Hiking to Punta Campanella

A corner of paradise suspended in history, a magical place of eternal beauty.
 
More and more lovers of trekking and nature walks do not give up on one of the most suggestive itineraries in the region, also suitable for beginners, which starts from Termini and offers the chance to try a more demanding route, which goes up to Monte San Costanzo. The reward is to admire breath-taking views, where the sky and the sea of the Mediterranean become one and you can breathe the ancestral charm of a mythical land that is still able to surprise those who venture for these paths with their eyes and heart open to beauty.

Only the sea separates the tip of the Sorrento Peninsula from the very close island of Capri, it almost feels as if you could touch it simply by extending your hand. It is the same sea crossed by Ulysses, the same sky crossed by the song of the Sirens, it is a small world crystallized in time, where it seems to echo the voice of the heroes and gods and we find the deepest and most authentic nature of man it is completed when you are immersed and surrounded by nature.

The very name of Punta Campanella refers to a historical event. The coast was vulnerable to Saracen raids, as proven by the presence of a watchtower dating back to the 14th century. A Saracen ship dropped a bell to the sea bottom taken from the church of Sant’Antonino. Since then, legend has it that every year on the 14th of February, the feast of the saint, the tolling of the bell resounds at the bottom of the sea.

The history of the site, however, is much older. The path of Punta Campanella was, in fact, a Roman road that led to the temple of Minerva, a former temple of Athena. Legend has it that it was erected by Ulysses to thank the goddess of having saved him from the song of the Sirens, inhabitants of the islands of Li Galli. Along the ridge of rock, at sea level, an ancient inscription in Oscan, a pre-Roman language, indicated to ships where to moor to offer libations to the goddess.

The lightest route takes about two hours, for a length of 4 km. The most challenging variant for Monte San Costanzo, on the other hand, leads to a height of 485 m above sea level. The route is dotted with indications painted on the rock by the CAI, the Italian Alpine Club.

The scent of Easter on the dish

At Bellevue Syrene, festivities are celebrated at the table as well. With a really special menu that combines tradition and creativity.

 

“Among the different Easter proposals, our guests can savour the Laticauda lamb of Benevento, accompanied by seasonal vegetables, as well as peas and potatoes”. Our first chef, Ivan Ruocco, recounts the festivity’s menu that he offers to the guests at Bellevue Syrene. “Quality, seasonality, and farm-to-table. These are the principles on which all of our philosophy is based upon. They are fundamental values for us, which are always maintained in our dishes”.

 

The Campania Felix, already celebrated by the ancients, is a region that offers exceptional products all year round. Here, following the rhythms of the earth and the sea means to rejoice every time with appealing and inviting flavours and aromas. Chef Ruocco continues to talk about his Easter cuisine.

“We start with the traditional appetizer, made of hard-boiled eggs, cured meats and the traditional Casatiello. This is a doughnut of seasoned bread that contains within it fresh whole eggs, which in our kitchens as children the little ones had the privilege and the surprise to discover”.

The first traditional dish of the Sorrento tradition, and not only, is the lasagna, rigorously made with hand-made fresh egg pasta by the chef.

“It is the king of the table, red, rich, sumptuous, made with the classic minced meat sauce, tomato, and then ricotta, mozzarella and béchamel to give it softness, all wrapped up in sheets of egg pasta”.

 
And finally, a vegetarian alternative to the classic lasagna.

“At Easter, we are in the period of artichokes: cleaned, cut into thin slices, and sautéed to give them flavour and crunchiness, they go to fill, together with béchamel our pasta sheets, to create a white lasagna with a delicate and surprising taste”. At Bellevue, any food requirement always finds a tasty and tempting answer.

 
The Neapolitan Easter dessert par excellence is the Pastiera, “but this is not just a dessert, it’s history, it’s art …”

Waiting for 2018

Gazing from the terrace of the Bellevue Syrene the firework show that lights up the gulf is an unforgettable memory. For a romantic New Year’s Eve.
 
In Sorrento the Christmas period is rich in events, but the days before New Year are the most lively when the excitement for the new year and the long night of New Year’s Eve fills the air with exuberant expectation.
Among the not-to-be-missed events on December 30th, at the Chiesa dell’Annunziata, at 7.00 pm, “Presentimento” with Peppe Servillo and the Solis String Quartet, a reinterpretation of the classic Neapolitan repertoire in an original and innovative way, but always in respect of tradition.
 
The last day of the year is entirely dedicated to leisure and entertainment. It begins in the morning, dedicated to children with puppet shows, starting at 10.30 am. At 11.30 the Teatro Tasso will host the End of Year Concert performed by S.C.S. Sorrento Sinfonietta International Symphony Orchestra.
 
At 6 pm the traditional Ciuccio di Fuoco, is a moment of polar folklore that witnesses the lighting of a colourful papier-mâché donkey, a farewell to the past year and a propitiatory rite for the coming one. The real event, however, is like every year the New Year’s Party in Piazza Tasso, from 11.00 pm to 02.00 am with a DJ set and animation, to toast, dance, and welcome 2018, hoping that it brings joy and positivity.
 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Bellevue Syrene!