Lunch in Santa Maria Castellabate

Beer on the beachBeer on the beach. We had chosen Cilento as a promising long weekend destination from Rome: seaside, beaches, a new area to explore, and the Greek ruins at Paestum. Then we arrived in San Marco Castellabate, it was delightfully tranquil (and hot), and the thought of getting to Paestum and back on weekend buses was just too much. So we opted for another beach day. The ruins will be there the next time we come back to the Cilento area.

Our hotel had a deal with a stabilimento (private beach establishment), so off we went in the shuttle bus and had a very Italian beach day between San Marco Castellabate and Santa Maria Castellabate. Big beach umbrellas, beds, and the sea was crystal clear and immaculate, with green forested hills inland. Such a change from Ostia near Rome! It was quiet as well, despite being quite busy.

beach seller
Stabilimenti are often not great for food, so we ambled barefoot along the beach to Santa Maria Castellabate, just to have a look. This beach seller passed us on the way, laden with a vast array of clothing. Must be hard work.

Grilled vegetables

It’s pretty, and much bigger than San Marco. Lots of deep-fried food options at lunch, so we opted for a beachside hotel restaurant: Taverna del Mare, at Hotel Sonia. Here, grilled vegetables.

spaghetti con vongole
Spaghetti con vongole…..

Scialatielli con frutti di mare
… and my scialatielli con frutti di mare, which I chose as I was curious what scialatielli were. Home made pasta, possibly similar to pici? It was all very nice.

pasta in shop window
Some interesting pasta seen in a window. Here, trenette al nero di seppia (squid ink), and pappardelle al pistachio. Always nice to get ideas of what to try at home. We can get squid ink in the local grocery store, we gave a food-interested nephew in Scotland some squid ink for Christmas and he made some impressively black tagliatelle.

pizza box Castellabate
That evening, we were still stuffed from lunch, with no capacity for the grilled fish dinner we had planned. So we had a lovely evening on the hotel room balcony, overlooking the sea and enjoying the sunset. (Fortunately our friend had booked the nicer room with the seaside view, which we all three enjoyed that evening.) Two of us had crackers and fruit, and the third in our party had takeaway pizza (four euro, Neapolitan style Margerita). Sometimes that is just what you fancy!

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