Italy
Amalfi

Here you’ll find travel reports about Amalfi. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

46 travelers at this place:

  • Day12

    Up to Ravello

    December 31, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Ravello is about 4 km and 500 m up, a good aerobic walk! So I walked while Joe took the bus. We met up top and after the obligatory cappucino, we visited the Cathedral (some beautiful mosaics) and the Villa Rufolo (an old hodge podge of buildings from the XII century onward, bought by a rich guy and restored in the 19th century— the main attraction was the VIEWS!!!). Absolutely gorgeous views from up there.

    Trying to get good information on bus options down was nearly impossible, since it is New Year’s Eve. So a group of 8 piled into a cab and in a few minutes we were back in Amalfi.

    All of the restaurants are booked with gala dinners, so we have found a little enoteca that will feed us some dinner as long as we are out by 9:30. We hope to see the fireworks from the seaside promenade, but I fear that thousands of others will have the same idea!

    Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!
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  • Day11

    Moved over to Amalfi

    December 30, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    A 20 mile trip from Sorrento to Amalfi takes 90 minutes on the bus — but don’t think you’d get there any faster driving it yoursef. The road twists and turns and twists again, along the coast. Since we already had visited Positano from Sorrento, we just stayed on the bus all the way to the charming, but VERY busy, town of Amalfi. If this is the off-season, I hate to think what it looks like in summer, but I am sure there is a burst of tourists between Christmas and New Years.

    We’re in an old hotel on the main square, with a view over the 12th century duomo (cathedral). That became a less attractive location when we learned there will be an all night party in the square tomorrow. (There’s another folkloric concert on the steps of the cathedral as I write, but it ends at 7 pm!). I knew about and was looking forward to the fireworks on the water, but had no idea that the concerts would begin after that. I should have brought my ear plugs from my Camino bag, I guess. Well, we hadn’t planned to do much on Jan. 1 anyway.

    This afternoon we visited an old paper-making factory, and by old, I mean 13th century old. Paper made of cotton fibers, not wood pulp. We saw the original pulp-making machine, as well as the 15th century newer version, as well as the 18th century one, all powered by water. They coated it in gelatin made from rabbit to make it less absorbent. And then hung it to dry for months!
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  • Day13

    Architecture, Music, and a Hike

    January 1 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    What a very nice way to start 2019– first, a visit to the cathedral (unfortunately the stunning romanesque facade was not matched with a similar interior — on orders of some king, the whole inside got a baroque make-over). St. Andrew is buried here, and his remains are reported to undergo a similar annual miracle as San Gennaro in Naples — instead of his blood liquifying, it is some substance that oozes out of the container of his remains. Rather grotesque, actually, but I get the role that faith plays in these things and in the lives of the congregants.

    Then a surprise — a chamber orchestra playing all sorts of music in a free concert inside the basilica. Our favorites were the various opera pieces — all very well known, from Carmen, Merry Widow, Granada, a few more. We enjoyed it a lot.

    From there, time to walk. Up, up, up again, just as high as yesterday, but to another town, Pontone, which looks across a gorge at Ravello. In Pontone, luckily, we found an unexceptional pizzeria open, so Joe could sit and eat while I went on to the Torre dello Ziro, and up to the ruined church of Sant Eustacio. Unfortunately, the site was closed —I would really have liked to see the apse up close.

    Back down just as the sun was setting — time to think about dinner options. Lots of restaurants seem to be closed, but there are crowds in the square outside our room again, enjoying more folklore. I am pretty sure there will not be late night concerts, at least I am hoping that’s the case!
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  • Day12

    Happy 2019!

    December 31, 2018 in Italy ⋅ 🌬 12 °C

    Very good dinner in the little enoteca, though we could have stopped eating after the antipasti. But I guess it is a night for wretched excess.

    It is a very good thing we squeezed in a few hours’ nap before the fireworks, because the concert in the square went on till 4 or 5. I didn’t even bother to look at my watch when it finally ended, I was just so relieved to hear the silence.

    At about 11:30, we awoke to the sound of traditional music, and followed a long procession of music-makers in traditional dress out to the beach. Then the fireworks (they were super!), with a return procession to the cathedral. At that point, the traditional music gave way to loud loud loud. First a live band (I was so happy to hear someone say what sounded like “last song” in Italian, only to realize that it was just the last live song and. a DJ had taken over). Though I wouldn’t say I reallly enjoyed the music, it was fun to see the square filled with so many others who were.

