Sunday, January 11, 2015

Searching for the Sun: The Amalfi Coast

"Yea, tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun" The Beatles

Hello there!  I am procrastinating a bit, by not finishing to put away all my holiday decorations. Now that the holidays are over, is it true all we have to look forward to is winter?  I guess I have to confess cold weather and my South American blood don't mix very well.  Every time I consider three months of cold days, I instantly start dreaming of warmer places, where the sun can give my skin a warm embrace and where I can take a deep breath of ocean air.

Since I am living in Italy, lets talk about the Amalfi coast.  Dreaming is free, and if you have a chance to actually get there you'll be amazed by its spectacular views and quaint seaside towns.  The Amalfi coast is a beautiful stretch of coastland of the Sorrentine Peninsula (South of Naples) comprised of several seaside towns, being the two stars of the show, Amalfi and Positano.  The winding State Road 163 runs along the cliffs connecting the towns between Positano and Vietri Sul Mare, the two ends of the Amalfi Coast.

Bookending the Amalfi Coast you'll find the town of Sorrento and the city of Salerno.  Sorrento, apart from its natural beauty, is known for its Limoncello, a lemon flavored liquor made with the giant local lemons.  If you visit, don't leave without buying a bottle to enjoy the Sorrentine flavor long after your trip.  Salerno, on the eastern side of the Amalfi Coast, is a big port city with enough charm to be worth the visit.  Being the bigger city in the area it also offers a wide range of accommodations.

Now to the stars of the show:

Amalfi: The beauty of this town is undeniable; its Mediterranean landscape is a combination of cliffs, ocean views and unique architecture built along the natural terrain.    Let's not forget the fantastic food that will knock your socks off (Try DaMaria Restaurant).  When eating in the Amalfi coast, go for their seafood dishes.  They are spectacular! And for dessert, try their Delizia di Limone.  You won't regret it.

Positano: Another quaint town, with restaurants overlooking the ocean, a rocky beach and enough charm to make a permanent impression in your soul.  White linen clothing is sold around their narrow cobble-stone streets and their local jeweled sandals are also typical of the area.

Ravello:  Its location overlooking the coast makes it wonderful for panoramic views, amazing sunsets and moonscapes.  A photographer's dream!  Ravello hosts a yearly festival featuring classical music, film and arts.  For information on this event, click here.

The towns are connected by a ferry system called Traghetto in Italian.  Also a bus system is used for reaching the nearby towns as well as the cities of Naples, Sorrento and Salerno, again, remember the roads are narrow and high on the horizon and traffic has to stop sometimes to let buses go through tunnels.  It is also possible to rent a boat and to sail from one town to the other by sea.  If you are experienced and intrepid I recommend this method of transportation.  You "park" your boat right outside the beach areas and for 5 euro the boat "taxis" will pick you up and drop you at the pier.

If you are crazy for ceramics make sure you stop at the eastern tip of the coast in Vietri Sul Mare.   Ceramics are everywhere to buy and to admire.

I was lucky enough to visit the area in off-season times, I imagine it is jammed packed during the summer months.  Of course the Amalfi Coast is a prime destination for romantic getaways.  And after looking at some of the pictures you can just imagine why.

Arrivederci for now,

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! Now I can start planning my trip for this summer.