Ceramics

Italy Loves Wine

One of my favorite things about Italy is their love of wine. Everyone drinks it. Even the children have a little. The entire country has an appreciation for good wine but you seldom see drunks. If you do see them, they are usually tourists. Red wine is their preferred drink but good whites show up as well. Places like Orvieto produce great white wines.

orvieto

Orvieto, Italy

Most countries serve wine by the bottle in restaurants. In Italy and Spain you can also get it by the liter or half liter in a glass or ceramic pitcher. These restaurants by local wine in bulk and can sell it to you cheaply because there is no bottle, cork, label or cap. The wine is excellent and can be dry, sweet, red or white.

We found a place in our town that sells wine in bulk. There are several huge wooden casks full of various kinds of wine. You can taste them and then choose. They will fill your vessel of choice such as an empty water bottle, a pitcher, a jar, etc. They charge by the liter and wine is about 2 euros per liter or about $2.20 for a bottle and a third of good wine.

R4 - IMG_4593 IMG_2107

Wine Served in a Picture at a Local Restaurant

IMG_2102

We serve it at our home in Italy in a pitcher

The other way to taste different wines in Italy is to visit a local Enoteca. These are stores that sell wine and allow you to taste them as well. They exist all over Italy. Some serve small plates of food as well. Italians don’t like to drink without having water and food available. An Enoteca is a great way to taste the local wines around you. You can then decide what you like and buy some. The wines here are usually sold in bottles.

Bar in Italy IMG_1755

Enoteca

However you drink wine in Italy, enjoy it! Sit outside at a bar or a trattoria and sip it slowly, Taste the complex flavors of Italy. Observe the people around you and enjoy it. This is experiencing Italy. You do not do it fast, you do not eat fast food, you do not rush from city to city or museum to museum, and you do not have an unchangeable schedule. In Italy you make time to slow down and enjoy your life. Dolce Far Niente! (The sweetness of do nothing). When you finally understand this simple phrase, you understand Italy and can enjoy it. Buon Viaggio.

George

 

Categories: Bars, Ceramics, Dolce far niente, Eating Italian, Europe, Fast Food, Food, General Travel, Italian, Italian Facts, Italy, Museums, Orvieto, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Isle of Capri’s Anacapri

Anacapri is the other city on Capri Isle. It is smaller, quieter and less hustle bustle. You can drive, hire a car or taxi or take the bus from Capri. We chose the bus. Near the top of the funicular is a bus station with busses to various attractions on the isle. The bus to Anacapri leaves from here and winds up a mountain to reach this city. Along the way are many wonderful vistas. You can sea the sea, the large marina far below and in the distant Mount Vesuvious. You get off in the center where you can catch a bus back to Capri.

B-Capri do

Anacapri

Walk the small streets and look at the restaurants and bars. Try to decide what to have for lunch in an hour or two. Look into the ceramic shops. We bought a very large spaghetti dish and they packed it for travel. We placed it in our suitcase and hoped for the best. It survived perfectly. The ceramics are made in this town and hand painted. They are all unique and beautiful.

One of the streets from the center leads down through these stores and restaurants to a small piazza with a church. Walking here is like mediating. It is quiet and peaceful. Enjoy this time before returning to the hustle bustle of massive tourists in Capri. This street has many tourists but beyond the piazza with the church are mostly locals.

B-Capri dr B-Capri dt

Someone house and the center of town at bus stop

On the way back to the center, we decided to eat lunch. We had seen a small restaurant/bar on the way that served food out a window to you on the street. We got two panini, a drink and a fabulous desert. The owners talk with you at the window. Everything is made in front of you and is very delicious.

Finally we were on the bus back to Capri with our dish in hand. The ride down is less dramatic as you are mostly on the mountain side of the road and not the cliff side. We arrived back at the bus station and began our stroll through the beautiful city of Capri once again. You could hear many different languages being spoken, Music, laughter and the clang of dishes at the restaurants and bars. This is what I love about Italy. It is always alive and full of life and fun. All you have to do is place yourself in it and enjoy it.

