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.
A week in the southern extremity of the Amalfi coast before Salerno should mean a hunt for the local lemons and pottery. First the pottery.
Head along the coast to Vietri sul Mare. It was here that the commercially minded Amalfitanis set up business dealing in terracotta and ceramics brought from Spain, Cyprus, Sicily etc in the 9th century.
Arab influence caught the imagination in tile designs of the 13th century, while the 17th century saw a boom in high quality items for religious use.
A walk from the Marina di Vietri to Molina, Dragonara, Albori and Raito is an open museum documenting a thousand years of ceramic industry.
Also try the actual Ceramics Museum at Villa Guariglia, Raito di Vietri sul Mare (SA). It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am - 3pm.
Agropoli is a coastal agricultural center some 53km from Salerno in the zone of Cilento.
Its name derives from the Greek for 'high city', although it seems to have been founded by the Byzantines. In 882 AD it was occupied by the Saracens.
Like Sorrento and much of the Amalfi coast. the main town overlooks the sea and is perched on high cliffs. A great place to keep a look out, as the Byzantine castle suggests, although it didn't stop the Saracens' eventual conquest.
Entrance to old Agropoli is via a medieval gate which no doubt saw the invaders pour through. Once inside turn right and follow the street up towards the castle and the panoramic views of the sea.
Although a private house now occupies the living area the grounds and walls can be visited.
Italians are serious about their coffee, in a quality over quantity approach that still adheres to traditional rules and which is why you won’t find international coffee chains anywhere in the country, at least for the moent ... To begin with, if you don’t surprise the average Italian by ordering a cappuccino after 11am, then you would at the very least be letting on that you are a tourist, as anything with that much milk is seen as a meal in itself and is considered to be the classic Italian breakfast, along with the occasional indulgence of a croissant (Italy’s equivalent to cornflakes).
Milk is thought to interfere with digestion, so if you’re looking for a pick me-up after a meal, go for a simple caffé (expresso) or if you can’t drink your coffee black, try a caffé macchiato (expresso with a dash of milk), although this still bores the potential to be frowned upon.
Anyone who enjoys cooking Italian food knows about that indeterminate measurement of 'q.b.' or quanto bisogno or 'as much as is necessary'.
It is part of the soul of Italian regional cuisine, but it can no longer be applied to the perfect Italian pizza. Why? Because in 2008 the European Commission in Brussels presented precise rules for making pizza.
For most of us the perfect pizza is made by a genuine Neapolitan in a classic Naples pizzeria.
The recipe cannot be written on a piece of paper. It is innate, spiritual, comes from the heart.
But for the record here is how an official pizza base should now be made.
To help you Cecilia of Italian Dinner Family, whose origins are the Amalfi Coast, takes you through the stages.
2 kilos of flour, 1 liter of water, 50-55 grammes of salt, 3 grammes of beer yeast.
So you? How can you cook fish? Here's my magic fish recipe. The recipe makes 6 portions and prep time is 10 mins with cook time twenty minutes.
1 1/2 pounds firm white fish fillets, such halibut, striped bass or orange roughy, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained, 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata, green or black olives, cut in two lengthwise, 2 tbsps white wine, 1 teaspoon Basil Leaves, 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder, 1/4 teaspoon Thyme Leaves
Many readers might be confused between a Pizza Napoli, a Pizza Marinara and a Risotto alla Pescatora.
Basically, a pizza Napoli is tomatoes and very salty alici or anchovies.
A pizza marinara is the same but with the addition of garlic (at least that's how they make it near where we live).
A risotto alla pescatora can contain anything from mussels to shrimps, lobster and crab legs.
Furore is located in a splendid oasis of peace along the Amalfi coast overlooking the Bay of “Capo di Conca”.
The centre of Amalfi is 7 kilometres away, Positano 40 minutes and wonderful Ravello just 35 minutes.
Furore itself has the honour of being located by the only fjord in Italy from where the only annual coastal high diving championships are held (view the video).
Interestingly, it is not really a place, but a series of small hamlets dotted above a natural fjord which protects the ancient fishing village at it's mouth.
The luxuriant vegetation and setting lends the whole spot to a wonderfully mysterious atmosphere.
Pompeii and Herculaneum must be on your travel itineraries for south Italy. It's not a question of whether to visit the two famous ancient Roman buried cities or not, its all about how to visit them.
In our experience the options are:
- go with an organised group (too frustrating)
- do it alone (too much to see and what guidebook to buy)
- hire a professional guide and travel by Mercedes (absolutely)
For Pompeii, make the choice between basing yourself near the entrance to the archaeological site or nearer the Sanctuary and new Pompeii. The two are not so close after you've been trekking all day.
For Herculaneum, why not stay in town before heading up Vesuvius the day after.