The FOOD in Naples and on the Sorrento and Amalfi Coast is glorious. Not only you will be able to enjoy the original Neapolitan Pizza Margherita, but also you will taste some of the best dishes and flavours of Southern Italy, like Spaghetti with clams and, for dessert, Struffoli (small fried dough balls), Roccoco (pastry with almonds) and the famous Pastiera, a cake made from boiled wheat, ricotta and candied lemon zest.
If you are visiting Naples in September and wish to experience the most famous religious feast of the region, do not miss the Miracle of San Gennaro. On 19th September, great excitement spreads in the Naples cathedral and in the crowded streets, as the blood of the beheaded San Gennaro liquefies in its ampoule. San Gennaro was a bishop beheaded during the Christians persecution in the 4th century A.D. According to the legend, a woman collected and kept some of the martyr’s blood in an ampoule and in 313 A.D. the miracle occurred for the first time. Nowadays, according to the local people, the miracle takes place only when no calamities or harmful events are expected in the near future. The absence of the miracle is a bad premonition for Naples and its surroundings. For instance, in 1980, the blood did not liquefy and two months later, a harsh earthquake hit the region.
If you wish to experience a magic time in this peculiar part of Italy, consider visiting it in winter at Christmas time. Christmas in Sorrento is wonderful and the procession of baby Jesus, that takes place on Christmas Eve, ends in a spectacular firework display. There are also live performances of the nativity scene that the whole town gets involved in. The enchanting Neapolitan nativity scene deserves a word too, as in Naples, it has more significance than the Christmas tree. The nativity scene shows the everyday life of the local people and cannot be compared to the nativity scene known in North Italy, Germany or Austria. Of course, the traditional characters are there, but the locals play the main roles; for example, it is perfectly okay to place a farmer’s wife cooking spaghetti next to the three Wise Men.
For a sparkling New Year's Eve, do not miss Amalfi and its firework display.