Category Archives: Sorrento News

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

Naples Underground: The Art Metro

Few people know that beneath the busy streets of Naples lies an extraordinary subterranean art collection, open to any curious traveller for the price of a metro ticket.

Toledo subway station, Naples

Toledo station, designed by Catalan architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca and curated by Italian art critic Achille Bonito Oliva, has been described as “the most beautiful subway stop in Europe”. Wrapped around the entrance hall is an ornate mosaic designed by South African artist William Kentridge, depicting the Naples Procession led by San Gennaro. Figures from Italian history and blood-red musical scores are woven with maps of the city’s first underground rail system: all tiled by hand in the style of the Cosmati masters.

Materials and colours in Toledo station move down through black asphalt to ochre and finally azure, representing the earth’s strata. Descending the escalator, you can gaze up through the cavernous Cratere di Luce (Crater of Light) to the sunshine above. Moving walkways between platforms double as immersive installations. Ponder giant portraits from cultures around the world in The Human Race by Oliviero Toscani; walk on water through By The Sea…You And Me, shimmering oceanic panels by Texan artist Robert Wilson.

metro-02

At the kaleidoscopic Università station, Egyptian architect Karim Rashid has created a thoroughly psychedelic commute. In this steel hall of mirrors, pink and purple walls glisten like pulled sugar. 3D shapes animate as you walk by, exploring the language of our new digital era. Beyond the turnstiles you’ll meet Rashid’s Conversational Profile, polished black pillar-sculptures in the futurist style of Bertelli’s famous Continuous Profile of Mussolini. And at the exit stairways, each step shows a slice of a screenprint homage to Dante and his beloved muse Beatrice.

metro-05

If you’re visiting the Museo Archeologico Nazionale on your trip, go via the Museo station to see Mimmo Jodice’s mesmerizing, torchlit photos of ancient bronze statues. A perfect opener for the Farnese Hercules that greets you, fresh from killing his lion, in the museum’s atrium.

A highlight of the Quattro Giornate station on Line 1 is Marisa Albanese’s celestial Combattenti (Fighters). Sitting weightless above the escalators, the sculptures are dedicated to the women of the Italian Resistance—their unsung strength during the WWII uprising of Naples in September 1943.

There are currently 14 ‘art stations’ distributed along lines 1 and 6 of the Metro network, featuring more than 180 works by 90 international artists and architects.

Two new stations, dedicated to the city’s archaeological treasures, are currently in planning. Duomo station will be built around the excavations of a 1st-century temple and athletic race track; Municipio will showcase, among other precious artefacts, the preserved skeletons of three Roman ships.

Samantha Edwards
Most Played | Copywriting + Creative
www

For more information and images of the art stations view this excellent video.

List of art stations:
Line 1: Garibaldi, Università, Toledo, Dante, Museo, Materdei, Salvator Rosa, Quattro Giornate, Vanvitelli, Rione Alto
Line 6: Mostra, Augusto, Lala, Mergellina

The metro is open 6:00 to 23:00 every day of the year.
A travelcard, valid for one day, costs 3.50 Euro.

D’Anton Design & Bistro

D'Anton Bistro in Sorrento

D‘Anton, the designer bistro, sits comfortably on the corner of Piazza S.Antonino in Sorrento, opposite the Tasso Theatre. From the outside, the tables and chairs present a typical image of a small cafe/bistro serving visitors cappuccino and traditional snacks with a classic view across a pleasant piazza.

D'Anton Designer Bistro Sorrento

However, inside is a collection of Objets d’art filling the room from top to bottom creating a unique ambience. Chandeliers, table lamps, bird cages, statues, paintings, mirrors, ceramics, glass, plant holders, cushions and more compete for attention as a source of inspiration for interior design projects. Try to imagine an Alladin’s cave that has a cocktail bar and food with many of its treasures available for purchase.

D'Anton Bistro Sorrento

Dishes of traditional offerings and original cocktails are presented in an equally imaginative way to compliment the surroundings. In the evenings the atmospheric lighting is perfect for romantic interludes.

