Category Archives: Food and Wine

Sorrento Cooking Class Online

Chef Carmen Online Cooking Class

Imagine being able to invite a top Italian chef to help prepare an authentic Neapolitan meal in your kitchen. Dream no longer, because recent developments in live communication technology now makes this possible.

Chef Carmen is one of many talented cooks in Sorrento and runs a very successful Cooking School which was featured in the American Food Network’s “Recipe for Success”, as one of the most successful cooking vacation in the South of Italy. Her character, humour, patience and boundless energy makes cooking even more enjoyable.

If you have already used the ZOOM app for socialising online then it is as simple as booking a session, selecting the dishes of your choice and stocking up on the required ingredients. A bottle of your favourite Italian wine will also be a useful addition during proceedings. You will need all the ingredients to hand with necessary kitchen tools ready 5 minutes before logging on.

There are 4 live online classes available a week at 18.30 Italian time (17.30 UK) and last 2.5 hours. A minimum number of two participants are required for a class to take place and here’s the choice of dishes available for the classes.

Chef Carmen online meal one

Monday
Potatoes Gnocchi Sorrento Style
Traditional & Lemon “Tiramisu” Cake


Chef Carmen online meal two

Wednesday
Ravioli Caprese
Chicken Roll Genovese Style


Chef Carmen online meal three

Friday
Pizza Margherita
Eggplant/Aubergine Parmigiana


Chef Carmen online meal four

Sunday
Fettuccine Bolognese
Fish fillett in potatoes crust & Acqua Pazza


Unless you wish to keep your new found culinary skills a secret you could organise a private class for family or friends with a minimum of 8 participants. Private classes are available on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The cost is 30.00 euros per person and full details can be seen on Chef Carmen’s website. For those who are not familiar with the Zoom App, here is the website. A good internet connection to your kitchen is essential.

To see Chef Carmen “in action” here is video of an online class taking place from the kitchen of her Cooking School in Sorrento. Buon appetito!

Sorrento + Wine

terrace-vineyaerd

Wines of Campania

This tailor-made 8 day Wine themed holiday offers an exclusive opportunity to visit wineries in the Campania region to taste some of its most famous wines. From Sorrento you will experience vines on the slopes of Vesuvius, inland towards Avellino and the Apennine mountains and on terraces perched high above the Amalfi coast, each location as unique as the wines themselves.

You can read a brief introduction to the wine region of Campania by Master of Wine, Richard Ballantyne.


What’s included

  • Flights from UK airports to Naples
  • 4* Hotel in the heart of Sorrento
  • Room upgrades and half board options
  • ABTA and ATOL protection
  • Private transfers from Naples airport
  • Wine tour and tastings at vineyard near Vesuvius
  • Wine tour and tastings with 3 course lunch at vineyard in Avellino
  • Wine tour and tastings with 3 course lunch at vineyard on Amalfi coast
  • Tour of Pompeii
  • Tour of Naples
  • Tour of Positano
  • Optional tours and activities, see list below
  • Breakfasts, 3 three course lunches, farewell ‘Torna Presto’ dinner
  • Friends of Sorrento support before and during visit

Availability
Eight days, April to June and Sept to October 2021
Price from £1795.00 pp based on two people sharing a double room
Group size: Minimum 10 and maximum 18 adults.


Day One

Welcomed at Naples airport where your driver will be waiting to take you to the hotel. Sit back and enjoy beautiful views across the Bay of Naples as you drive through Castellammare di Stabia, Vico Equense, Meta, Piano di Sorrento and Sant’Agnello’

Evening: Free time.


Day Two

pompeii-vesuvius

We start with a guided tour of the remarkable archaeological site of Pompeii. It seems a contradiction that the destructive forces released by Vesuvius not only destroyed and preserved Pompeii but also created a very fertile soil which has helped produce beautiful fruit, vegetables and wine. After the walking tour, we will visit a vineyard for wine tasting and a light lunch with typical local produce.

Evening: Free time to explore Sorrento.


