Tag Archives: italy

Beth Eats Italy Part VI: A Little Taste of Positano


Positano, Italy was one of the most romantic places I’d ever been, so its a shame that my boyfriend Joe wasn’t there with me. After spending a few days exploring it’s narrow, hilly streets, soaking in the sun and of course eating my way around town on my own, I can safely say that he and I will plan to be there together sometime soon. As I write this months later, I can still close my eyes and feel the breeze on my skin and recall the scent of the sea air mixed with the slightest hint of lemon. I can’t wait for that day to come.

I was in Positano with a group of travel agents and we were primarily there to check out hotels. There are several stand outs like La Sirenuse and Hotel Palazzo Murat that are located right in town and have a lot to offer a variety of tastes. But one that really differentiates itself from the others is Il San Pietro Di Positano. It is truly something special because it’s the only property that is a full service resort with its own private beach, sun-deck, yacht, tennis court and spa. It sits high on a cliff with a vast terrace overlooking the sea, lush gardens where they grow everything they use in their restaurants, and quiet walking paths. It is seriously idyllic and perfect for a honeymoon, destination wedding or romantic getaway.

We had the good fortune to spend two nights at the Il San Pietro and to enjoy all that it had to offer. I took the photo above from an upper level path looking down upon the beach. An elevator built into the cliff takes you to and from the sun bathing deck, dock and beach straight into the lobby and throughout the hotel’s floors. It is outside of town, so offers privacy and a peacefulness you won’t find anywhere else in Positano (with 24 hour Mercedes-Benz shuttle service to and from).

There are two restaurants at Il San Pietro that are very different from one another; the casual Carlino where you can dine al fresco overlooking the beach and where they hold intimate cooking classes in their fabulous, state-of-the-art kitchen. And their formal dining, one Michelin star restaurant called Il San Pietro is extremely romantic with floor to ceiling windows and an outdoor space that shows off their beautiful views.

My favorite meals at the San Pietro were at Carlino’s where we enjoyed ‘light’ lunches that included marinated anchovies (my time in Italy converted me into a fan!), grilled eggplant (aubergine here) and zucchini, tomato and hand-made mozzarella cheese along with one of my favorite dishes of all time, steamed mussels and clams in white wine broth with garlic and crusty bread. The anchovies were an eye opener and the more time I spent in Italy, the more I realized how wrong I’ve been about these tiny little, misunderstood sea creatures. That’s me with the hairband in the back with my colleagues enjoying Carlino in the picture above.

Dinner at Il San Pietro was lovely too. Suffice it to say, the chef does wonders with a chicken breast (those are black truffles sitting on the chicken below!), potatoes (those perfectly round things pictured below) and spinach (with giant capers, garlic and olive oil). Believe it or not, this was my attempt at a light dinner!

The service at Il San Pietro in both the restaurants and the hotel is personal and impeccable. And the accommodations are very traditionally italian right down to the beautifully tiled floors. Each room is completely unique unto itself, and all have terraces with unforgettable views.

I loved my time at the Il San Pietro for many reasons and sincerely thank their gracious owners, the Cinque family, for creating such an amazingly perfect home away from home for all of their guests.

Saying arrivederci to Positano made me sad, but my next stop was Rome, where I got to fulfill another lifelong dream!

I had so much fun eating my way through the Amalfi Coast, but only skimmed the surface of all of the wonderful places to see, stay and eat so I can’t wait to return! Italy is proving to be an endless adventure in all things romantic & culinary and it’s reputation for fantastic hospitality and kindness is absolutely spot on.

Onto “The City of Fountains”!

Ciao for now!

Beth Friedman
Your Journey By Beth

If you’re interested in traveling to Positano or the Amalfi Coast (or anywhere else for that matter!), it’s my job make it happen for you! I can be reached at:




Filed under destination wedding, food, honeymoon, Italy, Romantic, travel

A Carb-Fest To Remember on the Amalfi Coast!

In the ancient town of Ravello, Italy I had one of the most mind-blowing carb-fests of my life. This culinary windfall happened at the Belvedere Restaurant at the Orient Express Hotel Caruso, and was served by their talented and friendly chef, Joe Pantalones (yes, Pantalones, as in Pants!).

