Cruising Along The Amalfi Coast
We had planned to spend our last three nights on the Amalfi coast to celebrate my birthday and end our Italian adventure by taking in the beauty of its sparkling gems. It was a bright, sunny day and we decided to take a slightly longer route from Rome hoping to be able to drive along the coast on our way there. We went completely old school with a map and just picked a local road that seemed to be leading to the coast and after driving for about 30 - 40 minutes we were able to see the refreshing blues of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
In retrospect, it added about an extra hour to our travel time, but we are glad we did it. If it was not for this gorgeous detour, we would have never had those seaside paninis at lunch. The whole setting with the rugged green terrain, the blue green waters, and the red roadside panini truck was just stunning.
Roadside lunch spot with a view
It was late October, and the shorter days meant by the time we reached it was dark. Our
was in Massa Lubrenese overlooking the Gulf of Naples and ideally located between Sorrento and Positano. We thought the location was central and perfect for hitting all the major marks of Amalfi coast. It was not so easy to locate however, driving in the dark on those thickly forested hilly roads, not the best road markings and close to no GPS reception. After some searching, we made it and were greeted extremely warmly by our big Italian host, Antonello.
Besides the location, we had booked this place for the views it offered, but it was kinda dark and we could only see flickering lights of Marina del Cantone. We were hungry and the host was kind enough to suggest that we ride with him to a nearby restaurant called
that he was going to for dinner - a place he frequented a lot. After having a hard time finding our apartment we felt it was best we take him up on that offer. We had a nice meal with the famed Neapolitan style pizza for starters, which was delish btw, and were ready to tuck the kids and ourselves in bed.
View from the terrace
I woke up the next morning on my birthday to an amazing view from our terrace. Just minutes after waking up, and it was already the best birthday ever and suddenly turning 32 did not seem too bad after all :P Originally, we had planned to tour the island of Capri, but we had to reschedule it for the next day because of the winds and the blue grotto being most definitely closed. We swapped our day plans and it was time to drive down to Amalfi and Positano instead. Rather tragic, I know :( :P
We hit the road, and the narrow route with its sharp turns and all the crazy bus drivers reminded me of our childhood family trips to the Northern areas of Pakistan. :) The Mediterranean coast and the topography however, made the drive unlike any other I had experienced before. The closest drive I could compare it to would be the drive on highway 101 along the Pacific coast. Both distinctively beautiful drives.
We reached the town of Amalfi just in time for a causal lunch at a
right on the Marina - great spot for people watching. The food was decent, but the gelato at the end was the real winner and called for a walk around the town. Amalfi is a rather small and beautifully eccentric town with all its terracotta and gold architecture against the green hilly landscape in the back.
The main square & Amalfi Cathedral
Quick souvenir shopping and a lazy 20 minute stroll later we had seen most of the town and it was time to make a move to Positano. A gem of the Italian coastline with an iconic townscape. This is the town you see if you run a quick search on
for Amalfi Coast. So colorful, so magical. A town you just want to sit and admire while you sip on your espresso or rose wine while the sun sets :) It was again one of those "pinch me" moments. Surreal.
We were back at our apartment before it got too dark, rested a bit before we headed to Marina del Cantone for some Campania style seafood dinner and freshly made pasta. We could see the marina from our apartment, but it was still a good 15 minute drive down the curves and bends.
was another recommendation by our host and the reviews were encouraging. It was definitely a little cold to be close to the water, but I could imagine how cute this place would be for a Summer time meal with all the little boats around. The sea food was super fresh and tasted great, the pasta to me was a little under-cooked, but I had been told by many in Italy that we Americans overcook our pasta. Could it be that they know about their food more than us? Naaah! :P
It was definitely a birthday to remember and be thankful forever. However, the excitement was far from over with Capri on the agenda for last day. Did the island live up to all the expectations? Did the infamous blue grotto evade us? Answers coming up in the next and final blog entry from Italy. :)