Food N' Wine Vacations Blog

From Positano to Ravello to Capri a tour of the Amalfi coast

Posted by smadar Palace on Wed, Feb, 24, 2016

Like a brilliant watercolor painting the rocky and mountainous Amalfi Coast spills forth from unexpected heights onto the shores of the Mediterranean. This famed coastline, stretching from the gulf of Naples to the gulf of Salerno, is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, who arrive to bask in the breathtaking beauty of Italy’s prized jewel.


The Isle of Capri, just off the craggy peninsula of the Bay of Naples, is glamorous and enticing. The beach town of Positano, precariously perched high above the sea, offers breathtaking views and historic insights into the Campania region. Many more towns and villages make up this travelers bucket-list on Amalfi Coast tours.

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Sorrento faces the Bay of Naples on the Sorrentine Peninsula. Above the Mediterranean and below rugged peaks, Sorrento is dotted with lemon groves and olive trees, prevalent in Amalfi Coast, Italy. A historic 14th century church, Chiesa di San Francesco and an unspoiled old quarter along with the enchanting cafe lined town square offer visitors a full day indeed.

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Take in the view and it’s easy to see how Positano became a favorite resort destination among the glitterati. Visitors flock throughout the year to enjoy this quaint village, built into the face of a hill. Delightful cafes make for a welcome rest stop, as you visit the shops along the steep and narrow streets of town.

Refined and Romantic Ravello, in Amalfi, Italy, is not-to-be missed on Amalfi coast tours. Known for its peaceful and lovely gardens, lush with tropical, native plants and flowers, Ravello is a popular honeymoon destination. Ravello, like the rest of the towns on your southern Italy tour, has its own unique view of the panoramic shores of Amalfi,in Campania Italy.

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Between the 9th and 11th centuries, Amalfi was the center of the region’s maritime enterprise. Medieval shipyards still exist in Amalfi, Italy today. The magnificent Amalfi Cathedral, more than 1200 years old, still stands in dedication to St. Andrew, the Apostle. Spend time at one of the many cafes, and enjoy a refreshing limoncello liqueur. Limoncello is a regional favorite and the locals will tell you that’s what sunshine tastes like.


The Isle of Capri is a locavore’s dream. Capri is heavily influenced, in culture and cuisine, by Greece, Rome, France, and Spain. Meals are built around the abundant seafood available year round, as well as farm-to-table fruits and vegetables. Olive oil, another local commodity, completes the traditional gastronomy of the Isle of Capri.


Amalfi Coast tours would not be complete without a stop in the famous southern Italian city of Naples. The hustle and bustle of a big city hasn’t escaped southern Italy’s home of the best pizza. Centuries old architecture and art, as well as opera houses and theatre, make Naples the world's best place to grab a slice-of pizza and life!           caprese_and_pizza_in_amalfi-670584-edited.jpg                                      

Here is a sample Itinerary for a guided  Amalfi Coast experience.


The best places to visit in the Piedmont region

Posted by smadar Palace on Wed, Feb, 03, 2016

Gently cupped by the Swiss Alps, Piedmont, Italy is known for it’s breathtaking hill country, fertile farms and vineyards, and historic landscape, which borders Switzerland and France. This second largest region is somewhat influenced by her neighbors, but, be assured, Piemonte, as it is known in Italian, has a rich pedigree, all her own. This beloved region of Italy emanates a distinct and remarkable flavor, which can’t be duplicated.


/discover-piedmont-italyIf there were but one word to describe Piedmont, Italy, it would be “harmonious’. From the seamless way lush, verdant hills roll between the sweeping Alps and picturesque valleys, to the centuries-old techniques, adapted and used by winemakers today, and flawless mixture of both urban and rural cultures throughout Piemonte, voices, old and new, blend in a timeless melody.


Foodies and wine connoisseurs alike will delight in the easy pace of Piemonte. Food is savored and memories made on the palate. The growing, grassroots Slow Food Movement began in Piedmont, where geographic diversity allows for farm-to-table foods to be enjoyed year-round. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of slow-food, be ready to feed your senses, while enjoying food and wine to the fullest.


The white truffle of Alba, a delight of gastronomes everywhere, is rare and specific to the region of Piemonte. These delectable beauties are the most expensive truffles in the world, selling for about $200.00 US per oz. To unearth a white truffle of Alba is to discover a treasure.


The wines of the Piemonte region are as diversified as the landscape. When the ice-cold temperatures combine with the warmth of the Mediterranean, the result is an excellent grape. One of the grape varieties specific to the region is the Nebbiolo, used to produce both the full-bodied Barolo and Barbaresco reds, also known as the king and queen of Italian wines.


The wine-growing region of Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The beautiful landscape covers five distinct wine-growing areas. In fact, the Piedmont region has been considered the “most favorable” for growing vines and producing wine, since the Roman Empire.


Turin is the crown-jewel of Northern Italy. The medieval architecture, 18th century castle, elegant gardens and public squares grace much of the Left Bank of the Po River. In addition to the historic and elegant cafes, which served as a meeting place for such literary royalty as Puccini, and Neitzche, Dumas and Cavour, Turin has gifted the world with the Fiat sports car, and has been known as the chocolate heart of Europe since the 1600’s. Hot chocolate and chocolate-hazelnut spread were both invented here.


Wish to see a sample itinerary to Piedmont, Italy? Read Discover Piemonte

Topics: Italy, Piedmont, Northwest Italy