The Caruso sits on the cliffs above the Amalfi Coast with sweeping views that are as one would expect: beautiful, restful and romantic. And the hotel itself is a former 11th century palace that is very, very italian, with beautiful, cozy and elegant rooms and suites that emulate it’s historic character.

After a tour the rooms and grounds that include their world famous infinity pool and Belvedere gardens it was time to eat!

Lunch began with a salad bar….actually, an antipasti bar! I’m not usually fond of salad bars but this one was special with (among other things) hand made buffalo mozzarella, seafood and octopus salads, artichoke salads, grilled zucchini with mint, arugula with a citrus vinaigrette, white bean salad and crispy pizza ‘bread’ baked in their outdoor pizza oven. It was a tad bit different from your basic Souplantation or Beefsteak Charlies (remember Beefsteak Charlies????). Everything looked so beautiful in the self-serve display that we filled our plates. The look of horror on our host’s face (the dapper GM of the hotel) was priceless when he reminded his American lunch guests that there was more food to come!

Now for the main event: the pasta! Not just one pasta course. TWO pasta courses and when Chef Pantalones came out to describe first, I have to admit that I was very skeptical. We were going to be served spaghetti with anchovy juice (called colutura), parsley, lemon rind, olive oil and hot chili flakes. Now is it me? Or does “anchovy juice” sound beyond unappealing? Well letmetellyou that at the risk of sounding like a broken record, this was one of the best dishes I had ever had. The spaghetti was perfectly al dente and the flavors were salty, but fresh and bright! The lemon and fruity olive oil along with the colutura were just beautiful and completely new to me. This plate of pasta is the perfect symbol for one of the reasons why I am so passionate about travel. You get to expand your life’s palette, and obviously not just with food.

Pasta #2 was calamarrata pasta (looks like calamari) with shrimp, porcini mushrooms, cherry tomato with chili oil and all I can say is ohmygod. It was spicy and earthy with such a fantastic texture! Simple and brilliant!

After cleaning both plates (what I like to call ‘happy plates’) and well on my way into a food coma, the meal was capped off with home-made pizza that was charred and crispy with olives, capers and oregano. Delicious!

I passed on desert, but accepted a glass of limoncello because I just can’t say no! Plus, it’s a digestif, so doesn’t that mean it will help me digest? I hope so.

Ravello is just a short 11 kilometers to Positano where we were staying for a couple of days, and the drive is largely up (or down) a steep and narrow road and along the famed Amalphi Coast Road. It’s a good thing that I wasn’t driving, because I was in need of a serious powernap to prepare for the dinner I was anticipating at the Hotel Il San Pietro di Positano.

I am tempted to keep writing and to take you to Positano now, but after re-living this memorable meal, I’m feeling a little bit the same way as I did that day – like taking a nap – so I’ll save it for next time…….

Ciao for now and Vacanze Felici! (Happy Holidays)!

If you’d like more information about the Hotel Caruso or about traveling throughout the Amalphi Coast (or anywhere else!!), let me know!

Beth Friedman
Your Journey By Beth


Filed under food, Italy, travel, Uncategorized

Beth Eats Italy Part IV: The “PLACE” and the “PALACE”

If you have been following my Italian Adventure from the beginning, than welcome back to Capri! If this is your first time joining in, it is my third post about this small, but amazing island. I wouldn’t have imagined that the two short days I spent there would garner three separate blogs (and I could go on!) but that, in and of itself says something about why you should visit! If you’re getting married anytime soon, Capri and the Amalphi coast is a fantastic honeymoon destination too. I can’t think of a more seductive getaway!

If you are looking for THE best and most romantic in terms of accommodations and service there are several choices here. On this day, we visited another wonderful property called JK Place for a tour and lunch. Their charming GM showed us around this intimate hotel as though it were his home. In fact at JK Place you have the distinct feeling of being in someone’s house the moment you walk through the front door. I loved it!

