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Friday, May 16, 2008

Bello Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano

Hotel Tramontano
There is good food everywhere. That's my theory and I'm sticking with it. In some places it is easier than others, to find something delicious. Sorrento is a pretty tourist town just a stone's throw from Naples. Orange trees pop up through the sidewalk and the views of the bay are breathtaking, especially at sunset when everything turns shades of pink and blue and grey. The town inspired many artists and poets and their ghosts are felt everywhere in the gardens, the public spaces and the names of the streets. I'm staying at the romantic Hotel Tramontano perched on the edge of the bay. The history of the hotel makes me feel as if I am stepping into a more refined era.

So far in addition to a limoncello producer who has a lovely grove of citrus you can enjoy like a park, I also visited a tiny pastry shop singled out by the prestigious "Gambero Rosso" in Italy. The owner is passionate about quality and creativity and teaches other pastry shops to develop high standards as well. I bought one of just about everything he was selling. The total bill was under $15. No idea how I will eat it all!

There is not much to do in Positano or Amalfi, and you know what? That's ok. Positano is pretty and colorful with bright orange and green umbrellas set in the sand against a background of blue and the food, while somewhat expensive is absolutely delicious. Today I had a large macaroni pasta called paccheri with some tomato sauce and monkfish. I also had meltingly tender pizza and a tasty carpaccio of some kind of fish I didn't recognize. In Amalfi I found a shop selling brilliant lemon granita with plenty of pucker. Next it's back to Naples to eat the most traditional baba, sfogliatelle and pizza.