We flew in to Naples to be greeted by Tonino, a dashing (and highly popular, judging by the two mobile phones he was talking to whilst driving us through the impossibly winding roads through Amalfi) Italian. The crazier thing was that the roads were barely two cars wide, and the car he was driving us in was manual transmission.
Amalfi is a tiny town on the Amalfi coast. Small and quaint, it lacked the overt glamour of Positano but it was there that we were able to purchase fresh basil, Vesuvius tomatoes that smelled…wonderfully like tomatoes should – not like the almost plastic ones you find in the supermarket, fresh mozarella, proscuitto and ham with a crusty loaf of bread and a local bottle of wine. These we enjoyed on the balcony of our hotel, at the top of the hill, overlooking the coastline, with the sun on our faces – it was heaven.
One tiny street packed full of touristy shops, and snuggled inbetween were fruit and vegetable stores and meat stores where the locals obviously bought their daily food. There were a few alleyways, where we found the Piazza Dogi, and where that night we ate at the Trattoria da Barracca drinking a crisp Serrocielo dei Feudi di san Gregorio 2007 while we tucked into fresh roasted fish and a seafood stew.
I need to mention we took a ride up the hill to Ravelo (where we later realised was where our friends Richard and Nikki were married) and we wandered up the winding alleys to the Villa Cimbrone – some crazy Englishman decided he wanted to make it look like an English garden – and it works ! Best moment was the Terrace to Eternity, a natural balcony with a sheer cliff – breathtaking.
We ate along the beachside the next day and then hired a taxi driven by Salvatore Americano a crazy 60 year old Elvis impersonator who told us about his three failed marriages and that the three things that make him happy are good food, good love, and good “going to the toilet”. A clearly wise man. He drove us to Positano – which I think I might actually write in another post.