View of Procida from above

A GUIDE TO PROCIDA: WHAT TO SEE IN ONE DAY

Month: August 2021

View of Procida from above

Procida, the Italian Capital of Culture 2022

It is the smallest island in the Gulf of Naples and probably the least known in comparison to the most popular tourist destinations of Ischia and Capri. Procida is an authentic pearl of the Campania archipelago, an enchanting place which carefully safeguards its own identity and traditions, away from the classic itineraries and can easily be seen on foot in just one day.

But not only that, Procida is also the Italian Capital of Culture 2022, the first island to win this coveted honor.

Thanks to its 44 cultural projects, 330 days of programming, 240 artists and 40 original works of art, throughout 2022 Procida will be the perfect place to surround yourself with its natural beauty and rediscover the age-old traditions of a community that is itself part of the island’s cultural heritage.

 

The Island of a Thousand Colors

Easily to reach by ferry from Sorrento (but only in summer) and Naples, Procida will captivate you from the very first moment you step into the port of Marina Grande. All of the small colorful houses overlooking the crystal clear sea will give you the impression of being inside an authentic outdoor painting. Welcomed by the thousands of enveloping colors, you’ll want to explore the island and get lost amongst the numerous narrow alleys that adorn this beautiful little corner of paradise.

The beating heart of Procida, Marina Grande is the shopping and tourist center. Full of cafés and restaurants, you can enjoy the typical local cuisine as well as go shopping along the most famous Via Roma.

 

Terra Murata and Palazzo D’Avalos

Along original passageways and alleys with a magnificent view overlooking the sea, you can walk to Terra Murata, an ancient medieval village encircled by walls built in the 16th century to protect the population from being attacked by the sea. Here is the historic center of Procida. With a short walk uphill, you can reach the Abbazia di San Michele Arcangelo and the Palazzo D’Avalos (an imposing structure visible from the mainland and famous because it was a prison until 1988).

 

Corricella: the Fishermen’s Village

Your daily visit must include a tour of the island’s oldest fishing village, Marina della Corricella. It is famous for being the film set of Massimo Troisi’s “Il Postino.”

Overlooking the blue sea of the enchanting Gulf of Naples, the village will offer you a relaxing stroll. You’ll enjoy the famous fishermen’s cottages with their pastel colors and “Vefi” or unique balconies covered with Arabic arches.

If you love the peace and quiet, as well as the scents of the sea, this is the perfect corner of the island for you. And don’t forget to stop for a fresh-fish dinner at one of the few restaurants in the area. You’ve got to do this!

 

Beaches Not to Be Missed

We have to mention the wonderful beaches of Procida with their fine sand, made famous by the iconic 1999 film “The Talented Mr. Ripley” starring Matt Damon and Jude Law. After all, Procida, first of all, is the sea.

The island has many beaches, almost all accessible, small bays and coves perfect for exploring the area.

Among the most famous on the west side is the famous Pozzo Vecchio beach with its black volcanic sand and the beaches of Ciraccio and Chiaiolella. The latter is the largest and busiest of Procida, ideal for families with children and those who want to enjoy a boat ride to explore coves and caves visible only from the sea. But most of all, it is the best place for a swim under the warm colors of one of the most spectacular sunsets on the whole island.


Young girl eats overlooking the Gulf of Sorrento

SORRENTO AND THE SORRENTO PENINSULA - WHAT SHOULD YOU EAT? WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL DISHES?

Month: August 2021

Young girl eats overlooking the Gulf of Sorrento

What’s good to eat in Sorrento and along the Sorrento Peninsula?

Flavors from the sea and land, unique traditions, the best of Mediterranean cuisine, and world-famous dishes. We are talking about the Cuisine of Sorrento and its surroundings, fragrant, tasty, but also delicate and robust. This is because the strip of coast of the Sorrento peninsula is nestled between the Lattari Mountains, where the delicious Fiordilatte and Provolone del Monaco DOP cheeses are made. And the sea, offering fish, shellfish and seafood prepared and served in thousands of different ways.

t is difficult to single out just one dish as the “star” of the Sorrentine cuisine. This is a territory of big flavors and talents, as demonstrated by the pastry art of Sal De Riso and by the fame of the star Chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo, who was born right here, in the charming Ticciano, a small village of Vico Equense, only 7 km from Sorrento.

 

Anchovies, Squid, Cuttlefish, Octopus and Seafood – Freshness at the Table

Pezzogna all’acqua pazza (typical white fish with tomato, garlic, parsley and white wine), impepata di cozze (peppered mussels), and seppioline ripiene (stuffed cuttlefish) are three typical recipes, just to mention a few. But the cuisine of Sorrento is a real celebration of seafood, from appetizers to first and second courses, with fresh ingredients and a hint of something special, the fragrant Sorrento lemons, tomatoes, and DOP olive oil.

