A Taste of Italy!
I am sitting on a terrace watching the sun set over the hills above Sorrento. What could be more splendid? Well, the fact is that I am doing this after spending a fabulous day discovering how to prepare and cook delicious Mediterranean dishes and after tasting and enjoying the fruits of my labour. The word labour does not quite conjure up the delights of such a wonderful day!
How did I end up here, sitting on a terrace, overlooking the Mediterranean….? You may ask! Well I am studying Italian language at an Italian language school in Sorrento. Not only do we study the language but the school has realized that in order for the language to come alive for its students, they need to touch, taste, feel, hear and see Italy outside of the classroom. This gastronomic experience is just one of the tours that the school organises for their students and if you ever come here – Don’t miss it!
We pulled into a welcoming farmhouse this morning and were warmly greeted by the owner, (who also turns out to be one of the best cooks in the Sorrento Peninsular!). After a most delicious fruit cocktail, we were invited into the kitchen which had a wow factor about it – lots of terracotta and ceramics which have been made in the Sorrento area for hundreds of years and big wood burning ovens that are used here to make the best pizza in the world.
The owner got us all to wash our hands and we then proceeded to learn the art of making home-made pasta and pizzas along with delicious vegetable dishes and a fabulous Lemon dessert! Lemons are also part of the Sorrento landscape and if you have never tasted limoncello – the liquor which is made out of the lemons that grow here -then you really, really should. It’s Heaven!
This part of Italy has so much to offer, and it is such an excellent base from which to learn the language, so many cultural and gastronomic delights are just a stone’s throw away – Pompeii, Capri, Ischia, Naples, fantastic restaurants, beaches, cookery classes and musical events.
The school here has helped me to appreciate and really get into the local lifestyle – not only by teaching me the language but by introducing me to the Southern Italian way of life…..It’s a very special ‘taste of Italy’, which has made all the difference to my stay here!