Travel Along The Amalfi Coast and that Unforgettable Road

Italy abounds in magical towns. One of them is Ravello. If there are words that define it, those are magic and sweetness in equal parts. When I remember my last trip to Italy, I often dream of the days on the Amalfi Coast and its small villages of wonder. All those villas located along the coast are exceptional. The curves of the Amalfi Coast are the most sensual in the world. Cliffs where towns and landscapes merge in an endless hug.

In Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi, we enter another dimension of beauty. It not only accompanies us during the trip but gives us a few secrets of the authentic art of living. The Amalfi Coast declared World Heritage by Unesco in the nineties, extends between the towns of Positano to Vietri Sul Mare.

We decided on a getaway to the Campania region in southern Italy. Almost the entire trip was planned online from the flight, the hotels, the car rental. Also, the opinion of different travelers in the lonely planet forum helped us a lot to plan our route. We booked a flight several months ago. Although Naples is the capital of Campania, we decided to fly to Rome because the price was much lower and the hours were much better.

The original plan was to arrive in Rome at 10.20 pm, but our flight left more than 45 minutes late. We ended up arriving in Rome at 11:15 pm. The airport of Ciampino is very small and the indications are very bad. When leaving the terminal we look for some indication that will take us to the area of rental cars without success. In the end, after looking for a few minutes we asked someone and he told us that they were at the bottom on the right.

In short, we were wandering around the various parking lots until, a little tired, we returned to the terminal. We saw that there was a shuttle service to go to the aforementioned parking, but at 11 it closed. We asked again, and a little nervous because it was 11.40 and the car rental company would close at 12. This time they gave us the correct directions and we were able to get to the place.

Day 2

At 12 o'clock at night, we set off in the direction of Pompeii, where we had decided to put our base camp. Driving through southern Italy is quite an experience. What is certain is that on this trip I have finally reconciled with Italian food. I realized as soon as I stopped in an area of Freeway service and order a latte macchiato that tasted great.

Finally, we arrived in Pompeii at 3.30 am in the morning. Thanks to the fact that we also found a section of the highway closed for construction and had to make a good turn until we found the national road that led to Pompeii. The owner of the B&B where we stayed, opened the door a little sleepy and we went directly to try to sleep at least a few hours.

At 9 we got up for breakfast at the B&B and at 10 o'clock we went south to visit the ruins of Paestum. This town is about an hour and a half by car from Pompeii, but can also be reached by train. Thanks to the wrong indications of the GPS, we arrived at the ruins at the southern end and left the car in a parking lot. However, then we saw that there was free parking in the area.

Paestum stands out for its Greek ruins and it's three Doric temples that are quite well preserved like the temple of Hera I, the temple of Neptune and the temple of Ceres. Apart from the temples, some house plants and cobbled streets are preserved. Although perhaps the most surprising thing is that if you want, you do not need to buy the entrance because they look pretty good from the fence that surrounds the enclosure.

We paid the euros that were worth the ticket and we walked calmly through the ruins. Thus we could admire the splendor of the temples and their height, which was impressive. The good thing about these ruins is that they are off the tourist circuit and there were hardly any people visiting them.

On leaving the ruins, we returned to the car to go to the Amalfi coast, but along the way, we stopped at a Caseificio (cheese factory) where they made the Buffalo mozzarella and ice cream from buffalo milk. And they really had the buffalo there grazing in a meadow.

The place was new and very cute and I can say that they sold the best ice cream in the world. It was creamy, delicious and not expensive for the artisan it was. The whole area around Paestum is full of boxes where you can buy authentic mozzarella. Too bad they did not have a restaurant in this place to taste it.

Travel Along The Amalfi Coast

About 1.30 pm we returned to the car to continue towards the Amalfi coast. Along the route, I could see Mount Vesuvius on my left and Isle of Capri in the Gulf of Naples on my right. The road was narrow. Driving southbound meant driving near to the edge of the cliff.

The fear of dropping off the cliff was always there. Whenever there was a bus or a lorry at any bend, traffic from the opposite side of the road had to stop and reversed to make way for these vehicles to pass through.

The coast that goes from Sorrento to Salerno is known as the Costiera Amalfitana. A narrow road runs through the small villages that crowd the rock right next to the sea. In general, this whole area is where the Italian rich spend the summer holidays and, therefore, it is very expensive. Starting with the blue parking area, where an hour leaves if you get to park in the center.

The best time to visit the coast is in autumn or spring since in summer it is impossible to move around the area by car. The landscape is very beautiful, but in my opinion, it is not surprising if one has already been to the Costa Brava. There are turquoise waters, pine trees, and steep cliffs. Perhaps what is most surprising are the towns built vertically on the rock with their colorful little houses.

From Salerno, it took an hour to get to Minori, where we decided to park and go and find somewhere to eat since it was 3 o'clock in the afternoon. There were several restaurants near the port, but we decided to get away a little and ask a local if she could recommend a restaurant to eat. He took us to one which looked kind of expensive but very good. We went in and they told us that the kitchen was closed.

In the end, after trying several restaurants without much success, we ended up eating on the terrace of a restaurant that has the kitchen open all day. Here you can eat quietly. I say quietly because there was not a single soul in the hour and a half we were there.

We enjoy the most refreshing and aromatic Caprese salad. We ordered frutti di mare pasta, which was very good and although on the menu the price was not completely exorbitant. The basil mousse for dessert is delicious, although in this case, it is heavy on the pocket. The scare came when we were charged for the simple act of sitting at the table.

