Italian Itinerary: Adventures in Amalfi

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The first stop on our recent trip to Italy was the Amalfi Coast.  And our adventures started as soon as we hit the road. If you’ve ever driven to the Amalfi Coast, you know what I’m talking about.  It’s a good thing I wasn’t driving the car because I spent a lot of time on those narrow windy roads with my eyes closed.  And I don’t mean sleeping!

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We rented a manual drive Alfa Romeo Giulietta at the airport in Rome (my husband loved that car!) and got on our way.  Getting off the A1 for a bite to eat we ended up unintentionally at the top of a tiny hill town.  Thanks to my rusty Italian and some friendly school kids, we found the only store that was open, a market with delicious soft Pecorino Romano, bright green olives and crusty Italian bread and we were on our way again.  Slow and steady (except when we had to get out of the way of the crazy fast Italian drivers), we headed to Positano.  Winding  through the town’s narrow one-way streets we missed the hotel driveway on the first try and had to circumnavigate the entire town to get back there.   Second time around the Cinque family was waiting for us, stopping traffic briefly and navigating us safely into the garage.  We had arrived at the lovely Albergo California Positano, http://www.hotelcaliforniapositano.it/

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After a delicious dinner next door at Ristorante Bruno, http://www.ristorantebruno.org, (the grilled seafood platter was amazing) and a good night’s sleep in our spacious room overlooking the bay, we woke up ready to start exploring the Amalfi Coast.  IMG_6263
Our plans for the day  included a ferry ride from Positano to the town of Amalfi and a hike up to the the little town of Pontone for lunch (a Rick Steves recommendation).  Arriving at the beach in plenty of time for our 10:30 ferry we learned that it was canceled and the next ferry would leave at 11:30.  OK, no problem!  Time to wander the shoreline.  Following a little path away from town we stumbled onto a beautiful deserted cove, flanked by two Saracen towers, built centuries ago to protect against invaders
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Of course we had to collect a few of our favorite Italian souvenirs, beach tiles.

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After a scenic ferry ride we strolled with the crowds through the bustling town of Amalfi.

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Before we knew it we were on the path to Pontone.  Lemon trees and bushes were everywhere!

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A friendly local gave us lemons from his family orchard.  Distracted by our new friend, we missed the turn on our path and wandered through the woods for a while.  Pushing aside our fears that we would never stop climbing uphill, we persevered and finally arrived at the top of the mountain in the tiny town of Pontone.   Antico Borgo and lunch were waiting for us!  What a view!IMG_5864

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Day two on the Amalfi coast was equally delightful.  On the agenda:  touring the town of Ravello and Villa Cimbrone.  To get to Ravello we had to go through the town of Amalfi again and this time we (my dear husband) wanted to take the car.  Let’s just say that both the scenery and the driving conditions were thrilling.

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IMG_6064Highlights from the charming town of Ravello included a scenic walk out to Villa Cimbrone and a stroll around its beautiful grounds followed by a delicious lunch at Cumpa Cosima.

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After two full days and three nights on the Amalfi coast we were not ready to leave.  So much more to see and do.  We’ll be back (in the spring or the fall) to pick up where we left off!  Next stop:  Roma!

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