This is an Isle that is easy to be romantic. You feel it everywhere. You see couples in love all around you. Hold hands with your partner and enjoy your life.

Next BLOG will talk about why you want to spend the night in Capri.

George

 

Categories: Anacapri, Bars, Cafè, Campania, Capri, Ceramics, Eating, Eating Italian, Food, Funicular, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Mount Vesuvious, Mountain Towns, Panini, Romance, Shopping, Small Towns, Traveling without a tour, Walking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why I love the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is a cliff side road that winds from Sorrento on the western side to Salerno on the eastern side. It is located in southern Italy in Campania south of Naples. As you drive this ancient Greet horse road, you feel exhilarated. Some places you are high up overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea and other places you are close to the sea. The road is never empty but in the summer it can be a parking lot. Busses have a hard time navigating its tight curves. If you encounter a bus coming towards you on a turn, you must back up giving the bus room to make the turn. Busses always have the right of way.

C-Sorrento di

As you leave Sorrento you travel over the cliffs heading south and then east. as you turn east you can look out to your right a clear day and see the beautiful Island of Capri. As you head east you will twist and turn in and out of coves until you arrive high above the wonderful town of Positano. It is said this is a town of one road and a million steps. Bring comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb. The one road winds from the Amalfi Coast Highway (one way) down to the town and beach of Positano. It then climbs slightly and ends up again at the Amalfi Coast Highway.

D-Positano aeaD-Positano arF-Amalfi-Revino bg

Positano is very romantic. Enjoy a week here if you can. There are wonderful restaurants and two beaches. At the large beach you can catch ferries to Amalfi, Salerno, Capri, Sorrento, Naples and many small towns. You can arrive by ferry but you will have missed that wonderful road. Parking can be a problem but there are two large parking garages on the one way road. Most hotels will take your car to one of these. Once you rid yourself of the car, you will not need it until you leave. Positano is a city you walk in or take the Ferry to nearby towns.

D-Positano ai D-Positano aea D-Positano drD-Positano hnAs you leave Positano you head farther east on the Amalfi Coast Highway through tunnels and many small coves. You can see many lemon groves and wine bushes high on the hills. Try the famous limoncello in this area. You will pass many small fishing towns that are worth a stop. Eventually you arrive in the town of Amalfi. There is parking at the port and you walk into the town arriving at the main piazza. Here you can have lunch or a drink and view the magnificent cathedral in front of you.

F-Amalfi-Revino aa

Now we head farther east on the highway (not really a highway but a small two lane road) to Salerno. You will pass ceramic stores worth a stop. They can wrap things well for travel or ship them for you. Salerno is a major shipping port with cruise ships. High above the city is an ancient castle. Salerno is a large major city. Here you can find great high-speed trains with service back to Naples or Rome. You can also head south to Sicily.

This is a road trip you will never forget. Enjoy the many cities it has to offer and the people, food and wine. Be romantic and spontaneous. You are an adventurer in Italy.

 

George

 

Categories: Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Beaches, Campania, Ceramics, Driving in Italy, Eating, Eating Italian, Europe, Ferries, General Travel, Italy, Lemoncello, Mountain Towns, Naples, Parking Garage, Positano, Romance, Rome, Salerno, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Trains, Walking, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cafè and Vino

Vino or wine in Italy is special. Most Italians drink cafè and vino. They are universal drinks in Italy. Cafè is pretty much the same all over Italy. Coffee beans are fresh and roasted to perfection. The people making the cafè are highly trained individuals. You go to a bar to get your cafè and maybe something sweet to eat with it.

cornetto1 Pavoni 2

Vino is different in different parts of Italy. Italy  has many world-class wines like Brunello and Chianti. Their Brunello stands up to the top wines in France or California. It is expensive even in Italy so it is not consumed by most people at the dinner table. Italy has local wines by region. You can find both red and white, dry and sweet varieties. Some are bottled and others are only available in bulk to consumers. Bulk wines are poured from a large cask into what ever vessels the consumer has. They range from water bottles to glass or ceramic pitchers.

