Squiggy's Trip Report Amalfi Coast

Aug 9th, 2006, 09:54 AM
  #1  
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Squiggy's Trip Report Amalfi Coast

He turns to her and softly says, "Are you having a great time?" “Oh, yes", she says." "Do you want to have an even greater time?” he asks her. She laughs as she looks around the loggia, at the stunning gardens surrounded by the brilliant white marble columns wrapped in fragrant flowers intertwined with vines; the spectacular lookout point that absolutely took their breath away - gazing down below at the gorgeous azure water of the Mediterranean with the lovely white sail boats and yachts dotted throughout and beyond that, the majestic cliffs. "How can it get any greater than this?" She asks. "Close your eyes." Seconds pass but it feels like an eternity as her heart is beating thunderously loud, roaring in her ears and she swears he could hear it. "Okay, open them," he whispers. She slowly opens her eyes, squinting as a brightly flashing object is held out before her. Gasping, she exclaims, "what is that?" "An engagement ring...will you marry me?" On the verge of tears she can't stop kissing him and says over and over how much she loves him. He somehow manages to say to her, "You haven't said yes or no." So he asks again, "Will you marry me?" "Of course, of course, I will marry you!!"

And that is how we started our first full day during our trip to the Amalfi Coast and Rome on July 29th through August 5th when we visited the Villa San Michele in Anacapri on Sunday, July 30th.

Saturday, July 29th. We arrive two hours late into CDG on American Airlines from JFK. We originally had a five hour window to get to Orly for our Easy Jet flight to Naples. We made it with an hour to spare.

Took the ferry to Sorrento. We based ourselves in Sorrento and were glad that we did as it was central to everything we wanted to see. We stayed at the Settimo Cielo. The hotel is about a 10 to 15 minute walk into town, but we enjoyed the walk each day and especially at night as we were able to walk off dinner, all that wine, the limencello and dessert/cappuccino we gorge ourselves on every night.

We had a basic double with an incredible view of Vesuvius outside our terrace. The bathroom was very small with nowhere to place toiletries, but the air conditioning was more than adequate, sometimes I even wake up shivering. The bed and the pillows were hard, but other than these minor inconveniences we were happy with our choice of hotel and we really didn’t spend much time here anyway. Breakfast was included in the room but we had breakfast there only the first morning as we preferred what would become our favorite café in town for cappuccino in the morning.

Our favorite place to have a cappuccino and pastry in the morning and a beer or limencello at night was at the Bar Vesuvio. We made a friend in Camilla one of the waitresses whom we promised to send post cards from New York City when we returned home.

Monday, the 31st we took the Circumvesuviana to Pompeii. It was an incredibly hot day, but we enjoyed it very much. I hadn’t realized how truly sprawling the ruins were. Just when we thought we’d seen everything there was to see, Robert (wow...my now fiancé!!), would look on the map and we’d be up on our feet again exploring. There were a few villas that were in very good condition and you could just imagine how opulent they were in their day. I thought it very funny that the brothel was also in nearly perfect condition and seemed to be a very popular site to visit judging by the line of tourists at the door...LOL. We had lunch at the cafeteria there as we knew we’d be too exhausted to figure out where to eat back in Sorrento. And it wasn’t bad, either, I might add. But then again we were starved.

Tuesday, the 1st. We took the ferry to Positano. The plan was to have lunch there, do some shopping and then ferry to the town of Amalfi. Truthfully, we didn’t really care for Positano. It was pretty, but aside from it being the hottest day since we’d been here, it was extremely crowded and there seemed to be a high concentration of American tourists, unlike the other towns we visited. We could have been at the beach on Cape Cod or the Hamptons for how it felt. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant we had lunch at (which was very good. I had the Luigi salad with fresh tuna, green beans, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and arugala. Robert had a very good Margharetta pizza, which was charred on the edge – delish!) but the waiter was brusque and seemed indifferent. Then we could see why as an American woman and her three obnoxious daughters sat next to us and proceeded to make fun of everyone walking by the restaurant (with the mother encouraging them), and they were very unpleasant to the waiter. We hightailed it on the next ferry to Amalfi and liked it there very much. We visited Saint Andrew’s Church, where Robert wanted to light a candle for his grandparents. He was shocked to find that in this beautiful old church in a country so rich in religion there weren’t real candles to light, just the electric ones where you push a button to light - we laughed at that. He didn’t light one.

Wednesday, the 2nd. Our last day in Sorrento. We decided to stay local and explore the area around us. First stop, though, my fiancé insisted that I make an appointment at the salon in town to have my hair washed and blown smooth and straight because by this point my hair was like Chaka Khan from the humidity and I couldn’t even get my fingers through it anymore.

With a five o’clock hair appointment made, we walked to the Museo Villa Correale which was once the private villa of an old Sorrentine family, the Counts of Terranova. We strolled through their gardens following the pathway lined with lemon groves through a tunnel and then through an archway which led us to the most beautiful open terrace overlooking the bay which had a wall fountain and tiki bar. I’m not sure if it was still part of the villa or if it is now part of the hotel next door, but it was totally deserted so we sat for a bit then found a little café where we sat and ate gelato and people watched for a while and then headed out to a cloister (I can’t remember which one). It was time for me to get my hair done so I told Robert to go have a beer at the Fauno Bar in the Piazza Tasso and I’d catch up with him.

We headed back to the hotel at 7:00 to get ready for dinner. We were stopped by Massimo at the desk who informed us that, unfortunately, Wednesdays Il Buco is closed. I was disappointed as I know this restaurant is highly recommended here. So we settled for Caruso’s which the concierge recommended. I thought it was a bit touristy and the food was okay. I started with mozzarella and Parma ham and Robert had the Parma ham with melon. First course for me was the linguini with clams (so-so but the clams were very fresh) and I believe Robert had the ravioli. Second course was, for me, the lamb, which was very good and Robert had their beef filet which he liked. We had a very good bottle of Pinot Grigio. We did not do dessert here, preferring our favorite café.

After dinner we decided to do some shopping, picking up things for ourselves, family and friends. Being the fanatic soccer fan that he is (is that a religion?), he picked 13 soccer jerseys. I can’t remember which side street we turned onto, but I thought he was going to faint, he was nearly on his knees. There before him, hanging in the middle of the street was a huge banner depicting a soccer field with the World Cup winners. If that wasn’t enough, someone had spray painted in green on the street – Toti, Toni, Materazzi (I think I got them right?) and so on. This was definitely the highlight of his trip.

Rome (and shopping) next...

Squiggy
Squiggy is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 10:16 AM
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Great way to start out a trip!!!
Budman is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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Thanks, Budman. We loved the AC so much that we're going back there to get married next June.
Squiggy is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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How wonderful and descriptive!! Glad you love my favorite place on Earth. Tell us about Rome now, please.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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Great beginning for your life together!
dorkforcemom is offline  

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