Saturday, October 16, 2010

Intoxicated by the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is made up of a number of utterly enchanting, almost fairytale villages that are set into the rugged coastline of Italy’s south-east. Although it was mid Autumn, we soaked in the suns rays as we meandered around the idyllic hillside villages and even when the rain came down, we surprisingly dealt with it better than usual! Even in the rain we were captivated and couldn’t get enough. The sights, sounds, tastes and scents of this dramatic coast are something to behold!

We spent most of our time exploring the coast in our car, stopping along the way, mostly for amazing photo opportunities. There were a lot of photos we didn’t take, simply because we were often on a hairpin bend and parking anywhere on the narrow coast road is next to impossible…those are the images locked in our memory. We were particularly mesmerized by the very famous small village of Positano with it’s pastel and white houses precariously nestled into the cliffside leading down to a picturesque cove of pebble beach. These photos will do more justice to a description than I ever could……

Beautiful Positano, by day and at sunset

Ravello was the second place that caught our attention and was more of a surprise because we had never heard of it before. It’s set back from the coast, but sits on probably one of the highest peaks in the whole area and allows for spectacular panoramic views. We spent more than a whole day discovering the nicks and crannies of this quaint village, which we were obviously fixated with and it provided amazing material for good photography. Ravello was our base for 4 nights, where we stayed with the most hospitable Italian family who made us feel like one of them. I can only do that experience justice in a whole separate post (see ‘The Italian Secret to a Long Life….stay tuned)
Pics of Ravello

We were excited to be back amongst a culture that values cuisine like no other! Although we devoured really good Italian dishes in a few places, we quickly developed a favourite (Villa Amore Albergo Ristorante), which we returned to several times. Hidden away in a cobblestone alley in Ravello, we were served by older Italian gentlemen wearing vests and bow ties. The menu was extremely good value with our delicious bottle of wine costing only 7 Euro. We felt so at home and ridiculously blessed as our waiter dished our meal from the pan right at our table, even completely deboning my fish so perfectly as I watched. Sitting on the terrace of this restaurant treated us to the best view we’ve ever had whilst eating. We stopped to think, that this experience was probably as authentic as it got. Ok, so I’ve become a bit fixated on eating again, but I guess you better get used to it, this is Italy after all!
The view from the Ristorante

Chicken Cacciatora....look how red those tomatoes are!!

The Amalfi Coast was one place I had completely built up in my mind and I think I even dreamed about being here a few times. I can honestly say this place definitely exceeded all of our expectations and must be experienced to be truly imagined! It is a storybook brought to life!


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