|Fresco in the Monastery in Amantea|
We saw more peppers drying in the charming resort town of Diamante
The next day we headed for Amantea. an ancient town built on rocky precipices. We trekked up to the restored 16th century monastery, which once housed an order of Nuns called Le Clarisse and has now been converted into a first class restaurant and Inn.
We had a memorable midday meal at the restaurant, which began with fresh anchovies.
|Potato cakes covered with fresh anchovies- a stunning first course at Le Clarisse|
After lunch and another bus ride, we checked into our final resort, Porto Pirgos. Our room had a terrace with another stunning view of the Medeterranian. Again we could walk down to a private beach or swim in the beautiful pool.
In the evening we tore ourselves away from our water sports and headed for the picturesque town of Tropea for sightseeing, shopping and dinner.
|A breathtaking view in Tropea|
|Tropea was beautiful at nightfall|
On our final day we headed for the fishing village of Pizzo, known for its gorgeous beaches and its gelaterie which line the town square.
|A view of the beach in Pizzo from above|
Enjoying the spouts of cool water at the fountain on another hot day
|I loved this old fountain|
The seafood we had for lunch at Ristorante San Domenico was freshly caught by local fishermen and was unsurpassed in flavor and ingenuity of preparation.
|The octopus served over a puree of chickpeas was one of my favorite dishes of the trip|
Then on to the main piazza with its plethora of competing gelaterie, all serving the town's specialty- Tartufo di Pizzo. This is a molded ice cream dessert resembling a giant black truffle, with a cocoa coating concealing two layers of ice cream: a chocolate layer on the outside and hazelnut within. But the surprise is in the center -- a molten fudge sauce that oozes like lava when you cut into it.
|Tartufo di Pizzo|
|Serious gelato consumption in Pizzo|
Our journey begins and ends with red peppers drying in the hot sun. We saw these when we visited Agriturismo Manitta, high in the hills above Tropea. We arrived Saturday evening for a tour of the gardens and a final cooking class. Then as the sun set and the locals arrived to have a romantic dinner al fresco, we too sat down at a long table set for our group and began to eat the feast the staff prepared just for us.
|Peppers hung to dry at Agriturismo Manitta|
|Here we are mid-meal on our last night at Agriturismo Manitta, high in the hills above Tropea|
Now that our trip is over and well documented in these last two blog posts, I must thank our tour guide and indefatigable leader Rosetta Costentino (and her husband Lino) for creating such an unforgettable experience. We ate and drank exceptionally well, we stayed in lovely lodgings, we saw places of unimaginable beauty and we experienced Calabria, the "toe" of the Italian peninsula, through her eyes. Seeing the countryside in this manner was a rare opportunity and I'm fortunate to have enjoyed it with my sister Lucia, another Italophile and a good sport. We can't wait to return!
|Rosetta teaching a class with the chef at San Michele before lunch|
Rosetta Costentino's book about her native Calabria