Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 1925: Amalfi Coast, Three Old Ladies...
By Mimi052347 from Italy, Spring 2011
Trip Description: May 2011 Amalfi Coast highlights: Praiano, Positano, Ravello plus Sorrento, Naples
Destinations: Countries - Italy; Regions/Cities - Campania
Categories: Vacation Rentals; Beach; Foodie Trip; Shopping; Sightseeing; Independent Travel; 3-4 people
Page 1 of 1: Three Old Ladies, But Dear Friends
May 6, 2011 finally the day arrived. I flew to Chicago and met my best friend Alice and her sister in law. Neither had ever been to Italy. I was determined to have them fall in love with Italy.
I hate the trip over, I never can sleep, and my legs drive me crazy. We arrive at airport and I had arranged for AirPortShuttle to pick us up, and take us to the train station. They were great to work with. Always on time also. We each would use them when we flew home as we were leaving on different days.
I had bought our train tickets to Salerno on line when they were on sale. So we just had to get on the train, on which I was able to nap. Just under two hours we arrived in Salerno, bought our bus ticket to Amalfi and in minutes we were off. We did run into two young men from Iowa. Thatís where we all three are from.
In Amalfi we had time for a cappuccino, and then jumped on the bus to Praiano. The owner of the apartment we would call home for a few weeks greeted us. His son took all of our bags up, 67 steps. Over time we all got very used to them. As most know, the Amalfi Coast has a lot of stairs.
The apartment was larger than I had thought. It was great. Perfect location. We settled in and went to find food. Just down the street was the Trattoria San Gennaro. We ate there several n times. We had a light dinner a few cocktails. Then back to apartment to sleep.
The next day, Janette had jet lag and was feeling under the weather, as I do not think she has traveled much. So Alice, my best friend of over 40 years and I set out to jump on a bus to Positano. She could not get over how beautiful Praiano and Positano were. The views are wonderful. She was bitten by the Amalfi Coast bug already, and it is my favorite, (and I cannot say it enough) in the whole world.
We enjoyed the day and ended up at a place that gets mixed reviews. This puzzles me. I have never had a bad meal there and the service is great. I love the view of the sea and all of the people passing bye. Chez Black. I would recommend it to anyone. I have been dozens of times and love it. I guess they are just use to me there and that makes it comfortable. We relaxed for almost three hours there.
We walked to the shore and looked at the storm damage that had been done a few weeks ago. But all of the boats and ferries are still running. We booked a trip for a boat with Gennaro e Salvatore for the Amalfi Coast with lunch included. Then we wandered through the shops, stopping to look at all of the beautiful flowers along the way. Also the ceramic shop. I am going to get a large multi-tile picture and have it shipped home this time.
We stopped at a bakery I enjoy almost at the top of Positano, a window full of desserts (how can you pass that by!), La Zagara. In the garden surrounded with lemon and orange trees. Desserts are their specialties, a wide choice of cakes and sweets, all strictly homemade. They also have delicious snacks such as panino Caprese (Tomatoes, Mozzarella Cheese and Basil) or pizza margherita or vegetarian, homemade as well.
Finally home. Janette was up and hungry so, Alice and Janette ran back to Trattoria San Gennaro for fish. She loved it. There was a catholic holiday and the Cardinal from Naples had come over. Praiano had a large parade; the girls had gotten caught right in the middle of everything. They came back, we had a few cocktails and we sat and watched the fireworks from our balconies. Then we watched the ships in the shipping lane for hours.
We watched that almost every night, plus the buses on the road making their way through town. But most of all the lights that come on like a Christmas tree in Positano. And the sea. Who could ask for anything more?
Gennaro e Salvatore boat trip along the Amalfi Coast was so much fun. We will take it once more when we return. Well worth the money and so relaxing. A lot to see from the boat, you will really enjoy it.
Morning, coffee, on the terrace and looking out at the sea and the mountains, with Positano right in the middle, we never got tired of the views. We had two balconies and a terrace, all different views.
We caught the bus to Amalfi to see the open market on Wednesday morning. Then we walked around strolling through the town and back to the beach. We got on a ferry and went to the Santa Croce beach in Amalfi to have lunch that someone living in Amalfi from USA had told me about.
During the summer, thereís a local boat service that runs throughout the day from Amalfi, and the ride only costs Ä2.00. Or, you can take the free boat service offered by Ristorante Da Teresa. We ate at Ristorante Da Teresa, WOW great food. You really have to look for the boat that takes you there; it is under a little tent by the harbor to the right, closer to where they have the market.
We did go to Amalfi several times, to get off the main square and also to see the church, a must see, even if you are not interested in churches.
We went to Ravello for the day, beautiful gardens and old buildings. Had a wonderful lunch, lost the card with the name of it.
One morning we jumped on the bus to Sorrento, Very pretty ride over. Then we got on the train to Naples. We wanted to try the pizza, having heard that it is the best in the world. It was great! But we did not care for Naples at all. It was big city, and dirty I will not go back, not my cup of tea.
The only mishap the whole trip was in Naples. Janette tripped on the side walk and knocked the wind out of her. Oh, then one morning I got up very early. I went to shut the bedroom door so they could sleep and it locked, lock broke and it took an hour for them to get out Ö panic had set in, but eventually we laughed about it.
On the way home we stopped in Positano for dessert and listened to a live band.
We ate in several times, having found a butcher with a very large stewing hen. Alice made homemade noodles and we had mashed potatoes and peas. Another night we had him cut Iowa styled pork chops, one-inch thick. I fixed them with mustard and onions and mashed potatoes and peas. We did have a fabulous dinner at the Hotel across from apartment in the Hotel Tramonto d'Oro. We really enjoyed the evening. Food was very good, service great. View out of this world.
The bus took us some place new everyday and we still did not see everything. The locals are the best I have been around in years. They are wonderful, kind warm people. Praiano is a smaller, calmer village. Fewer tourists. A perfect place to stay and relax and look at some of the most spectacular views you have ever seen.
We never needed a car. I watched the mess drivers caused as they were confronted with all of the buses. It only slows things down. Those hair pin curves high on the cliffs are not fun to have to back up from a bus. And the buses have the right of away, always! You can see everything from the bus; you would miss so much if you were driving. I never wanted to miss a view. These few weeks have flown bye. It is time to get ready for a week in Rome. But thatís another story.
Alice wants to return for a month in two years. I am already planning; you sure do not have to ask me twice.
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