Trying to give my parents a real European travel experience, we caught a train from Rome to Naples, enjoying the views of the countryside in our 6-seat cabin. Deviating from our normal cheap, backpacker way of traveling, we had a car transfer waiting for us for the hour drive along a twisting, turning road shrouded in sheer cliffs made just large enough for 2 cars to pass one another. The mix of busses, trucks and crazy Italian driving made it an adventure for sure! Hitting the coast with views of homes built into the side of cliffs was picturesque and exactly what we expected of Amalfi.
Arriving at our villa, Villa dei Sogni, we were simply stunned. The villa, flowers, balconies and the view were overwhelmingly beautiful. It was a joy to see my parents experience this amazement. A 20-minute walk (down hundreds of stairs!) or a short bus ride brought us into the small town of Amalfi. The cliff sides along the way were covered in lemon trees terraced and trellised everywhere. Known for lemons we couldn’t resist trying the local lemon cake, shaved ice, Limoncello, and, of course, lemon gelato.
The town of Amalfi has a lovely church with gold inlaid for design with an open square in the front. Each day there was much activity getting ready for an upcoming festival. My dad witnessed hundreds of people filing out of the church one day following and trying to kiss a large statue of their patron saint who was then celebrated with fireworks, music, and canons at 6am!
Without a cloud in the sky, the first couple days were spent sun soaking on the beach and a pool near the villa with a lookout to the sea and boats. To get a seaside perspective of the Amalfi coast we took a ferry to the island of Capri. The view of the condensed colored town of Positano was the highlight along with lookout fortresses from the 12th century. Capri is known for the Blue Grotto, but opting out of tourist lines and instead taking the tram to the Capri center was our day. Each evening we dinned like kings at local restaurants or with Zane’s cooking on our private balcony always paired with dry, red Italian wine.
The day of travel back to Rome with a stop in Pompeii, went as smoothly as possible. Arriving at Pompeii we had 2 hours to visit the ancient city until we realized dad’s backpack was missing and left back at the villa. In a mad panic, we left our folks in Pompeii and headed back to the villa (an hour each way). Luckily, we promptly found the backpack (containing their phone and new camera) cruising back on the twisting roads equaled some carsickness. After some translation issues with the driver, he tried to take us to the airport instead of the train station. After the rain ride back to Rome we joked that our bad luck must be over. But we spoke to soon, as our cab got rear-ended on our way to our apartment. We couldn’t help but laugh as the story of the day continued!
The Amalfi coast is a very special destination in Italy. Soon we will add some travel tips about the area for future travelers to this place.