Most Decadent Drinking Experience
involved drinking finocchietto (wild fennel liquer, a popular digestif) straight from the bottle (ok, a very small bottle) in a hammock overlooking the Amalfi coast, at I Limoni, a b&b in St. Cosma, Ravello:
Best Customer Service Award
goes to…drumroll…il Cucco, restaurant/enoteca in Cisternino, Puglia. When we arrived at the enoteca (which doubles as a retail wine shop) around lunchtime and asked about the possibility of tasting a couple of glasses of local wine, not only were we not sent away (which would have been totally reasonable, as the enoteca part was closed for business), but the cleaning lady immediately called the enoteca employee at home. She arrived some 15 minutes later apologizing for the wait, just to serve us two glasses of wine at 3 euros each, along with a large selection of marinated vegetables (verdure sott’olio) at 6 euros, including the fabulous lampascioni (wild hyacinth bulbs), a local specialty. She proceeded to explain in detail what each item was, along with the method of preparation. She also brought us some fresh taralli (a refined version of a pretzel) from a local bakery.
I guess they really mean what they say on their website, which can be translated as “wishing to create the kind of place they themselves would want to frequent as customers”…
Best Unexpected Views Award
will probably have to be shared by two bus stops, – Bar Internazionale stop in Positano and Nocelle stop, along the view from my bed at b&b Casa Cuccaro in Nocelle (taken without lifting my head from the pillow!!!):
Then again, perhaps, the top award should rightfully belong to the Bar Internazionale bus stop, as it happens to include the outside seating area of the bar serving my favorite non-alcoholic drink of the trip: “Emozioni di Frutta” cocktail (Sanbitter blended with grapefruit juice). Alternatively, you can stare at the Lattari mountains while munching on an ice-cream cone or drinking an espresso. Not a bad place to wait for a bus…