For my school program, all students were able to choose from four weekend trips, including Tuscany, Bologna and Ravenna, and Amalfi Coast. Of course I chose Amalfi for my love of color, the sea, boat rides and sundresses. Plus, who can leave Italy without a picture in front of the “colorful” houses backed by a view of the sea? You know the one. Or is that Cinque Terre?
Anyways, we set out early and little did we know how intense of a weekend it would be, all the walking, the “oohs” and “ahhs” and more sunshine and cool breezes than my heart could handle.
We started with our picturesque bus ride down to Pompeii where we spent a few hours learning about the history of the city, the harshness of Mount Vesuvius and plenty on brothels in town (an erotic fresco or two to help). Guided by our lovely host Fabrizio, we were taken back to times of horses trotting through streets past ancient Micky D’s-type food shops that served hare soup and legumes, through houses and baths, all while walking along beautifully-set cobblestone even the ancients couldn’t resist. The colors were so wonderful, the vibrant reds and black-and-white floor mosaics too!
We then had lunch at a vineyard on Mount Vesuvius where we tested three types of wine and grappa (made with sweet raisins, my personal favorite) paired with fresh bread topped with wine vinegar, pasta and homegrown juicy tomatoes and a chilled banana for dessert. Needless to say, paired with the sunshine I was ready for a nap.
But then we headed into Sorrento where we checked into our hotel Flora, had a nice nap then strolled along the people-filled streets down to the coast where we peered at boats, enjoyed a chilled lemonade and took in the last bits of sunshine right up until the sun set and it was time for dinner. And as I was pooped from the very beautiful day, I headed to bed with no regrets.
This had to have been my most favorite day of all, mostly because it was what I had been looking forward to all spring (no joke) and even years prior, obsessed with the Amalfi beaches, the zig-zag streets of Positano filled with colorful stores and the sea colored like emeralds. We passed through the most beautiful towns I have ever laid eyes on, painted bright oranges and yellows set with a background of breath-taking cliffs and greenery. The Santa Maria on Positano church was a remarkable must-see and for no entry fee I recommend it to all. It was relaxed and so little people were there that I was able to find some time to breathe and take it all in before moving on to enjoy the coast.
We were able to spend some time window shopping in the very pedestrian-friendly Positano before our refreshing boat ride that took us to Amalfi in just 30 minutes. We passed by cliffs, several luxurious hotels, a world-famous nightclub and even Europe’s smallest fjord and a rock formation resembling two kissing elephants. I felt so in place, as if this were where I was meant to be in my life. I wanted nothing more than to leave life behind, get a boat and sail around the sea forever.
And the beauty didn’t stop there. Disembarking the boat, we arrived to Amalfi known for its lava-black sand and rocky beaches spread throughout the coast. But beforehand, I made sure to grab some delicious marinara pizza! After filling my tummy for a remarkable 6 euros, I headed to the main beach where youth were playing music, children were shoveling the sand away and everyone else was basking in the sun’s rays. So for the next couple of hours we made ourselves at home.
Unfortunately, we had to leave a bit early, so I managed to squeeze in some last-minute window shopping with friends and a refreshing lemon sorbet! And a reminder to all, sunblock and water are key!
On another note, I kept forgetting to put money into my handbag so I managed to spend 20 euros during these two days (on a foulard, iced lemonade, lemon sorbet, and pizza lunch!). Kinda proud of that.