The fish, arriving fresh every day, is served grilled, marinated, or fried. Succulent shellfish as a first course with spaghetti, or as a delicious sfizio, sautéed with garlic, oil, parsley and a generous handful of hot pepper.

Octopus is the star of Sorrentine cuisine. In particular polpetti affogati, small octopuses simmered for two hours in an earthenware pot with tomatoes then served with chopped parsley still steaming.

Another delicious dish: local cod, eaten poached with a bit of lemon juice, salt and fresh parsley. It is of superior quality compared to Atlantic cod because it is completely fat-free.

 

Meaty goodness

The inland areas of Sorrento and neighboring towns are famous for pork. Try the sausages with a side dish of friarielli, the slightly bitter broccoli typical of the Campania plain, and the starters made with local cured meats. Don’t forget to try the grilled fillet and goat meat.

 

Local fresh fruits and vegetables and high-quality specialties

The prince of Sorrento cuisine is the Sorrento tomato: cultivated throughout the region, it is large and round, with a very delicate flavor. Together with fiordilatte cheese from Agerola (similar to fresh mozzarella) and basil, it is the famous Caprese salad.

The fertile soil, mild climate and terraced cultivations also offer flavorful eggplants, peppers, and zucchini. One of the most famous territorial first courses is creamy Spaghetti con le Zucchine with shaved caciocavallo cheese.

And what about the Sorrento walnuts, with their crisp white nut and thin skin? They are a real delicacy. Try them in Nocino, a typical liqueur, or Spaghetti con le Noci with garlic and anchovies.

The ever-present ingredient in Sorrento dishes is DOP olive oil from Sorrento. Fruity, with greenish reflections, this oil is made from olives harvested by hand in the olive groves dotting the Sorrento peninsula.

In the end, the very famous and fragrant Sorrento lemons, the true symbol of this beautiful land. Appeciated all over the world, they are large and juicy, and in addition to adding personality to each dish, they are also eaten here as a salad with olive oil and salt.

 

Homemade pasta

In Sorrento and its surroundings, pasta is homemade. Osterias, restaurants and typical eateries offer many types of homemade pasta. The most famous is Le Lagane, wide strips of pasta served with a chickpea purée, and of course, Gnocchi alla Sorrentina. So delicious with tomato sauce, grated parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese, and then baked in the oven and garnished with fresh basil.

 

Provolone del Monaco DOP and fresh Fiordilatte

Agerola cows, native to these areas and at risk of extinction, are today a protected breed thanks to the exceptional quality of their milk. This delicious milk has been used for centuries to prepare Provolone del Monaco, a cheese used to enrich all recipes and enjoyed on grilled bread, and Fiordilatte, often mistakenly confused with buffalo mozzarella.

Fiordilatte comes from raw cow’s milk from the Agerola breed of cows and must be made within a maximum of 16 hours after milking. It has a fresh and delicate taste and is the ingredient of Pizza Margherita. It can be eaten by itself, either braided or in small balls, or cooked in delicious dishes such as Fiordilatte in Carrozza, fried with egg and bread, or as a Caprese.

 

Desserts: from the Delizie al Limone to the Babà

Perhaps desserts are among the most famous typical products of Sorrento and its surroundings. The Delizia al Limone, the Cannoli alla Sorrentina and the Melanzane di Cioccolato come from this area. As well as the confectionery tradition from the convents which left sweet testimonies such as the paste reali.

But that’s not all. Here you can try a delicious Torta Caprese made with almonds and chocolate, the Baba often served with Limoncello cream, the Pastiera, and even Sfogliatelle, Frolle e Lisce and the Cannoli.

 

Liqueurs and wines: DOC and other varieties

At the end of the meal, how about a Limoncello, Meloncello, Liquore al Cioccolato, Liquore al Pistacchio or another homemade liqueur? And we can’t forget about the wines! Sorrento and its peninsula are proud of their ancient roots. Wines were already being made here in Roman times. Over the centuries, the wine tradition of this region has evolved into quality wines, bearing the name Penisola Sorrentina DOC.

Be sure to try a sparkling red wine (Piedirosso, Aglianico), and the so-called Vino di sabato or Saturday’s wine. This is a full-bodied and native wine coming from the farms and vineyards around Vico Equense. It is mainly made according to traditional techniques. As for white wines, perfect for fish dishes are Episcopio di Ravello and Tramonti di Apicella, very fresh and delicate.


