Newsletter - Our Trip to Amalfi May 2009


              At the end of May we took off on a little holiday of our own. We stopped the first night at our favourite hotel in Camogli, then the next day we hit the road for Amalfi, which is a drive of about 700 km. We had a good trip, arriving at the B&B (agriturismo) about 5 pm. We knew there were steps, but we were not prepared for the reality. One had to leave the car on a small platform overlooked by a huge rockface (used for practice by climbers), with the house further down the hillside reached by 132 rock steps. The owner had rigged up a sort of railway to transport the baggage and supplies, but I had already walked down when I found this out, so had to go back up, load the bags into the box, and then walk down again. It was 30 degrees plus, so when I got into the room I was really ready for a cold shower! The place was delightful with a lovely terrace and superb views of the mountains and the sea. We had the evening meal each day in the B&B, not wanting to face the steps again! and the meals were excellent.

              The next day we drove down to Amalfi proper, parked, with some difficulty in the port and explored. It was packed with tourists. While empty of tourists it is probably a very pretty place, but as we found it, it was too much. We went on to Ravello, creeping along behind a convoy of trucks, buses and cars up the series of hairpin bends with the A/C going full blast. We peeled off into Ravello and found a car park but had to queue to get in. While waiting, the engine began to boil, so we had to pull off into a gateway and cool things off and top up the radiator with help from a neighbouring restaurant. Finally we got into the parking and then went and had a look round and lunch. There were lots of tourists here too, but the open-air concerts were in the evening and we had no desire to hang around, so we went back to the B&B, for cool drinks on the terrace, a rest in the A/C room, and a good dinner.

              The next day we went towards Salerno, stopping off at Maiori, which we found charming with few tourists (it was destroyed in a flood in the 1950s and rebuilt, so has few antique buildings). We continued on, trying to visit places like Cetara and Vietri, but finding nowhere to park had to continue. Cap D’Orso gave magnificent views over wild craggy rocks and coast. We did a u-turn at the approach to Salerno (an industrial town) and went back to Maiori where we had lunch overlooking the beaches, and then home. The third day we set off for Sorrento and Capri, intending to stop off at Positano, but there we could not even find a place to stop, let alone park, so we kept going. When we got to Sorrento (a pretty big place) we found the port, put the car in a garage and got the ferry for Capri. On arrival we booked the trip around the island by boat, had a coffee and then off on the trip, which was excellent, giving one a good idea of the wildness of the place, and super views of the villas of the rich and famous. On our return, we had lunch overlooking the port, then made our way to the ferry to Sorrento. The return to our B&B was uneventful, but the same formula, cool drinks on the terrace, a cool rest and dinner, worked wonders. Next day was time to pack up, get the bags back up to the parking area, climb the steps for the last time, and drive back to Camogli and were we glad we had decided to break the journey there!