Category: Italy

Amalfi Coast, Italy

After my week in the province of Pescara, Italy, I headed to the Amalfi Coast, located just below Naples. It was an area of Italy I hadn’t visited before and I had heard so many times how gorgeous it is. I took the bus from Pescara to Naples and, from there, caught another bus to the town of Agerola where I stayed at the awesome little hotel Nido Verde.

Taking the bus between towns on the Amalfi coast is quite the experience. You constantly feel like you are about to careen off a cliff and they pack the buses as tightly as rice in a roll of sushi. haha. I saw one woman clutching the curtains of the bus windows at one point, and heard another couple worriedly called out, “Is this a one way street!?” as a car came towards us on the narrow road (it wasn’t a one way street- just your average skinny-as-a-noodle Italian road). I have so many funny bus stories from the Amalfi coast. On another bus ride I took, the bus suddenly stopped and I didn’t know why until I saw goats wedging themselves between the bus and the cliff face beside the road, their faces practically smooshed against the glass like in a slapstick comedy. The whole bus gave the driver a round of applause at our destination for his expert driving and he bashfully waved it off with a pleased look on his face. hehe. I wouldn’t recommend taking the bus in Amalfi who are prone to car sickness, fyi. haha. The ferry in between towns is a much nicer way to travel whenever possible, take my word for it (unless you also get sea sick)!

Amalfi:

I caught the ferry from Positano to Amalfi and it was such a pretty ride. Not to mention refreshing on a hot day. You don’t have to go far to find beauty in Amalfi. The church with the tall steps going up to its doors is super stunning and there was lots of pools of shade provided by the tall buildings, once inside the cozy streets.

Ravello:

I caught a bus from Amalfi to reach this gorgeous little hilltop town. Despite being filled with tourists, it had a quiet, intimate feel to it. It’s also a huge destination wedding spot in Italy. Perhaps the most popular destination wedding spot on the Amalfi coast.

Agerola, Italy:

My home base on the Amalfi coast. I’m so happy I chose to stay here. It was much less packed with tourists and you were left to soak in the ambiance of the colourful locals pretty surroundings. I did a lot of enjoyable people-watching in the town square a few blocks from my hotel. People playing cards outside a cafe, a grandpa buying his grand-daughter ice cream and a man riding his horse down the middle of the street, to name a few.

Below is a photo of the charming breakfast area at my hotel Nido Verde (and the yummy plums and delicious breakfast pie they make for guests). They really went above and beyond at this hotel. One of the owners, Roberto, even drove me to my bus in the morning to get back to Rome for my flight home.Exploring the streets of Agerola while on my way to a panoramic view of the coast that Roberto recommended. I picked up some 4-footed companions on the way.

The look-out point for the amazing panorama where I took many lunches and dinners to enjoy the view.A small section of the incredible view. This is also a view of part of the Path of the Gods (Sentiero Degli Dei) trail that I hiked while there. Click here for my post on that.Another view from the Agerola lookout point. You can see the island of Capri in the distance. I visited Capri in 2004 when I au-paired in Italy and it is such a gorgeous island! If you skirt around the edges, you feel like you are in a pirate’s paradise.There was a bike race or trip of some sort passing through here and these guys saw me with my camera and immediately waved their hands for me to come take a photo of them. hahaha. Sure, why not.

Positano:

The streets sing with colour in Positano. I skipped all the tourist shops (there are SO many) and found a cute little antique store where I bought a huge old key the size of my forearm. I really should have taken a photo of it in its element…

After exploring Positano, I dipped my feet in the sea while waiting for the ferry to Amalfi to arrive. Someone had passed out in the heat near the loading zone and they had to rope off the area and wait for a helicopter to come lift the person out. All ships were stopped until the helicopter had come and gone. Hope the person was okay! There was even a bride and groom in full dress waiting with us. I wonder if they had their wedding in Positiano or if they were catching a ferry to get married in another town. I should have grabbed them for some photos but I had just finished the Path of the Gods trail and was filthy and too tired to switch into photographer mode. haha.

