper

olive oil

lemon juice

 

This is the second time that I was in Italy this year. Well, I was in the same place for the second time. While I was there in the spring I visited the city and got acquainted with the cuisine of Naples, this time the visit was about discovering the surroundings and searching for the perfect pizza. This time the stay lasted for a week. Let’s say it is enough time to stroll around Naples and see the surrounding areas. And this time in Naples we visited the Capodimonte Museum and the Archaeological Museum, both being the best in the world. You can read about what is worth seeing in Naples here. This time I am going to give you an account about what I saw in the Naples surroundings.

Do you know that Campania and Naples are among the most beautiful areas in Italy? It is around the Golf of Naples that the beautiful and famous islands are situated – Capri and Ischia. The Sorrento peninsula is located beautifully south of Naples, from there we can admire the view of the volcano. The most beautiful areas are the Amalfi Coast – with the towns of Amalfi, Positano and Ravello. Breathtaking views, picturesquely located towns, steep slopes descending to the sea, charming and narrow streets and beautifully situated gardens.

Well, instead of going to Naples and being scorched in the burning sun on the streets of the city, we chose to scorched in nearby towns. But to the point.

The first day it was Naples anyway. On the second day, the destination was Procida. Not Capri, where the authorities want to introduce limits for tourists visiting. We chose a small island north of Naples. A beautiful place, a less-popular island on the way to Ischia, with picturesque harbors and colorful houses. This island appeared as a background in two films: Il Postino (the Postman) and Talented Mr.Ripley. When in the area I recommend that you go there. You can get there by ferry from the port of Pozzuoli, one-way ticket price is 9.50 euro or from the port in Naples.

The next day it was a trip to the south of Naples, outside the town of Salerno. We went to Paestum. We will find there remains of a Greek city lost in the fields. Remains of three great temples, an interesting museum with preserved art from the tombs. And cicadas pounding the silence in the hot sun. Beautiful. I do not recommend that you go on a week day. On Sunday there were fewer visitors and no crowds on the train, but no trains to get back to Naples. You have to wait for a few hours for the return train.

On the next day, another trip, this time on my beloved Amalfi Coast. The road that goes there is called the way of a thousand curves. And there are probably so many of them! We took the SITA bus from Salerno train station. We got off in Amalfi, saw the main square and the cathedral of St. Andrew. Then we decided to go to Ravello. Instead of taking a bus there, we chose to go on foot. Ravello is located on a rock of 330-350 meters high. It was very hard to take the stairs, we covered several kilometers up the stairs, a total of about 35 floors. It was not easy, but the views from the terraces of Villa Rufolo or Villa Cimbrone unforgettable. After returning down to Amalfi, we managed to catch a bus to Sorrento, there was no time to visit Positano on the way, unfortunately. Well, maybe next time … A few practical notes – if you want to go, choose the route from Salerno to Amalfi. Go by SITA bus, in Salerno you will find free seats, choose those on the left side of the bus, you will have a beautiful view of the sea and the bay.

I recommend that you take a trip to Pompeii  or Ercolano scavi. Compared to what I remembered from the visit in 2001, many new streets and houses were made available. You have to go to Pompei Scavi station. From there, you can go straight towards the visible church, which is the Basilica of St. Mary of the Rosary. After leaving the basilica, we go to the right, after passing a distance of about 1 kilometer, we find the entrance to the excavations. Be careful, excavations are not that far from the station, so do not be fooled by the pullers who suggest a ride.

Campania and Naples are perfectly connected. We can get by train to any chosen place.  A very large number of rail connections allows you to reach every village in the area within a short time. I recommend getting ArteCard. It is a card issued for 3 days, for Naples alone the cost is 21 euros for Campania and the cost is 34 euros. This card entitles you to free entrance to 2 museums, entry to the other museums is for half the price. In addition, getting around the metro, trains and buses is free! So convenient!

Well, there is food. Naples is a very tasty city. Pizza reigns in Naples. The coffee is excellent. Fresh seafood from the bay and the sea, vegetables and fruits grown on fertile, volcanic soil. In every small restaurant, the pizza is baked in a wood-burning oven. It gives it its specific taste. Thick, soft edges and thin bottom. What a taste! Marinara or Margherita cost about 4-5 euros. Pasta with seafood, fish, lemons, eggplants, tomatoes and cheese. Mozzarella – fior di latte and buffala. Different types of pecorino sheep’s cheese. This area is a foodie heaven.

What did we eat? Pizza Margherita Bufala DOP in Sorbillo pizzeria in the city. The best neapolitan pizza in the world! In the neighborhood we stayed San Giovanni Barra, there was a local pizzeria called ZioPacifico – and there we had pizza made to order with Neapolitan spinach, tomatoes and eggplant. Spaghetti alle cozze in the Il Postino tavern on the island of Procida. Frito misto and fried sardines. Grilled swordfish, eggplant parmigiana. That was it! What a taste!

 

I think everyone knows how to make a caprese salad, well, it’s a very popular salad originating from the island of Capri. My proposal is a bit different.  I added pieces of nectarine to it. So here you have a very fruity, sweet and creamy caprese salad in a new edition.

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