    I woke up around 8, to another day of brilliant sunshine, and was surprised to see that though the light and sound equipment was still up, the square was spotless. Amalfi takes its public places very seriously.
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  • Day42

    Amalfi Coast

    October 14, 2016 in Italy ⋅

    After spending most of our trip in major cities, it was nice to enjoy a slower paced more scenic stay on the Italian coast. We stayed in an apartment with a beautiful rooftop view where we enjoyed drinking wine and planning the rest of our trip.

    We took a 2 hour public bus along the Amalfi Coast and enjoyed visiting a beautiful quaint town called Ravello and the town of Amalfi as well. We were lucky to get a seat both ways as the buses were packed and some people had to stand for the whole ride! The bus ride along the edge of the cliffs was more exciting than most roller coasters - we were thoroughly impressed by the bus drivers' skills of navigating the roads that sometimes turn into one ways.

    Lastly we enjoyed some limoncello a liqueur drink made in this region from organic lemons! 🍋🍋🍋🍋
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  • Day50

    The town of Amalfi

    May 14, 2017 in Italy ⋅

    After a crazy busy ride from Positano, where a bus only slightly narrower than the cliffside road negotiated hairpin turns while meeting other cars and buses, I arrived in Amalfi. This cute town felt larger than Positano with more open space and the bus arrived right in the rather lovely port. There were lots of people and it was up around 25° so I headed for the town to explore and to have a look at the intriguing church I could see.

    It was a very old Cathedral with an interesting museum attached to it. For a mere 3€ you could enter and look around. Many of the pictures and statue dated back to the 14th Century and as always I found it fascinating. The cool shade was welcome too!

    I headed up the hill to the next bay and took some pictures and explored the area. It is all rather picture postcard beautiful. I sat for a while at a beachside cafe nursing a small beer for a while and enjoyed some people watching.

    I went early for the bus back to Sorrento as I had been warned they fill up late in the day. Queuing in the hot sun, the small Kathmandu umbrella I carry everywhere came in handy as a sunshade and I received a few envious looks! The bus ride back was just as crazy but I met a lovely young Australian midwife and we chatted most of the way back. I am getting to meet so many nice people in my travels!
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  • Day42

    Amalfi

    October 10, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Our destination for today was Amalfi and the easiest way to get here was by ferry. Such a pleasant way to travel and with a fabulous view of the coast line to admire on the way.

    We were sad to be leaving Sorrento as we really enjoyed our time there and were hoping Amalfi would be just as good... and it was but in a totally different way. Sorrento has a bit of sophistication about it (I think that’s the best way to describe it). It is very ordered and dressed to impress, which it does. Amalfi is a maze of alleyways to explore off the main street and down the alleyways are cool shops, different to what we have seen elsewhere, and excellent restaurants to enjoy. It has a real old Italian charm about it and the alleys have been decorated with planters, artwork etc so it’s as pretty as picture.

    I do have to admit though that Amalfi does have a couple of strange water features. One is the fountain in the main square which was currently under restoration. I’m not sure what the sculptor was thinking when he positioned the water spouts. Very interesting choice.

    The other is a fountain that was La Fontana de Cape ‘e Ciucci. The fountain was built of stone and the two faces of marble in the 18th century. The name derives from the old custom of when donkeys came down from the village of Pogerola and were led there to drink. For some reason in 1974 people started placing small figurines on the rocks of the fountain with the purpose of creating a nativity scene. Over the years many of the figurines have been submerged and for some reason this fountain has become a tourist attraction. To say it isn’t attractive would be an understatement as I don’t think there is anything pretty about this fountain.
    We had a couple of days to enjoy here and as it isn’t a big town we relaxed, enjoyed browsing the shops and did lots of eating and drinking.

    On the first day we found a very cute restaurant by mistake down a small alley. It had so much charm and what we thought was just a small alleyway restaurant was in fact quite a huge establishment that had been running for 35 years. We were lucky enough to sit in the small courtyard surrounded by old buildings. Very authentic.

