CETARA (Amalfi coast) ..one dinner...

We plan to spend one night in Vietri before driving south to Maratea. (Hotels in Salerno were booked out for my date in September, as was my first choice in Cetara)

I have had superb meals in Cetara–(San Pietro, Al Convento, Aquapazza) but each was more than 10 years ago. So given that we now have but one night in the area before heading south to Basilicata, I wondered if anyone has comments on recent meals in that town. (Or in Vietri sul Mare, the southernmost town on the AC, before Salerno).

I had believed that Aquapazza was still the prime restaurant in Cetara, and this view is supported by Luciano Pignataro in his review of about 4 years ago. I had a memorable lunch there but as i wrote, above, this was a long time ago. I’ve read some less than great recent reports; (I am probably looking in the wrong places for reviews,) so would like to learn if any one of our discerning HO members have been recently and can comment on eating in that wonderful town, which I believe is, or was formerly, a sleeper on this tourist-packed stretch of coastline.

We have 5 nights in Maratea so any reports on eating in the town, or along that coast, would also be appreciated. I’ve had great dinners at Da Cesare, but again, these were quite a few years ago…

Brief response to my own question: We have been in southern Italy for a week and our dinner in Acquapazza is now tied with another (in Tursi) for the best meal of the trip. We were welcomed with open arms by one of the Gennaro’s who are the owners. I won’t go into much detail, but just say that this is a stupendous restaurant in my favorite town on the Amalfi coast. Not crawling with foreign tourists (like me; we heard no English while there on the one evening) The evening brings out the locals and Italian tourists for the passeggiata along the one main street that leads to the beach. This is the place to purchase colatura, the ancient garum of Roman times, made from local anchovies. More than that, I felt as if I were in 1950s film about the Amalfi Coast or Capri before the deluge. One of those travel moments when everything comes together…warmth of the people, gorgeous surroundings, the joy of life. NOTHING like the towns further north, including Positano and Amalfi, which I will no longer visit. Our meal at Aquapazza (a few hours after arriving from the US) consisted of:

Their signature spaghetti with colatura, parsley, peperoncino and olive oil:


Partner ordered trofle with basil, pine nuts, almonds, and other ingredients, odd for Campania but which should be visible in the menu photo…this might have been the BEST pasta I’ve EVER had the sublime pleasure of tasting:

Main course, split between us: Spigola baked in salt. Left other versions so far in the dust…perfection, filleted at table by Gennaro:

Shockingly, he remembered me from 11 years ago, and gifted us a lovely Vietri-made ceramic platter.

5 stars…Not to miss while on Amalfi Coast. Accessible by taxi (30 euro EACH way from nearby Vietri, where we were staying, due to no hotel accessibility at the one hotel I like in Cetara), SITA bus, and now, I’ve just learned, ferry from other AC towns. MUST book ahead…terrace tables are lovely but there is interior dining as well.

Not to miss (did I say that already??).



Wonderful, thanks for posting. I hope you will have time to do a report on the rest of your travels when you return. I am making note of your meals–I had been thinking of a return to northern Italy in the spring/early summer, but the south always seems to call.

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Leely, thanks! Will do my best! We are now in Vieste in the Gargano and the food is wonderful! The old town reminds me of what places like Capri must have been like 60 years ago!!! Glorious, even if it is a bit of a curvy ride to reach from the “mainland!”

Truly, we have not yet had a disappointing meal so far, save the breakfast at the B&B near Canosa di Puglia, but that hardly counts!

Just into a long report on the Gargano where we are now, only to have hotel internet cut out!
Will attempt once more later on…very frustrating, as I lost all I had written about Vieste.

The Hungry Onion software may have saved your draft. Go under your profile and look for “Drafts” in the pull-down menu. If you see a (1) after Drafts, you’re in luck! Click on Drafts and you can continue where you left off.