At the Set of “The Talented Mr. Ripley”

Have you ever seen the movie “The Talented Mr. Ripley”? The movie is from the nineties and starred Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchet and Fiorello. It is a remake from a previous movie in the sixties.

Nearly all the movie was shot in Italy, most of it in Ischia, Procida and Naples, some part in Rome and some in Venice.

The parts in Ischia were mainly located in Ischia Ponte.

Ischia Ponte is the most ‘original’ part of the island and looks like it is straight of the 17th century. It is together with Ischia Porto the main town of the island. Here is also the access to the Aragonese Castle, symbol of the island.

One main road that leads to the castle, some side roads that are more for walking only than going by car. Little shops selling typical products of the island like the Limoncello or the big lemons, called cedri. The little restaurants offer tables in the piazza or right on the road. In the evening in summer they are packed with tourists.

No wonder this fascinating place has been especially in the sixties a filming location for block busters like ‘Cleopatra’ with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton or ‘The Crimson Pirates’ with Burt Lancaster, ‘After the Fox’ with Peter Sellers, ‘While we were here’ with Kate Bosworth and many more.

If you visit the castle – what we did – you have a special view on the whole village. On the right you can see the port of Ischia Porto and on the left where are all the sail boats you see Cartaromana. The tower that is clearly to see is the ‘Torre Michelangelo’. Where it is said that Michelangelo lived for a while and had an affair with Vittoria Colonna. Today the tower is used for several events.

Sant’Anna is the annual festival held here in Ischia Ponte. It’s the most important one. It is celebrated on the 26th July and is not only famous for its beautiful fireworks but mainly for the 6 communities each building a special scene boat, related to the island.

The castle will be set ‘on fire’ as a historical event to remember, the bombing by a marauding army centuries ago.

We walked through Ischia Ponte, were sitting a while on the rocks under the castle with our feet in the cooling water and admiring the beauty of the place. In winter it can happen that the bad weather brings in too much water and the streets get flooded. It is spectacular to see, terrifying to live with.

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Ischia Ponte, Campagna/Italy:

For further information:
Ischia on Lonely Planet

To see the movie: The Talented Mr. Ripley/Ripley’s Game

For a perfect hotel to visit Ischia I recommend Villa Melodie

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A Quick Stroll Along the Amalfi Coast

When you look for the Amalfi Coast you find interesting descriptions: a picturesque coastline with steep cliffs, one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world and a popular vacation destination. For me it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, the coast is not comparable with another one and it atmosphere is unique. It is the mixture of an incredible nature and the culture of the people.

Bright colors, amazing architecture, a bubbly life, always full of tourists from around the world, yummy food and terrific views from nearly every terrace of the houses.

We drove along the Amalfi Coast an evening but still there was a tremendous traffic. Buses, cars, motorbikes and pedestrians – they all use the narrow, winding street, the only one that goes along the cliffs. I was driving as for me it is just the daily traffic madness I am used to. For my partner it was something different. Coming from the United States where they drive much less aggressive, where the streets are wide and oftentimes with more than 4 lanes, where a pedestrian at the edge of the street immediately awakes the stop of every car to let the person cross the street…. he never said so but I think he was thankful that I was in charge.

The coast is best to follow from the north to the south because this way you have the Thyrrenian Sea on the right side and a perfect view. The other way round you drive along the cliffs and can’t see as much.

The SS 163 is about 80 km/50 mi long and stretches from Sorrento to Amalfi and further. It is an old Roman road and partially carved into the cliffs.

There are countless curves and you never know if you have a bus in front of you after the next turn. There is only one lane every directions and you have also go around parking cars, buses and motorbikes. And don’t forget the many tourists, all equipped with cameras and smart phones to shoot the picture of their life after every new turn. Because every view is more amazing that the one before.

We passed Positano, drove through Vico Equense, Meta, Vietri sul Mare and Amalfi. We didn’t stop neither at Sorrento nor at Salerno city center or any other village. We wanted to come back the following day.. which didn’t happen. Because of the late hour – it was before dusk – we couldn’t see all the lemons and peperoncini displayed on little Ape VespaCars, the many shops with typical pottery or the hundreds of different colors of the Bougainvilleas.

We didn’t spent enough time at this amazing coast but it was just the beginning of many times we will be back. Here I still have to show so much to my sweetheart, a life-time will be barely enough.

