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Dec 21, 2007 06:59 AM

Naples and surroundings (Amalfi coast etc)?

I would be most grateful for recs in Naples, and in the surrounding areas (we'll do day trips) in the Amalfi Coast (Sorrento, Capri, etc).

What we care about? Absolutely great food (ambience, service, etc irrelevant). We are a party of 4, and one of us is Italian (from Milan though).

Thanks many.

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  1. I've not been to Naples, but have stayed in Sorrento and taken a day trip to Capri. My recommendations in Sorrento are Caruso (best in town) and Antica Trattoria (very good). Also had a delicious lunch in Marina Grande in Sorrento, I can't remember the name of the restaurant but it was on a pier jutting out into the bay. On Capri, we had a really nice lunch at La Cappanina. A few miles from Sorrento is Don Alfonso in Sant Agata sui due Golfi. I think it has 3 Michelin stars. Had quite a nice lunch there. One of the best dishes was a rack of baby goat.

    13 Replies
    1. re: rrems

      Thanks many for the useful recommendations. I will report back in early January, after our trip.

      1. re: D Hound

        Before deciding to spend serious eating time in Sorrento, make sure the restaurants you want to visit are open. Many close for the season. (We found Sorrento to be a restaurant desert in March; I don't think this applies to the other side of the Amalfi peninsula.)

      2. re: rrems

        I can second L'Antica Trattoria in Sorrento. I had their set vegetarian menu and it was fantastic. Also, they're total sweethearts. Cute little old men. I'm trying to remember when I was there, and I think it was mid-April 2006. It might have been mid-March. It was the Easter weekend. Everything was open, regardless.

        I found Amalfi to be a bit of a culinary wasteland, and actually several of the restaurants recommended to me were still closed for the off-season by that time (a few days after the Easter weekend). I didn't eat well there, but then as I made my way further south to Paestum the food picked up again, with everything buffalo mozzarella and artichokes! Mmmm... you can't have a bad meal in that area. Just walk up to a farm and buy a huge chunk of buffalo mozzarella...

        1. re: Jetgirly

          We didnt eat in Amalfi proper, but its a short walk to Atrani and A Paranza which is excellent, was open last March. There is at least one Slowfood place in Amalfi that was open in march too, Cantina S. Nicola. We did not fall in love with Amalfi, an awful lot of tourists clogging the center of the town, but there are plenty of open places in adjoining towns if you are using it as a touring base. Ditto jetgirly on the charms of Paestum - we liked our single meal, at Antici Sapore, very much.

          There is a lot of info in a thread last year around my trip including a link to this wonderful website with many restaurant reviews in Campania. Campanian food is wonderful.


          1. re: jen kalb

            We did Amalfi as a day trip from Sorrento in October, and had a very nice meal at Trattoria da Meme, which is off on a little side street from the main drag.

            We stayed in Sorrento, and didn't have good luck finding good, non-touristy places there (at one place on the main piazza where we ordered pizza the waiter tried hard to talk us out of the one we ordered because it didn't have cheese and we wouldn't like it). I wish I had seen these recommendations for Sorrento before our trip!

          2. re: Jetgirly

            I can third L'Antica Trattoria in Sorrento, it was great. If you go to Positano try Da Adolfo. You have to take a small boat to get there (look for the one with the big red fish on it) but once you are there you are in a secluded cove and the place has great food and casual atmosphere. In Naples the big pizza place to try is Da Michele, but I liked Trianon across the street better.

          3. re: rrems

            We're going to Capri for a wedding at the beginning of July and I remember your mentioning on the Manhattan board that the best place you had bottarga was in Sorrento - was it at one of the places you mention above? We're trying to figure out our travel plans right now in terms of getting to Capri etc., and only all too aware of the fact that it is high tourist season and is, I gather, likely to be very warm (neither pleasant things in my book).

            Anyway - would love to know which place in Sorrento had the bottarga, in case we make it there before going to Capri. Re: Capri - looks like we are staying at the Caesar Augustus - has anyone eaten there? Several people in addition to rrems have mentioned how wonderful La Cappanina is - I'm wondering about the ambiance? My husband tends to be put off by pink table cloths - unless the food is worth it.

            Thanks so much.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Best restaurant on the island is da Gelsomina in Anacapri; It's a hike to the right end of the island but oh so worth it if you want the best ravioli in Italy...melts in your mouth. Also great rabbit. Continue a short walk past da Gelsomina for exquisite views. Don't miss this hidden gem!
              Also like Buca di Bacco de Serafina in Capri, reservations a must, try to snare the one table with a window.
              La Capannina, Via Le Botteghe 14, Antonio De Angelis, owner, is good, reserve the garden room.
              La Canzone del Mare in the Marina Piccola for lunch is wonderful, 12-4,no Wed.
              BUT, don't miss Da Gelsomina!!!! It's my husband's request for his last meal on earth!

              1. re: RomeAddict

                I think our hotel is in Anacapri - so thanks for that recommendation - and the other ones as well. We'll only be there 2-3 days - and a party one night and the wedding the next night - so we'll have to plan our eating carefully. Flying into Rome, and then hope to figure out taking the train to Naples (maybe on to Sorrentino ...), and then the ferry to Capri. Sadly only one afternoon/evening in Rome on the way back before we fly back to the States - haven't done any searching on that yet, but will.

              2. re: MMRuth

                Hi MMRuth,

                Caruso is where I had the bottarga. This is the one restaurant not to be missed in Sorrento. La Cappanina's decor was rather pink as I recall, not terribly offensive and to me the food is the important thing. If you are staying in Anacapri I am not sure how easy it is to get to Capri. It's a long walk and I don't know if there is any other mode of transportation other than foot. We did not get to Anacapri on our day trip, having spent a long time taking the full boat tour around the island and then having lunch.

                1. re: rrems

                  Thanks rrems! I agree about the food being most important as well! I know there are taxis one can take back and forth - 15-25 euros, I'm told "depending on how good one's Italian is". Guess I'll be paying 25!!

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    There are little buses that depart every 30 minutes I think connecting Capri to Anacapri. Be sure to ride the chairlift in Anacapri for breathtaking views.
                    You should check for really inexpensive flights from Rome to Venice since you'll be flying into Rome; probably $29-$39 & operated by Lufthansa.
                    Check your Eurostar trains on - plug anything in on the departure city & arrival city & enter, then it gives you the English tab at the top of the next page.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      Also go to for ferry schedules, restaurants, & just about anything you want to know about Capri.

              3. I had a wonderful meal at a restaurant called Buca di Baco in Capri. The best Zuppa di Pesce I've ever had. Scrumptious. They had wonderful vegetable preparations as well. I had good pizza at Pizzeria Vesi in Naples as well. Yummy and cheap. I didn't have a lot of luck in Amalfi either as some other people have said. Have a great trip!

                1. My fiance, his family and I vacationed in Positano 2 summers ago. On a day trip to Amalfi, we found this funny little restaurant in the old rectory of the huge church in the main square. I can't remember the name but oh it was good! There's a sign just outside. Facing the church, you enter on the left side, up some stairs to the 2nd floor. There is a great little stationery store on the ground level.

                  The place was filled with tons of paintings, including a pope in flames - a little odd, eh? But the food was just fantastic. Spaghetti with in a sauce if cherry tomatoes, basil and fresh ricotta. Perfectly cooked fish with just enough lemon and salt and pepper. Insalata mista on the side. So simple but the ingredients were fresh fresh fresh.