Napoli e La Costiera Amalfitana (Naples and the Amalfi Coast)

To kick off the summer, the Italian and I did an amazing trip to Naples and the Amalfi coast. Here are some pictures of the highlights, both scenic and culinary.

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View of Amalfi

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At the hotel in Amalfi. These gorgeous lemon trees were everywhere! Ripe and ready to be made into limoncello, or lemon liqueur, one of the many culinary specialties of this region that is served after dinner as a digestivo (digestif).

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Even more impressive – these gigantic lemons. These were the size of a baby’s head! The sun on the Italian coast just grows things differently…

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The Amalfi town centre featuring the Cattedrale di Sant’Andrea. I love all the cafe seats where one can stop and have a rest and an espresso. (Or in my case, an affogato – which is a scoop of gelato with espresso poured over it.)

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Buildings in Amalfi

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We rented a gommone boat to help us explore the Amalfi cost. First stop – the stunning island of Capri!

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Disembarking at Capri amid a bunch of cute fishermen’s boats.

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On a rented vespa and driving around the narrow streets of Capri.

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Gorgeous view from the top of Capri.

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Colorful buildings in Capri

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Walking around Capri and discovering the amazing pasticcerie

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And the incredibly cute selection of historical vespas.

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Back on the boat, we rode past the quaint and picturesque village of Positano.

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Climbing some pretty adorable steps in Positano

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Church in Positano

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Moving on to the narrow, crowded street that runs through the historic old centre of the city of Naples – Spaccanapoli.

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And the colorful laundry that flies overhead, decorating the streets.

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And now we move on to the highlight of the trip – the food. This is a pizza from one of Naples’ most famous pizzerias – Da Michele. Da Michele’s is a simple place, offering just two types of pizza: Marinara and Mozzarella. We ordered double mozzarella and were not disappointed. The place was even featured in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Love, Pray, and her vividly written description of eating the soft, yet chewy dough, salted sauce of fresh tomatoes, light, oozing mozzarella and the infusion of fresh basil is enlarged and framed on the walls in both Italian and English. It really was cool to first read the description of her experience and then taste the pizza itself with her words in mind. Her description definitely did the pizza justice. As she writes, “I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delerium that my pizza might actually love me, in return.” So did I, Elizabeth, so did I.

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Wanting to get the most out of pizza napoletana during our brief stay in Naples, the Italian and I also went to a competitor pizza place – Da Matteo. it was also very good, although Da Michele would have been the clear winner had there been a competition. Da Matteo offered more selection and we ordered two pies, one with vegetables and one with ham and cheese.

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We also got to try some traditional Neapolitan appetisers at Da Matteo. The appetisers are all fried “in carrozza“, which rough translates to “in a carriage”, and are best enjoyed with chilled Italian Nastro Azzuro beer. Above we enjoyed golden-crusted fried mozzarella, eggplant, pizza dough, and rice balls (arancini).

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Walking around Naples – despite its reputation for chaos, trash and crime, it is really a beautiful city full of grandious buildings with rich, decorative details and bright colors.

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Residential buildings in Naples.

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Enjoying some delicious pastries from the famous Café Gambrinus. It is the city’s oldest café, and since it opened in the mid-19th century it has welcomed royalty, artists, and celebrities, among them Oscar Wilde and Mussolini. The elegant cafe is located at the corner of the grand Piazza Plebiscito, and features marble, decorative ceilings, fine china and a bright interior. We sat at the patio outside to make the most of the sunny day and enjoyed people-watching and the liveliness of the city.

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A selection of our pastries enjoyed at Café Gambrinus. A berry tart, a chocolate sfogliatella and a rum baba with cream.

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View of Mount Vesuvius overlooking Naples

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Prior to our trip to the Amalfi Coast and Naples, the Italian and I spent the weekend in Turin to attend a friend’s wedding. Here are a few pictures below.

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My handsome Italian

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The Italian and me in front of the Gran Madre di Dio church in central Turin

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