There's a lot to experience in Campania, more than you can possibly imagine. You have to go to the Amalfi coast of course, but consult our travel articles below for more trip suggestions.
The sugar level content of this famous Naples dessert clearly betrays its Arabic origins and the lemons of the Amalfi coast give it a flavour all of its own. Making it at home could be a huge disappointment, but there's no excuse for not giving it a go.
The image of the rum babas was taken by Delicious Italy at a delightful pasticceria in the town of Marina di Camerota, province of Salerno. The owners explained to us how they had moved from Naples some years ago to live in this resort town along the Cilento coast.
350gr white flour, 150gr sugar, 4 eggs, 100gr butter, 30gr yeast, milk, lemon, rum, salt
Ideally, only Amalfi Coast lemons should be used for this recipe. Unfortunately, they are often difficult to get hold of outside of Italy.
Our contacts in the Amalfi coast have also told us that it is only the unique sun, humidity as well as the care and knowledge of the lemon growers that make such lemons what they are.
Nevertheless, give this great summer pasta recipe a go, supplied to us by cookery writer Diane Seed.
500gr linguine or fresh pasta, 2 lemons, 250ml double cream, 100ml grappa.
Our man in the know has prepared a list of the top pizzeria establishments in Naples. In other words, the best places to sample the traditional Neapolitan pizza in its place of origin.
And in no particular order, the list is something like this:
You'd be wide off the mark if you think the city of Napoli is all pizza, mandolins and Maradona. This is a city which communicates a tremendously colourful way of life which has entranced every outsider who has passed through the port.
Monte Procida overlooks the Gulf of Pozzuoli and the island of Procida like a disbelieving ruler seeing his land disappear before him.
Monte Procida may well become the second Isola Procida. The tourism board similarly describes the town as:
'piled up on a small promontory, seems to want to cut itself off from the land around it, to stretch itself out towards the sea. This dual perspective seems to be written into the very genetic code of its country people used to sailing the seven seas'.
This headland offers stupendous sea views all the way to Formia, Gaeta and the Lazio coast.
From the 13th to 17th August the Festival of the Madonna Assunta, the patron saint of the community, takes place.
The event traditionally encouraged many expatriates to return to the area and symbolically features all the 'Montese', who got onto boats and emigrated, coming home to pay a visit to those who stayed.
It is an excuse to eat and drink well.
So, it must be a great place to have a fish supper, and the restaurants, with some of the finest sea views in the world, do offer mouthwatering menus.
Linguini with scampi, marinated anchovies, mussels boiled with sausages and stuffed squid an all be ordered.
They come served with Monte Procida's very own DOC 'Campi Flegrei'.
To discover the food traditions and traditional recipes of Cilento in the province of Salerno, look out for a new recipe book by Edizioni dell'Ippogrifo.
The work is subtitled 'The Mediterranean Diet of the National Park of Cilento' in 700 dishes of family restaurant tradition'.
Above all, it is a collection of the secrets of the local cuisine which have been handed down from one generation to the next by word of mouth for centuries.
The final work features 50 bread recipes, 151 pasta recipes, 153 authentic vegetarian dishes from the herbs and products of the orchards and fields, as well as fish, meat and dolci proposals.
The National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano is located south of the Amafli Coast and is more than worth a visit, or rather an exploration.
The word Cilento derives from the names of the rivers Sele and Alentum, but the area today is squeezed between the River Sele and the mountainous coastal fortifications running from Agropoli to Sapri and into the Diano interior.
The erosion of the chalk landscape over the centuries has left the territory rich in caves, cliffs and gorges.
They maybe gorgeous these days, but were clearly a harsh place to live when transport was by donkey or foot.
Lorenzo Giustiniani in the late 1700's wrote of the town of Castinatelli:
"one of those wretched pitiable little lots that are seen scattered throughout Cilento inhabited by woebegone, grief stricken and dismal souls attached only to the intense labor of the land".
We hope he got out there alive!
The Amalfi Coast lemon is scientifically known as Sfusato Amalfitano and the body responsible for its preservation is the Consortium for the Promotion of the Amalfi Coast Lemon or 'Consorzio di Tutela del Limone Costa d'Amalfi I.G.P.'
When buying the lemons, lemon liqueur or lemon by-products look out for the I.G.P. logo which is the official acknowledgement that the lemons used were grown in the territory and according to the traditional rules of production.
Although known in Roman times and actively introduced from the Middle East during the Crusades, the lemon industry along the Amalfi coast only really got going during the golden age of discovery following the discovery of the Americas.
The fruit was grown to provide vitamin C on long sea voyages to prevent scurvy. Nevertheless, the Arabic words stuck and limuczello and jardeno entered the language.
Minori was the key port and the local lemons were traded across Italy and beyond.