A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"


Longing for Italy – Part 2

October 11th, 2009

Ravello is the other small town that I crave for. It’s high in the hills on the Amalfi Coast overlooking the Gulf of Salerno. Ravello is a tiny gem filled with history; some of its architecture dates back to the 10th century. The nearby town of Positano probably gets most of the press, but Ravello is far more charming with a lot fewer tourists.

The first thing I think of when I hear Ravello is Cumpa Cosimo. It’s a small unpretentious trattoria run by Netta, a little fireplug that makes some of the best pasta in Italy. My friend John is a quick eater, and he downed his bowl of pasta in milliseconds. Netta was so impressed she brought him a second bowl for free…and yes he ate it. Although eating is always number one on my list, Ravello’s key attribute is the view.  Go to the Villa Cimbrone and you will be well rewarded with ancient sculpture, beautiful gardens, and perhaps the best view on the Amalfi Coast – you can see for miles. Although the Villa is only 10 minutes from the town square, I made a wrong turn and we walked down a tiny path all the way to the bottom of the hill. Getting back up the hill was not fun, but while getting lost we ended up meandering through many backyards. I share this because we came upon a couple ladies laying out hundreds of tomatoes in the sun to dry. Sometimes the best scenes are not the tourist spots, but those glimpses into the lives of the locals. Another great spot for vistas is the Hotel Sasso, go for a drink and enjoy the sunset.

Villa Cimbrone

Villa Cimbrone

Ravello is also known for one more thing – pottery. If you ever had dinner at my house then you have eaten on Ravello pottery. There are several pottery stores, but our favorite is Da Lena. The selection is amazing, there will definitely be a color pattern that suits you. Although it seems scary to ship pottery back home, we have done it twice and never had a problem.

Italy has so many small towns, I think we all need to plan another trip to explore. Buon Viaggio.

3 Responses to “Longing for Italy – Part 2”

  1. Diane & Harold says:

    I think you must be beginnning to think about heading back to Italy soon. Can you put me in your suitcase. D&H

  2. sheila says:

    Are there any wonderful flea markets in Italy that have
    older items? Thank you. sdk

  3. Ed McAniff says:

    Sheila, there are so many outdoor markets all over Italy. Check out http://www.initaly.com which breaks down all the outdoor markets by region. I think you will find just what you are looking for.

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