Frances: Do traffic lights mean anything around here?
Marcello: Yeah, sure. Green Light – avanti! avanti!, yellow light – decoration.
Frances: And what about red light?
Marcello: Just a suggestion.
Quote : Under the Tuscan Sun
I think this quote sums up all of Italy but thought it appropriate to use on my Destination Amalfi post .
The sun was already blazing down on us as we were picked up for our Amalfi Cost day trip. I had chosen to use a company called Amalfi Coast Destination. I’d googled lots of reviews on many sites and in the blogging community and if what they had to say was true ( and there were too many to be made up I thought) we were in for a great day. Let me tell you now that was just as it turned out to be…and those that know me are aware I have a bad personality trait of over planning and expect everyone to live up to my preconceived plans. I’m not good on ‘winging it’. Our driver, Roberto, gave a continual historical guide as we drove. He must get a sore throat after each day’s drive. But, he was informative and charming and importantly knowledgable. I’m guessing he was ‘knowledgable’ as he told us some things I’d already learnt from googling prior to my holiday so I’m assuming the other things were right based on this. 🙂 We headed off in air conditioned comfort of a Mercedes 8 seater van, leaving Sorrento behind as we began the winding road towards Amalfi.
Our first formal stop was Positano. I say formal because Roberto had stopped for photo opportunities and to share information. It was here in Positano that some scenes in ‘Under the Tuscan sun’ were shot hence the early quotes relevance 🙂 it had an old world charm about the town with walkways draped in flowered vines , cobblestone pathways and what TOUR DE STEPS italian trip would be complete without a steep walkway haha. The family headed down to the beach for a swim but I preferred ambling through the small stores each filled with a variety of tourist trap memorabilia or expensive clothing and accessories ( perfect for the ambience of this town) . When we arrived we were suggested to keep our visit to one hour so we could see the maximum in our day. Our hour raced too quickly and before we knew it we were back in the van , sipping cool water brought along by Roberto heading further up the coastline.
We passed through Praiano and stopped at the Emerald Grotto. Having missed the Blue Grotto at Capri I was eager to see inside this one. I had read while researching my trip that some suggest this is even more beautiful than the Blue a Grotto but I can’t make a comparison. We rode an elevator down to the water. From here we joined a short queue to enter the grotto. We rode in small boats holding about 20 people around the grotto observing the stalagmites and stalactites. The water was illuminated from natural light below apparently and looked beautiful in the still water and when the oarsman splashed purposely across the top of the water it danced magically as if fairies draped in iridescent emerald gowns were performing for an audience. I’m so glad we visited this.
We drove through Amalfi ( which we visited later) before arriving at Ravello. Ravello is perched high up in the hill and was reached by a narrow windy road passing through lemon and olive groves that featured on terraced mountains. Must be interesting harvesting the crops and bringing them to the top of the mountains. Although we knew lunch was to be in an hour or so we still squeezed in a gelato using the excuse ( like we need one haha) that it was a hot day and the gelato would help rehydrate us . The little alley ways led along paths of stores with lots of ceramics and of course limoncello ( at this point I think we are getting dangerously close to our duty free component of alcohol as Brian has developed an obsession for buying it everywhere in bottles of varied shapes and sizes 🙂
Our next stop was Amalfi. It is surrounded by dramatic cliffs with hotels and businesses carved into the cliff face. We wandered into the town centre and saw the Duomo di Sant Andrea Apostolo. At the top of the stairs was a newly married bride and her groom. We then perused the shops and headed to the waterfront. We overlooked the beach with it’s brightly coloured deck chairs and umbrellas and looked back again the cliff faces and the windy road still visible from our spot.
With rumbling tummies we headed back to the van to head for lunch. I will dedicate a post of its own to this deserving story 🙂
Surviving lunch we were back on the road on our way back to Sorrento. This time we travelled the inland road displaying a different type of beauty of green mountains and towns of Tuscan styled homes ( of course ) . Back at Sorrento it was time to rest before dinner.
If you are ever looking to day trip The Amalfi coast this is definitely the way to go. I remembered when we started Roberto the tour’s motto is “Come as guests, leave as friends” and he certainly excelled in achieving this . This post is my own thoughts only, I paid for my tour and received nothing to write this. It is not an advertisement just a reflection of a wonderful day.