[Editor’s note: This is first in a series on the role food has played on Classical Pursuits trips as we remember the formidable, exuberant Anthony Bourdain. Enjoy!]
By Nella Cotrupi
Often, it is the most modest of food that creates the ambience for friendships to bloom and take root. During our 2017 Neapolitan journey with Classical Pursuits, I had the great pleasure of working with and getting to know our local guides Francesca and Ornella not just professionally, but also personally, as warm, strong and intelligent modern Italian women, the kind that Elena Ferrante explores for us in her brilliant works of fiction.
These relationships were nurtured by enjoyable times spent with the group uncovering Ferrante’s world in Naples and Ischia, but also in those brief snatches of off-the-record conversations during lunch breaks when we hunkered down one on one, over a plate of fiorilli (zucchini flowers fried in batter) accompanied by the local crusty bread, or twirling al dente pasta dressed only with a memorable olive oil, good garlic and aromatic parsley.
Sharing such simple, uncomplicated and deeply satisfying fare creates a perfect ground for ideas to ignite and spark and for bonds of friendship to coalesce and become firmly embedded. This was certainly an insight that Anthony Bourdain shared and practiced.
Grazie, caro Antonio! Buon appetito!
For more delicious Neapolitan meals, here is Anthony Bourdain in southern Italy’s largest city for his show “No Reservations“.
Next up in our series is Ann Kirkland in Newfoundland, where fish and hospitality reign supreme.
And you can next travel with Nella in May 2019 on our van Gogh trip. Stay tuned for details!