Where is the Amalfi Coast?: Italy 4

I’ve always heard that the Amalfi Coast is not something to miss. Well, we missed it the last time we came to Italy. Instead we went to see Herculaneum which was intriguing. I was determined that this time we would not miss the Amalfi Coast.

Wouldn’t you know that the one day set aside for sightseeing, it was once again rainy. We didn’t care. We had our raincoats and umbrella and set off.  Folks from where Matt worked in Naples suggested how to drive along the Amalfi coast. Plus, we had the information from our tour book and our hostess at the agriturismo drew out a map and directions. We set some information into our GPS and took off.

I’m not sure we ever did see what people call the Amalfi Coast drive.  Matt followed our GPS and we ended up in some very interesting places. Suddenly we were taken down a one lane path. I don’t think we were even supposed to be in the little town of Pietre. I was beginning to see a theme develop for our trip….getting lost.DSC_2330

In the village of Figlino, we were following the GPS and she told us to go down an extremely narrow street. Matt gave it a go, but we were part way through these tunnels and had to back up. We definitely were NOT going to fit. The clutch got quite a work out as he backed up, uphill, without any mirrors. We had pulled them in to fit through the tunnel. That poor clutch smelled pretty bad by the time we got out of there.DSC_2336 2

By now our good mood was wearing a bit thin. I was determined to enjoy whatever this day presented, but…where was the Amalfi coast?! After much discussion, we got turned around and finally found the road that the tour book mentioned. The drive along the coast really would have been beautiful on a clear day, but it was foggy and looking pretty stormy.DSC_2337 2

One of my desires for this trip was to purchase some Italian pottery. Two years ago when we were here, I had enjoyed looking at it, but resisted buying any. Ever since then, I had wished that I had gotten a souvenir of pottery. We were told by many that Ravello was not only a beautiful town near the Amalfi Coast, but also a wonderful place for purchasing pottery.DSC_4105 2

We headed back up the mountain to find some pottery. Ravello was beautiful and we strolled around this town even though it was drizzling.  I did find just what I wanted, a bottle for olive oil. Suddenly, the clouds let loose and it poured.  I was seeing another theme of this trip…getting soaked.DSC_2358 2

DSC_2349We gave up and headed back to the agriturismo. This was the second time that we attempted to dry our shoes with a blow dryer. I wished I had brought some warmer clothes. It was only 8°. Well, that was Celsius.  But still, 46° F did not feel very warm while soaked. Thankfully, we were dry and warm by the time to eat dinner at 8 pm. It still amazes me how late the Italians eat dinner! We had the fun of eating with a fellow boarder, Vig. He was from England and enjoyed giving us advice on our upcoming adventure there.

But first we had three more stops in Italy. The next day we told our hostess, Siska, that we planned to head to San Miniato which was 450km away, a 5 hour drive. She acted surprised that we didn’t mind driving that far in one day. It made me wonder how often Italians drove to other areas. Were they as mobile as we Americans? We headed off, but decided to stop at a place that Vig had said was not to miss…. Montecassino.

As we drove along, we saw one village on top of a hill after another. Each one had something that looked like a castle. It’s funny, I had always thought of England whenever I thought of castles. But there are a ton of them in Italy!  Matt drove and I kept pointing out castle after castle. Suddenly, a mountain loomed in front of us, huge and covered in snow. In front of it there was a lower mountain with a large structure on it. I at first thought it was another city on a hill with a castle, but it looked larger and more interesting. It was Montecassino!DSC_2380

This abbey, just southeast of Rome, was originally built in 529 but has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. The last time was after being bombed during WWII. It is a beautiful reconstruction. I especially enjoyed the mosaics in the crypt. Our friend, Vig, said he had never seen so much gold and it was really beautiful.DSC_2417 2

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DSC_2440 2Our stop was not long and we continued on towards San Miniato.  The scenery changed from mountains to rolling hills. We passed a factory for PRADA and later Gucci.  It seemed strange to fly by Rome and not stop. There was no time during this trip and I was thankful that I had seen it in the last trip.DSC_4535

And finally we arrived in Tuscany. All we needed to do was find our next agriturismo. I had endeavored to find ones that were interesting and yet would be fairly close to where Matt needed to work. As we wound far up a mountain, I was confused. This would not be an easy commute for him. I began apologizing. Even though he said it would be okay, I felt badly. It was a beautiful mountain with wonderful scenery, but we could not find Agriturismo Settesoldi. We found a different agriturismo and we thought about just staying there. But we had reservations at Settesoldi and I wanted to meet the people there. The host, Sergio, had been interesting in the emails during the reservation process.  Matt looked at the GPS and found that we were headed for coordinates, not an address. We put in the address and found that we needed to travel an extra hour…down this mountain, through the valley and up a different mountain. Once again, lost. Finally, we found Sergio, on a tractor, on a one lane dirt road. What a relief! And glad to see our next new bed.DSC_2470

See the next part of the trip: Italy 5

Don’t miss the rest of our adventure: Italy 1, Italy 2, Italy 3

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33 thoughts on “Where is the Amalfi Coast?: Italy 4

  1. I love your humor…theme for the trip…getting lost and getting soaked. So after all the two of you have been through…finally your wonderful visit to rest and relax in the care of Sergio and Cecila.

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      • My husband – who’s an Australian, but has lived in the US – says Americans think 100 years is a long time, while Europeans think 100 miles is a long way. It’s an exaggeration, but brought up in a city first walled by the Romans, I do tend to think of 100 years ago as yesterday!

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  5. Janine, Getting lost in Italy can’t be half bad with all that beauty surrounding you! Sorry it is raining so much, but it looks like you guys are making the best of it. It is supposed to rain a lot during the little trip RC and I are taking and I hope we do the same! Enjoying reading about your adventures very much!

    • Yes, it is so beautiful and I have the advantage of not having to drive. It’s a bit more stressful for Matt, but even he is doing okay. We just have to stay flexible, right?! Thanks for enjoying it with me!! And I hope you have a lovely trip.

  6. Janine, You and Matt are certainly doing allot of exploring and you’ve seen allot of interesting things. The pottery that you showed is very pretty, and the mosaics are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your wonderful vacation and enjoy the rest of your travels.

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