“The gift of life unwraps itself through time;
All we need to do is sit back and enjoy its contents.”
In March, Richard’s brother Dan along with other family and friends made the trip across “the Pond” to Italy where we joined them for four days. Dan secured a villa on a hillside near the coastal village of Massa Lubrense just south of Sorrento. The view from the house was spectacular and the surroundings were just like you’d imagine the Amalfi Coast would be like. The first day we hiked down to the sea walk from our “tree house” perched up on the hill. The expanse of water across the Bay of Naples from so high up was almost too much for the human eye and definitely too much to contain in a camera. The sea walk led us to a little fishing port village where we indulged in a cappuccino at Angelo’s Cafe.
Sorrento’s seaside buildings seem to be ready to tumble into the sea below but for centuries have defied the elements and continue to cling to their rocky posts. This bustling town had much to offer in the way of eating, shopping, sight-seeing, people watching and of course, crazy drivers. The roads in and around the Sorrento area are winding little ribbons of pavement that go where no man with any sense should go – the outer limits of insanity. We soon discovered that the car we rented (small by American standards) was too large to negotiate many cramped streets and curves (not to mention parking places). Fortunately, Richard has become quite adept at European driving so we just held on tight and off we went. A word to the wise: DON’T attempt to drive here during peak tourist season unless you’re OK with joining the parade of cars moving at a snail’s pace crawl for miles and miles.
This area of Italy is famous for its lemon and orange groves. We visited a “limoni” farm where they had a factory producing the sweet, tart liqueur – limoncello.
Dan and Richard in yet another quest for the perfect cappuccino.
During the week, we piled into two cars headed out on the Amafi Coast road. The scenery was spectacular as we traveled in and out of little towns like Positano, Amalfi and Veitre. Dan was our very skillful driver so we could enjoy the white knuckle views over the edge of the roadside. Thanks Dan!
In Amalfi, we stopped for a picnic on the dock. Marty really knows how to pack a gourmet lunch.
…and ANOTHER cappuccino later…
…we headed down the road past a fruit stand with GIANT lemons the size of small watermelons!
The village of Vietre is known for its Italian pottery and beautiful tile work.
But by far, our favorite destination was the island of Capri. A short 40 minute ferry ride from Sorrento, this little island is home to some surprising hidden gems of Italian culture and nature.
Apart from a few roads that link the port with the two villages, the towns are pedestrian only. The skinny little streets weave up and out of the village of Capri between villas and beautiful greenery.
The local streets are just wide enough for people, motor scooters and an occasional “taxi” (little red wagon)
We spent most of the afternoon walking the nature trail along the east coast. It took us up to the well preserved ruins of Villa Jovis built by Emperor Tiberius around 25 AD. It was from here that he ruled the Roman Empire until his death in 37 AD. The narrow path led us through dense forests, endless hillside steps, breathtaking vistas, down to a natural arch high above a hidden cove and back up to the town of Capri – always with an astounding view of the crystal blue water over our left shoulder.
There are just some places in this world that refuse to be captured within a miniscule photo. These are the times when you have to put down the camera, open your arms to the wind and wish you were a bird.
Next stop: ROMA!