o sole mio …


And so we end our little Italian adventure that has taken us from Rome to Naples, and beyond. The Amalfi coast incorporating Sorrento, Positano, Priano, Amalfi and Ravello (pic is of east slope of Positano) has views that are simply breathtaking; it is fully understandable why folks continue to pile on dwelling above dwelling to create beautifully terraced suntraps that look even more appealing in real life. Think Big Sur on Highway-1, add a splodge of Donegal, then airbrush in a mosaic of pastel coloured facades and you have an approximation of something close to what I’m talking about …

Then narrow the roads, add a few Alpine hairpin turns, some homicidal bus drivers, a stray dog or two and suddenly the most beautiful scenery is transformed into an ugly nest of hazzards, made worse by bumbling tourists who like us had not anticipated or fully appreciated the chaos of Italian motoring.

Italians should stick to making performance sports cars, but leave the driving to other people … seriously.

la dolce vita …


Apparently, if you toss a coin over your shoulder into the Trevi fountain, you will return to the Eternal City one day … actually we somehow managed to miss this spectacular place the last time we visited in 2003 but the matter is now rectified … but who needs legend as an excuse to re-visit this enchanting city 😉

We are now installed at our wellness B&B after a day’s travelling which pretty much included planes, trains and automobiles … well, not necessarily in that order. And at one point in the taxi from Fiumicino airport, I was beginning to think we might actually arrive at St Peter’s pearly gates before seeing Rome – such was the ferocity of driving of our chauffeur, an aged disco queen with a particular passion for Barry White ballads. Or perhaps, he imagined himself on track at the Brazilian Grand Prix rather than the autostrada. But I digress …

Last night, after strolling from Spagna, to the Fora Traiano (Imperial Forum just outside the Colosseum), we ate at a decent enough restaurant in Trastevere, away from the tourist honey traps of other more famous piazzas. Note to self: the next time Franco (the hotel manager) suggests an area of nice restaurants, be sure to extract an exact address for the GPS! After an hour or so of walking (Trastevere is a pretty sizeable area!), we eventually found several nice eateries that had already seated the locals and could accommodate no more diners that evening. We also found a lonely supermarket trolley by our bus stop (see pic) which provided some light entertainment to round up a long day …

laurent …


Sometimes, only a Michelin starred restaurant will do … and what better way to celebrate the passing of one’s 40th (David’s & J’s on this occassion) than to re-visit an old haunt, Laurent.

Those of you salivating already, here are the choices of yummy things we had to choose from …



– Palette de lĂ©gumes raves relevĂ©s d’huiles aromatiques et Ă©picĂ©es
– Saint-Jacques marinĂ©es dans un lait crĂ©meux au goĂ»t fumĂ©, perles de concombre et radis
– Poule faisan et foie gras de canard en fine gelĂ©e et champgnons verjutĂ©s, rĂŽtie aux abats
– Fricadelle de tĂȘte de veau caramĂ©lisĂ©e sur un Ă©ventail de pousses de moutarde
– Trompettes de la mort juste rissolĂ©es, crĂ©meux d’oeuf de poule et jaune coulant sur un sablĂ© fin au parmesan


– Saint-Pierre cuit doucement dans un beurre d’algues, “purgatorio” aux cristes-marines et couteaux Ă  l’huile de ciboulette
– Merlan de ligne frottĂ© au safran et poĂȘlĂ©, parmentier lĂ©ger aux coquillages
– Noix de Saint-Jacques lĂ©gĂšrement blondies et servies dans un consommĂ© clair, pleurotes et borage
– Epaule d’agneau confite et rouelles de lĂ©gumes aux Ă©pices d’un tajine, cĂŽtes caramĂ©lisĂ©es
– Pigeon rĂŽti au sautoir, endives et pommes mitonnĂ©es dans leurs sucs, ravioles d’abattis
– Friands de pied de porc croustillants, purĂ©e de pommes de terre



– Coeur de poire william rĂŽtie au gingembre, tuile pistachĂ©e et glace riz au lait
– Glace vanille minute en corolle
– SoufflĂ© Ă  l’Irish-coffee

And tomorrow, to Rome and beyond …