Masters on display in Sorrento

IMG_20161203_175224 (1)The winter appointment is back once again with the Nativity scene art masters, in the exposition of Villa Fiorentino now in its seventh edition. Until January 8th 2016.
 
That of the crèche craftsmen is a true art form, who make spectacular sceneries and characters with extraordinary plasticity and expressiveness. If the marvel of the Presepe, in the classical tradition of the eighteenth century, has always amazed audiences, it is also true that the most passionate fans seek in the scenes the most significant and essential elements that make the true greatness of the Neapolitan Presepe: more secular than religious, representations of life, of society, of the tastes and fashions of the southern capital in its period of major development.
So the holy family is placed in front of the ruins of a pagan temple, a symbol of an archaeological passion which was then at its highest level after the discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The taste for oriental fashion is embodied by the Magi with their parade of musicians, with rich clothing styles and perfectly represented musical instruments.
And then the arts and crafts, the lives of everyday people, split between work and tavern, who are not ashamed to drink and have fun, unaware of the great miracle that is about to happen.
Only the purity and innocence of a young shepherd boy can open our hearts with ease the truth of the mystery that is being fulfilled: this is the role of one of the most famous characters of the Presepe, Benino, which on his way to the cave sleeps and dreams of Baby Jesus.

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

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!