After leaving the restaurant we went to the pastry café, which was, in fact, the main reason why we decided to stop at Minori. We asked the waiter what was the specialty of the house and he told us it was the ricotta and pear cake, and there we went to try it.

First of all, to say that the cake of ricotta and pear was good is to fall short. It is light. The ricotta barely tastes like cheese and has a creamy texture but without the bland taste of it. It has a layer made of a biscuit or crushed cookie supersoft and the pear that has inside gives it the right touch to make it delicious and not at all heavy. To lick your fingers.

After lunch and dessert, we returned to the car to follow the route. The route between Praiano and Ravello is short in distance, but not so much in time, as it is very winding. You have to drive very carefully. But it is worth it. All the time the panorama of the Mediterranean coast accompanies us. The landscape is incredible.

As soon as I found the exit of the A3 motorway to Strada Statale 163 in Vietri Sul Mare I understood that it was time to keep the map in the glove compartment. It was the beginning of the narrow blue ribbon, which imprisoned between the mountain and the sea, does not give the possibility to get lost. In return, it delivers one of the most pleasurable experiences that can be lived at the wheel in the world.

Every glance that the driver gives through the window cuts a painting that will hang on the soul. Staggered terraced cliffs, vineyards, and orchards of lemons, pastel-colored houses arranged as seats in an auditorium, mansions hanging from the highest of the hills, and omnipresent, a deep blue sea that gives meaning and feeling to the rest.

Our next destination was Amalfi. A first option we considered was to park before arriving in Positano. But the problem was that when we got there was a parking lot full of sightseeing buses. There was hardly any place to park. So we decided to leave the coastal road to go to Ravello which is about 15 minutes away.

The bougainvillea, the facades painted pastel colors, the steep and narrow streets, the stairs and unbeatable views of the sea and the horizon are a characteristic that defines us to Positano. Driving on the Amalfi coast is difficult. In general, cars are usually just as reckless as on the highway. But on a road where there are stretches and curves that do not fit two cars in parallel.

If you go with a lot of speed, one can end up embedded against a bus in a curve. In fact, on the road from Amalfi to Ravello, there is a traffic light that gives priority to each of the senses because it has a fairly long stretch in which only a car fits on the road.

When I arrived in Ravello, time seemed to have stopped. The place is, in effect, unique. You can understand the passion of some celebrities in this region of Italy. It is an ideal destination for rest. The mere fact of finding a place to admire the landscape of the coast is synonymous with relaxation.

Ravello is a huge balcony on the Amalfi coast. Ravello is full of charm. It perfectly conveyed the sweetness of that spring in Italy, the warm sun, the tranquil landscapes, the wisteria in bloom, all that set had magic for me. It was what I needed to enjoy. I love Italy. It has a particular attraction that catches me, always. Is it because a part of my soul was born there? Who knows maybe.

Of all the possible corners, I fell in love with the flowery terraces and the fascinating gardens that lean on the turquoise sea. The vegetation is overflowing. The famous aristocratic villas of the place also offer the richness of that dazzling landscape on the Gulf of Salerno. What a way to live! Could it be that the sun is warmer? Could it be that the sky is much bluer on this earth? I think so.

It is a pity that almost all that balcony is currently owned by luxury hotels. In spite of everything, we asked permission to enter one of them. They did not put us in trouble, perhaps also because at that time there are hardly any clients. We were walking through the steep and narrow alleys of Ravello. It is worth going there and getting lost in the town quietly because it is very beautiful.

In the very Piazza del Duomo we find a spectacular Romanesque construction full of light and color, where life goes on peacefully, between Dry Martinis and a wonderful pastry. It is a feast for our senses, on the Amalfi Coast as aromas come by sea and land. I feel the intensity of the fragrances that give off its rugged lands, the lemon trees and the sea breeze.

As it was getting dark, we decided to return to Pompeii because I did not feel like driving through those curves at night and also with the little, or better said, no road lighting. After some traffic caused by the lack of traffic lights, we arrived in Pompeii. Fortunately, one adapts quickly to the circumstances and at eight o'clock we arrive at the B&B.

For dinner, we search for a pizzeria that was a couple of streets from the B&B. Upon arriving there we saw that it was a small place with two tables outside and service to take away. What surprised me the most was the prices. While the pizza was being prepared, the universal flood began to fall and in the end, we ate the pizza under the storm.

The pizza dough of southern Italy is a little thicker than that of the north and is characterized by the edges, which are usually fluffy. In the end, as it did not stop raining, we decided to return to the B&B running trying to dodge the raindrops.

Challenging the steep curves of the spectacular coastal cornice path that leads us through the thirteen cities of the Amalfi Coast makes us feel protagonists of scenes only seen before in James Bond movies. The towns of Positano, Amalfi and Ravello are the most precious gems of this imaginary necklace of incredible places stitched together by the road. For me, this trip is ideal for a quiet honeymoon and to relax in one of the most beautiful areas in all of Italy.
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  • Faseela
    Faseela November 12, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Well described.....keep going

  • kalaiselvisblog
    kalaiselvisblog November 13, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    well said buddy...

  • Jeevan
    Jeevan November 15, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    I can understand the beautiful message hidden beneath. Sometime we also blamed for their bad times. Glad I could receive the Kingfisher every day at my nearest tree branches without fail.

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