Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Amalfi Coast

When a friend heard I was going to Italy, she said I just had to visit the Amalfi Coast. So while in Sorrento we took the bus south along the Amalfi Coast towards Positano.
It was a little foggy early in the morning. It was hard to get a good picture of the Mediterranean Sea.
The coast road is narrow and seems to be built right out of the rock cliffs. Many people on the bus thought it was scary, but I lived in Colorado too long to be concerned about these roads.

The traffic is always heavy. In the busier months they make the road a one way only for the tour buses.

Looking back from where we came. Pictures just can't do this coastline justice. It was beautiful.

We passed several fruit stands along the way.

We also passed some olive orchards. The netting between the trees is kept rolled up like a hammock unless they are harvesting. Then they are spread out between the trees and the trees are shaken and the olives fall into the netting.

We are coming to Positano, where we planned to get off the bus and wander around town for a while.

With all the narrow streets cars like this were the norm, not the unusual.

The bus doesn't go all the way down to the beach, so we had to get off and walk down. It sure looks like a long way down.

The walkway down was narrow and steep in places, winding through homes and apartments.

Finally, we made it down to the beach level. There's barely enough room for people and here is a car trying to get through as well.

I finally got my feet wet in the Mediterranean.

See the old fort in the background? The forts were built to warn the people of the Saracen pirates many, many years ago. They can be found every few miles up and down the coast. They had to be within a signal fire site from one another.

The entire area from Sorrento down to Amalfi is known for its lemons.

And its lemoncello.

You could find the recipe for lemoncello all over. Most of the stores which sold it, also gave free samples and would gladly ship it home for you, wherever that might be.

Looking down the beach at Positano.

Instead of continuing down the coast on the boat, we chose to take the ferry down to Amalfi.

Along the way we could see more of the lookout forts from the sea.

This was a different view than from the bus.

Amalfi as seen from the boat entering the harbor.

More beaches. Positano and Amalfi are both within hours of Rome and Naples, so in addition to being tourist destinations for visitors around the world, locals enjoy the area too.

Looking down on the harbor at Amalfi. We had read about a village just over the hill, but somewhere I think we took a wrong turn. We climbed and climbed and eventually ended back up in the middle of Amalfi, just higher up.

But we sure saw some nice sites along the way. I was really intrigued about the decoration on this church steeple. I think it really reflected the Greek influence of the area.

This old lookout fort in Amalfi is now a popular restaurant.

Up on the hill we saw some vine and these grapes growing on some rooftops.

We even saw that people today still want protection by having the Cave Canum next to their doorways.

Another view of the church.

As we wandered down into town again we saw these peppers with a sign advertising it as natural viagra.

More lemons for sale.

Now I'm looking up at the same church which just moments before I was looking down on.

Well, our day was ending and we boarded the bus headed back to Sorrento. We had been told to get to the bus stop early and get on the right side heading away from Sorrento and on the left for the return.

These are private islands and we were told that at one time it was owned by Rudolph Nuryev.

A close up of the old castle on the island.

This is why we were told to get to the bus stop early. It was standing room only before the bus got back to Sorrento.

A last look at the Amalfi Coast.

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