Each of the 22 rooms are beautifully appointed, cozy and not pretentious, the bathrooms are to die for and very spa-like. The spa itself is lovely and opens up to the pool which is tremendous, especially considering how few guests there are at any given time. And the pièce de résistance of the day was the food at JKitchen.

After the tour we gathered in their small bar for a cocktail and some finger food. I had a Campari and OJ (it only seemed appropriate!) with mini tuna tartar tossed in basil, lemon and olive oil, mini calzones and savory zeppoli, which were salty and chewy and delicious! In anticipation of another multi-course lunch, I was forced to limit myself to one of each!

In a dining room that was reminiscent of sitting in one’s residence, we were treated to a great lunch that included pancetta wrapped white fish over a puree of rosemary potatoes (an amuse-bouche) and smoked mozzarella draped over eggplant ‘tartar” as a starter.

For the pasta course, it was hand-made fussilli with butter, garlic, parsley, shrimp, clams and mussels. The whole meal was delicious, but the star was this pasta dish. I’m typically not a huge fan of seafood with pasta (except for perfectly done linguine vongole, which in my experience is hard to find), but THIS had me doing that thing you do when your eyes close and you audibly sigh with the first bite. The shrimp was beyond sweet, and was a pink that I had never seen before. It truly was perfection on a plate.

Dessert was an array of several dreamy pastry, but to be honest, I was so full at this point, I lost the will to document it! Suffice it to say – it was all beautiful.

Back at the Capri Tiberio Palace Hotel (see Part II: Ah, Capri, for more on what was my “home” in Capri if you missed it!), with another very full stomach, I had some much-needed time to come out of my food coma, answer some emails and oh yes, head over to the Blu Mediterrean spa for another fantastic massage.

I was quickly learning on this trip that pacing myself was very important because every meal was (and would be) a marathon of very special and seductive food. That night, cocktails were planned at the famed Caesar Augustus Hotel (another wonderful hotel option in Capri), to be followed by dinner at the 2 Michelin star L’Olivio at the Capri Palace Hotel, which is another 5 diamond deluxe property.

When we arrived at the Capri Palace up in AnaCapri, we were taken to see several of their wonderfully clever accommodations including the Paltrow Suite (for Gwyneth) and the Margritte (as in René) Suite. Each have unusual private pools that reflect their namesakes and the rooms themselves were equally sexy and unique:

There are several incredible “Art” and “Star” suites to choose from along with room types that are not themed per se, but still honor this hotels dedication to beauty, comfort, style and of course, service. In fact, throughout the entire hotel, you can’t help but notice a clear appreciation for the arts and creativity.

Upon entering L’Olivio, it was clear that this feeling extended into the food! The vibe at this fine dining restaurant is incredibly comfortable given it’s luxe interior. Our party of 8 was very cozy at a huge square table which boasted cushy couches on three sides with separate armchairs on one. We were immediately served flutes of Ca ‘del Bosco Spumanti and sipped them while scanning the menu. The decision-making process was painful because there were so many unique and delicious sounding choices. After much deliberation, here’s what I had for dinner:

The duo of amuses were anchovies with ricotta (I discovered that I love anchovies after all!!), eggplant & chicory salad with bacon and a bruschetta with salt cod. Please trust me when I tell you that my descriptions hardly do justice to the reality. The bread sticks weren’t just any bread sticks and they were served with buffalo cream instead of butter or olive oil. It was all crazy good!

My first course, called the Seafood Mosaic, was one of the most imaginative and delicious plates that has ever been placed in front of me. It is exactly what it sounds like; a mosaic of 9 single bites, each a raw item where one was more mouth-watering than the next.

My pasta was spaghetti with sea urchin and white tomato juice. Anybody who knows me, knows that sea urchin is an all-time favorite, and this plate practically made me swoon.

I made sure to keep room for the main course, which was a braised veal leg scented with spices with citrus fruits and assorted veggies. All I can think of to say is “Ah”.

