The Mediterranean Diet Rulebook

Words by Belmond Editors

The Mediterranean Diet Rulebook

Fringed with fern-like leaves, marigolds flowers catch the sun in their orange petals, seen from ground level.

A drizzle of olive oil coats juicy tomatoes, dotted with fresh herbs from the garden. Beside them, nuts and vegetables awaits near a wild-caught fish from the market. Welcome to the Mediterranean diet.

Whether it’s a nutritious meal shared in conviviality or an aperitivo enjoyed while dining on gorgeous views at sunset, culinary moments in Italy are lived with panache. Cue La Dieta Mediterranea – or the Mediterranean Diet – lauded throughout the globe for its nutritional value. From TikTok’s speedy recommendations (“POV: you just started eating a healthy Mediterranean diet”) to Instagram’s meal plans and infographics, the world’s “healthiest diet” has conquered all through a combination of physical activity and wholesome nutrition, focusing on a selection of good fats (think olive and avocado oil), whole grains, heart-healthy nuts, legumes, and seeds.

Originating from the ancient Greek word δίαιτα (“diaita”) for diet, the lifestyle ventured beyond borders to Spain and Italy, finding variations in the Middle Eastern cuisine. More than a meal plan, the Mediterranean Diet is an art of living – an experience to indulge in, for instance, at the legendary Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, Amalfi. So, before you start packing – and cooking – here are our 5 rules to truly live and dine la Dieta Mediterranea.

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Think Local

The first rule of the Mediterranean diet’s handbook? Think local and sustainable. Learn to grow your own produce with the Antonuccis at L’Orto di Torraca; on the family-owned sustainable farm, rare and long-forgotten vegetables – such as the Cilento white fig – are grown and cooked with passion. Alternatively, listen to Giovanna Voria as the “peasant chef” and ambassador of La Dieta Mediterranea narrates the region’s centuries-old culinary stories and the rich heritage of the Ceci chickpeas from Cicerale.

Walking through trees, a woman in a blue shirt carries a wooden box on her head containing her harvest, covered with cloth.

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Gather Your Friends

Rule number two: the Mediterranean diet is best enjoyed in excellent company. Whether you share an intimate meal with your nearest and dearest or extend the dinner invitation to your best friends best friends, a Mediterranean meal is vital to bringing people together, strengthening bonds and cultivating healthy relationships. This is hospitality at its finest.

A bottle of wine in a raffia cooler rests on the edge of a dining table, where a family is enjoying a Mediterranean lunch.

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Set the Table

Be it in lush gardens or nestled away on the cool terrace, the dining table is the centrepiece of the Mediterranean diet. Start by laying a timeless white linen tablecloth and adorn it with local ceramics and artisanal plates – the pinnacle of conversation starters. Soon, your guests’ roaring laughter and sparkling conversations will boost serotonin – the best medicine – while you share a meal around the table.

Caruso's Executive Chef Armando Aristarco puts the finishing touches to a table laden with food, shot in black and white.

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More Red?

How about we open a bottle of wine or two to mark the start of a flavoursome Mediterranean feast? At Belvedere, ask for the finest selection from the wine list to accompany Chef Armando Aristarco’s octopus carpaccio or the puttanesca-style catch of the day. At Caruso Grill, a bottle of Il Bruciato, 2021 will do nicely to wash down a Caprese salad or the seafood linguine with Piennolo cherry tomatoes. Buon appetito!

Discover dining at Caruso
A guest rests her hands on the table by her lunch of focaccia, grilled vegetables and olives, served on a blue china plate.

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Time for a Break

From a dip in Caruso’s infinity pool to a wild swim in the Mediterranean Sea, incorporating physical exercise is essential to experience the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. At Caruso, delve into a summer fitness retreat and book a space in one of our tailor-made wellness programs. Boost your energy levels as you walk the path of Le Formichelle, from Ravello to Amalfi. Alternatively, focus on your breathing with a meditation session at our Wellness Centre.

Visit our wellness centre


Between impossibly blue sea and sky sits Caruso, our 11th-century palace and the crown jewel of Ravello. Here, we savour aperitifs and fine dining, soundtracked to enchanting music and enhanced with charming company.

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Visit Caruso

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