Susan Van Allen is taking the travel book industry by storm.
Her new book 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go full of beguiling tales and magical places as seen from a feminine perspective, add richness to any trip to Italy. The practical information combined with intriguing details are a must have for those who are hunting for the hidden gems d’Italia.
See for yourselves….
The following is an extract from her book on “Positano – Amalfi Coast :
Thanks to Pasitea an irresistible nymph who lured in Poseidon, the dreamy seaside village of Positano was discovered. It has six beaches to choose from. There’s the large, busy Spiaggia Grande, where you can watch handsome fisherman glide in and out. A short walk away is the quieter Fornillo beach, where you can enjoy drinks on the porch of Il Pupetto.
But for the feel of discovering your own private hideaway and a delicious lunch, head to Arienzo. It’s a small cove bordered with giant rocks, with views of fishing boats bobbing along the horizon, ferries headed for Capri and, in the distance, the Li Galli islands. Legend says these islands were once mermaids whom Ulysses turned to stone so they’d stop trying to seduce him off his course.
I’m not talking great sand. It’s volcanic and coarse with lots of black pebbles. But like almost everything you touch around here, Positano’s black pebbles have a story behind them. If you find one with a hole in it, it means the BVM passed through it, and it’s blessed. You’ll see many Positanesi wearing necklaces of these black pebbles.
The sand situation means you should bring along beach shoes and rent an umbrella and lounge chair. Then get totally comfy, lie back and get lulled by the lapping of the calm water.
Melody, an American who’s lived in Positano for years tipped me off that Ada’s gnocchi at Arienzo is famous in these parts. As you approach the beach you’ll see Ada, a fifty-some-thing-year-old signora with a radiant smile, bustling about in her walk-in-closet-sized kitchen.
The beach snack bar is set up on stilts, looking like something Thurston Howell III would have built on Gilligan’s Island, perched to take in the view with eight inviting tables. A blackboard lists the day’s specials, which along with Ada’s gnocchi may feature spaghetti with clams, Caprese salad, fish caught that morning and granita—flavored ices made from Positano lemons and whatever else is in season.
Around noon, locals start arriving on foot or pulling up on boats to enjoy Ada’s lunch. Her gnocchi is light and beautifully textured, served with a delicate tomato sauce. The house red is rich and lively. On a visit there one warm October day, for dessert Ada served me a plate of ripe figs picked from a nearby tree, and poured me a glass of home-made limoncello.
Even if you don’t find a pebble with a hole blown through it, at Arienzo Beach you’ll feel blessed.
Arienzo Beach: To get here you can catch a small boat from Spiaggia Grande or walk down a zigzag path of steps from the Arienzo bus stop.
•Golden Day: Arienzo Beach and Ada’s gnocchi for lunch. Stay at Maliosa di Arienzo (www.lamaliosa.it), a B&B nearby, with your private sea view terrace. Arrange for complimentary car service to Mediterraneo ristorante (www.ristorantimediterraneo.com) for a dinner of fantastic seafood and a Neapolitan guitar who strums classics.”
Celebrating my Second Blog Anniversary, I’m offering all of you an opportunity to win not only Susan Van Allen’s
100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go book
but am also drawing winners for another three travel titles
Travelers' Tales Italy- True Stories of Life on the Road
Travelers' Tales Tuscany- True Stories
30 Days in Italy- True Stories of Escape to the Good Life
All you need to do is leave a comment here (with your email address, if you are not a blogger), so that I can contact you if you win. This contest is open to everyone regardless of where you live.
I will be drawing the four winners on the 6th of June, so spread the word and get your friends to enter too!