An Italian Visit: The Amalfi Coast


I would consider this to be the most beautiful part of Italy we visited.

A view of the coastline with Positano in the distance.

Once in a while, I find myself at a loss for words. It’s not often, just ask my wife. The Amalfi Coast was so beautiful it was at times hard to describe. There was color EVERYWHERE. The water, the villages, the gardens, the decor…just a feast for the eyes. The people were beautiful too, not in that magazine model way, but in their warmth and hospitality.

One of the most amazing things I saw in Positano was a wind that raced down the mountainside to the sea whipping up white caps and blowing the froth out across the water. The coast is very rugged and the canyons funneled the wind into a raging current that would burst out upon the flat water and create amazing patterns, like flowers blooming in a time-lapse film. The boats, firmly anchored or swept away, faced into the gusts with determination, riding the choppy waves in sometimes frenzied motions.

This image freezes the motion…at the time, the boat was bouncing quite forcefully back and forth on the wave.
The vicious winds would pick up the froth on the wave tops and blow it in clouds across the water.
We had this meal on more than one occasion!

Of course, the food in Positano was as delicious as every other place we’d been to. In particular, there was a great little healthy cafe just down the street from our Airbnb that we visited on more than one occasion. It had wonderful views through the open doors to the street and dogs were welcome! There were also little bakeries everywhere and it was all too easy to fill up on sweet carbs or take them back to the room for later. There were also several little stores where you could pick up meats, cheeses, snacks, drinks, wine, almost anything you could need for a casual evening sitting on a wall watching the evening fall upon the mountainside or the sea. Although not nearly as peaceful as Lake Como nor even the Cinque Terre area, the beauty simply made up for any other potential shortcomings.

We hired a private boat for an all-day cruise to Amalfi and back. The coastline is very very rugged with most seaside residences and resorts situated well up the mountainside with elevators or sometimes vertigo-inducing steps leading down to a dock or cave. There are virtually no private beaches anywhere along the coast from Amalfi all the way to Positano. At each point along the coast where there was a prominent point into the ocean, a fort or outpost was established for defense. Some are in disrepair but several have been maintained and a few have been converted into residences or small resorts.

Amalfi itself was amazing with some preserved areas right at the port where boats were built a millennia ago. Little shops everywhere with typical tourist items but also buried within the narrow streets are amazing finds like the little shop that handmakes paper and binds them into books and cards the way it’s been done for hundreds of years in the area. I believe the crown jewel has to be the Amalfi Cathedral. Stunningly beautiful it also contains the Diocese Museum with items that stretch back over a thousand years PLUS the bones of the Apostle Andrew in an indescribably ornate and beautiful crypt below the church and museum. The story behind the acquisition of those items dates back to the Crusades. Sometimes I just can’t get enough history. We finished up by floating just offshore and enjoying the amazing views of the town and the mountains while drinking champagne and snacking on sweets. An incredible day and worth EVERY penny.

One one of our days we visited Pompei and climbed Mount Vesuvius. Everything about that experience is completely unforgettable and I encourage anyone and everyone to visit Pompeii and climb the volcano. It was so interesting I felt it warranted it’s own blog post and you can find it by clicking on the image below.

A view of Naples from the flank of Vesuvius.
One of the many stunning views along the Path of The Gods.

On our last full day in Positano, I hiked the well-known Path Of The Gods which covers about 5 miles or so plus 1500 steps from Bomerano to Positano. I would do the hike again in a moment and spend even more time just SOAKING in the views and the peace I found along the trail. I wrote a separate blog post for that experience and you can find it by clicking on the image to the left.

For pure relaxation purposes, we feel that Bellagio on Lake Como would be our first choice, however, we would come back here in a HEARTBEAT. The beauty of this place is beyond description, at least for this poor poet, and of course, you could experience a relaxing visit but there’s so much to do, see, explore and just enjoy, relaxing wouldn’t be a reason to come here. For more images of our stay on the Amalfi Coast visit this gallery.

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