Since I’ve been here for such an extended length of time, this will likely be a Photogallery of mouth watering morsels, with excerpts and comments about where my favorite spots have been and what I eat from day to day.
As I stayed with a host family off of the main Corso Italia, they supplied me with breakfast and dinners (unless I had a late lunch or wanted to grab a bite with some of my friends overlooking the water as the sun sets).
Above is a typical breakfast consisting of fette biscottate, marmalade, espresso, fruit, and frutta di zucchero.
Mid-afternoon bite with Mary’s famous Capreses and spritz’. I’ve inspired a trend.
Some students and I grabbed lunch at one of the restaurants off of a side street AND they gave us free mini gelato cones as we left!
If you ever wanted to know where I ate at specifically (and I don’t mention it here) drop a comment or shoot me an email so that I can put together a list of foodie havens to eat at in Sorrento!
These four dishes are all dinners cooked by my host mom and nonna! They were the absolute best host family I could have asked for and their meals were always Michelin star quality! I’m thinking of a particular pasta dish made with white beans. Heaven.
The first was a quick cornetto before Nance and I took the train to Vesuvius and the third is a pizza at Pizzeria Trianon after we returned! (and… Caprese. What’s new).
@ Nancy’s pizza, her spaghetti and meatballs, and her. xoxo, see you in a few weeks!! I’m not having withdrawal from you leaving me at all.
I have most definitely eaten at least one pizza a week while I’ve been here with more than that number of gelato trips! There are numerous pizzerias that vary from formal sit downs, to take-away, to slices. All you have to do is wander around and you’ll be sure to find the doughy heaven of your dreams!
The left photo is of my friend’s bruschetta while grabbing a bite to eat in Capri! It was loaded with salmon and greens. Next to it was my own caprese in Capri – I know, how fitting, which had a drizzle of basil pesto around the plate. My thoughts on Capri were mostly positive, however, it is dreadfully costly to dine there or stay for an extended period of time.
In Sorrento, the last photo depicts an order of calamari and fresh fish from the harbor of Marina Grande, the fishing village of Sorrento. Along this little stretch of boats and beaches are packed ristoranti and trattorie, each with their own specialty and charm. My favorite is Da Emilia, but my eye had been on a particular Zi Ntonio Ristorante that holds an esteemed Michelin Star for their cuisine! I’ve been holding out until my last possible chance to splurge and grab some seafood spectacular from them, myself.
The next pizza I grabbed was on a walk back from Sant’Anna. I was starving! There was a quaint little place next to Piazza delle Vittoria for 5 euro (a steal!). Then… naturally… caprese… always.
I’ve never been one to eat a surplus of pasta, but staying with nonna and the rest of my host family proved that even my heart could be won over by eating pasta every night! Oh and homemade bruschetta. I’m addicted.
When in need of a loaded sandwich, Toaster Italiana is perfect! They have countless options, one for every taste, and even a make-your-own sandwich option if you need a reminder of home. Then there are fresh pressed juices! Their smoothies were not my particular vibe, as they aren’t exactly blended fruits, rather smashed and poured over ice. That being said, their Green Smoothie is actually incredible!
On the main, no-cars-allowed section of Corso Italia is a store-front that looks like an entire wall of gelato and pastries. Don’t be fooled, their salads are some of the best I’ve found in Italy (see the middle photo). The other highly recommended salad hotspot is Bar del Carmine, right outside of the Chiesa di Carmine, again on Corso Italia, but just past the flags at Piazzo Tasso. They served greek salads to caprese, and they made sure to load on the toppings. Generally, salads are primarily iceberg lettuce. It was a trial and error system in order to find the ideal lunch salad.
Now… the best aperol spritz goes to MoMo’s! Their Sorrento Spritz is a twist on the traditional apertivo with the addition of lemon granita poured in on top adding the perfect zing to the beverage! Paired with the complimentary crackers and a bowl of fresh fruits is the ideal post-sun and beach reviver.
Oh, and I mentioned Nonna’s bean pasta dish? ^^ it was spectacular! I was even given a massive spoon half-way through because apparently I wasn’t eating it fast enough!!
