Almafi Coast, Italy: Ristorante La Caravella

Highly portrayed in all those classic movies, I’ve fallen in love with the dreamy and romantic Almafi Coast before I even step foot there. Now that I’ve finally visited the place in person, I can only say this place is a dream come true and my love for it has grown even stronger. We were actually at Naples for a few days but we were absolutely allured by the beauty of other nearby Southern coastal areas (and having Amalfi Coast on my mind all these years!). So we organized two individual day trips from Naples, one to Capri Island and one to Amalfi Coast.

You can reach Amalfi Coast by ferry or bus. We read from The Lonely Planet that a bus ride is more recommended than a ferry ride there so we took the train from Naples to Sorrento and hopped on a bus to get to Amalfi Coast. It was a bit of a bumpy ride but it was a very scenic one. A quick tip: if you are taking the bus, remember to sit by the right side of the bus in order to get the perfect view! You can see the entire landscape and that ridiculously gorgeous Mediterranean coast. It’s a bit bumpy because the entire region is actually a mountain area but you get to admire the landscape at different levels as the journey goes on.

We were both starving when we arrived Almafi Coast so we started looking for a place to eat right after we got off the bus. That’s how we stumbled across La Caravella, it was just across the bus terminal and it looked very nice so we went in without giving any second thoughts.

La Caravella restaurant interior in Almafi Coast, Italy

It was pretty quiet during the afternoon we visited. The restaurant is very pretty. Its interior features quite a traditional and local home-like setting but with lots of elegance in the air. It has this impression of having lots of history and even a hint of prestige. Then it started to make sense once we opened the menu. We realised that this is more of a high-end restaurant.  Since we were on a fairly tight budget for this trip, we tensed up a bit as the prices on the menu were out of range. But since we’ve already sat down, we just had to stick with it I guess.

Little did we know La Carvella is actually a Michelin Star restaurant but we were absolutely oblivious to that throughout the meal. It really explained everything now but then, during that moment, we were thinking hard how to get the best deal out of it.

We ended up sharing the smallest set lunch menu. Here is what we got:

Tubettoni di Gragnano con ragù di zuppa di pesce scomposto

Seafood pasta at La Caravella, Almafi Coast, Italy

So this is what I ended up having – the Tubettoni di Gragnano con ragù di zuppa di pesce scomposto, which roughly translates into Tubettoni pasta in a deconstructed fish and shellfish ragu.

The ragu was actually served in a separate little jar next to the pasta. It might not be a particularly massive plate of pasta like many other restaurants serve, but it is the VERY BEST pasta I’ve ever had in my life. I can’t stress enough how beautiful the flavours were. Every single bite was a fresh genuine taste of the ocean. Each bite exploded with freshness and authentically rich flavour of the shellfish and other seafood. You can completely taste the abundance of actual seafood meat in the ragu. It’s not just a sauce to accompany the pasta, but an incredibly genuine seafood dish with the seafood as the very sole highlight. The shellfish flavours, in particular, were the absolute star of the dish in my opinion. All in all, the dish tasted super heavenly and we were both super impressed with it.

Sorbetto al limone al cucchiaio

Lemon sorbet by the spoon at La Caravella, Almafi Coast, Italy

For dessert, we had the Sorbetto al limone al cucchiaio (lemon sorbet by the spoon). It might look small compare to all those gelaterias out there all over Italy (similar to the pasta situation). But this spoonful of lemon sorbet won them all at quality without a doubt. First of all, the texture was surprisingly creamy. It’s not overly icy at all and carried this smooth and velvety texture to it. The flavour was on point as well – you can taste that super fresh citrus flavour and a perfect balance of sweetness. In addition, the area is also renowned for its lemons, i.e. Almafi Lemons, and you can totally distinguish the natural sweetness from the local lemon in comparison to the typical lemon sorbet.

In summary…

…the Lonely Planet described this restaurant as “one of the few places in Amalfi where you pay for the food rather than the location” and I couldn’t agree more on that statement. Their food was definitely worth every single penny and I’m super glad that we actually stumbled into the place despite it being out of budget. Italy’s been offering absolutely amazing food but this place has truly brought it to the next level. Everything just felt perfect with the fine food and picturesque view plus the glorious sunshine! Amalfi Coast, you have really stolen my heart here.

Gelato at Almafi Coast
More gelato at Almafi Coast

Tel: +39 089 871029

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