The Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is famous for being one of the most scenic places in the world. The roadways of the Amalfi Coast, though incredibly picturesque, can also be treacherous. The center line is more of a suggestion than the rule, even around the many hairpin corners. We were shocked that the Vespa drivers actually ride in the lane facing oncoming traffic. They come at you, on your side of the white line, and fast! The streets are very narrow and sometimes cars have to back up, strategically, to allow other cars to pass. It's tricky. Though Scott skillfully pilots our rental car in many places in Europe we thought better of it on this leg of the trip. The Amalfi Coast is most safely seen by boat, by public transport or from a car with a driver. Our choice for several legs of this trip was our wonderful hired driver, Davide, of Dreaming Amalfi Coast.
Our first stop was to visit the roadside fruit stand owned by Davide's friend, Salvatore. Lemons are part of the culture of Amalfi coast. One variety, the cedri, are large and bumpy. You can see them in the basket on the right. They look more like grapefruit. We picked up some local spice packages from the entertaining Salvatore. I ended up wearing a chili pepper crown by the time we left. I also want to point out that Davide, our "new Italian friend", is very well-dressed and I'm a big fan of his blue suede shoes. Those Italians certainly know how to dress.
As you can see, the roadways are very, very narrow in places.
As we continued along the Amalfi Coast, we passed this terraced hotel, Il San Pietro di Positano, all dressed up in bougainvillea and vines. This is one of the iconic hotels of the area, originally designed to blend into the landscape. Magnifico!
The view back to Positano from the road to Amalfi.
The next stop on our day trip along the Amalfi coast was in the charming town of Amalfi and began with a tour of the Duomo di Sant'Andrea Apostolo.
While I waited for Scott to finish his explorations, I enjoyed soaking in the Italian culture at a corner café. Two opera singers burst into song for an impromptu concert, delighting the crowd.
I grew enamored with this adorable little fella. He played a mean game of peek-a-boo with me from his café chair. What a looker!!
Our next destination was Ravello, three miles up the steep, winding road, high above the Amalfi Coast. Ravello is known for luxury hotels, spas and historic villas. It has a slower, more refined pace of life and has become a popular spot for romantic destination weddings. It's common to see vacationing celebrities gracing the cafes and sunbeds. Jennifer Aniston was in town for a film festival and stayed here just a few days after our visit to Ravello.
Scott and I toured the picturesque Villa Rufolo with magnificent gardens and views to die for.
If you get to Ravello, take a few moments in the town square for catching some views, people watching, a limoncello spritzer and a snack.
For an inside view of Il San Pietro di Positano:
We did not have time to visit Villa Cimbrone on this trip but
I've heard the gardens and views are spectacular.