Saturday, August 31, 2013

Skies over the Bay of Naples

Sunset over the Bay of Naples, view from the terrace of my B&B in Ercolano
 Just a few words about my travels so far:

Rome was intense! Three days of basically non-stop activity, culminating in a loooong wedding feast in the Alban Hills. Today I arrived in Ercolano, and it's a much different scene here. I'm staying at a B&B on the slope leading to Mount Vesuvius, and there's an incredible view of the Bay of Naples from the terrace outside my door. I'm the only one using the guesthouse this weekend, so it's like having a large apartment to myself, complete with a full kitchen, a dining and living room area, and a huge terrace overlooking the owner's grapevines.

Tonight I witnessed the production of some 30 pizzas, as the owners of the B&B, Alessandra and Vincenzo, prepared a meal for me and a group of five families, with eight children among them. Earlier in the afternoon, I saw several women in the kitchen, preparing the pizza dough in small spheres and letting them rise. The father and son duo got the fire started in the outdoor oven, and as the pizzas were prepared, the son slid them into the waiting oven to bake.

Into the oven they go!
3 minutes for a simple margherita pizza, with slices of mozzarella, a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes, and a few leaves of basil. Add a sprinkling of homemade olive oil, and the pizza is ready to fire. It's not the pizza that Americans tend to eat, heavy with sauce, cheese and meat. But this is the pizza I enjoy: simple and incredibly tasty. YUM!

La pizza margherita
Before coming to Ercolano, I had to change trains in Naples, and decided to take the time to leave the train station so I could buy some sfogliatelle....the many layered pastry that Naples is famous for. I bought two kinds: one that has a limoncello filling, and another with a pear and ricotta filling. I've saved them all day for dessert, but now I'm too full to eat them! A domani!

Sfogliatelle Napolitane
There was also an incredible feast at the wedding last night, but I managed to eat lightly, even though there were many courses and the food was delectable. Tonight, the B&B owners prepared two kinds of pizza for me, and I felt as if I couldn't refuse....but it was too much!

Dinner under the pergola
It's 11 pm and the families are still going strong, under the pergola of grapevines. But it's time for me to hit the hay. Tomorrow I'll spend the day visiting ruins in Ercolano and Pompeii....hopefully I can walk some of the pasta off. Let's hope so! And sometime soon, I'll post stories about my time in Rome.

1 comment:

dawnmarie said...

I can just imagine eating one of those Sfolia RIGHT NOW.