IMG_2107 IMG_3180 IMG_2102

Going to restaurants in Italy yields a large selection of wines in bottles and local wines that are served in 1 liter and 1/2 liter pitchers. These wines are usually very good. Italians pride themselves on their wines. The next time in Italy try a 1/2 liter of a local wine. These will vary greatly by region and city within Italy. You could spend a life time sampling all the different local wines throughout Italy. Enjoy …

George

 

Categories: Bars, Cafè, Ceramics, Europe, Italy, Sweets, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Only a day in Positano?

English: Part of Positano, Italy.

English: Part of Positano, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We spent a full week in Positano and enjoyed every day there. You can go to Naples, Sorrento, Capri and Amalfi by ferry. If all you have is one day, don’t worry. Here is what to do.

Make the best of it! Come by boat (ferry) and arrive at the large beach. There are shops and the cathedral. Take the walkway over to the small beach (referred to as Lovers Lane). On the way almost to the small beach is a great restaurant on the left (La Guarracino – Via Positanesi d’America 12 Telephone: 089-875794)

Lo Guarracino1 Lo Guarracino2

with great food and magnificent views. Go back to the big beach and up the stairs to the cathedral. Take the stairs on your left up to a walkway with restaurants and shops. This ends at Positano’s one street (a narrow one way street). The bus stop is here which circles around Positano and back. It is a cheap way to see the city from different heights. Go up the street to your left (against traffic). Many great shops are here that sell ceramics, linen clothes, leather shoes and sandals. Farther up the hill are great restaurants with views. Positano is to be walked and enjoyed. It is said there are one million steps and only one road. If the stairs are too daunting, walk the road it is steep but easy to walk.

D-Positano agD-Positano ce D-Positano ci D-Positano ckD-Positano dr D-Positano el D-Positano hn

Our Table at La Guarracino 

From Positano you can get fast inexpensive ferries to neighboring towns including Capri, Sorrento and Amalfi. This is a very romantic part of Campania. Enjoy it!

George & Jo

Categories: Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Beaches, Campania, Capri, Ceramics, Europe, Ferries, General Travel, Italy, Naples, Positano, Romance, Sorrento, Traveling without a tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Positano Ceramics

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast (Photo credit: The Consortium)

We took a two week trip to the our home in southern Italy a few years ago. We decided to take a detour to Positano for ceramics. Many tourists around the world travel to these rocky cliffs. Tourist stops like Sorrento, Capri, Positano and Amalfi are here. This is a place to enjoy good food, great wine, nice people and as we said yesterday, Good Lemoncello.

We flew into Rome because we can get direct flights on US Air (now becoming American) from Philly to Rome. We rented a car and drove down the autostrada (A-1) towards Naples. We drove past Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii toward Sorrento. From Sorrento we drove over the mountain and took the Amalfi Coast Highway to Positano We spent a night in this wonderful city on the hill. We had a room at Hotel Villa delle Palme on Via Pasitea, number 252. This is the city of a million steps and one road. Of course we had lunch (pizza) at our favorite place, Lo Guarracino in Positano on the walkway between the big and small beaches. We stopped here to buy ceramic plates for our new home in Italy. The ceramics here is unique and colorful.

Positano Dishes

The next day we went on the Amalfi Coast Highway past many small wonderful Italian towns including Amalfi itself. Finally reaching Salerno where we stopped at the IKEA and then got on the Autostrada south again. Exiting the autostrada and going to the larger city of Agropoli and then onto Velina. Getting there takes us right through Italy’s largest national park, Cilento.

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Ceramics, Cilento, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Positano, Sorrento, Velina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: