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Between Rome airport & Sorrento where to stop for lunch?

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sandrarose Mar 17, 2007 06:53 PM

My husband and I arrive in Rome 11:30 am 4/28. We're picking up a car rental and heading to Sorrento. Want to stop on the way for lunch. Any town or restaurant recommendations off the Autostrada would be greatly appreciated. We'll have a navigation system to help us find places. Also staying in Sorrento for 6 nites, so Restaurants there would also be great.
Thanks,
sandrarose

  1. j
    Jeremy M Mar 22, 2007 10:16 PM

    Le Colline Ciociare in Acuto, just off the A1 (Exit Fiuggi/Anagni), used to be excellent.

    A bit farther south, exiting the A1 shortly after Teano, La Stella della Caveja in Pietravairano is terrific and very good value.

    My favorites in the Amalfi area are, in order along the coast, Lido Azzurro, La Caravella, and Da Gemma (Amalfi); A Paranza (Atrani); and Acqua Pazza (Cetara).

    11 Replies
    1. re: Jeremy M
      mbfant Mar 22, 2007 11:06 PM

      Le Colline Ciociare is still one of the best restaurants south of the Po. I didn't mention it just because I was thinking coast, but it's absolutely superb. Gemma was the trattoria in Amalfi whose name I couldn't recall.

      1. re: Jeremy M
        s
        sandrarose May 18, 2007 08:47 PM

        Jeremy- Le Colline Ciociare in Acuto was AMAZING! Our lunch was like an episode of Top Chef with every course described to us by our chef Adam MacKinley (from Toronto)who is the chef de cuisine at Il Settimo in Paris. The menu, the food presentation, the ambiance, and view rate this restaurant 5*****. Thank you so much for your suggestion. Another awesome food experience we had was at Don Alfonso 1890 is St Agata di Sue Golfi (30 minutes from Sorrento)

        1. re: sandrarose
          erica May 19, 2007 05:57 AM

          Sandra would you mind giving the approximate price of a dinner at don Alfonso? And any details about the meal...many thanks. How does one reach the restaurant without a car?

          1. re: erica
            Sid Cundiff May 19, 2007 01:34 PM

            I don't know about the price now, because I was last there 2002. To get there without a car, take a taxi from Sorrento.

            1. re: erica
              s
              sandrarose May 20, 2007 08:33 PM

              erica, the meal at don alfonso was brilliant -the food, wine, decor, ambiance and staff were all parts of this memorable dining experience. My husband had the tasting menu while I choose from the ala carte menu so we'd taste different foods.
              We also had wines from Compania for the different courses. The signature lobster appetizer was to die for! Ravioli melted in your mouth. I had pork ribs (no bones) that had 3 completely different flavors. He had a Mama couse of vegetables that was sooooo good and then rock fish. Sorbet, pre dessert, then dessert, and a cheese course, I'm sure I forgot a few courses. I sat facing the window into the kitchen so I got to watch the chefs in action too!
              This decadence does have a hefty price of approx. $350 euros but
              worth every penny and I would go back and stay overnight there it's so beautiful.
              We did get quoted a cab fare of $50 euros each way-After this 3 hour dining extravaganza we were invited into the main building to tour the wine and cheese cellars. My advice is if you can afford it- DON"T MISS IT!!!!!

              1. re: sandrarose
                erica May 21, 2007 12:59 PM

                Sandra it sounds wonderful. But it is the price of the taxis that would bug me...I would rather put the 100 towards food! We are planning to go to the area next spring; since it will likely be in April, maybe we will rent a car..I will make it my business to have dinner at Don Alfonso! I think they have rooms to rent, too. Thanks again.

                1. re: erica
                  s
                  sandrarose May 21, 2007 06:17 PM

                  We drove without a problem. I would contact Don Alfonso and see what transportation arrangements they may come up with. I hope your experience is as magical as ours!

            2. re: sandrarose
              j
              Jeremy M May 20, 2007 09:28 AM

              Sandra - I'm so glad that you liked it. I should also have mentioned that there is a bakery in Acuto that makes an amazing filone - perhaps the best loaf of bread I've had in Italy. Is the owner Salvatore Tassa still involved in the cooking?

              I'm also happy to hear you had a good experience at DA 1890. It has its detractors on this board (and their criticism of the decor is justified), but I have had wonderful meals there. I love their use of local ingredients, and I've always found the staff to be warm and welcoming. They have introduced me to some great Campania wines.

              1. re: Jeremy M
                s
                sandrarose May 20, 2007 08:40 PM

                Jeremy, Salvatore Tasso is still the chef. Next time we'll know to go to the bakery!
                DA 1890 (see above rave) was memorable and is in our top 5 favorite dining experiences!

                1. re: sandrarose
                  erica May 22, 2007 07:33 AM

                  Sandra thanks so much for posting all of this. It makes me even more excited about my own trip. Where are you staying in Sorrento if you don't mind my asking..I was thinking of splitting a visit between Sorrento and Amalfi next April..

                  1. re: erica
                    s
                    sandrarose May 22, 2007 06:24 PM

                    Erica, We stayed in Sorrento at the Grand Hotel Ambasciatori-part of the Manniello Hotel chain. It was really beautiful, we had a room with a balcony overlooking the Bay of Naples and Vesuveus. We were a 5 minute
                    walk from Piazza Tasso-(the center of town), from the train station and the ferries and they had parking for our car. Sorrento is much easier to walk as it's pretty flat. The towns along the Amalfi Coast are built into cliffs and are very vertically challenging and walking's difficult. Parking was also quite a hassle. The Antiche Mura Hotel was my 1st choice but was booked for the dates we needed.

