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A Cozy Kitchen is full of recipes that you want to cook.  You can get lost in pages and pages of great sounding (and looking) recipes, but it was this recently posted recipe for Fresh Tomato Bruschetta that caught my eye.

Image: A Cozy Kitchen

Although tomato bruschetta almost doesn’t really need a recipe, it should be tried if you’ve not made it before.  The best tomato bruschetta I’ve ever had was in Italy last year in a tiny cafe in Amalfi. 

However, the tomatoes from Naples are reputedly the best in the world due to the volcanic soil they are grown on – it makes them beautifully sweet.  So what could be nicer than to send off the summer with a plate of toasted bread topped with sun-warm chunks of tomato drizzled with a little oil and a scattering of torn basil.

Here’s the delicious tomato bruschetta we had in Italy…


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.


We arrived in Naples on Friday lunchtime with bellies rumbling having eaten a couple of sorry chocolate-flecked brioche for breakfast. 

After dumping our bags at our B&B – Donna Regina – set in the heart of the Centro Storico we headed out in search of lunch.


Only a short distance onto Via Del Tribunali there were lunch options all around us.  Fantastic street food, incredible smells, people bustling about, scooters whizzing past. 

In the end we chose a small shop front that seemed popular with the locals, a large queue outside who occasionally were invited behind the counter and swallowed up by darkness as they disappeared into the depths of the building.  We could only guess that there were seats hidden away.

Behind the plastic counter top was a small selection of freshly cooked items.  One of these items was pizza – pizza al forno, and this is what we choose.  The pizzas were folded into a piece of paper and handed over to us for 1 euro each!


These delicious pizzas were spread with a thin layer of fresh tomato sauce and one small piece of mozzarella in their centre.  The edges were singed black from the wood-fired oven they had recently been baked in, the gritty burnt taste I came to understand is vital to the flavour of a true Neapolitan pizza.


We made it as far as a bench on a small, grubby piazza before we tucked into these tasty pizzas.  Throughout out holiday we saw people eating these kinds of street pizzas, folded in paper, during their lunch breaks.  Even smart Italian women in their suits and high heels were seen tucking into them.


As we sat licking tomato sauce from our fingers on the small piazza, we spotted a gelato shop on the corner. 

Here we order two ice creams – for me a ‘cioccolata’ (chocolate) and for N a ‘limone sorbetta’ (lemon sorbet).  Both were homemade and incredibly tasty.  My chocolate ice cream was a deep, dark chocolate flavour – the best ice cream we had all holiday.


On the way back to our B&B we stopped at a small cafe – Bar Tico – and had a cold Peroni (for N) and a small cup of lemon granita eaten with a spoon.  These became our signature drinks for the holiday – photos of lemon granitas to come.

The B&B that we had booked into was run by a family of artists on the 4th floor of an ancient building.  Reached through an unassuming wooden door off Via Luigi Settembrini and up many stairs made from large grey stone, inside it was tranquil and charming. 


Our bedroom overlooked the street below, and despite the scaffolding on the building opposite was quiet and cool, sheltered from the strong Italian sun. 


At dinner time we headed back out onto the warm, sticky streets and settled at a local pizzeria for another dose of good Italian pizzas. 


N ordered a ‘Napoli’ pizza, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, anchovies and oregano. 


Mine by called ‘Pizza Re’ and was topped with small chunks of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, some other kind of cheese, and once cooked finished with rocket and olive oil.


Whilst eating our pizzas we watched them busily making pizzas – deftly spreading out lumps of dough into pizza bases in no time at all, adding the various toppings and sliding them into the wood-fired oven.


For our first afternoon in Naples, we had eaten incredibly well already, and couldn’t wait for the rest of our food adventures.



N and I got back from our week in Italy last night, having had a truly wonderful holiday in Naples and on the Amalfi Coast.  I have religiously kept a food diary of all the food we consumed and can’t wait to share the high’s and lo’s with you all.

I have also got over 400 photos (I know!) to go through so there will be a couple of installments over the next week or more, so please check back. 

Here’s a sneak peek in the meantime of some of the delicious food we found and ate on our travels in Italy…


Image: petersandbach

I won’t be posting over the next week as N and I are off on our summer holiday!  We are spending seven lovely days in Italy, and can’t wait to relax, soak up some sun, and eat great food.  I promise to keep a food diary and take lots of pictures of all the food we see and eat.  See you in a week!

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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