Colorful villages, superb seafood, juicy lemons and sumptuous sweets on the Costiera Amalfitana
On the sunny Friday when my plane landed at Naples airport, I turned on my phone and got a text message from Gábor –he is the BioTech USA Italy director- “We’re waiting for u..one word: Fiat500!”.
They decided that we were going to spend our afternoon and Saturday on the Amalfi Coast. So, in the white Fiat Cinqiecento we were heading straight to the beach. After successfully negotiating a few hairpin bends, we arrived at the tiny seaside town of Maiori. I had seen photos of it before, and it was exactly as I had imagined, and I happily jumped out off the car, checking the sky to see that it was all nice and sunny. Perfect! I set off to discover my first wonder.
We had a lovely walk along CorsoReginna, which is nicely adorned with benches and green pergolas over the river that divides the Corso into two. We walked up almost to the end of the Corso, where there aren’t that many shops. Rather, it’s just houses, two local restaurants, and a small van selling vegetables, limone & homemade limoncello. It was quite something for my first hour in Maiori that two charming old men were waiting for me on a bench next to a small church. A little rest from a walk never hurts. Meanwhile, a bunch of pigeons chased one another around the church’s courtyard.
From this spot I could also get a good view of the first attraction we wanted to visit on that day: La Collegiatadi Santa Maria a Mare, standing out right at the top of town, as if to protect all her calm and loyal inhabitants. We headed back halfway to the Corso and what a surprise, we found ourselves in a beautiful garden, with a marvelous view on the Collegiata and its steeple.
The first thing I noticed as we approached the next village of Minori was its seafront, which was so lively and so clearly the hub of local social life. It must have been right after school closing time, since the seafront was packed with children playing all sorts of games. They were playing football and volleyball, riding bikes, while women were pushing baby buggies and everyone was having ice-cream. Everybody knew each other and basically played together at the same time…It was a really nice welcome to town, so let’s drink a limoncello!
Minori still offers the delicacy of homemade pasta, produced in mills that continue to thrive, and it’s made by the experienced hands of generations of master pasta makers from the Amalfi Coast. So the tradition of homemade pasta continues with the classic fritto di mare (pictured), washed down with fresh white wine served with sliced peach floating on top. Nowadays, Minori’s economy is mainly based on tourism, with hotels, restaurants and clubs open year-round and the town’s homemade pastry and lemon-based liqueurs that are sold in the many shops. Sweets lovers, who happen to visit Minori, shouldn’t miss the pastry workshop of Salvatore De Riso, who has become an international star. De Riso has made Minori’s art of pastry known around the world, receiving accolades and awards for his delicious lemon desserts, from donuts to Tiramisù.