Amalfi Coast, Campagna/Italy:

For further information:
Website of the Amalfi Coast
Video of the Amalfi Coast on YouTube

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Food photos from Italy

This is just a short post with some food photos I took last time when I was travelling with my sweetheart in Europe, mainly in Italy. We had so yummy food everywhere… And the restaurant culture is so different! Here actually you need to ask for the bill and then wait for it. Very different to the (for me very funny) way of American culture where they bring the bill with the food and ask you if you want something else. It makes me feel like I have to go as soon as possible. In Italy we are still going to eat and RELAX. What a difference!

Enjoy the yummy food!

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Visiting the National Park of Gargano in Apulia

The National park of Gargano is located in the south-west of Italy in the region of Apulia and is a long time wish to visit. I knew it is one of the most beautiful places in Italy and this last summer I had the possibility to go for a day.

When we left the Amalfi Coast region, where we stayed for a week, we decided not to go straight home but to make a diversion to the east coast and go to the the famous Gargano.

The peninsula is a mountain massif made of highland and peaks. It forms the spur of the Italian boot. It highest point is the Monte Calvo with 1.065 m/3.494 ft above sea level. The park was founded in 1991.

Famous is the ancient forest, the so called Foresta Umbra. This forest is the only remaining oak and beech forest which once covered most of the European mainland. The Gargano was mentioned also by Horace in his Ode II, ix.

We arrived a very hot day via Manfredonia, right south of the peninsula The first thing we were really astonished was the blue turquoise water of the Adriatic Sea. Together with the light green vegetation and the white limestone cliffs it was one of the most photographic sceneries I have ever seen.

We stopped at one of the innumerable beaches with white, fine sand to have lunch. Naturally I had something fishy, my Sweety had some pasta.

There were countless places where we stopped to take pictures of the oh so blue sea. At a certain point we tried to go to a beach, but that was more difficult than we thought. We ended up to go to a beach right at Vieste, one of the white cities in this area. There are other tourist places like Mattinata or Peschici.

There are also two salt lakes in the northern part of the area. We passed them at night time and didn’t see very much. I know that they are a perfect place for bird-watching.

We drove over to Vieste after a few hours on the beach and swimming in the warm sea. It was lovely and I wished to stay the rest of the day but…

Vieste is a dream of a small medieval town. Built on the white cliffs the houses are of the same white color. The little streets are narrow and the old town is free from any traffic. We walked around and had dinner right at sunset sitting at the sea. Vieste is a very romantic borgo!

We left before darkness and drove along the east-northern part to arrive at the autostrada, the highway to go north to Ancona and further.

We both are sure one day we will stay a longer time here in the National park of Gargano and will see also the Sanctuary of Saint Michael’s and hike in the Foresta Umbra, maybe to find some fossils of animals that lived here millions of years before.

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National Park of Gargano, Apulia/Italy:

For further information:
Official website of the National Park of Gargano

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Last Minute Apple Cinnamon Cookies

A few days ago I stumbled over a nice super easy recipe for some quick cookies, last minute cookies. I thought it would be good to safe that page in case I need something quick and easy to prepare. And that situation happened just a few days later when I was invited for lunch to my boy-friend’s parents house. I don’t like to be invited for an occasion and arrive empty handed. So I always try to pepare some dessert to bring. If I don’t have time a bottle of wine or some flowers can be a second choice though.

I had a day time so I decided to try this recipe for cookies. It would be a no fancy lunch, after that there is no ‘big’ dessert needed. They would be perfect!

All ingredients were in my pantry, I just had to put them together and that’s it. The cookies came out so super yummy that it was hard not to try and re-try them how yummy they are. The original recipe you find on the website of the Paleo Running Momma. I follow her already for a long time. Like many other US-based paleo bloggers she has always great recipes and wonderful, mouth watering photos.

My recipe is a little different as I changed some ingredients and the quantity of others. Feel free to try both versions and let me know which you like more.

apple cinnamon cookie
Apple Cinnamon Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
20 cookies 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20 cookies 15 minutes
apple cinnamon cookie
Apple Cinnamon Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
20 cookies 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20 cookies 15 minutes
Servings: cookies
  1. Put the pitted medjool dates into hot water for at least 10 minutes to soften them a little bit.
  2. Put the softened dates in a food processor and process them roughly.
  3. Add all the other ingredients omitting the coconut flour. Process until it forms a soft nice paste.
  4. Transfer the paste into a medium size bowl and add the coconut flour. Stir until the paste and the flour are well combined.
  5. Now form small balls, roll them in the coating cinnamon-sugar and put them on a plate. In the end flatten them with a fork to get a nice shape.
  6. Transfer the plate in the fridge and serve cold.
Recipe Notes

I transferred the cookies in a air-tight container. When they are out of the fridge for a while they are getting a little sticky. Cold they are 'clean'.

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