Day Three

Streets in Naples

A guided tour of Naples to experience the fabric and daily life of this exciting and vibrant city. Start with a visit to the Archaeological Museum before meeting your guide for a walk through the streets of Napoli to experience ‘daily life’ and a chance to see the incredible architecture and sculptures. There will be opportunities to taste authentic Neapolitan pizza, visit other landmarks and take coffee at the famous Gran Caffè Gambrinus.

The photographs show the Spaccanapoli (Literal meaning: Naples splitter) which is the straight and narrow main street that traverses the old, historic centre of the city.

Evening: Free time.


Day Four

Amalfi Coast

After a relaxing full breakfast the day begins with a morning visit to ‘picture postcard’ Positano to explore its web of narrow streets with exclusive boutiques and galleries all leading down to the beach. From this level you will really appreciate the beauty of this unique location and enjoy a cappuccino before returning to the coach.

Sit back and enjoy the views as you wind your way up to Furore for a private tour of a unique winery with grapes taken from terraced vineyards along the Amalfi coast. The terraces are too steep to venture far but you will be intrigued by the story behind this winery with its romance, a constant struggle against the elements and the delicate balance between man and nature to produce wines so beautiful. Read our review of a recent visit.

After visiting the cellars you stroll across to the restaurant for a superb three course meal with wine pairings. The intricacies of each wine and how the surrounding landscape influences their taste will be explained in detail and questions willingly answered. All this taking place with the sky, sea and mountains of the Amalfi coast as a background.

Evening: Free time.


Day Five

Marina Grande Sorrento

A free day to explore the maze of narrow lanes in Sorrento with its myriad of shops and historic buildings. The fishing harbour in Marina Grande provides a perfect end to a pleasant stroll from the town centre and offers a wonderful choice of restaurants along the small beach and promenade. It’s a superb location for an alfresco lunch or dinner.

On the subject of food, why not book an optional Cooking Class in the morning or afternoon and learn some of the secrets for a perfect pasta dish. Play video.

Chef Carmen Cooking School.

Evening: Free time.


Day Six

grapes

A visit to a vineyard in the Avellino wine region that has helped Campania to be recognised the world over for its wine varieties and quality. A three course lunch with wine pairings will follow a private tour our of the vineyard and cellars.

Evening: Free time.


Day Seven

Island  of Capri

A day for doing your own thing and to take a walk to Piano di Sorrento or a 10 minute bus ride to Vico Equense and Meta di Sorrento, each with their own attractions. Take a bus in the opposite direction to some of the villages on the Peninsular, including Sant’Agata and Masa Lubrense, and enjoy local cuisine in one of the many trattorias with views of the Neapolitan Riviera. The Sorrento office will provide all the information needed.

We could organise one of our optional tours and activities including a mini cruise to Capri or along the Amalfi coast, take a half day visit to Herculaneum or learn the secrets of making the perfect pasta, see the list below.

Evening: ‘Torna Presto/Come back soon’ dinner in one of our favourite restaurants.


Day Eight

In seven days you would have tasted some of the best wines and cuisine in the region, visited Pompeii, Positano and Naples. It’s time to relax and just enjoy the moment before your private transfer to the airport.


Grand Hotel Capodimonte

Located only 10 minutes walk from the centre of Sorrento this four star superior hotel has superb views overlooking Sorrento and across the Bay of Naples. A very comfortable traditionally styled hotel with all the facilities a guest requires together with easy access to Sorrento itself. Situated close to the main road for the Sorrentine peninsula the hotel provides a good base from which to explore the villages, harbours and beaches in and around Massa Lubrense. The Capodimonte is part of the Manniello group of hotels which include the Ambasciatori, De La Ville and The Royal.


Optional tours and activities

Half day guided tour of Herculaneum
Paestum and the Greek temples
Guided tour of the island of Ischia and the magical Mortella Gardens
Guided tour of Capri
Cruise along the Amalfi coast or around Capri
Sunset cruise with cocktails
Cooking class


Further details

To express an interest in this tour, please use the form below or phone: +44 (0)1446 771220.

