Procida: wine literature and good food. In every season!
Elsa Morante, in her book The island of Arturo, has managed to describe Procida so well that once you arrive on the island you have the feeling of waiting for someone. Just like Arturo, who every day awaited the arrival of his father at the port, perhaps because someone is always expected on an island. And yet, over the years Procida has become known more for The postman by Massimo Troisi, perhaps also because most of the Procidan locals and restaurants have continuous references to the film. There was, therefore, for a long time a great need to dedicate something to Elsa Morante, who more than thirty years before, already in 1957 with the Strega Prize and then in 1962 with the homonymous film by Damiano Damiani, had introduced Procida in the world. Tarcisio Ambrosino, uncle of the famous chef Marco Ambrosino, has thought of this.
The birth of the winery
There is no need for presentations for Marco Ambrosino, a native of Procida, who opened his restaurant in Milan in 2014 28posti, unquestionably among the best in the city. His uncle Tarcisio, on the other hand, for years dealt with something completely different, turning to showrooms from Naples to Milan. Until, as often happens, the strong appeal of the island did not bring him home, to Procida, where he felt that the time had come to listen and shape his two great passions: "books and wine, is there a better union?"Together with his nephew Antonio, they decided to open a literary winery, then non-existent on the island, and do it on the marina of Marina di Corricella, where cars do not circulate and can only be reached on foot or by sea, in one of the most symbolic and historic places in all of Procida. In fact, La Corricella has existed since the Bourbon era; here the king had his summer residence and always here is the former prison, another symbol of the island. In this way Elsa Morante's great masterpiece is no longer just a book to read, a wonderful story of waiting and an initiation into life, but it is also a place, increasingly appreciated and frequented, with a découpage counter all done with the pages of the text in the various languages in which it was translated and with the posters of the film of the countries in which it came out.
Wine and food
To promote and make the most of its territory, Tarcisio has decided to include almost only wines from Campania, the result of in-depth research that he personally carries out. It can be seen from the paper, which goes from great known local labels, to other smaller and lesser-known ones, such as Ettore Sammarco from Ravello. Accompanying the wines, there are a series of tastes both of sea and of land, because even though Procida is very close to the sea, too often we forget how much the islands are also and above all land. Thus, we find bruschetta with crab meat, tuna and anchovies, one of the symbolic products of the island, also worked with walnuts and pistachio, along with alpine cheeses, including the smoked little devils of the Buongusto di Arola Dairy, above the mountains of Vico Equense. And then to follow, for dinner, there is only the embarrassment of the choice, even if the historical restaurant From Girone it remains an institution: from raw antipasti to paccheri with fresh fish up to spaghetti with lemon pesto, now legendary. In this regard, we recall that Procida is also theisland of lemons, which differ from all others to be giants, with a huge albedo.
Six authors looking for a character
Needless to say, to continuously honor your land, within the winery there are a series of texts that tell the island or the Campania region. Therefore, this could only be the place chosen by Nutrimenti to open the famous literary event in June Procida Tells, during which six writers arrive on the island to identify six interesting stories to tell. From Luigi Lo Cascio to Gad Lerner, up to Gramellini, Daria Bignardi, Franco Arminio and so on with a series of illustrious authors in search of stories. This shows us how the island of culture continues to attract great characters, just as in the period in which Elsa Morante lived, in her small pension El Dorado.