Monday, June 1, 2015

MAY 2015


05012015 The Real Teatro di San Carlo is the oldest continuously active venue for public opera in Europe, opening decades before both the Milanese La Scala and Venetian La Fenice theaters. I recently was treated to box seats for an opera performance at the San Carlo and it most certainly was a memorable evening. The ushers were clothed in fun attire made of all buttons, ribbons, or keys…a delightful contrast to the classic gilded red and gold theatre itself. Though the opera season in Italy does not run year around, often a ballet or musical performance can be enjoyed in the off season. San Carlo Opera House | Journeys Viaggio 

05022015 A reasonable walk to the south-west brought me to the Palazzo Reale di Napoli (Royal Palace of Naples), where some 30 rooms are open to the public. The Royal Theatre inside the palace has seating for some 400, and a magnificent royal box, with decoration made from papier mache. Right next door to the palace is the Teatro di San Carlo (Theatre of St Charles), dedicated to opera, and they host guided tours hourly (on the half-hour). Apparently after appearing here as a 14 year old, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart commented that Naples had great venues and wonderful music teachers, but that the people of Naples are noisy - it seems that they didn't fully appreciate his talent! Napoli Central - Central Mayhem! | SimKim - Simon Says
05032015 The adjacent beautiful "Piazza del Plebiscito" was built on the model of the Pantheon in Rome. Prolonged by a curving colonnade, today is one of the most important meeting points of the city. Part of the semicircular Doric building built in 1810 by Joachim Murat striking effect that wraps around the middle of the square, the centre of which you can see the equestrian statue of Charles III of Bourbon, by Antonio Canova, and Ferdinand I, Canova in the horse. Naples, Italy - Thousands of beautiful colours under the majestic Vesuvius | Travel with Me
05042015 Via Chiaja - This pedestrianised street is another classic people-watching venue in Naples and is especially popular in the evenings. The 16th century Palazzo Cellamare is also found here – previous guests include Goethe and Casanova. At the western end of the street you pass under a bridge built in 1636 to connect the hills of Pizzofalcone and Mortella. Not to be missed – what to see and do in Naples, Italy | Grown-up Travel Guide
05052015 After our visit in Pompeii we then went to the volcano. Oh, and guess what? As soon as we stepped off the bus, it started raining…again. Surprise, surprise. This wasn’t going to stop me though. Oh, and when you get to the top you’re supposed to see a magnificent view of the Bay of Naples and surrounding cities. Did we see any of this? Nope! We got to the top and it was rainy, windy, and so foggy. We were pretty much inside of a cloud, so all we saw was whiteness. But it was still pretty awesome to be on Mount Vesuvius. And excuse my French but…I was on top of a mother fucking volcano!! Pretty badass if you ask me. The Amalfi Coast | Dare to be Adventurous
05062015 First stop Sorrento. Salvatore’s family was very kind and warm. They had prepared a welcome gift of Mama Rita’s homemade cakes and Nona’s limoncello. So much for easing off the carbs. Our apartment was next door to their home and dished up an expansive view of the Bay of Sorrento and the Island of Capri in the distance. It was in a restored 16th Century farmhouse. Getting Punched, Lemons and The Storybook Towns of Italy’s Amalfi Coast | The Province
05072015 As a local guide and resident in Positano, I often begin the walking tours in the upper area of the town. The districts of Chiesa Nuova and Li Parlati, for example, are rich in history and folklore, they have beautiful churches and you can go into bars, drinking a spritz and making new friends. A Walking Tour around Positano | Zia Lucy
05082015 This idyllic B&B is perfectly located only a short stroll from the breath taking town of Positano. Surrounded by bougainvillea and lemon trees and boasting its own private beach, this gorgeous B&B has charm in abundance. La Fenice | An Affair with Italy
05092015 Residence Villa Yiara is an adorable boutique hotel housed in an 18th century building on top of a hill with spectacular balconies overlooking the bay of Positano.  Every room features a sea-view terrace and the friendly staff serves you continental breakfast complete with cappuccinos, fresh squeezed orange juice, fruit, pastries and Nutella on your balcony every morning! Positano, Italy | Mel Paleo Panda
05102015 Greco is a fascinating grape, capable of making some great dry whites, the best are traditionally made in the area around the town of Tufo and are very mineral and fine. The jury is out about the origins of the name though. Most books say it was brought to Italy by the Ancient Greeks, but Ferrante di Somma di Circello, whose Cantine di Marzo produces fine Greco di Tufo, told me that it was called Greco because it was the best grape to make Greek style wine, by which people used to mean sweet wine from dried grapes. These were the most sought after wines in the middle ages and were known as Romneys by the English wine trade. The Good Campanians – stories, grapes and wines from Italy’s deep south | Quentin Sadler's Wine Page
05112015 We were heading towards my grandfather’s village. I suppose it eventually became my grandmother’s village, too, after she married him and moved there. But I’d always regarded it as his. He was the one who was born there. He was the one who loved it there. My grandmother had always been kinda iffy on the place. I’d been to Frigento twice before. Finding Frigento (or How GPS in Southern Italy is Merely A Suggestion) | The Everywhereist
