Photo Credit: Donatella Arpaia
I hope everyone is enjoying their final days of summer. At the last minute, I decided to steal away a few days and spend the week in Italy. I've been visiting Naples (my father's place of birth), Puglia (my mother's birthplace) and of course the Amalfi Coast! I have had a pretty stressful year and I have been having trouble calming down, but the moment I stepped off the plane in Italy I could feel the weight lift off my shoulders. The trip has been so rejuvenating and inspiring!
One of my favorite experiences of this trip has been at Tenuta Monacelle (I think it's the most enchanting place in Italy). Formerly a monastery, it has now been converted into a gorgeous hotel. They even turned the famous I Trulli conical-shaped structures into rooms. The real surprise was at the hotel's restaurant, which features classical Apulian food that is unbelievable. On the night I had dinner there I was lucky enough to catch a show called Il Mercato where the townspeople dress in traditional garb and teach the restaurant guests how to make some of the distinctive regional foods like orecchiette and taralli. It was a magical night in a magical place.
I ordered the fantastic cavatelli served with an oven-roasted tomato sauce that was so sweet it was almost like candy. The dish was topped with grated Ricotta Forte (similar to Ricotta Salata, but more pungent and sharp)—I've died and gone to pasta heaven!