Amalfi, the very word congers images of romantic sunsets overlooking the azure sea. Sophia Loren, Rudolf Nureyev and Gore Vidal each called it home for a time. The elite of Ancient Rome came here to get away from it all. Approaching from Sorrento it’s easy to underestimate its impact. The road climbs slowly for eight kilometers through olive and lemon groves. One wonders what all the fuss is about. Then suddenly you are atop the cliffs plunging hundreds of meters into the sea below. As the bus winds its way you seem to be suspended in air above the water.
Yesterday we arrived in the insanely picturesque town of Positano, nestled in a ravine between the tan and gray cliffs. Our private terrace at Residence la Tavolozza overlooked the town, the church of Santa Maria Assunta with its majolica tiled dome and the sea. Peaceful doesn’t begin to describe it. There’s not much to do here but shop, eat and sit on the beach. We’re not beach people and the only bit of a souvenir we bought so far was a fridge magnet in Cinque Terre. So eat, drink and relax it was.
The coastline between Positano and Salerno is some of the most breathtaking in the world. Ancient towns cling to the cliffs. Every inch of useable land has either a building or terraced garden. We viewed the coast from the top deck of a ferry. Although the drive is legendary, I think the best way to view it is from the sea. A picture is worth, you know, a thousand words, so …
Our B&B in Salerno is in the old Palazzo Morese which our hostess Monica told us once accommodated a Pope, a Salerno native who is now and ever will be in the Cathedral here. For less than a tiny room in Sorrento we have a beautiful two room apartment with full kitchen and a huge shower. It’s nice to not be in tourist town for a change. In fact Salerno may be the least touristy place we’ve been with the possible exception of St. Saturnin les Apts in the Luberon.
We just had a wonderful, gourmet quality lunch at a small Osteria, linguine con scampi for me and puttanesca with olives and capers for Kay, all for less than the mediocre tourist food in a Positano.
It feels like the trip is really winding down. Tomorrow it’s on to Roma for three days then homeward bound.