    After dinner we thought we had better buy a dessert from Pasticceria Pansa, which has been serving sweets since 1830.

    Opened by Andrea Pansa, a master in the art of confectionery, and managed by five generations of Pansas, the café/pastry shop has been selling its sweets, cookies, candied fruit and chocolates. Part of the enjoyment was unwrapping the beautifully wrapped package they give you when your order to go. It was like Christmas. And the “gift” inside was delicious. We could see (taste) why the shop was so successful.

    The weather wasn’t the best on our second day so after a visit to the Cathedral we decided to relax with drink before lunch and returned to a restaurant in the quieter square beneath our accommodation. I love the old Italian men trying to entice people into their restaurants. They have a sense of humour and a twinkle in their eye. It worked on us and we ended up enjoying not only a drink but a delicious lunch AND a dessert (Brad only, I was good/full), and a lot of banter. A fun way to spend the afternoon and when the owner started introducing us as his brother and sister, we asked for a family discount.

    Amalfi definitely impressed us and we have loved this part of the Italian coast.
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  • Day43

    Cattedrale di Sant'Andrea, Amalfi

    October 11, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    With it being a cloudier day today we decided to scrap our plans of spending the day on the beach and instead we visited the Duomo di Amalfi; Cattedrale di Sant'Andrea, the Amalfi Cathedral. What a pleasant surprise this Cathedral was. Very pretty but not overdone on the outside and also unique to the others we have seen.

    Built between the 9th and 10th centuries on the ruins of a previous temple, it is now a conglomeration of two churches and a bell tower that have been modified and added to over several centuries. It houses a museum and the Cathedral and is definitely worth a visit.

    Someone asked if we were over seeing churches and old buildings but every one we have visited has had its own unique features that amaze us every time. And this one was no different.

    The lush garden of the Cloisters of Paradise was a pleasant surprise, surrounded by the white, almost Moroccan style arches, it made a pretty picture. And if you stood in just the right place you could capture a photo of the adjoining bell tower through an arched window.

    As with many other cathedrals a lot of the artwork that remain are not full pieces and we just get a glimpse of what it would have once looked like. This was the case for the upper floor of the museum but the crypt was another story.

    Completed in 1208, it holds the relics of the apostle, St Andrew, to whom the church is dedicated. The crypt has been very well preserved. With its stunningly decorated arches, beautiful chandeliers and amazing statues and alters, it was breathtaking!!

    The cathedral itself was also beautiful with arches of white contrasting against the highly decorated pulpit and naves. And of course there was the odd skull on display.

    This was worth the €3 admission (we overheard some people complaining about having to pay) and a great place to visit.
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  • Day26

    Driving along Amalfi Coast

    May 9, 2016 in Italy ⋅

    We thought it's appropriate to have a post dedicated to the perils of driving along the Amalfi Coast. As mentioned in previous posts, the roads are so narrow but these Italian drivers are either all extremely gifted drivers or just have no fear of death.

    We (more specifically Aaron as Flora was more often than not asleep) could only capture a handful of close shaves on camera. Due to the narrow roads, tour buses go wide when taking a bend or a turn. The bus drivers of course can't see if there are any oncoming vehicles, but why worry! It'll work out in the end.... *insert lots of cursing and swearing here*Read more

  • Day10

    The Amalfi Coast

    April 23, 2018 in Italy ⋅

    We docked in Naples, a large city which has the towering Mt Vesuvius as its backdrop. Many people choose to go to Pompeii as their chosen tour but as we have already seen it, we opted for a small bus tour to the Amalfi Coast. I say tour rather lightly... it was more we had a driver take us to the Amalfi Coast. The extent of the conversation or information from the guide was " Look over there, the large white house on the point belongs to Sophia Loren" and "This is the factory where they make Limoncello" (Ok, so I didnt really mind this stop because we tasted a few samples of this rather strong spirit)

    Lunch was a bit ordinary too, but I guess the main drawcard of visiting the Amalfi Coast is the spectacular views and the photos really don't do it justice. Unfortunately there was a haze in the air so we didn't see it at is best but it was still very nice. The beauty of the small group is we could drive to these areas, a tourist bus simply would not be able to manoeuvre the narrow, winding roads.

    Brad was also able to replace his shoes that died during our walk around Rome, so that was good.
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