Over the years, I’ve heard so many people rave about the Amalfi Coast as a travel destination, each description more enticing than the next! I couldn’t wait to go…
How to define this place? Amazing light, breathtaking landscapes, cascades of bougainvillea, thousands of stars dancing on the water and blue everywhere! Finally, I had arrived!
Winding roads where scooters, automobiles and buses defy gravity at full speed. An intoxicating and breathtaking sensation to discover new scenery at every turn. Magnificent views onto the Tyrrhenian Sea, the most picturesque villages each one more beautiful than the last: Positano, Praiano, Furore, Amalfi, Atrani, Ravello…
From Rome we opted to take the road bordering the sea. After several hours, we could see only the blue sky melding with the sea, and then, a small sign with the name of our hotel, Casa Angelina, in Praiano. Simon and I, already exhausted by a route requiring all of our attention, looked at one another in disbelief. Could this torturous tiny road below take us to our hotel? In a word, yes! Driving the car down the mountainside we experienced a sensation of plunging into the void, crossing our fingers, hoping not to meet oncoming cars. We arrived at last at the reception, as much out of breath from the descent as from the sublime beauty!
The hotel is pure white except for the exotic flooring, and the staff, dressed in white linen, extended the warmest welcome. The rooms are also white, have a view of the coast and the island of Capri. An elevator installed into the rock leads to a rocky beach, many meters below. A truly enchanting place.
At dawn, the location comes alive, and boats, including many water taxis wait on tourists for seaside excursions, for visits to the Emerald Grotto, or to Capri. I prefer the smaller boats for the feeling of proximity to the water.
We started our visit in Positano, a true cliffside ‘vertical village’ where colorful houses sit perched on the rocky slopes. I was seduced by the bright and colorful alleys where artisans, shopkeepers, and restaurateurs compete for attention.
In Amalfi, after lunch on a seaside terrace, we continued our walk through the village streets. We stopped to watch young newlyweds leaving the famous cathedral in the centre of the pedestrian street. Later on, we discovered a handmade paper factory.
Ravello is without doubt a cherished destination for visitors: the gardens of the Villa Rufolo, the open air concerts, and the bird’s eye view of the sea are enchanting. A visit to the Villa Cimbrone, once a monastery, is a must. The gardens are beautiful and open to the public and the Villa, now a hotel, is a favourite location for wedding receptions.
Everywhere the people are warm and welcoming, the very definition of what it means to be Italian. With only a few days to discover this legendary coastline, how can I best describe the experience? Pure bliss!
“Everywhere the people are warm and welcoming, the very definition of what it means to be Italian.”
Photos: Casa Angelina and Mixte Magazine