 

Path of the Gods Hiking Trail – Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Path of the Gods (Sentiero Degli Dei) is a hiking trail on the Amalfi coast stretching between Agerola and Positano on the Amalfi coast in Italy. I was staying in Agerola so I began there, finding the trail through a crack in the town square (Bommerano area). I actually hiked a third of the trail one day and then slipped on loose dirt, fell and hit my elbow super hard, and had to hobble back to my hotel to ice it. But the next day, I was told that there were going to be live musicians playing along the trail so I decided to try again! I ended up taking a wrong turn, which you will read about below, so I missed the musicians but I’m so glad that I did the whole trail. It took about 3 hours because of my weird, high detour. It was a super hot day but but man oh man were the views gorgeous. Plus, I’ll do anything for a good photo.

Click here for photos from the rest of my trip on the Amalfi Coast.

I always find saints in the most interesting places in Italy.All sorts of neat broken-down houses along the trail.View of the little town of Praiano.A funny story goes along with the photo below. The bottom of the photo is the trail you are supposed to take. The very top of the photo (it’s much higher than it looks) is where I ended up somehow when I took a wrong turn on the trail. I suddenly realized “I have not come across a single person on the trail for the past hour, this is strange.” I went to a nearby cliff edge, looked down and saw a bunch of hikers way down below on the trail I was supposed to be one. So I had the quite the interesting and long experience trying to navigate my way down this old vertical vineyard that separated me from the main trail. Each row is about 5 feet high and you can’t see the row of steps to the next row until you are directly beside it. haha. It was a vineyard labyrinth – so much pacing back and forth on each row trying to find the stairs to the next row. I was chuckling at myself the whole way down. Man was I dirty by the time I got to the main trail again. The end of the trail, coming out into the little town of Nocelle. A little old Italian woman watering her flowers took one look at me and handed me her garden hose. I was covered in dirt from the trail (it was so dry it would rise up in a cloud with every step and stick to my skin) and I was sooo thirsty so the garden hose was like a gift from the Universe. haha. It was all worth it though!Another saint discovery in Nocelle.These guys were delivering a bunch of paintings and helped me find my way to the bus stop. So much cool Amalfi Coast art. Seems like every other store in Positano sells them.

 

 

Pescara Italy, Pt. 2

The adventure continues from Part 1 of my trip to the province of Pescara, Italy in September to photograph Serena and Marco’s wedding….

I took the photo below at the church where Serena and Marco got married, when they first showed it to me a couple days before the wedding.  The church, built in 1007, is called San Liberatore a Mailla.Serena and Marco’s good friend Luigi, took me to such a cool area of Pescara on one of his days off. This amazing broken-down church was just sitting on the side of the road and I asked Luigi to stop so we could check it out. Gorgeous! This would be so cool for a wedding ceremony…Luigi then took me to the area of Campo Imperatore. So different than the landscapes I usually see in Italy! Wow. The area is apparently known as Italy’s “Little Tibet.” Luigi said an old Clint Eastwood movie was even filmed on these planes.K, this was awesome. This is Il Castello di Rocca Calascio and it’s the castle from the old film Ladyhawke, starring Mathew Broderick. As a huge fan of 80’s movies, it was pretty fantastic to see in person. : DNext, we went to the picturesque town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio. This town has an amazing history. It was left in ruins for years (after an earthquake, I believe) until a man by the name of Kilgren, funded the restoration of a large portion of it. He turned the town into a series of vacation apartments called Sextantio Albergo Diffuso. Other parts of the town are continuing to be restored.Ancient door (left) with what looks like a cat door in the bottom.Luigi took us on a different route back to Spoltore, over the grasslands of Campo Imperatore. Absolutely gorgeous and stunning. It’s a popular place for bike trips.