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Page 85 of 99

Day Trip 2 POMPEII, POSITANO To see the coastal region, a daylong excursion from Rome to Pompeii and then to the Amalfi Coast/Positano is beautiful and educational. A morning spent viewing Mount Vesuvius and exploring the excavated ruins of Pompeii is a way to touch back to the past. For scenic views, nothing compares to the curving, descending drive into the Amalfi Coast area. A dip in the cerulean blue Mediterranean Sea can be a refreshing experience when exploring the beautiful town of Positano. Souvenir favorites include the tasty lemon liquor, limoncello, and brightly colored artisan pottery showcasing local flora and fauna. next stop, Pizzarium. With Naples being the birthplace of pizza, it is a lesson in pizza history to meet with Pizzarium owner and chef Gabriele Bonci, affectionately known as the "Michelangelo of pizza." Toppings are randomly chosen, giving diners a sense of adventure and a desire to partake in many samples. Featuring seasonal, local produce, each pizza presents a creative topping mixture such as potato and mozzarella and fig with prosciutto. The third stop in the tasting explora- tion is a step inside Paciotti Salumeria. Here, visitors are given a delicate cheese sampling of Parmigiana Reggiano and a 30-year aged balsamic and Pecorino Romano touched with black truffles, as well as offerings of finely cut prosciutto di Parma, di Joselito and di Cinta Se- nese. Over a glass of wine, guests hear from Rojas and the the family propri- etors about uses of olive oil as well as harvesting of rare truffles for flavoring. A walk in Rome would not be complete without a visit to the local farmers market, Trionfale. The mar- ket is a mosaic of blooming delights — wooden crates and display cases filled with fresh, vibrant fruits and vegetables. It is a sampling paradise of many items, including local table wine, fresh buffalo mozzarella, melanzane (eggplant) parmigiana and a moist, boneless pork roast known as porchetta. For lunch, the tour moves to a sit- down, family-style meal at Osteria delle Commari. With wine being commonly served with lunch in Rome, the group is offered a red, Castelli Romani by Tusculum. A knowledgeable waiter Exploring the excavated ruins of Pompeii is a way to touch back to the past. A drive into the Amalfi Coast area offers scenic views beyond compare. The tour guide shared a key cooking tip: the sauce should never overpower the pasta. Photo courtesy of City Wonders Photo courtesy of Walks of Italy Photo courtesy of City Wonders Photo courtesy of The Roman Food Tour BALLANTYNE SPRING 2018 84 Escape

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