It is true that if you avoid the very touristy parts of the Amalfi Coast you would be hard-pressed to find a bad meal. Plus the majority of restaurants in the area also offer amazing views as part of their of menu, free of charge! With such high standards and competition you need to be truly amazing to stand-out from the rest, but this is something that Belmond hotels certainly know how to do. The Belmond Hotel Caruso is a five-star 'L' hotel meaning it is overqualified to be just five stars and it certainly stands out, perched much higher up from the waters edge in the stunning town of Ravello.
When the Amalfi coast became a trade and transport hub on the west coast of Italy the town of Ravello became an aristocratic centre for the top of the hierarchy where they could watch the bustling port-side towns below in comfort and luxury. The town of Ravello itself is an absolute must-see with amazing panoramic views from Villa Rufalo and its gardens for a 5 euro entry fee. Similar views though can be had from the restaurant of Hotel Caruso, so we decided instead to head there for lunch. A very good decision as it would turn out!
We ordered a quattro stagioni pizza to start which Gianni has nicknamed the 'Melbourne Pizza' as it means 'four seasons'. Traditionally it is a mixture of four main ingredients from each of the main seasons (ham, artichoke, mushroom and olives with buffalo mozzarella). I am starting to learn the slight variations in pizza bases and toppings with the different areas we visit but I have never had a bad one when there is a wood-fired oven involved!
That pizza and the bread/olive oil to start was probably all we needed, but since we are only here for one day we thought we should push our stomachs to their limits (YOLO). So next came the signature dish of the restaurant and my favourite of the day; linguine with half a lobster! A delicious light seafood sauce with juicy tomatoes to complement the tender delicate lobster meat. Living of the coastline these towns sure know how to cook their seafood and we confirmed this yet again with the mixed grilled seafood platter for our main at the waiters suggestion. Juicy grilled prawns, huge but tender scampi (so easy to overcook!), snapper fillet with crispy skin, pink seared tuna steak and a marinated grilled squid tube with a side of grilled vegetables. Absolute perfection and we sunk it down with a nice glass of local white wine and glass of moscato (I love my sweet dessert wines even though the waiters may laugh at me!).
The hotel gardens and grounds and the main building are breathtaking and what little breath you may have had left you will surely lose when you walk out to see the infinity pool. My parents always told me not to swim after I eat but there was no way I was missing out on this experience! If you were complaining about being too far from the action in Ravello, just take a dip in this pool and you feel like you are swimming in the Mediterranean ocean, just warmer. A beautiful lunch with an amazing panoramic view from a brilliant location - just make sure you bring your bathers and appetite. We will stay here next time for sure!