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Friends of Sorrento in partnership with Sam Smith Travel

Marisa Cuomo Wine – A Tale of Passion

Marisa Cuomo Wine

Having seen the name Marisa Cuomo on a number of wine menus we organised a private tour to the winery in Furore. It’s located 45 minutes from Positano and 500 m above the Amalfi coastal road. This wine tour was to prove stimulating not just for our taste buds but for all the senses.

After turning off the coastal road we began the winding ascent to Furore with each bend offering picture postcard scenes of the coastline far below and mountains high above. Having been used to seeing rows of vines on a rolling landscape it was hard to see where the vineyards could possibly lie in such a vertical environment.

mountain wine terraces

However, following a warm welcome at the winery everything became clear as the Marisa Cuomo story unfolded during the introduction and visits to the cellars, hand-cut into the rock, and the steep, almost hidden, terraces. The main cultivation system is the ‘pergola’ with vines often planted on vertical rock faces with manual labour and donkeys still carrying the burden. Some of the wines are classed as Extreme and Heroic because of the challenging conditions.

marisa cuomo wineyards

Bruna was our guide and her description sounded more like a novel than a tour. A story of romance, dramatic landscapes, physical struggles and passion to produce beautiful wines. In 1983 the vineyard was a wedding gift from Andrea Ferraioli to Marisa and like true love, flourished over the years. Their determination, together with generations of experience and physical toil has resulted in a cellar with a world wide reputation.

Marisa Cuomo Wines

In addition to vineyards in Furore, they have others located along the Amalfi coast. Ancient vines producing unique tastes influenced by the earth in which they grow and the mountain air they absorb. Tronto, Tintore, Sciascinoso, Ripolo, Pepella, Ginestra, Piedirosso, and Fenile are the grape varieties blended to create nine Marisa Cuomo wines listed below.

Furore Bianco, Furore Rosso.
Ravello Bianco, Ravello Rosso.
Furore Bianco Fiorduva, Furore Rosso Riserva.
Costa d’Amalfi Rosso, Costa d’Amalfi Rosato, Costa d’Amalfi Bianco.

Marisa Cuomo wines are available in the UK and stockists found with Google search

Tastings took place at the Ristorante Bacco, located opposite the winery with a table for two on a terrace open to spectacular views of the mountains and coastline. There was a choice of menus each with a selection of three wines to complement the dishes and ours included the award-winning Furore Bianco Fiorduva.

Bacco Restaurant

How the different landscapes and soils influenced the intricacies of each wine were explained to us as the dishes were served; citrus from lemon groves, minerals in more rocky ground and much more. It was an exceptional meal with superb wines in a truly wonderful setting followed by a relaxing drive back to Sorrento.

Whenever we open wine from Marisa Cuomo it is not only the flavours that rekindle memories of our visit but also the label. Each wine has its own illustration as if taken from a storybook, but a story based on real people and real places. Whether you are a wine connoisseur or a romantic you should find this tale of passion and fortitude in a beautiful but unforgiving landscape fascinating.

Based on our experience Friends of Sorrento provides a private tour to Marisa Cuomo including time to visit Positano. See itinerary

marisa cuomo wine label illustrations

Full details about the Marisa Cuomo winery and their wines can be found at their website together with a selection of videos. Here’s a little taster.

Marisa Cuomo
Via G.B. Lama, 16/18
Furore
Website

Michelin Star Restaurants

There are 17 Michelin star restaurants within a 30 km radius of Sorrento, 4 more between Ravello and Salerno, 3 in Naples, 3 on Capri and 2 on Ischia. A full list of names and locations is provided below.

Diners will experience superb cuisine at immaculate tables set in beautiful surroundings and in many cases with breathtaking vistas. A vacation for all the senses.

As you would expect the dishes are true works of art, pleasing to the eye as well as the taste buds. For the moment the delicate aromas and subtle combination of flavours must be left to your imagination, but here is a small selection of culinary masterpieces to feast your eyes on.

The Chefs are obviously masters of their skills with a respect and passion for the ingredients and regional influences, seasoned perhaps with life experiences and memories. This can be demonstrated, in my opinion, by this video showing the preparation of the pasta dish, Pacchero with tomato sauce, by two top Chefs, Marco Parizzi from Parizzi di Parma and Giuseppe Aversa from Il Buco in Sorrento.

