I won’t lie, one of the main reasons I was so excited for our little Italian adventure was the food. The pasta, the gelato and of course where could be better to eat pizza than the birthplace itself, Naples.
We started our journey in Sorrento, where we stayed at Casa a Mare; a small, quaint, family run hotel with a room that looked over the Marina Grande. We were shown to our room by the lovely owner and were invited to sit on the terrace at the top of the building to have a complimentary glass of local red wine and bruschetta topped with the juiciest fresh tomatoes, welcome to Italy!
That evening we went to Trattoria Emilia recommended by my friend Sara which just so happened to be a 2 minute walk from our room. We sat over looking the sea and enjoyed a plate of antipasti that included Parma ham, salami, mozzarella and artichokes with our carafe of local white wine. For our main meal we shared between us spaghetti and clams, calamari and fried shrimp and a side of aubergine parmigiana. Steve and I both agreed at the end of the trip that this was our favourite meal and a meal that has turned Steve from someone who didn’t really like seafood to ordering a plate of spaghetti and clams at nearly every restaurant we went to! The dish was so simple yet so delicious – spaghetti and clams tossed in a sauce of garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and parsley, I can’t wait to recreate it in my own kitchen.
The following day even with thunderstorms forecast, we took a boat tour down the Amalfi coast which I’d definitely recommend. It’s an excellent way to see the impressive coastline and to explore the beautiful towns of Amalfi and Positano. That evening we dined at the Five Sisters Restaurant, Marina Grande, Sorrento which claim to be friends of Jamie Oliver and visited by the actress Sophia Lauren on a couple of occasions. We had gnocchi with clams, yes we did become slightly obsessed with clams! It was also here that I had my first ever aperol spritz, which I thoroughly enjoyed!
After a fantastic couple of days in Sorrento it was time to move on to Naples. Before our trip I had done countless “best pizza in Naples” searches on Google, scrolling through blogs and articles in order to hunt down the best pizzerias. Pizzeria Starita and Gino Sorbillo made frequent appearances on these lists, we looked at going to both put were put off my the mammoth queues of people waiting to get seated. Instead our favourite place was Sorbillo on Via dei Tribunali, which just so happens to be a few doors down from Gino Sorbillo. The pizzeria was casual and cosy, we were served quickly, the prices were really reasonable and most importantly the pizzas were fantastic. Steve and I couldn’t decide on what toppings to have but settled on a pizza named The Amalfi – parma ham, mozzarella, rocket and grand panda and The 4 staggioni which has mushrooms and salami.
Whilst in Naples we stayed in a lovely Airbnb apartment and before our arrival Rosaria our host emailed me with some food suggestions, telling us that we must try fried pizza “it is a dream!” To be honest I thought it was only the Scots that deep-fried ordinary foods, but no in Naples on most streets you’re able to find a Friggitoria, which is a shop that sells fried foods. We went to Pizzeria de ‘Figliole, 39 Via Giudecca Vecchia, which only serves fried pizzas and we got a huge crispy (but not greasy) outer crust stuffed with ricotta, tomato and salami. It was really tasty and not as heavy as I expected. Steve thoroughly enjoyed it and agreed it was like a dream!
Of course you can’t come to Italy and not have gelato. I love how you can pretty much guarantee on each street you go down that you’re bound to find a Gelateria, which made the perfect pudding stop off on our walk home in the evenings. Our favourite place we found in Naples was Gay-Odin which is known for its amazing artisan chocolates and ice-cream. I had the Stracciatella and apricot which were delicious!
We arrived in Rome and after all the delicious pizza we’d eaten in Naples, we thought it was time for some pasta. We followed a delightful evening stroll to see Piaza Navona, the Pantheon and Trevi Fountains by a delicious meal at Serafini alla Pace, 1 Via di Tor Millina. Steve had spaghetti and clams (yes again!) and I had the pasta serafini, pasta shells filled with sausage and porcini mushrooms with a rich cheese sauce, it was divine! We stopped off at Blue Ice Gelato, 4 Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, for dessert which had a fantastic range of flavours, we were so torn between what to have we both had to go for a 4 euro pot which allowed us 4 flavours!
After a fantastic morning exploring the Colosseum and Palatine Hill we went for lunch at Navona Notte, 44 Via del Teatro Pace, where Steve was very excited about trying his first proper Italian carbonara. I had the 4 cheese gnocchi which was delicious and felt most indulgent.
Our final meal in Rome was at Saltimbocca, 5 Via di Tor Millina, I had a classic margarita pizza and Steve had a huge plate of calamari and tiger prawns, all washed down with a refreshing aperol spritz, a perfect way to end a fabulous holiday!