The land of Mermaids.

partenope
Bravery, danger, shrewdness, desire, the culture of a civilization, the spirit of a land.

When Odysseus and his companions left the witch Circe they were warned about the seductive and melodious chant of the Mermaids, which already claimed the lives of many sailors who died by drowning and their ships foundered after hitting the rocks. But knowing the hero’s endless hunger for knowledge the witch is aware that he will not resist the urge and curiosity to listen this charming, yet mortal, music. So she suggests to cover the sailor’s ears with wax and to have himself firmly tied up to the ship’s mainmast to prevent him from jumping into the sea and reaching the source of the song. Once in Capri, Odysseus follows Circe’s advice to endure the excruciatingly beautiful voice of the horrific half-woman and half-bird creatures. After surviving the Mermaids, Odysseus thanks the gods by founding the temple dedicated to Athena on the promontory facing the island of Capri, which is now known as Punta Campanella, where the remains of the Athenaion are still visible and hosts a marine-protected area of great beauty and natural value. But the story doesn’t end here; as a matter of fact, there are a number of versions which tell how the legend ends. Among these there’s the tale of the Mermaid Partenope, who couldn’t bear being defeated by Odysseus and plummeted into the sea with her sisters. Her body will wash up on the shore of the city which has since then taken her name, Partenope, Naples.
For centuries, Mermaids have been dwelling in the imagination of men all over the world, and in time they also changed shape: from half-bird women to girls with a fish tail. Their appeal has though remained untarnished, trapped in the sea waters of the two facing coasts: The Sorrento one and the Vesuvius one.

When food becomes experience

chef_2Between comfort and fine dining, a taste of good taste at Bellevue Syrene.

The style of Bellevue Syrene is composed by two trends which are apparently opposed to each other, but instead contribute to create that sense of originality which makes the hotel unique in its own way on a national and international scale: on one side there’s a strong connection with ancient history which gave birth to the building itself; in fact it was a Roman imperial residence and then a summer holiday house for Europe’s élite thinkers and artists. On the other side it is a place of experimentation and research where to put into practice all the possible varieties of hospitality.
Food preparation is an excellent way to convey the philosophy of Bellevue Syrene, thanks to the work of the young and talented chef Ivan Ruocco. For those who are on the look for classic and familiar flavours will not be disappointed by his interpretation of spaghetti with clams and dried tomatoes, which is a classic dish of the Neapolitan gastronomy and deeply rooted in the spirit of the Sorrento area. Those who instead seek unknown flavours must try the astonishing banana ravioli with lobster filling, invention and expression of the chef, who has undertaken a brilliant and professional career. The icing on the cake is the wonderful scenery that can be admired from the panoramic terrace and the Mimmo Jodice room, or the archaeological fashion of the Villa Pompeiana rooms, which are a faithful 20th century reconstruction of the Casa dei Vetti in Pompei.
 

Meet Ivan Ruocco, go to the Gourmet & Restaurant section.

Past, present and future wines from Campania

Vino

The grape harvest of 2015 seems to be a promising crop and it represents the ideal occasion to rediscover regional and national wines.
 
The picture of September is that of a fading summer which leads into autumn with its typical fragrances, such as ripe grapes. This is the time of the year where producers need to assess the productivity of the season and this year all of the Italian regions seem to meet expectations, especially Campania.
In celebrating the tradition of the great wines of Campania it should be remembered that in this region winemaking has ancient origins which trace back to the Greek colonization, as a matter of fact it is no accident that the name Aglianico, one of Campania’s most famous wines, seems to come from the word Ellenico. The Roman age was the peak moment for regional viticulture, with well-known wines which were savored all across the Empire, among which the renowned Falerno.
Over the centuries winemakers in Campania continued to produce, with its ups and downs, wines such as Fiano, Asprinio, Greco, Lagrima, Falanghina and Taurasi. What makes wine production in Campania so unique and full of DOC and DOCG areas is the almost exclusive use of local grapes which confer to the regional wines a strong personality. The region of Irpinia in the province of Avellino is notable for its production of famous wines such as Aglianico, Taurasi, Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino, while the Vesuvius area is famous for the renowned Lacryma Christi. The province of Caserta and the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida also have an original and remarkable wine production.
The wine cellar of Bellevue Syrene is rich in national and foreign wines and loves to appraise the ones from Campania in every way possible; wines that become the story of a generous and varied land, in history, tradition, colours and flavours. From the 3rd to the 5th of October, Sorrento hosts a highly anticipated event which has reached its 35th edition:  the grape festival in the village of Priora. It is a not-to-be missed appointment with Sorrento’s wines and foods and an occasion to learn more about the techniques and traditional instruments of the grape harvest in the Peninsula.
 
Go to the Bellevue Syrene Wine Cellar