First, some pictures you deserved yesterday, of Furore Beach…
Today, another day like yesterday…rode the scooter to Maori for gas, then up through the hills, through Tramonti and on to Ravello. Twice now we’ve been to Ravello and not seen the thing most people comer here for: Villa Cimbrone and the Terrace of Infinity. Now we have. There isn’t much to say in terms of history (short version, know one really knows much, it seems to have been built in the eleventh century, but not much is left, and an English Guy ‘found’ it in 1904, planted some English Gardens and boom, you have a tourist attraction. I’m sure the goat herders around here knew it was there…) but the view is breathtaking.
After an uninspiring pizza in Ravello we returned to Atrani to swim and lounge and have some wine (what else would I do?). And we did make it back to Il Pino for dinner.
We left around 8:15 last night, hoping we would be able to get in without a reservation but planning to make one for tomorrow night if all else failed. The restaurant only have 17 tables; we hoped monday would be a less busy evening. We were right, and in the end only one table remained unseated and only one table turned over the whole night (totally normal to have one seating per table in many restaurants). If you want to sit on the railing you would need to call ahead, but we were only about 15 feet from the railing and with only 34 patrons it was not difficult to enjoy the view.
First Course: Stuffed Zucchini Flowers (again) and Tuna Tartar with Mozzarella and Tomato—Zucchini Flowers were just as they were yesterday (uh, awesome!) and the tuna was tender and plentiful, tomatoes fresh and you know how I feel about the mozzarella.
Second Course: Lemon, Zucchini, and Shrimp Risotto—clearly made to order (unlike many restaurants that premake it and serve sticky/globby risotto), as it took longer than other dishes, and very probably the best risotto we’ve ever had. Later, we were glad we shared this, rather than having two pastas.
Third Course: King Prawns and Scampi with Grilled Vegetables, and Grilled Tuna with Mixed Seafood (including King Prawn, Cuttle Fish, and ‘local’ fish)–lots of heads on these plates, and some work to get the meat from the prawns and scampi but totally worth it. The grilled veggies were something of and after thought.
Dessert: Rum Soaked Sponge Cake with Balsamic Strawberries—the owner stopped by and went through the list and recommended this. Three amazing little pieces of cake later we were stuffed (but of course we didn’t turn down the lemoncello!).
If I had to pick between Da Gemma and Il Pino, Il Pino would win all day. The prices were similar (150 ish with wine and multiple course, although at Il Pino we ordered dessert and two additional glasses of wine). The service at Da Gemma is excellent but very formal, while the service at Il Pino is also excellent, it is also only a little less formal and for us, more enjoyable (the waitress was friendly and chatty, the owner circulated among tables…). The view wins hands down at Il Pino.
Important things I learned today:
Don’t touch the scooter muffler with your leg when trying to put on lipstick using the scooter mirror.
Good cocktails can be had in Praiano, even if you are with someone who tries to stump the bartender by ordering an Old Fashioned.
Skeletor has a brother, his name is Dietor–he’s probably thinner…