If you are looking for a source of inspiration for interior design, an intimate table with a film-set decor, traditional snacks using local produce, cocktails with attitude (try the limoncello cocktail made from Francesca’s secret recipe), or just the perfect cappuccino then D’Anton is the place. Gabriel, pictured below, and Francesca will be pleased to welcome you.

D'Anton Bistro Sorrento

D’Anton Design & Bistro
Piazza Sant’Antonino
Sorrento
Facebook

Sunset dinner in the Marina Grande

Let me invite you for a sunset dinner in the picturesque harbour of the Marina Grande. Make your way to the Piazza della Vittoria, at the rear of the Tramomtano Hotel, and with the Bellevue Syrene on your right follow the cobbled lane. This will guide you through hidden villas and secret gardens, down well trodden steps and under an archway which opens to a magnificent vista of the harbour.

Marina Grande in Sorrento

In the next hour or so tables will start to fill every available space in and around each restaurant along the water’s edge. Dishes of grilled sardines, plump prawns, fish of the day, crab, lobster ….. will be whisked across the road from kitchen to outside tables. On this occasion we’ll have to ignore the temptation of the long established Trattoria da Emilia and the more recent Soul & Fish restaurant, at least until lunch tomorrow.

Because this evening we are dining at Delfino’s, right on the other side of the harbour, past the children paddling on the beach, the illuminated church and the lady making traditional lace products. From here you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the sunset with the relaxing sound of waves splashing under the boardwalk. The atmosphere is a little quieter with enough table space to allow some privacy for those ‘special’ occasions.

View of Marina Grande harbour

On one side is the fishing harbour and on the other, the bay of Naples with Vesuvius skirted by the lights of Naples just out of the picture on the right. The scene is set, so lets order aperitifs to toast the sunset while we wait for the highlight of the evening, the meal. I’m going for one of Delfino’s specials, Risotto with mussels, clams, squid, octopus and scampi, or perhaps Pasta with clams, zuccine and peeled shrimps, but those Dumplings with smoked cheese and peeled shrimps look tempting ……..

Sunset from Delfino's restaurant Sorrento

Its popularity with the locals and visitors throughout the year says enough about the food and service which are under the constant supervision of the family owners Andrea, Luisa and Roberto (the quiet one). Nothing more to add except it is advisable to book in advance for an outside table. Buon appetito!

Delfino in Sorrento

Restaurant Bagni Delfino
Marina Grande, Sorrento
tel: 081 878 2038

Wine of the month

Friends of Sorrento brings you reviews on wines from Southern Italy courtesy of Richard Ballantyne, Master of Wine. This month’s recommendation is:
Sergio Arcuri 2014 Cirò Classico Superiore ‘Aris’.

Aris wine fom Sergio Arcuri

CalabriaCalabria is a little off the beaten track so you could be forgiven for having never heard of the wines from this region. We have discovered one outstanding producer whose wines are incredibly stylish and authentic.

Sergio Arcuri is a fourth generation wine producer in the DOC of Cirò where the grape variety of Gaglioppo is king. Sergio has a very small estate of 4 hectares which includes a parcel of vines planted in 1948, and another planted in 1980.

It’s these old vines that give his wine such depth and complexity. There is no oak in this wine whatsoever – it is fermented in cement tanks, then aged for 18 months in another cement tank underground to keep it cool from the blasting heat of the South of Italy.

Sergio Arcuri Ciro Aris
The wine bears remarkable similarity to top end Barolo for its fragrant notes of dried rose petals, dark berries, dried figs and prunes. The wine is remarkably fresh and lively with great acidity and framed with powerful, but ripe tannins.

The wine is made partly from the vineyard planted in 1948 with the remainder from vines planted in 1980, always from bush vines (Alberello) and it certified organic. Sergio eschews the use of sulphur dioxide in his winemaking, and this wine spends 18 month ageing in an underground cement tank.