The most “exotic” salad I had came from a hole-in-the-wall ristorante on Corso Italia that looks like a wine cave. It was a sliced avocado on one side and lemon squeezed, cold shrimp on the other, with walnuts cracked on top. Granted it was a tad pricey, but when in Italy, indulge!
The two calamari photos came as a sort of late-night, after dinner drink snack with my girls (and apparently the waiter…) It typically happened that after I had eaten dinner with my host family, that my friends in a nearby apartment would invite me out to join them for a drink around 9 or 10 in the evening.
If there is a chance for me to order calamari or a caprese, I’d take that over anything!! And if I can do so with friends? There’s no comparison!
It was during these nights out that we would get to experience life under the stars. In Sorrento, Corso Italia lights up with friends and couples strolling around, children cheering cones of gelato, and grandparents enjoying a warm Nutella crêpe as they make sure the grands aren’t getting into trouble. Laughs are heard from every corner of every bar and dining location to create a joyful and laidback lifestyle – all after 9pm.
These three are actually from a weekend in Ischia with Nancy. We rented a villa as an Air BnB spot and utilized the fresh garden outside our room and kitchen. I was in serious need of a cooking day, so I threw together a creamy , cheesy pasta bake with toasted pizza dough bread.
The next night, we met up with a friend visiting from his abroad program in London for a dinner out overlooking Ischia Ponte and the Castello di Aragonese. Nancy’s appetizer was a dish after my own heart, a caprese.
I spotted a dish that I hadn’t gotten to enjoy since my cooking class in Paris two years prior! (Click on that blue link to see what else I made!!)
The fried zucchini flowers had warm ricotta cheese inside, a twist on the non-fried zucchini flowers I prepared overlooking the Seine River in France.
For a main course, I ordered calamari (wow, what an original addition to the trend) with fresh seasonal vegetables, including sweet carrots and zucchini slides. Nance and Josh were craving some seafood pasta.
The next morning, Josh and I ran to the grocery store a nice walk away in Barano to grab some food items for a brunch feast. We were extremely fortunate for the Conad to be open on a Sunday morning… But a good scrambled egg, bacon, and avocado toast preparation later, a feast was had!
That evening, in Naples, Nancy and I grabbed pizza and mozzarella to top off her final day in Italy, all for our showing of Burlesque in our Air BnB apartment. And yes, we picked up a bottle of aperol and prosecco on the way back!
On my way back to Sorrento the next day, I snagged the staple pastry of Naples: the sfogliatella. I believe I mention the history and such in last year’s Naples Cuisine Post – so go check that out for a good laugh!
Last time I took the train back from Naples, our train ended up breaking down in the middle of a mountain tunnel for three hours, so I was sure to bring the necessary sustenance this time around!
And is your week in Southern Italy really complete without pizza? The middle shot was Gabby’s pizza from when we stopped at a restaurant in Capri during our private boat tour of the island (more of that HERE) with the entire mussels placed on top for the seafood pizza! If you think that pineapple shouldn’t go on pizza (and it shouldn’t, but we can get into that later), then perhaps you should stick to margarita pizzas while in Italy. The toppings can get interesting.
Then, of course, is one of my after dinner dinners with the girls consisting of mussels in this spectacular rich sauce from La Astoria (the Hotel’s Side Restaurant). They have some of the best dishes in Sorrento, and everyone knows it! – oh, they also served garlic-y pizza dough bites, and I was in love.
@ Gabby, thanks for making me pasta primavera!!
The middle shot is from the (arguably) Best Pizza in Sorrento location of Pizzeria da Franco. There are at least two locations of Franco’s, and their pizzas and calzones are unrivaled from what I’ve tasted so far! You can also get them to-go after 12:30pm.
The last in this set is sort of like a pasta frittata, made by nonna on her last night making me dinner! She left moments after this for Calabria!
Finally, there were two major festivals while I was here! They celebrated firstly Santa Carmine and then more recently Sant’Anna. Street Vendors set up shop during the day, and at night after the procession has finished, sell all sorts of sweets and carnival food. Games are set up in a traditional carnival style and local artists sell their wares to passers-by.
The next stop for me is Naples in one week, followed by a few nights in Ischia, and then nearly a week in Procida! Be sure to sign up for email updates so that you don’t miss out on any snackable posts and gorgeous sights from Southern Italy!