05122015 Every year starting late January in the province of Benevento in Campania an unusual and wonderful activity takes place. Like bees honing onto a flower, the men of Pontelandolfo flock to the main square every afternoon until the end of Carnevale. Proud and defiant, they challenge one another individually and in groups to a grueling contest of… la ruzzola del formaggio! (literally the rolling of the cheese). VideoNote: La Ruzzola del Formaggio | Italiannotebook
05132015 Campania, one of the regions of southern Italy, stretches along the Tyrrhenian Sea. The mild climate, the beauty of the coasts, the richness of its art and history and the love for food make Campania the fascinating area that it is. The journey begins at the sea with its intense colors, its coasts covered with bays, coves and rock faces. The waters here boast the islands in the Gulf of Naples, Capri and Ischia — true natural masterpieces. Take advantage of the opportunity to step out of Milan and enjoy all that Italy has to offer | The Japan Times
05142015 “The first time you go to any pizzeria, no matter what’s on the menu, you order a Margherita,” a Neapolitan companion whispers aggressively, under the nose of the waiter. “To find out if they know their shit.” When it arrives less than three minutes later, bubbling with oil-blackened knolls, (some say the pizzas in Naples are better because the ovens are simply hotter—others because of the city’s unique tap water, including a certain New York restaurant that imports bottles of it for making dough), he begins dissecting his meal with the precision of a surgeon, cutting away the crust and lifting the skin of bufala to inspect the elasticity of the base, before quietly nodding and pouring wine for the other guests. "The Skin" - Cantina del Gallo - Napoli | The Travel Almanac
05152015 I recommend an early morning visit to the imposing Castel Nuovo, a walk along Il Lungomare for a seafood and pasta lunch, and then an afternoon visit to the enchanting Castel dell’Ovo. Make this your first day in Naples, as the castle roofs are open to tourists and offer breathtaking views of the city and the water - a great way to get your bearings and melt away the stress of having just mastered crossing the street. How to do Naples | Kristen Elise, Ph.D.
05162015 It never fails. A teenage boy must yell "Are you not entertained?" when visiting any sort of Roman amphitheater. The amphitheater at Santa Maria Capua Vetere was made recently famous by the STARZ network show "Spartacus" and it is one of a few ideal places to bring teenagers. After a lecture about preserving antiquities for posterity, it is a good place for an old-fashioned game of Hide and Seek. Add a few poses as gladiators and your teenager will remember the day for a lifetime. Arkitextures of Santa Maria Capua Vetere | Afar
05172015 I did not know, as we drove through the uneven outskirts of Licola, that Cuma, formerly Cumae, was the first Greek settlement in Italy, started some eight centuries before Christ. All I had a vague idea about, as we navigated the bumpy road, surrounded now by fields and sudden strips of bamboo, was that the Sibyl and her cave were connected with Cuma, and that was what caught my imagination. Cuma: the Greeks, the Romans, the Sibyl and the view | The Phraser
05182015 Cumae is little known it seems, even among Italians. Not many tourists make it to the site as it is difficult to reach if you do not have a car, and the temples themselves are not very well-preserved. The fact that the sibyl’s cave is not officially open at the moment is also discouraging. However, I had a wonderful day touring this ancient site and discovering more about these fascinating stories connected to it. I’m hoping to go back to the archaeological museum at nearby Baia, which holds many important ancient artefacts of the region. The key role of the Cumaean sibyl in mythology lives on however. Cumae: an ancient Greek jewel in Italy, seat of the Sibyl priestess | Italian Gems
05192015 The shopping and eating here is very appealing – lots of tourists shops interspersed with produce, clothing and jewellery stores, bars and restaurants. In some ways it is a touristy area, but look upwards – you will spot traditional Sorrento balconies, decorated in drying fruit and squash. Today the tiny fishing village of Sorrento has evolved into a prosperous town of 15 churches, which exists because of its many charms and its huge appeal to visitors. Most of the voices you hear in the street will be speaking English, or German, or even Chinese – the Italian language is not heard so often. But the welcome you receive and the safe friendly streets of the city more than make up for this.  The Many Faces of Sorrento | Italia! magazine
05202015 Relais Blu, Campania - Perched above Punta Campanella, the tip of the Sorrento Peninsula, this midcentury complex is the former home of an architect who wanted to enjoy Amalfi Coast views without the crowds. Sorrento limoncello and Negronis are must-orders here, and they're even better at the figure eight–shaped pool, which sits on a promontory with drop-dead views of the Bay of Naples. Lounging here, you'll see why Homer chose this picturesque part of Italy for Odysseus's encounter with the Sirens. 5 Hidden Gem Boutique Hotels in Italy | Town & Country