As a gift, I was given the most enormous cookbook I’ve ever seen called “Oliver Glowig Arte e Gusto a Capri”, which has recipes and photos of the dishes they serve at L’Olivio. It’s written in Italian of course, but even if it was in English, to replicate what their chef’s do at home in my kitchen would be a challenge to say the least. This book (all 10ish pounds of it) is a prized souvenir that I will always cherish. It wasn’t easy to it schlep all all over Italy – then home. But I’m so glad I did!

So four days into this trip and I’m guessing that I may have already gained 5 pounds! I would call that a good start! Tomorrow, we’re off to Positano and while I’m sad to say arrivederci to Capri I can’t wait!

If you’re interested in hearing more about Capri (or anywhere else for that matter) let me know! It’s my job to send people off on great adventures!

Ciao for now!


If you missed Parts I-III of Beth Eats Italy, here are the links:
Naples: https://yourjourneybybeth.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/beth-eats-italy-part-1-naples-2/
Ah, Capri: https://yourjourneybybeth.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/beth-eats-italy-part-ii-ah-capri/
More Capri: https://yourjourneybybeth.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/beth-eats-italy-part-iii-more-on-capri/

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Beth Eats Italy Part III: More on Capri…..

I’m going to take a little break. In this post, there will be no food. No wine. No hotels or resorts. There will be no raving about the decor, artwork or hospitality of any particular place. Instead, I’m going attempt to express to you in words (and some very amateurish photos) the absolute wonder and beauty of Capri not from what’s happening ON the island, but from the perspective of the sea!

Keep in mind that my time in Italy this year was in October, so it wasn’t exactly beach weather. We experienced tons of sunshine mixed with a few showers with mild temperatures of about 65 degrees. It was cooler on some occasions and warmer on others. For me, it was perfect. But it didn’t give any of us the chance to swim in the Tyrrhenian Sea or truly explore the grottos and caves that dot the perimeter of island.

Even without the benefit of dipping my toes (or the rest of myself for that matter) into the sea, the time I spent on the water was without question a true highlight. The colors alone were enough to mesmerize me.

I had the pleasure of seeing the coast of Capri on the Joey II, a small yacht owned by Il San Pietro Hotel for the ride to Positano. Whenever you travel from point A to point B in this part of the world, I highly recommend going by boat if you can. It basically kills two birds with one stone by getting you where you need to go while touring at the same time. On this trip our captain took us around the island to see the world famous Rocks of Faraglioni close up, along with the grottos/caves and cliffs that make up the distinct landscape of Capri.

One of Capri’s best known attractions is the Blue Grotto, which is entered through a tiny little opening of about 2 meters by two meters cut into the rocks of the island. You will need to be aboard a small rowboat for no more than three people and you must lay down flat on the boat to pass through the narrow mouth of the cave. The entrance isn’t accessible at all times, so don’t go without a guide. I did not have the chance to explore the cave except for seeing it’s entrance, but on my next trip I will most definitely make it a point to go because I’m told that it is unbelievable to see the intense colors, the light playing off the dark caves and the silvery way objects appear in the water. There’s also the White Grotto and the Emerald Grotto that I don’t want to miss!

Throughout the trip, I took some terrible photos that do no justice to what I was experiencing. But here are a few to give you an idea since I don’t have the writing skills to truly describe it:

The last photo I’ll share is of me. It’s the last photo ever taken wearing my favorite Jackie-O sunglasses. A few moments after it was snapped, I placed the glasses on top my head to see up into the caves more clearly. While I was gawking upwards, they slipped off and into the sea. At first I was a little upset because I really liked those glasses. But then I was glad because now there will always be a little part of me in the water surrounding Capri.

Ciao for now,

If you missed Beth Eats Italy Parts I and II, here are the links:



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Beth Eats Italy Part II: Ah, Capri

I have to confess that when I stepped off of the hydrofoil from Naples and arrived in Capri, it was a moment of pure happiness. I had always wanted to see this part of the world, so it was the realization of a dream. It’s not everyday that you get to be somewhere that you’ve always wanted to go. And it was a pretty fantastic feeling even though I hadn’t gotten past the marina yet. It’s times like this that reinforce my feeling that travel truly is one of life’s great pleasures, and is awfully good for the soul. That’s me in the middle below!