Richard Ballantyne MW

This is a truly exciting discovery and we are delighted to introduce you to it. The wine is included in Richard’s 20% Off Italian Wines Offer until end of April. See details


Wine tours from Sorrento

Art jewellery by Daniela Pollio

Ping Art Jewellery Sorrento
PING is the creative studio of Daniela Pollio in the heart of historic Sorrento. From this quiet corner on Piazza S’Antonino flows a wealth of creative art jewellery and miniature sculptures. Creations that could easily have fallen out of story book illustrations and dreams, or uncovered from mystical places and long forgotten civilisations.

Ping Art Jewellery Sorrento

Rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, keyrings and miniatures all seem to have an affiliation with ‘earth’ and ‘people’. Inspiration comes from nature, books and everyday life, including the digital age. Each item lovingly put together and crying out to tell you about itself. Visit the studio, select the piece that captures your imagination and let its story unfold when admirers enquire. Its all part of the experience.

Grimilde & Mufasa
Grimilde is the Whitesnow’s stepmother, Mufasa is the Simba’s dad. The collection is dedicated to the pleasure of reading. A king and his Queen live in a cottage not a castle, with a lot of flowers with human faces. The crowns are on simple chairs not thrones. All the things go out of the books and materialise.
Daniela Pollio

Ping Art Jewellery Sorrento
Daniela Pollio Sorrento

Daniela Pollio
You can browse a publication of Daniela’s collections below and view examples of art jewellery and miniatures on her Instagram and Facebook pages.

The workshop and gallery is located at:

PING Art Jewellery
Piazza S’Antonino 9
Sorrento

miniature-shoes

Collections
PING’s digital publication showing various collections created over the years with photographs and captions in English providing the ideas and inspiration behind each collection.

ping earrings

Pets for life and posterity

dog-mosaic
This mosaic from Pompeii is on display at the Naples National Archaeological Museum*. Another can be seen in Pompeii itself at the entrance to the House of the Tragic Poet with an inscription, Cave Canem (Beware of the Dog) as a warning to strangers and guests.

Remains of a dog have also been excavated from the ruins complete with an inscribed collar demonstrating the devotion between dog and its young master. The dog’s name was Delta and the inscription related how he heroically saved his owner from a wolf attack.
* Image from Wikimedia

dog-group

The centuries have not diminished such an affinity with dogs, and while digital cameras record countless memories there is something special about a more permanent and tangible reminder of companionship.

Just 25 km from Pompeii in the heart of Sorrento, dog lovers can discover their own pet’s lookalike from a range of popular breeds produced in ceramic and delivered to their door. There is even a customised service to reproduce the colours and distinctive features from photographs of a beloved pet.

dog-face

Remind yourself of those fond memories of companionship with a pat on the head of your pet’s sculpture each time you pass. It’s not just dogs on show, but a menagerie of cats, rabbits and other animals from the smallest mouse to the grandest lion.

dog-group-2

If you would like more information about these ceramic pets please complete the form below.

Pets for life

reCAPTCHA is required.

Ballerì – Shoes with a zest for life

Balleri shoes in Sorrento

Ballerì offers a range of ballet flats hand crafted in Naples with the finest materials. Creative designs by the owner, Gaia de Lizza, encapsulate the colours, traditions and styles reminiscent of the Neapolitan Riviera to match the mood and occasion of the day, be it playful, chic or just chilling out.

The quality of materials and workmanship together with innovative designs lift these flat shoes to a higher level. The Ballerì collections offer a choice suitable for all holiday activities and occasions, from beach party to restaurants or classical concerts.

Balleri shoes Sorrento

Lemon Soul Collection
This is Ballerì’s signature collection with embroidered lemon icons presented on satin and printed cottons in various styles. The range includes sling back, cross and ankle band. Perfect for the holiday spirit and as a reminder of good times on your return.

Eleonora Collection
Ideal for smart casual occasions such as concerts, cocktails, dinners and of course la passeggiata (traditional Italian evening stroll) to see and be seen. Available in suede or leather in different colours.

eleonora
Carla

Carla Collection
Less formal and possibly more casual smart, this round toe style is also available in suede or leather in a choice of colours. Cocktails on the terrace anyone?

