There are no two places on earth that epitomize summer more than Southern California and Southern Italy. Sun and surf, adventure and relaxation: from the clear skies to the blue oceans, Italy and California mirror each other in countless ways. And for both places, the season that brings them to life is summer.
At Sotto, we love the summer, so we made a list of our top five summertime experiences to have in Southern Italy and Southern California.
1. Taking a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway or along the Amalfi Coast.
The Amalfi Coast winds and whirls alongside the cliffs and villages that stretch from Sorrento to Salerno. The Pacific Coast Highway meanders up the California Coast, from the iconic surf beaches of Malibu, past the startling cliffs of Big Sur, and connecting the cities of San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles. When the sun is out and the water is clear, these two road trips make for pristine summer adventures.
2. Dining on fresh seafood
Is it just us or does fresh fish taste better in the summer? Linguine with clams, crispy octopus, and roasted Branzino are the perfect dishes for a summertime dinner with friends. Whether it’s fresh from the Mediterranean or right out of the Pacific Ocean, seafood is the cuisine of summer.
3. Wandering through the open-air produce markets in Apulia or the Santa Monica Farmers Market
Everyone knows that the best fruit comes from California, and everyone in Italy knows that the best produce comes from Puglia. The small farming villages that dot the Adriatic coast are famous for their tomatoes, olives, and zucchini. And, just like the Santa Monica Farmers Market, the open-air markets are more than just places to buy food: they are gathering places. When the sun is out and the air is fresh, taking a stroll through the colorful fruit stands of an open-air market is a must.
4. Seasonal Gelato
Nothing cools you down on a hot day like ice-cold gelato. Italy is famous for its local gelatarias, serving up scoops of fior di latte, chocolate, or cherry gelato. Every day at Sotto, we make our own gelato from scratch. We think that a scoop of homemade salted caramel gelato or strawberry sorbetto is the best way to end a summertime dinner.
5. Watching the sunset while drinking an Aperol Spritz
Does the purple sky reflecting off the Mediterranean Sea make the spritz taste better, or does the cocktail make the sunset more beautiful? Either way, there’s no better way to watch the sun dip below the Pacific or Mediterranean than with a refreshing cocktail in hand.