It was spring in Perdifumo, Italy where I was staying at a fairytale villa with my friends Becks, Nat, Viss and Trish. It was our last day before driving to Rome to meet up with my brother Ryan and two more friends, Ben and Stace, for a 10-day drive through the Balkans, and we decided to spend it exploring the mountain villages near the villa. After a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs with tomatoes, Nutella spread on chewy bread and hot coffee on the terrace, we loaded up and headed out along the windy roads.
This is the lovely, rundown church we drove past every time we went up or down the mountain.
We passed ramshackle stone houses, discovered the abandoned home of a duchess, and delighted in the simple details of white sheets drying against ancient stone.
After exploring and walking for a couple of hours, our tummies were rumbling and we were in dire need of sustenance. We had stumbled on the tiny village of Laureana Cilento – a place that charmed us with it’s quiet, narrow streets and unbelievably jolly and kind townspeople who waved at us from school windows and came out of their homes in aprons and house slippers to smile and nod.
On our way in I had spotted the Blu di Prussia and was smitten.
More antiques shop and artist studio than cafe, I was confused as I stepped inside, feeling like I was in someone’s living room. But then the owner, beaming and welcoming assured me that yes, yes, it was indeed a ristorante.
His name was Memo The Beautiful. He told us so himself as he clasped his hands to his breast then flung them out dramatically. We fell in love with him instantly. 🙂
He brought us limoncello and Coke (American rubbish! he informed us ;-)) out on the terrace, apologizing that they make everything from scratch so it would take some time. Apologize? Seriously? We were THRILLED! We sat out under some beautifully flowering trees and visited away happily as we sipped our drinks and waited.
Finally, all was ready. He led us grandly as if we were visiting dignitaries and seated us on antique chairs, around an antique table, surrounded by old books, chandeliers and and his own exquisite Old World paintings.
Then the feast began. Memo served us antipasti: roasted peppers, eggplant, artichokes, puffy fritters, locally cured olives, sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, marinated lima beans, asparagus frittata, an assortment of hard cheeses, fresh bread and a lovely red wine served from a jug.