Amalfi Coast Travel Tips from Gennaro Contaldo, the Grandfather of Italian Cooking

Possessing a comical zest for food (like most Italians do), Gennaro Contaldo is not only a chef but also a favourite personality on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube channel. In this interview, we took Gennaro back to his hometown of Amalfi Coast, where he reminisced about the flavours of the coastal region that sits along the Mediterranean Sea. 


Photo: Gennaro Contaldo


In your opinion, which parts of Italy has the best food?

All of Italy has good food. When I go back home to the Amalfi Coast, the food is the best. But if I had to choose one region, it would be Puglia, often known as “the table of Italy”.

What do you feel are the most common misconceptions about Italian food?

Most people think it’s all spaghetti and pizza. Well, there is so much more.

Gennaro Contaldo

Photo: Gennaro Contaldo


What is the one local food you feel travellers can’t leave the Amalfi Coast without trying?

Ndundari – these are ricotta-based gnocchi served with a delicious tomato sauce. Also, you must try the local seafood dishes and the best buffalo mozzarella and san marzano tomatoes.


Spaghetti alla Sorrentina with tomatoes , buffalo mozzarella, basil and garlic. Photo: Gennaro Contaldo


What are your favourite restaurants in the Amalfi Coast?

Giardiniello Restaurant in Minori – a family-run restaurant which has been around since I was a child. Villa Maria, above Minori, a family-run agriturismo which serves excellent home-grown food, even the wine is homemade. Torre Normana, a lovely romantic restaurant just outside Maiori. Also, Donna Rosa Restaurant above the hills of Positano.

As an Italian, what do you feel most travellers miss out on when they are visiting Italy?

Sometimes, proper local food, especially if you’re staying in large tourist-type hotels. But if you go off-the-beaten track and find a small, family-run trattoria without a menu, then you know you will be eating well!



Ristorante Giardiniello
Where: Corso Vittorio Emanuele 17, 84010 Minori, Italy
For: An upscale restaurant

Villa Maria
Where: Via Santa Chiara 2, 84010 Ravello, Italy
For: A great sea view

Torre Normana
Where: Via Diego Taiani, 4, 84010 Maiori, Italy
For: Dining on the sea

Dona Rosa Restaurant
Where: Via Montepertuso, 97-99, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
For: A family-run restaurant

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