Panoramic view of the Sorrento Coast

SORRENTO AND THE SORRENTO PENINSULA: WHAT TO DO IN SUMMER

Month: August 2021

Panoramic view of the Sorrento Coast

The Sorrento Peninsula in Summer

Sorrento and its Peninsula in summer are a paradise of sea, sun, good food, and thousands of wonderful fragrances this region has to offer. Whether it’s a swim or lying on the beach, an excursion to Capri or one of the many festivals, or even a walk leading to some of the most beautiful views … here are the top choices for spending an unforgettable time here along the Sorrento peninsula in summer.

 

A Day on the Beach

From Castellamare, the first town you come across on the Sorrento peninsula coming from Naples to the stone-filled bays of the Amalfi coast and further down towards the protected areas of the Parco del Cilento on the border with Basilicata … a stretch of tuff coastline overlooking the sea, with cliffs, ridges of Mediterranean scrub that plunge directly into the water and many small coves of pebbles protected by rock walls. Some of these are very well-known and popular, while others are waiting to be discovered. On foot, walk down the steep trails directly from the Strada Statale 163 that connects Sorrento with all the towns on the coast.

Sorrento and the Sorrentine Peninsula in summer attract both international and Italian tourists. Foreigners, especially British and Americans, in search of the splendor narrated famous by the first travelers who made these areas well-known during the days of the Grand Tour, and Italians in search of fun, good food, days on the beach, and lots of sun.

Among the most popular beaches in Sorrento are Marina Piccola, which also has a free area, and Marina Grande, which faces a fishing village very famed for the fresh fish dishes of its restaurants. Generally speaking, the beaches of Sorrento and its surroundings are stony and the less populated bays are free. We suggest you bring rubber shoes, some water and something to eat. Along the statale road, paths lead down to the beaches and small shops where you can stock up on snacks and tasty sandwiches. Try them stuffed with tomatoes and Mozzarella or with Provola cheese.

 

A Day Trip to Capri from Sorrento

For a summer day, a fantastic outing away from Sorrento is the Island of Capri. From the port of Sorrento, hydrofoils and ferries to Capri depart regularly. In summer, they are often very busy, so we recommend booking the return trip as well. You can also book private tours aboard one of Sorrento’s traditional boats providing various options, including aperitifs or dinner on board and romantic sunset cruises.

So what should you do once you’ve landed on Capri? There are many choices. A few must-dos include a visit to the Grotta Azzurra by boat with perhaps a stop at the famous Faraglioni, and a visit to Monte Solaro and Villa San Michele on the mountain of Capri, which can be reached by chairlift. From here, the view extends as far as Salerno. And then, the struscio” in Piazzetta, the hub of sophistication and the good life, is a must. After stopping at one of the tables in the square, you can continue to the Giardini di Augusto and Via Camerelle, Capri’s shopping street par excellence, and probably one of the streets with the highest concentration of high fashion boutiques in the world.

 

Punta Campanella and its Marine Park

re Monte San Costanzo è facile, basta semplicemente seguire i segnali in bianco e rosso dipinti sulle rocce. Da qui, oltre 400 m sul livello del mare, la fatica viene premiata dal panorama che permette di ammirare tutta la penisola.

 

The Summer Festivals of the Sorrento Peninsula

The Sagra dei Sapori Contadini in Ticciano, Vico Equense

What could be better than a real food and wine tour in the hometown of star chef Antonio Cannavacciuolo? We are talking about the Sagra dei Sapori Contadini, held every year the week before Ferragosto (August 15th) in this small village on the slopes of Monte Faito. An opportunity to discover another side of the Sorrentine peninsula, far from the summer clamor.

The festival, which often involves its most famous citizen, the celebrity Chef of Vico Equense, is a journey of flavors and dishes from the past. From the goat prepared “alla ticcianese” to the local wine, families prepare dishes with traditional recipes handed down from generation to generation. All this together with music and dancing.

 

The Sagra del Riavulillo in Vico Equense

During the first week of August, Vico Equense also hosts the Sagra del Riavulillo Festival. The Riavulillo (little devil) is a small Caciocavallo cheese made according to local artisan methods, full of hot peppers and black olives, or with green olives and cured meats like prosciutto crudo and prosciutto cotto. Tradition has it that this caciocavallo can be enjoyed melted over an open fire directly on slices of toasted homemade bread. An authentic delicacy served with local wine, live music, and lots of fun.

 

Art in Sorrento in Summer – The Sorrento Festival Syart

Every year, from July to September, the enchanting location of Villa Fiorentino in Sorrento puts on the Sorrento Festival. This international event is dedicated to contemporary art. Artists from all over the world come and share their vision of life through works of art, themed exhibitions and photography, sculptures, paintings and art works.