On this week’s episode of Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape, the famous chef heads back to the area he grew up in – the Bay of Naples. The beating heart of the bay is the city of Naples itself. Renowned for its fascinating historic centre, it’s also famous for its mouth-watering cuisine – think fresh fish, fried polpette (meatballs) and, of course, pizza.
Gino takes viewers on a foodie journey from the Neapolitan breakfast to classic fish dishes, and heads into the foothills of Mount Vesuvius, the brooding volcano which keeps watch over the bay.
Fancy following in his footsteps? Here’s how we can help you get your teeth into the Neapolitan Riviera…
This small-group (maximum of 18 people) escorted tour sweeps around the Bay of Naples, covering off the ruins at Pompeii and Paestum, the pretty villages along the Amalfi Coast, and the island of Capri.
It’s not just about sightseeing, though. You’ll get a real flavour of the region, sampling local wine, mozzarella and olive oil, sipping sweet limoncello liqueur, and joining in with an Italian cooking class. You’ll have a night in Naples itself, with the option to stay a little longer before or after your tour to see more of the city.
This area of Italy is renowned for its Neapolitan pizza, made with fresh tomatoes, fragrant basil and lots of locally produced mozzarella. Learn how to make it the proper way with a chef-led cooking class La Bouganvillea restaurant in Sorrento.
Your pizzaiolo will take you through the whole process, from the raw ingredients to kneading the perfect pizza base. Once the hard work’s over, you’ll get to sit down and tuck in to your delicious, homemade pizza.
You’ll need your walking shoes for this – you’ll be treading the streets of Naples, stopping off at street markets and sampling the very best that the city has to offer. Start off with a traditional sfogliatella pastry, washed down with an espresso (as the Italians do).
On your way to Naples’ oldest street market, Pignasecca, you’ll get a chance to snap the city’s main sights including the Royal Palace of Naples and the Gallery of Umberto. At the market, you’ll wind your way between the stalls, sampling lots of different foods and flavours.
Gino heads up the mighty Mount Vesuvius in this week’s episode – something we’d highly recommend. The volcano dominates this part of the coast, and has a dark but fascinating history. On this tour, you’ll travel by coach and then on foot right up to the crater, where you’re greeted with Instagrammable views across the Bay of Naples.
Alternatively, you can team a visit to Mount Vesuvius with a walk around Pompeii – the village buried by the volcano’s eruption back in 79AD and now one of Italy’s most important archaeological sites.
Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape airs tonight at 8pm on ITV.
Photo credit: Mount Vesuvius by nisudapi via Flickr