Thursday, May 15, 2014

Three Days on the Amalfi Coast

I don't even want to tell you this...word might get out. Who am I kidding, I should just go ahead and tell my readers. I mean there are like what, 10 of you out there? Ok, here is the big secret... 
Il Pirata Restaurant in the background.

Husband and I originally planned a few days in Sorrento and then we did NOT even go there! 
Sorrento is somewhere around the bend.

It all started sitting on my couch running through a hotel search. I began noticing 4 and 5 star hotels, well below our budget, popping up just a few kilometers outside of Sorrento. What I didn't realize was that these tiny towns a few kilometers away, were in reality an hour's stomach turning drive from Sorrento along a winding cliff side highway.
Positano, Italy

But...once we actually, safely, made it to the tiny local town of Praiano, we suddenly had no interest in attempting a visit to Sorrento OR the Isle of Capri. Not just because of the wild ride to get in to Praiano, but also because for the first time on our Italian vacation we weren't lost in crowds of tourists. We finally felt alone on our vacation. Did you know Italy is always packed with millions of visitors from every corner of the world? Everyone wants to see Italy!
Hotel Tramonto d'Oro

Our hotel was one of only a handful in Praiano. Hotel Tramonto d'Oro overlooked a mosaic plaza outside the town's church and was popular each evening as a local gathering place. In the plaza, we watched teens play soccer, little kids ride their tricycles, and elderly folks sitting for a visit. From our corner room we had a view of the plaza and the seaside. When staying in a hotel overlooking the ocean, you want a room with a view!
 The side view from our balcony.

Praiano, Italy

The hotel staff members were attentive to all of our needs during our stay. They took care of parking and moving the car when necessary (it's difficult to do on a cliff!), the manager greeted us at each meal, and the bellhop brought us comfortable chairs for our bare balcony. It was fantastic down to the little bottles of olive shampoo and lotion.
Husband outside our hotel.

Each night Husband and I ate watching the sun set over the ocean on the hotel restaurant's balcony. The food was outstanding and the wine recommendations did not disappoint. We fell in love with the chef's stuffed anchovies, lemon based cream sauce, and the local fresh fish options. Ok, now I am getting hungry just reliving the memory!
Hotel's Dining Patio

You can see why Husband and I never made it to the crowded streets of Sorrento!
View from our room!

So what did we do in a tiny Italian coast town? We relaxed!
Praiano, Italy off in the distance.

Husband's giant sized lemons!

We walked along and down the coast to eat lunch on the water. Husband and I found Il Pirata which turned out to be a restaurant partly built into a grotto. There we paid the price for the location but the view was worth it. 
The Marina in Positano, Italy

During our second day, we took the deathtrap of a "city" bus to Positano. The bus drivers along the coast are too familiar with the curves of the roads and they fly around the bends. Husband was nearly sick to his stomach just from the 20 minute ride. Anyways, If you have seen a picture of brightly colored buildings running down a cliffside to a beach, it probably is Positano. I loved this town! It was full of shopping, gelato, and beachfront restaurants.
Positano, Italy

Italy in all it's glory!

From Positano we took a water ferry two towns over to Amalfi, Italy. There Husband and I sat for a coffee and lemoncello. Amalfi had more tourists than Praiano and Positano but sitting next to a fountain underneath the steps to a gorgeous chapel is not something you can do everyday. We even met a super sweet couple who visited the U.S. and toured Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. They run a handmade paper goods store in Amalfi and would not comment on Chicago style pizza!
Selfie on the boat!

Visiting the Amalfi Coast at the end of April was a great time of year because we were about a week ahead of the start of "busy" season. The temperatures did fluctuate between nice and warm to chilly with rain. The people in the area were extremely friendly, the food unforgettable, and the scenery breathtaking. Someday we will plan another trip to the Amalfi Coast!
I'm in love with the Amalfi Coast!

Up next; skipping Florence (kind of) for the Tuscan countryside. Do you prefer busy city sightseeing or relaxing in a serene environment?


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