BAY OF NAPLES & AMALFI COAST Cuisine & Wine
and wine is an integral part of the way of life on the Bay
of Naples and the Amalfi Coast. The local cuisine
is mainly Neapolitan and is famous for its use of tomatoes,
lemons, fresh vegetables, red peppers and olives. You will
find an abundance of world-famous specialties like pizza,
pasta, the pastiera cake, buffalo mozzarella cheese and fresh
It is a cuisine that has retained its tradition of simple
and quick preparation, without too much sophistication, in
order to preserve the fragrance and flavours of the fresh
We always try to ensure that whilst on our tours, you will
have an opportunity to try our excellent local cuisine and
wines of the Bay of Naples and the Amalfi Coast for yourself.
We recommend the best of local restaurants, where you can
be assured of a great welcome, an authentic Italian ambience,
and where the discriminating Italian palates of the clientele
guarantee good food at unbeatable prices.
Neapolitan cuisine has been influenced by various ancient
peoples such as Phoenicians, Greeks and Arabs, all of whom
had some relationship with the coastal regions of southern
Italy.The crusaders returning from Palestine, brought back
with them citrus fruit trees, in order to enjoy the taste
of the fruit juices which had quenched their thirst during
the holy wars. In more recent times, French and Spanish influences
have been introduced into Neapolitan cuisine. Campania Felix
(Happy Land) was the name that the ancient Romans gave to
this region. Its rich volcanic soil and an ideal growing climate
(lots of sun, cool nights and just enough rain) produces citrus
fruits, olives and vegetables of incomparable flavour. There
are often as many as four harvests a year of zucchini, peppers,
salad greens, herbs, peaches, apricots, cherries, oranges
and, above all, incredible tomatoes and lemons. The best walnuts,
hazelnuts and almonds are grown here and are used in many
local pasta dishes and desserts.
Coast & Sorrento Lemons
The finest and most distinctive lemons in Italy come from
the Amalfi Coast and the Sorrento Peninsula (around the Bay
of Naples). Evidence of cultivated lemon groves dates as far
back as the 1st century in and around Sorrento and from the
early 11th century along the Amalfi Coast.
The superior lemons produced in both regions have been granted
IGP (Protected Geographic Indication) status. It is a designation
approved in 1992 under the adoption of the European Union
and it applies to agricultural produce of exceptionally high
reputation and distinction, relative to its geographical origin.
The production, process and distribution are strictly controlled.
Amalfi Coast lemons are unique. They are a very large fruit,
can reach the size of a grapefruit, with a strong scent, a
juicy-sweet pulp and very few pips. They are the secret behind
the intense flavour of Limoncello
and the desserts prepared in the Amalfi Coast's pastry shops.
They are easily distinguished from other lemons in markets
because they are the only lemons picked with the stems on!
The "Sfusato Amalfitano" is very famous. It is a
kind of lemon which gets its name from its elongated spindle-shape
and of course, from the Amalfi Coast. It is harvested from
February to September.
Sorrento lemons have an exceptional aroma and flavour. They
are elliptical in shape, with a medium thick aromatic skin
and an extra-juicy, straw-yellow interior. According to IGP
standards, they must weigh no less than 2.8 ounces. The best
fruit is harvested between May and October and the lemon trees
are limited to only 344 per acre to ensure the quality of
of the Bay of Naples & the Amalfi Coast
Every region of Italy has its own varieties of delicious
wine has been made in Campania since the Greeks came to settle,
bringing with them a number of wines. Campania's climate is
highly conducive to the cultivation of the grapevine, with
dry and hot summers, mild winters and long growing seasons.
The Bay of Naples and the Amalfi Coast produce good quality
red and white wines, such as Taurasi, Aglianico, Fiano d'Avellino,
Greco di Tufo, Furore and Tramonti. Furore and Tramonti wines
are included in the DOC (Certification of Controlled Origin)
zone Costa d'Amalfi, which was created in 1995 for wines that
only come from vineyards that have good exposure in the territory
of Amalfi and twelve other communes in the province of Salerno.
The volcanic slopes of Mount Vesuvius are among the most
ancient wine-producing areas in Italy from which the famous
Lachryma Christi (Tears of Christ) is produced. Taurasi from
Avellino is a full-bodied red and is one of the best red wines
in Italy. It has been promoted to DOCG (Certification of Controlled
and Guaranteed Origin) status, all the wines with this classification
must follow strict procedures. The best choices for a Campanian
white however, are Greco di Tufo, growing on volcanic soil
and Fiano d'Avellino, an excellent minerally wine with a bright
acidity, typical of Italian wines. Both wines have been promoted
to DOCG status recently.