At the marina, we were greeted by a representative from the Capri Tiberio Palace, the hotel where we would be staying for this leg of the trip. Our bags were counted, collected and taken up to the hotel for us, then safely planted in our rooms. When you travel to Capri, this is a really nice touch because otherwise you have to drag your luggage with you to your hotel – which entails some walking, a trip up the “funicular” (think cross between train and skiing gondola heading upwards) and more walking. Capri is primarily a pedestrian island and while there are taxis, their reach throughout the island is limited to specific areas. Already the Tiberio Palace was proving to be a fantastic host. One could easily get very used to this 5 diamond deluxe lifestyle!

In my last post, part 1 of “Beth Eats Italy: Naples”, most of the food I enjoyed and shared with you was more like ‘home-cookin’ than anything else. In Capri, it would be fine dining all the way! Moving forward into this “Italian Adventure” was like living in some culinary parallel universe where everything placed in front of me was presented in the most creative way imaginable, using the finest, freshest ingredients and prepared by chefs at restaurants with incredible accolades. I believe that eating your way through another culture is the best way to understand it. And all of our meals in Capri were a testament to it’s glitzy, yet beachy vibe. That’s not to say that you can’t find a simple pizza, salad or pasta there, but we were destined for something else.

Upon arrival at the Capri Tiberio Palace, we were offered a champagne flute filled with a tart, but still perfectly sweet house made lemonade (lemons are a big deal in these parts!). I was escorted to my room, and settling in was so much fun because the suite was truly a wonderful mix of casual elegance with a beachy feel. It was extremely cozy with hard wood floors and white and blue ceramic details with a wonderful sitting area, huge windows, an incredible terrace and a mind blowing view. Everywhere I turned, there was a cool detail to take in.

Renovations of the entire property will take place over the winter so what is already fabulous will only be better come next season. I should also mention that the Blu Mediterraneo Spa by Acqua di Parma is sensational. I had one of the best massages of my life there.

That night, we were having dinner with our hosts from the hotel and it was such a fun, fine dining, italian feast! Cocktails were in the Jacky Bar, Tiberio’s funky lounge where we were treated to some fresh, light hors d’oeuvres of salmon and green apple carpaccio, beef and capers carpaccio and cherry tomoatos with smoked mozzarella (I’m finding that you are hard pressed to find a meal that doesn’t include mozzarella cheese here). It was such a nice way to start another large meal – all three were so refreshing and didn’t take much room up in the stomach!

After cocktails, we made our way down to their restaurant called Terrazza Tiberio. The service, the company and of course the food were memorable. Here’s the lowdown on what I ate (Foodies, hold on to your hats):
The amuse bouche was cous cous and eggplant over tomato cancasay w/anchovie. Next was eggplant flan w/buffalo riccotta, tomato and basil vinaigrette. This was to die for, so already I’m worried about my ability to consume everything I want to eat! Next came caprese ravioli. It was unlike any ravioli I had ever had before. Here, they were like cute little pillows of yumminess (yes. I said “yumminess”) vs. the square, flatter version we get at home. .
Hey, did you know that the caprese salad was born in Capri? And, so is ravioli! It was news to me!

My main course was a seabass en palette (steamed in a bag) with a side salad of bitter greens, lemon and the fruitiest olive oil I’ve ever had.This seemingly simple dinner was so incredibly good! The fish was flaky, citrusy and cooked perfectly, and the salad was fresh, light and the ideal side to the sea bass.

It’ll come as no surprise that I was full at this point, but I couldn’t resist dessert. Not one that looked like the picture below! It was white chocolate mouse with a licorice caramel ‘heart’ covered w/chocolate
sauce. ‘Nuf said.I’m going to reel myself in here and save some of my adventures in Capri for another time. What I’ve written about just scratches the surface of one day, one meal and one hotel! There are the famous grottos, cliffs, caves and of course the shopping! Capri is without question somewhere that you want to make sure is on your ‘bucket list’ so stay tuned to hear more about it!

For more information on any of the above, just ask! If you missed Beth Eats Italy Part 1: Naples: here it is!

Ciao for now!

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Filed under Italy