I can’t believe that I never finished my food memories of Italy. Last September we were there! And now we’re almost into June. Terrible. I shall try to pick up where I left off and share more of the lovely food we found and ate in Italy.
After our first night in Naples (see Part 1) we made our way by bus to the Amalfi Coast. The journey by bus along the coastal roads was hair-raising! Suddenly we went over the top and there was the sea far far below…
Every journey by bus after this I discovered that I had to eat in order not to feel sick as we wound backwards and forwards along the coast – bags of airy cheesy flavoured Wotsit-type crisps were my life saver.
We stayed at an agriturismo called Sant Alfonso in Furore. It was all the way at the end of a very long road, down which we dragged our luggage in the heat.
Our room was cool with a stunning view over the coastal hillsides and sea beyond. Twice a day, every day, we would hear these bells, gently clanging across the valley. A herd of goats would head up into the hills and back down again at night. Blissful.
For breakfast there was a generous spread of pastries and cakes. I always find breakfast in other countries fascinating and unfamiliar. I always seem to try to make a familiar breakfast out of what there is available, and sometimes it doesn’t quite work!
Cute heart-shaped sugared buns.
Over the next few days we often had lunch and dinner at Sant Alfonso. Dinner I must say was unmemorable and often quite heavy going as we felt we should eat four courses every night – a starter, pasta course, main course and dessert! Phew! Whether we were supposed to eat all four courses or whether the Italians thought us all very strange for eating so much I shall never know!
The lunches however, under the shade of the terrace with a cool sea breeze were lovely. Delicious platters of antipasto - salami, ham, mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, grilled artichokes, pasta, melon, bruschetta, and delicious pickled aubergine with olives.
All served with crusty bread. If only we could eat like this every day.
The farm grew grapes, their vines stretching out along the terraces which were cut into the steep hillside all around. They also had some friendly goats and a fig tree that dropped sticky ripe fruits everywhere.
We also discovered a number of wild herbs growing naturally. I think this was thyme sprouting from cracks in a wall…
And wild fennel along the road to the farm – this was used in quite a number of dishes we saw on menus.
And on our first night on the Amalfi Coast, in a quiet corner of the softly lit garden, looking out across the black sea and twinkly lights below, Mr Rigg got down on one knee and asked if I’d marry him.