Queen Giovanna baths

bagni-regina-giovanna (1)For those who love archaeological and naturalistic trekking and for those who feel the deep charm of pristine landscape, a magical place that made youlose your head even if you’re a queen.
A route suitable for everyone, a smooth path that offers, in exchange for a short walk, an exciting experience in one of the most attractive views of the Sorrento Peninsula.
The legend has it that a sensual Joan of Anjou, Queen of Naples, loved to swim in this small lagoon accompanied by her lovers. Although historically unlikely, the idea is so interesting that deeply catch the fancy of the people who linked forever to this bay the Queen Giovanna’s name.
By the Capo of Sorrento, through a walk of about ten minutes, you arrive on a limestone cliff and the eyes open on a breathtaking view across the Bay of Naples, Ischia and Procida. A staircase leads up to the small lagoon, one shallow-water mirror connected to the sea by a natural arch. The wild nature of Mediterranean scrub, with spurts from the rocks yellow broom, buy the eternal taste of history with the ruins of the Roman Villa of Pollio Felice lying on the cliff. The remains tell of great attraction that the coast had on the Roman aristocracy. Here they loved building of luxurious villas of leisure who had the dual function of summer residences and farms. The Sorrento wine was already renowned in antiquity.

Le Zeppole

Desserts are without doubt the main protagonist on the Christmas dinner table in the Sorrento coast, which remind us all the sweetness and kindness of mothers and grandmothers and bring back memories of joy and cheerfulness of when we were kids.

Every Italian region has its own Christmas pastry, and since everyone feels a stronger sense of belonging to their roots sometimes this distinction may surpass the regional level and characterize the single province or city. A common dessert in all the South of Italy and a must have in all the windows of pastry shops and bars are the Struffoli, crumbly fried balls of dough covered in honey and dragées, either in the sumptuous family-sized dome version or the irresistible single serving one to taste while on the street. Other desserts of the Neapolitan tradition include the Mustacciuoli, diamond shaped cakes covered in chocolate icing, the Susammielli, with their characteristic “S” shape and kneaded with honey and the Roccocò, extremely hard doughnut-shaped biscuits scented with citrus fruits. A typical dessert of the Sorrento peninsula are the Zeppole, fried ring-shaped dough with a scent of anise, flavoured with honey and decorated with dragées and orange peel. It is a “poor” dessert that has flour and water as basic ingredients. It is not difficult for those who want to try, even if the experience makes the difference. The same amounts of water and flour are used, no sugar because honey is used and a pinch of salt. The water must be brought to a boil and the flour is slowly poured and mixed until the dough separated from the pan. Then, on a slightly greased working bench, the dough is made into small sausages and then closed into a doughnut shape. At this point they need to be fried. For the dressing the honey needs to be heated with some anise and the orange peel and then poured onto the Zeppole. As a final touch, a sprinkle of “diavulilli”, small coloured dragées, which make everything even more appetizing!

The land of Mermaids.

Bravery, danger, shrewdness, desire, the culture of a civilization, the spirit of a land.

When Odysseus and his companions left the witch Circe they were warned about the seductive and melodious chant of the Mermaids, which already claimed the lives of many sailors who died by drowning and their ships foundered after hitting the rocks. But knowing the hero’s endless hunger for knowledge the witch is aware that he will not resist the urge and curiosity to listen this charming, yet mortal, music. So she suggests to cover the sailor’s ears with wax and to have himself firmly tied up to the ship’s mainmast to prevent him from jumping into the sea and reaching the source of the song. Once in Capri, Odysseus follows Circe’s advice to endure the excruciatingly beautiful voice of the horrific half-woman and half-bird creatures. After surviving the Mermaids, Odysseus thanks the gods by founding the temple dedicated to Athena on the promontory facing the island of Capri, which is now known as Punta Campanella, where the remains of the Athenaion are still visible and hosts a marine-protected area of great beauty and natural value. But the story doesn’t end here; as a matter of fact, there are a number of versions which tell how the legend ends. Among these there’s the tale of the Mermaid Partenope, who couldn’t bear being defeated by Odysseus and plummeted into the sea with her sisters. Her body will wash up on the shore of the city which has since then taken her name, Partenope, Naples.
For centuries, Mermaids have been dwelling in the imagination of men all over the world, and in time they also changed shape: from half-bird women to girls with a fish tail. Their appeal has though remained untarnished, trapped in the sea waters of the two facing coasts: The Sorrento one and the Vesuvius one.