Ballerì Boutiques
The Sorrento boutique is just off the main square, Piazza Tasso, but if you can’t wait until your vacation then visit Ballerì’s Online store. This shows the full range of styles and colours to help get you in the holiday mood.

Sorrento: Corso Italia 187
Capri: Piazzetta Cerio 7

Balleri Boutique Sorrento

Autori Capresi Exclusive Linen

autori-capresi-linen-sorrento

Cool linen and a warm welcome

We first discovered Autori Capresi in June 2012 during a passiagata through the narrow streets of historic Sorrento. The shop entrance exuded coolness and drew you in from the sultry street air to appreciate a wonderful selection of exquisite and unique hand crafted clothing using the purest and lightest linen. The owner, Antonio Truppa, and his family are passionate about their linen and the production of high quality customised clothes and accessories.

Carefully selected hats, belts, scarves and sandals complement the linen colours and styles to keep you looking and feeling cool. There are outfits for all ages suitable for ‘lay back casual’ to ‘smart casual’ occasions. Perfect for your Neapolitan Riviera vacation and irresistible presents for the grand children!

Autori Capresi Accessories

Not surprisingly such originality and quality have attracted a worldwide following with visitors becoming members of an exclusive client base. Demand from the Sorrento and Capri outlets together with customised orders from existing clientele means there is no online store. All the more reason to add Autori Caprese to your ‘must see’ list during a visit Sorrento or Capri.

Further examples from the Autori Capresi collections can be seen on their promotional video below and the website with links to instagram and facebook.

Autori Capresi Promotional Video

Outlets

Sorrento: Via P. R. Giuliani 21
Capri: Via Fuorlovado 5

The Art of Wood Inlay in Sorrento

Inlaid Box Sorrento

Visitors to Sorrento will not fail to see examples of the traditional art of wood inlay (intarsia) in all kinds of products, from small souvenir items to intricate pieces of furniture. Examples on a grander scale can be seen on the main entrance and side doors of the Cathedral. These include work done in the 1990’s by local artisans, Guiseppe Rocco and Vincenzo Stinga.

This traditional craftsmanship has passed the test of time and produces stunningly beautiful works of art for modern as well as traditional home interiors. Beyond the souvenir items you will find furniture and decorative accessories that will inspire anyone with a flair for interior design looking for a ‘statement’ piece.

Inlaid tables from Sorento

The Gargiulo & Jannuzzi Store on Sorrento’s main square, Piazza Tasso, offers superb examples of inlaid products to satisfy the creative imagination of any interior designer. These include exquisite decorative boxes and larger statement pieces, all blending traditional workmanship with contemporary tastes.

The Jannuzzi Store has a huge selection of products on display and offers customised design and delivery services. An introduction to the techniques used by the craftsmen is also provided. You get an idea of the range available from their website.

Inlaid boxes from Sorrento

There are a number of other workshops to be discovered in Sorrento where local artisans manufacture a wide selection of traditional and contemporary designs, see below.

To see the development and application of wood inlay since the 19th century, visit the Wood Inlay Museum and Craft Shop (Museo Bottega della Tarsia Lignea) in the beautifully restored Palazzo Pomarici Santomasi on Via S. Nicola, which is a 10 minute walk from the centre. Exhibits include furniture and objects with incredibly intricate wood inlay by past masters of the craft together with pieces from contemporary designers.

Inlaid objects from Wood Inlay Museum in Sorrento

View this video to see a small selection of wood inlay items together with other historical artefacts on display at the Museum. More information can be found on the official website of the founder Alessandro Fiorentino.

Other workshops
Stinga Tarsia. View their excellent video showing the making of a classic inlaid box. www
Cuomo’s Lucky Store. www
Augusto & Luca. www
Calemma. www
Gargiulo Inlaid. www
Biagio Barile. www