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The van climbed up the winding roads of Matera and we were able to get one last look over this amazing town as we left this morning.  Even though we had a couple hour drive to our next destination, we were treated to amazing views of the patchwork countryside, a favorite being the massive sunflower field we passed!

20140626_124754Being cheesemakers and leading a culinary tour, there is no way we could pass through the region of Campania without making a stop to sample the famed mozzarella di bufala that is made here. And Tenuta Vannulo was the perfect place to learn about this famous cheese. Our tour started at the barn, where hundreds of water buffalo were lounging, eating, and getting clean. Vannulo is very conscious of how they treat the animals (“happy buffalo make good milk!”), and the barn even contains a “Sleep and Relax” area where classical music is played and there are car wash-looking devices that the buffalo can choose to walk through for a massage! Not a bad gig!

A light lunch for the group included their mozzarella di bufala, ricotta di bufala, and scamorza along with fresh bread, 20140626_131141salad, and the ripest-looking tomatoes you’ve ever seen! After a tasting of their buffalo milk yogurt, we then finished off with cafe and gelato in their shop.

With full bellies, we loaded back in the vans and set off to tackle the Amalfi Coast! It’s safe to say that some nerves were on edge at the prospect of driving this windy, cliffside road, with massive tour buses at every turn….but I think the views more than made up for it, and we arrived safe and sound! A brief pit stop in Positano made for some great photo ops, and then we made the remainder of our drive to arrive in Massa Lubrese, on the Sorrentine Peninsula.

Much different from our previous two hotels, La Lobra is a small, quaint spot tucked in a quiet lemon grove just a short walk from the marina. Taking advantage of this location, we had lunch in a unique spot amongst the boats that we just called “Margaritaville” for it’s fun, beachy vibe. Our meal was completely in the hands of owner Roberto, and it did not disappoint! More mozzarella and tomatoes (never a bad thing!), pasta with zucchini, fried alice (sardines) with a slice from the MASSIVE lemons in the area, and a dessert of profiteroles with some of Roberto’s limoncello. Everyone is excited to be in a new town, but it just make’s Sunday’s departure seem more imminent! We’ll just have to make the most of these last days!