Our second travel experience of 2017 was to the Paradise Land of Amalfi Coast. We couldn’t get over all the pictures of the turquoise water, spectacular sea air, the giant lemons and limoncello gelato we had seen previously. As a result, we had to go and see the place for ourselves. Amalfi coast is the region of Campania, Italy. We visited four towns in the magnificent Italian coastline: Pompei, Sorrento, Postiano and Amalfi. We found the Amalfi coast magically suspended in the middle of the blue sky, the scintillating blue coloured sea, and the lemon yellow sun. Did Amalfi Coast meet our expectations? Oh boy it did and we are looking forward to returning next year!
What did we get up to in this Paradise Island during the two days that we were there?
- We departed from London Gatwick to Naples city in Italy. This is the closest airport to any of the towns in Amalfi coast and the distance to your choice of town varies. We decided to pick Pompei, the north of amalfi coast as our base because it was only 25 mins away from the Naples airport; it also sits in the middle with Sorrento to the South and Amalfi town to the East.
- We checked into our hotel, had breakfast, rested and headed out for our half-day tour of Pompei. We started our tour with a few dollops of limoncello gelato at Piazza di Pompeii. We visited the Pontifical Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompei; a Roman catholic cathedral opened in 1901 with capacity of 6000 people.
- Next we stopped at the stalls along the piazza for quick bargains on souvenirs, jewellery and leather.
- After that, we visited the Scavi di Pompeii which is one of the three vast archaeological sites located in southern Italy’s Campania region. Once a thriving and sophisticated Roman city, Pompeii was buried in meters of ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. It’s a city without street signs; hence we made our map our best friend. We also had a tour guide who showed us an unnoticed part of the buried city; the part the most bodies were buried.
- We stopped for dinner on our way back to the hotel and spent the rest of the night chatting away and discussing our travel goals.
This was the most activity packed day of our trip, with stops at Sorrento, Postiano and Amalfi. We started our day with a lovely breakfast at our carefully selected hotel.
- Our first stop was to Sorrento. A civilised and beautiful town overlooking the bay of Naples, the town straddles the cliffs overlooking the water to Naples and Mt Vesuvius. We took a stroll along the old city centre, still untouched in spite of the city’s development, we picked some souvenirs, lace work and leather works. We explored the ancient churches through Piazza di Sant’Antonino. We also attempted visiting the beach through the public gardens of the town. To our disappointment, we needed to climb a million stairs down to the beach or pay to use the lift (we didn’t bother finding out, after all, we still had Postiano and Amalfi town beaches on our plates). The beach wasn’t attractive either in our opinion; the waters were blue and clear but hardly a proper beach.
- Next stop was Postiano, the jewel of Amalfi coast. We travelled via a narrow road those threads along the high cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea. To say the roads were scarily narrow is an understatement (I’m still curious to know how drivers from the USA known for its wide roads survive on these narrow roads of Amalfi coast). We walked past several souvenir shops on our way to Spiaggia Grande beach, picked lots of lemon sweets and a refill of our gelatos. The Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta e Cripta Medievale was as beautiful as the pictures. It is located just below the altar of the Parish Church of Santa Maria Assunta. It was built in the 12th century with parts of a Roman Villa that was in Positano in the 1st Century A. C. We basked in the sun for a little bit, enjoyed and absorbed the beauty of Postiano before heading out to our next stop.
- Next, was the charming village of Amalfi that gives its name to the coast. It looked like a cluster of white house’s clinging to the rock and connected to each other by covered alleys and stairways situated on the seafront. We grabbed our sea food lunch at Marina Grande (the main beach) before exploring Piazza Duomo. We discovered the beautiful Cathedral of St Andrew, named after the patron saint and protector of Amalfi. We couldn’t resist a picture by its impressive staircase, the bell-tower in Arab-Norman style and the charming Cloister of Paradise. We strolled through the streets and couldn’t resist more souvenirs of spices for making southern Italian-style food, lemon soaps, and limoncello drinks. We returned to the beach front and stayed till the evening wind’s descent which was a quick reminder for our departure.
Borrowing the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘’We would Be Back”
- We would be back to visit Ravello (this was part of the location for ‘Amazon land’ in Wonder woman movie.
- We would be visiting Mt Vestivus and slide in some wine tasting in the process.
- We might consider climbing those stairs down to the beach in Sorrento to burn off the gelato overdose.
- We would be back to visit Capri for the Blue Grotto, a dark cavern where the sea glows electric blue, the result of sunlight passing through an underwater cave.
- We would be back to restock on our lemon soaps, sweets, limoncello, leather, spices and herbs
- We would be back for a triple dollop of Amalfi, Postiano and limoncello flavours of gelato.
- We would be back to absorb Postiano and Amalfi and even consider swimming in the iridescent water (that’s if we’ve all finished our swimming lessons by then)