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A little bit of Paradise on the Amalfi Coast

A little bit of Paradise on the Amalfi Coast

Charles Scicolone (June 19, 2009)
Charles Scicolone
Spaghetti with Clams, Zucchini, Olive Oil and Basile at Restaurant La Gavitella

Gavitella, a Restaurant worth every step



  How does one describe paradise or at least my idea of it?  Two years ago, Michele and I went to the Amalfi Coast and did not want to leave. We found the perfect town, Praiano, with the perfect view of the sea, the sky, Positano, and Capri.  Praiano is located between Positano and Amalfi and it is a 25 minute ride by bus to reach either of them. It is an ideal location for getting around the Amalfi Coast.


  We were concerned that it might not be as good as we remembered, but as soon as we walked out onto the large terrace of the house that we rented and looked at the trees, the flowers and the view, we knew it was just as we remembered it.  Our first order of business was to find a place to have lunch. Michele chose La Gavitella, her favorite restaurant. The walk down to the beach and restaurant is very scenic but it is over 400 steps. Going down is not too bad, but going up…!  


   We like to go on Sunday because both the beach and the restaurant are crowded and watching the people is always fun.  I started with sautéed shrimp with salt and pepper that were so good you could almost eat the shells, followed with spaghetti with clams, zucchini, olive oil and basil. The clams were small and tasty, the spaghetti “al dente” and the zucchini, the best I have ever tasted. The waiter brought a cart full of fresh fish and shell fish for us to choose from. The crabs were still moving and I picked the biggest one. The chef cooked it in a light tomato sauce and served it with paccheri, a large tubular pasta.  It was delicious.


Michele had a tender octopus and potato salad to start, followed by an unusual dish of linguine with bits of local fish, lots of lemon and hot pepper.  She thought it was great. We had a bottle of 2007 Falanghina from Cantine del Taburno that went very well with the food.


We began talking with a group of Italians at the next table and found out that they were from Positano.  They had wisely arrived by boat, avoiding the steps.  Alfonso said that La Gavitella was the best fish restaurant in the area. He and his friends came often and knew the names of the waiters and the chef. The chef is Tomasso and he had worked in New York City, we found out later. Alfonso kept pouring wine into our glasses and took pictures of all of us.  They were very informative, interesting and we were all having a good time. After dessert, Alfonso ordered Berta grappa chardonnay and poured me some.  We could have gone on all afternoon, so I declined when he offered again, but he insisted, and I had another, not wanting to offend him. We thanked all of them for a very enjoyable afternoon, ordered caffe, said Ciao and returned to the beach where I promptly fell asleep. Later, on the way up, the steps seemed steeper than usual.


Michele likes this restaurant so much that we returned there three more times and the food was always special. Restaurant Gavitella will pick you up by boat from Poistano or

Marina di Praia but from our house high above the restaurant the stairs were the best way. The restaurant was worth every step.




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