It’s worth making time for the Amalfi Coast’s less-visited back country at least once during a visit to the area. Positano feels like a metropolis in comparison with some of these lofty, leafy rural settlements – places like Nocelle, Furore or Tramonti. Every local has their go-to trattoria up in the hills. From east to west along the peninsula, we’re listing three of our own favourites.
There are a couple of very fine gourmet restaurants in the coastal hinterland too, like the legend that is Don Alfonso 1890, but we’ll be covering them in an upcoming Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Fine Dining chapter of the Le Sirenuse Guide.
Cucina Antichi Sapori, Tramonti
Reached via a winding road that heads inland from Maiori, Tramonti is not a single village but a scatter of settlements draped over a couple of broad upland valleys. It’s a place of chestnut groves, ancient vines and small farms, with a cool, near-Alpine climate. This family-run trattoria in the frazione (hamlet) of Campinola is a distillation of Amalfi back country virtues – especially since a move in summer 2019 that swapped its original roadside location for a rural setting surrounded by vineyards and kitchen gardens. Ably assisted by his wife Antonietta, chef Giuseppe Francese keeps things fresh, local and seasonal, with most dishes based on home-grown vegetables and meat, salami, grains and cheeses from artisanal suppliers in the area – the only exception being the fish and seafood that has to travel all of five miles from the coast. Highlights include the ‘Delizie dell’orto’ starter of savoury tartlets, cold cuts and cheeses, pretty much any of the pasta dishes, and the ‘Melanzane al cioccolato’ dessert (eggplant and chocolate? You better believe it…). The wine list showcases small regional producers. Closed Tuesday except in July and August.
Via San Sebastiano 14a, località Campinola, 84010 Tramonti (SA)
Tel +39 089 876 491 or +39 347 594 3389
Hostaria di Bacco, Furore
Furore (Italian for ‘fury’) is famous for its Marina, a tiny, steep-sided, crazily picturesque harbour that has launched many an Instagram post. But the main village of Furore is several miles away by road – or a thousand feet up an ancient stepped footpath. It’s a quiet place, perched high above the coast on a switchback road with giddy views, its spread-out houses surrounded by a terraced gardens. Located near the top of the village and owned and run by the Ferraioli family ever since its foundation in 1930, this trattoria with its panoramic terrace is a little piece of Amalfi Coast history. Seafood, meat and garden produce take equal billing in chef Erminia Cuomo’s elegantly presented dishes. If it’s your first time, the ‘Ferrazzuoli alla Nannarella’ are pretty much obligatory – short pasta twists served with smoked swordfish, tangy tomato sauce, pine nuts and a scatter of rocket leaves, a dish that was the favourite of actress Anna Magnani (nicknamed ‘Nannarella’) when she came to Furore in 1948 with director Roberto Rossellini, with whom she was having a passionate affair. Presiding culinary goddess Erminia is the sister of celebrated Furore winemaker Marisa Cuomo, whose wines (including prizewinning white Fiorduva) feature prominently on the extensive list. Closed Tuesday in winter.
Via G.B. Lama 9, 84010 Furore (SA)
Tel +39 089 830 360
Lo Stuzzichino, Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi
Straddling the ridge that separates the Sorrento side of the peninsula from the Amalfi Coast, Sant’Agata “on the two bays” is a bustling little town with a foodie vocation most obviously expressed in celebrated gourmet restaurant Don Alfonso 1890. Lo Stuzzichino, the De Gregorio family’s contemporary trattoria with its smart, Vietri-tiled open-to-view kitchen, represents another kind of excellence, the exaltation of solid local tradition in benchmark versions of classics like scialatielli pasta strands with seafood, sartù di riso (a Neapolitan rice, ham and tomato casserole) and grilled lamb chops with rosemary-roasted potatoes. But what really marks this must-visit address out from a host of imitators is the dedication it has put into sourcing its ingredients, which come almost exclusively from a range of small local artisanal food producers, among them Gragnano pasta firm Gerardo di Nola and red prawn fisherman Antonino Morvillo. Though viewless, the leafy outside terrace is a pleasant alternative to the smart, turquoise-and-white themed interior. And the revelatory wine list would be an asset even in far more upscale restaurant. Closed Wednesday except in July and August.
Via Deserto 1a, 80064 Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi (NA)
Tel +39 081 533 0010
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