Amalfi Coast

Switchbacks, Limoncello & Mediterranean Views

Guest post written by Evelyn

The Amalfi Coast is a gem. Beautiful sun-drenched villages cling to steep verdant cliffs, terraced with vineyards and lemon groves, while narrow roads, clad in stone walls, snake tenuously down toward the shore. (This week beckons me to use my most decorative adjectives)  Again we let a local do the driving.  We came over the Milky Mountains, named for the local cheese-making legacy, and the vast Mediterranean opened into view.  The road meandered down the hillside through lemon groves to the town of Amalfi, where we enjoyed cappuccino and pastries filled with lemon crème near the foot of the Amalfi Cathedral steps.  Amalfi was the regional maritime power before the rise of Venice, and has a long and interesting history, as various European powers wrestled for control of this trade port. The Cathedral of Amalfi contains the remains of St. Andrew and parts of it date back to the 9th century.  It is Romanesque style, with a pretty striped stone and marble façade.  A stroll through the narrow streets of this hamlet leads past shops and stalls filled with everything lemony, from soap and tea towels to pretty mosaic tiles and a myriad bottles of Limoncello.

The second town we visited in the area was Ravello, a name derived from rebel, for the rebels who did not wish to live under the rulers of the local towns.  Nestled up in the hills, Ravello has several large beautiful villas, smaller homes, shops and the Duomo di Ravello, a cathedral situated on the Piazza Duomo.  We toured the Villa Rufolo, which hosts a world famous concert series every year.  Richard Wagner spent time in Ravello and his music is performed there each year. Sitting on a bluff overlooking the sea we watched a storm blow in while tiny boats in the harbor below swung on their moorings. We enjoyed local fruits, cheese, prosciutto and pasta. The scenery was breathtaking, and the view was spectacular.