Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lunch by the Tyrrhenian (not Ionian) Sea

It is Thursday 1 July as I write this. It is our wedding anniversary. Once more, I have screwed up and rather than driving to the east coast of Italy (Ionian Sea) for an anniversary trip – we are still here. In a sense, the present I gave Di today was an oil change and two new ammortizzatori (shock absorbers). The work that was to be done yesterday has (of course) flopped forward to today. We WILL take off on Saturday for a tour of southern Calabria. We’ve been invited to a pizza dinner Friday cooked by our friend Arturo, so we dare not miss that! I’m afraid I’ll have to tell a story from closer to home this week. BTW, the labor for an oil change and the other work was €40,00 ($32). A good present to us from our honest local mechanics.

Last weekend we were at the Sabbia d’Oro lido on the beach of southern Diamante. We enjoyed the beach and the adjoining restaurant where we found a fantastic spigola (sea bass) on the menu. I was amazed to watch Italians at other tables eating full two course meals, so I wanted to return and try it myself. The idea of “slow food” apparently has nothing to do with eating it, just real cooking instead of fast food.  They can wolf-down a lot of food very quickly—even the kids.

Wednesday we returned.  The beach is a white sand beach compared to the black beaches we frequent 15 miles north.  It’s busier and noisier than we would normally like, but it’s a special place mostly because of the food. The Sabbia d’Oro restaurant sits on the beach and operates its own lido  (a commercial beach renting umbrellas and lounge beds). You can enjoy the sun and sea in the morning, take 30 steps to lunch and return to relax during siesta. There’s a public beach only 200 meters away if you have your own umbrella and gear. In the photo below you see the proximity of restaurant to beach.

Here’s my challenge: to eat a full plate of spaghetti alla vongole (spaghetti with clams) then get one of their great plates of spigola (sea bass). We think they must put a light egg batter on the filet before grilling--wonderful.

Well, I managed just fine. It was a great meal and I finished most of it.  Having a reduced stomach from surgery years ago strains my capacity to eat sometimes, but not then!  It was all washed down with aqua naturale and a half litre of white wine. Di settled for a salad and spigola with gin & tonic.  Worked for her too.

The beauty of having the lido so proximate is the comfort of allowing digestion to occur properly.   Lovely place, lovely beach and good food. Ohhhhh and we watched a nearby table getting a split lobster.  A real lobster.  It had no claws and there was a long spiky thing off the head, but it was the size of a Maine lobster.  May look into that sometime, but we want to return to Lido Gabbiano for peace and snorkeling.

In the meantime, we’ll be off to the Ionian Sea and the Crotone area.  Our first road trip with the dog. Should have some photos and stories.

Ciao, Guido


  1. Warmest Congratulations on your Wedding Anniversary. I enjoyed sharing your outing with you, some tempting photos of food and beaches.

  2. Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing!

  3. I like the food in Sabbio but I have never been in their Lido, maybe I will try it later this month.

    I'm glad you had a great meal even if you were on the wrong side of the boot. Belated Happy Anniversary.

  4. Thanks Sue.
    Love to meet you while you're here. Di

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