Words and Photos by Veronica Lavenia
THE PATH OF LEMONS
The path of the lemons, splendid treasure of the Coast, starts from the stunning Maiori, probably for many, the less known town of the Amalfi coast. The Path of Lemons, in Maiori, is an ancient poetic and unforgettable route. A path that, between bright colors and strong scents, allows you to get in close contact with a sweet but present nature in every corner of the Coast.
This is the realm of Sfusato Amalfitano, a type of lemon known in the world for its shape, aroma, flavor and high in vitamin C. The unmistakable scent of this citrus fruit, particularly strong when the trees are in bloom, takes tourists along the way. The lemons of the coast, well known even from the times of the Romans, carried in baskets and rectangular strips of wood, are one of the many gourmet specialties of the Amalfi coast to try.
Fantastic raw or for a luxury lemonade, they become valuable and rare ingredients to prepare all kinds of dishes, from appetizers to desserts. Sfusato Amalfitano is the essential ingredient of limoncello, the famous liqueur with a unique taste. Best served cold, Limoncello is a fantastic ingredient to prepare delicious sweets filled with this liqueur or limoncello cream.
POSITANO & RAVELLO, THE TWO GEMS
“Go away from Positano, it’s impossible”, wrote, in his diary, the German painter Paul Klee. Nestled in the mountains, surrounded by rich Mediterranean vegetation, Positano is a picturesque village that seems to seem a spontaneous stage. Seen from the sea it looks like a big crib, a waterfall of little multicoloured houses clinging onto its sides.
The town develops vertically (it is the most vertical city in Europe). The houses, built next to each other, characterized by give onto the sea, are painted in pastel colours, giving the impression of a faceted gemstone. Not surprisingly, Positano is called “the gem of the divine coast”. The narrow streets, with numerous boutiques, run down-hill between the houses flowing onto the wide beach.
From here the view is beautiful both towards the sea to the land that climbs the mountain. On the main square of Positano, a must is a visit to the church of Santa Maria Assunta with great coloured majolica. Positano has the typical architecture of the Amalfi Coast, where military requirements, imposed stairways, porches, underpasses and narrow, easily defended.
Today this becomes home to small shops where you can find the best Positano fashion, where expert craftsmen realize customized flip flops and clogs, the typical products of local food, with lemon that occupies a place of honour. Ravello, famous for its peaceful atmosphere, offers architectural gems of rare elegance.
The Cathedral is one of these, together with Villa Rufolo, which has one of the most beautiful gardens in the Campania Region (Wagner found right in those gardens the inspiration for the Klingsor garden of his Parsifal) and Villa Cimbrone, purchased in 1904 by Ernest William Beckett. Recommended a visit to the Coral Museum (Museo del corallo), which exhibits coral, cameos from Roman times to the last century.
CAPRI, ENJOY THE “VITA BELLA”
Capri is a palette of colours, where the blue sea and sky seem to blend with one another. Here, life is relaxing, away from the hustle and bustle. Also for this reason, has always been a favourite destination for international business tycoons, actors and various celebrities. The famous Piazzetta is the symbol of the Island, a place of social gathering welcoming and relaxed, made small talk while sitting at a table.
More than antiquity, Capri owes his fortune to the intellectuals and politicians who frequented it assiduously, from the second half of the nineteenth century, a period that marked the rebirth of Capri. Romantic artists who visited the small island in the Bay of Naples were fascinated by its immaculate nature, panoramas overlooking the sea and the ease with which the few residents led their lives.
Capri was included as a milestone of the Grand Tour (the journey of the young aristocrats of the time in European countries) and a growing number of artists and intellectuals chose to retire for a long time (sometimes for life) in their villas. During the nineteenth century, Capri received artists from all over the world, mainly Germans, belonging to the penniless bohemian period.
Only at the end of the nineteenth century, with the opening of the Grand Hotel Quisisana (considered one of the most luxurious hotels in the world), Capri hosted tourism made of noble, royal, and personalities of politics and industry. From the second half of the twentieth century, Capri became the capital of the world and the Café Society: fashionable parties and dinners in evening dress.
Capri still remains one of the most luxurious places in the world, desired, dreamed, visited by tourists from all over the globe. The dream of these tourists? Sitting in the window of the Piazzetta to combat anonymity and be able to say: I’ve been there.
Read more from Veronica Lavenia in Taormina, the pearl of the Ionian sea