          2. c
            Campania Mar 22, 2007 12:33 PM

            Benevento, San Giorgio del Sannio, Montefusco, Avellino, Solopaca, Sant'Agata dei Goti...etc. Let me know if any of these sound appealing and I can give you directions. Your navagation system won't help in the mountains where there are no signs or roads that seem to lead to somewhere? 6 nights in Sorrento may get old. Take the boat to Ischia (great fish and wine), Procida (off the beat), Capri (lots of history), Napoli (pizza, Da Michele)...try Paestum (ancient Greek ruins a little ways from Salerno)...they are spectacular. Drink Aglianico, Fiano di Avellino, Falanghina, Greco di Tufo, and Taurasi (if they have it!) All great wines from Campania. If you go to Salerno pick up some Mozzarella di Bufala from a cheese shop. The best Limoncello on the Amalfi coast is at a small shop in Positano. As you are on your way to the public beach right after the bustop, the walkway suddenly narrows. It is the gift shop on the right right after the walkway gets skinny.Yum! There's so much to do!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Campania
              o
              obob96 Mar 22, 2007 01:16 PM

              I agree 6 days in Sorrento might get old, unless it included full days out on the penisola sorrentina, or up into the hills near Tramonti above Amalfi, but I'd caution anyone who might think the journeys Campania has suggested (all wonderful) are quickly done--there's little relationship between crow's distance and time in Campania, give the hills and curves and sights..
              It took us--and I still don't know how or why--almost a full day from Santa Maria di Castellabate around the Cilento peninsula to Sapri on the southern side. Enjoy, but
              watch out for time.

              1. re: Campania
                s
                sandrarose Mar 24, 2007 05:59 PM

                Don't worry, we're sleeping 6 nights in Sorrento but the plan is to do a day trip every day.Pompeii, Capri, Naples, Amalfi, Positano and then explore Sorrento. We'll try and include your suggestions. More importantly, will the trip from the Rome airport be very mountainous? I not sure what terrain to expect. We won't mind getting off the Autostrada but I don't want to travel to far off course. I'm thinking a stop for lunch and possibly a stop at Pompeii if we're not too tired.
                We have been to Sicily and drove from Palermo to Catania along the sea coast and thru the mountains and are familiar with the switchbacks and hair raising turns, its the getting lost that really upsets me! Please advise...

              2. jen kalb Mar 19, 2007 07:06 PM

                you might want to check out the slowfood guide (online or paper), using a map. The A1 autostrada is probably the fastest route - in the Frosinone region of Lazio it looks like there is at least one town with a Slowfood recommended place near the road, Anagni, which looks like it might be a nice lunch stop. (the Michelin Green guide highlights this little town, (20,000 people) its medieval quarter and cathedral too

                Worth a look in www.slowfood.it. Click on Scelti per voi on the left menu column, then on the same term again at the top of the page that comes up. It will then give you a list of regions and provinces within them, to generate a list or restaurants and towns. Click on any of these and you will get full details without signing in.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jen kalb
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                  sandrarose Mar 20, 2007 08:15 PM

                  Thanks Jen! I'm off to slowfood...

                2. o
                  obob96 Mar 19, 2007 11:37 AM

                  The seaside town of Sperlonga is about an hour south of Fiumicino, taking the old via Appia state road through Latina. It's a lovely rest stop, and Gli Archii (in the okld town) and Il Bisaccio (on the beach) are recommended. Neraby are Terracina and Gaeta, all of them on the border with Campania.

                  1. mbfant Mar 18, 2007 07:49 AM

                    If you mean your plane is landing at 11.30 at FCO, by the time you get on the road, it will be lunchtime. I would go to the town of Fiumicino, to Pascucci al Porticciolo, but other people have other faves there. There's a big choice. With a little more time, I'd go to Pierino, in Anzio, a superb fish place in the town, not on the water (but close). There are plenty of places around Naples and the Bay, but it will be late by the time you get there.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: mbfant
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                      sandrarose Mar 19, 2007 06:16 PM

                      Thanks so much for the info, any Sorrento/ Amalfi coast restaurant favorites?

                      1. re: sandrarose
                        jen kalb Mar 19, 2007 06:53 PM

                        if you can wait for 2-3 weeks.....

                        1. re: jen kalb
                          s
                          sandrarose Mar 19, 2007 06:56 PM

                          we're not leaving til April 27th, so....if you come back and give me some good tips I'd be thrilled! Thanks!

                        2. re: sandrarose
                          mbfant Mar 20, 2007 08:36 AM

                          I've haven't eaten recently in Sorrento, but at the tip of the peninsula is Taverna del Capitano, which I love (better than the very good Quattro Passi just up the road). In Vico Equense, closer to Naples, is Torre del Saracino, which is a real heavy-hitter. And I also love Il Principe in Pompei. In Amalfi La Caravella is excellent, plus some trattorias in the SlowFood guide whose names escape me.

                          1. re: mbfant
                            jen kalb Mar 20, 2007 11:03 AM

                            Just curious, Ive been turning over where to lunch when we visit Pompeii this weekend - would you feel comfortable lunching at Il Principe wearing hiking boots?

                            We do appreciate your input on this Board!

                            1. re: jen kalb
                              mbfant Mar 20, 2007 03:15 PM

                              You can definitely go straight from marching around the site of Pompeii to lunch at Il Principe, casual as you like, even though it looks quite fancy. For my feet's sake, I would carry a pair of mocassins or something and slip into the ladies room to change my shoes. Il Principe has opened a wine bar in the piazza in front of the basilica, but I haven't been there.

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