05212015 La Mammola B&B, Positano, Amalfi Coast - We stayed in an immaculate, spacious suite here, just five minutes’ walk up the narrow winding street from the beach. Breakfast arrives on the large flower-decked terrace, with glorious views down over the bay and up over the hillside – and the coffee keeps coming. If you’ve braved the tortuous, narrow winding roads there’s private parking 100 metres away; otherwise there are buses to neighbouring towns and hillside walks. Or of course, you could just sit on the terrace. Readers’ travel tips: hotels, B&Bs and villas in Italy | The Guardian
05222015 The little motor boat with the red fish sign flying on what would have been a mast had it been a yacht, approached the lower side of Positano quay where a dozen of us had gathered in the blazing sun, hoping to get a seat. It was 11 in the morning and there would be another boat every half an hour or so until 1pm, but we were eager. We’d heard that Da Adolfo beach restaurant, only accessible by boat, was a splendid place for lunch, serving fresh seafood in a relaxed (if seemingly exclusive) beachside atmosphere. Positively picturesque, plus | The Budapest Times
05232015 Some of the most celebrated frescoes at the ancient Roman site of Pompeii have been given a clean bill of health, thanks to a course of antibiotics. Conservators used amoxicillin, a type of penicillin, to treat strains of bacteria living in the Dionysiac frieze that decorates what scholars believe to be the dining room of the Villa of the Mysteries. Pompeian frescoes cured with antibiotics | The Art Newspaper
05242015 Located right off the via Tribunali, the decumanus maximus, the excavations underneath the Gothic church of San Lorenzo Maggiore are one of the key places to view the leftover traces of the ancient city. This architectural complex corresponds to the ancient Greek Agora, subsequently the Roman Forum, and the center of political, commercial, and religious activity in antiquity. From here, we will descend into a series of ancient streets that date from the 1st and 3rd centuries BCE, where various building typologies line the streets, including the aerarium, where the city's riches were held; the bakery; the laundry; and the suggestive cryptoporticus, or covered passageway. Ancient Naples: Above and Underground | Context Travel
05252015 Veritas - Chef Gianluca D'Agostino serves refined Neapolitan dishes that don't veer too far into contemporary that they lose their sense of territory. Pair dishes, such as cavatelli with beans, broadtail shortfin squid, and cured pork and mullet with braised fennel, with bottles from the local craft beer list. Naples travel guide | Australian Gourmet Traveller
05262015 At Vico Equense the bellissimo terrace overlooking the beach with a spectacular view of the sea and Mt Vesuvius in the distance. A white plate of black.  Or to be more specific, a plate of linguine pasta cooked to the perfect point of al dente, with a flavorful squid ink sauce. He cooks the squid whole, at a very low temperature, after having marinated it first with Mediterranean herbs like the ones located in their nearby garden. Squid ink is nothing new, but this plate was particularly flavorful thanks to Chef Domenico De Simone's experienced hand. Black is the New Black - Linguine al Nero di Seppia, Chef Domenico De Simone, Il Bikini (Na) | andiamotrips
05272015 Ah, Southern Italy. What could be better than hopping a plane to Mezzogiorno? Thanks to a collaboration between Tierno Tours and Green Earth Travel, vegan globetrotters can easily embark on just such a sojourn, sans any nuisance when it comes to navigating plant-based terrain. Indeed, the Vegano Italiano Festival takes care of every detail, ensuring guests experience a breezy week exploring places like Positano and Pompeii, ancient ruins and beautiful beaches, all amid meals that are at once sumptuous and absent meat, dairy and eggs. Jet Set July: Plan for Fuss-Free Vegan Travel this Summer in Southern Italy | Matt & Nat 
05282015 A new exhibition entitled Pompei e l'Europa 1748-1943 opens today at Pompeii and at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli. It features the installation of a pyramid in the amphitheatre of Pompeii containing the newly cleaned plastercasts of victims of the eruption. Exhibition: Pompei e l'Europa 1748-1943 | Blogging Pompeii
05292015 Dozens of bodies are being restored with plaster to preserve their exact positions when they were entombed in volcanic ash. Among the 86 or more corpses recovered in Pompeii, the remains of a terrified mother and a male child, of about 4-years-of age, stands out in the exhibition. Reportedly, they were inside the House of the Golden Bracelet when the eruption took place. And according to the study lead, inhabitants in the city perished rapidly, as sources explain. Pompeii Terrified Mother, Child In Ash: Bodies From Mount Vesuvius Eruption Unearthed After 1,900 Years | The Inquisitr
05302015 From Naples, take the train to Pompeii Scavi station. Book Pompeii tours online, via the local tourist office, or at your hotel. Choose a guided two-hour tour of the main highlights—from the bathhouses and brothel (you may want to skim the kids past the giggle-inducing naughty murals) to the taverns and launderettes of ancient times. The plaster casts of dogs and people immortalized in their death throes invariably pique kids’ curiosities. Great Family Trips: Pompeii, Italy | Intelligent Travel
05312015 Mount Vesuvius, Naples, Italy - Possibly the world’s most famous volcano – though it hasn’t erupted since 1944 – and the most touristy, too. So much so that serene contemplation of nature’s ferocity might not be possible given the crowds who ascend each day. The most popular path goes to the edge of the main crater where guides are on hand. Steam can be seen rising from parts of the crater and, as with nearly all volcanoes, there is a strong smell of sulphur. Top 10 active volcanoes to see up close | The Guardian