My very first outing in Italy was to a vineyard in Benevento, which means “good wind.” We saw gorgeous views, watched a machine crush a batch of grapes, and drank the liquid fruit. After viewing the winery and learning about the fermentation process, we entered the bottom floor for a tasting and several courses of scrumptious pizza, baked chicken, lasagna, olive oil drenched peppers, and delicious bread. We washed it down with whole grapes straight from the vine.
You haven’t seen Southern Italy if you haven’t seen the Almafi Coast. Stretching from Salerno in the southernmost parts and extending upward, this resort district includes other great villages such as the posh Sorrento and Positano. The houses are built upwards into the mountains that extend right down to the ocean. There are only a few beaches to lounge on, but you may see people sunbathing on rooftops or on concrete areas seemingly built just for this.
The bus we rode on performed navigational miracles, curling itself along narrow roads and sometimes coming so close to other cars a finger could not have squeezed between the two. Flowers gracefully draped over walls and houses, and the sun sparkled on the sea below us.
We stopped for lunch in the city of Amalfi where we ate at a cute little joint where the service was great and the food was tasty. I ate fried fish, calamari, and shrimp, and my friends had some tasty pasta dishes. The only downside was the insect that pursued us menacingly from a corner of the room, even after we switched tables!
Outside we shopped a little before heading back to Naples.