Enjoy Chef Aversa’s presentation which is full of humour, passion and respect for ingredients from the south. There are English subtitles.

Giuseppe Aversa Il Buco Restaurant Sorrento

This video was produced as part of a centenary celebration for Pasta Di Martino, a pasta making company. It is located in the town of Gragnano, world famous for the production of dried pasta and home for numerous manufacturers. Some provide factory tours and tastings for visitors and Gragnano is only 25 km from Sorrento.
pasta-tubes
Michelin Star Restaurants in and around Sorrento
In addition to these 25 star restaurants there are another 38 with mentions.
Full details can be found in the Michelin Guide for Sorrento

Two star
Don Alfonso 1890. Sant’Agata
Quattri Passi. Nerano, Marina del Cantone
Torre del Saracino. Marina Equa, Vico Equense
L’Olivo. Anacapri

One star
Terrazza Bosquet. Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento
Il Buco. Sorrento
Don Geppi. Sant’Agnello
Taverna del Capitano. Marina del Cantone
Relais Blu. Termini
Antica Osteria Nonna Rosa. Vico Equense
Maxi. Vico Equense
La Serra. Sirenuse, Positano
La Sponda. Positano
Zass. Positano
Piazzetta Milù. Castellannare di Stabia
Il Refettorio. Conca dei Marini
President. Pompeii
La Caravella dal 1959. Amalfi
Rossellini’s. Ravello
Il Faro di Capo d’Orso. Maiori
Re Mauri. Salerno
Casa del Nonno 13. Salerno

Mammà. Capri
Il Riccio. Anacapri

Indaco. Ischia
Il Mosaico. Ischia

Palazzo Petrucci. Naples
Il Comandante. Naples
Veritas. Naples

Buon appetito!

Breakfast at Jannuzzi’s

Pallazzo Jannuzzi kitchen

No matter how many times I stay at the Jannuzzi the breakfasts are always pleasing to the eye as well as the palate. It’s not just the variety and freshness of locally produced food but the ever changing ‘themes’. This is a family run business serving a range of traditional Sorrentine family breakfast dishes.

The choice can be influenced by seasonal produce and events, or a special occasion such as a guest’s birthday or anniversary. Authentic ‘home cooked’ dishes are presented together with the typical breakfast buffet selection to offer guests an opportunity to experience the flavours of local produce.

Fruits and other seasonal produce are always available including cherries, grapes, lemons, apples, pears, apricots, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, figs, chestnuts and more. Home cooked bread, cakes and pastries accompany the locally grown tomatoes and salads, fresh mozzarella, eggs and crispy bacon.

Add to this the creativity and humour of the cooks and you end up with The Jannuzzi Breakfast served every morning in the breakfast room or on the terrace.

If you have not managed to book a room you will be pleased to know it’s possible to book just the breakfast, subject to availability. Enjoy!

For more information about the Palazzo Jannuzzi click here.

hostess

Sorrento craft beers

Sorrento craft beers

With mystical names like Syrentum, Minerva and Parthenope it is hardly surprising that lovers of craft beer will not be satisfied until their taste buds have been seduced.

Two men, Giuseppe Schisano and Francesco Galano, each with a passion for brewing beer established the Sorrento Brewery in 2009 on the Sorrento peninsula.

sorrento-beer-passion

Their first two labels were, the Syrentum, a light craft beer with lemon peel of Sorrento PGI, and the Minerva with orange peel. Blending production processes with the gastronomic traditions of the region together with a beautiful location, the Sorrento Brewery offers visitors a unique experience.

Yes, you can visit for tastings and its location is a perfect destination for those wishing to explore this beautiful area or combine with a visit to Massa Lubrense and Marina del Cantone. You can arrange a visit yourself or Friends of Sorrento can include a visit with a tour of the Peninsula.

Birrificio Sorrento Gift Boxes

After your visit why not take a gift box back to your balcony to savour the delicate flavours at sunset and listen carefully for those mystical sirens. Just remember to tie yourself to the balcony.

For more information about Birrificio Sorrento, visit their Website

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