Well rested after a day off the helter skelter of travel, and we are ready to rumble! First port of call was a run to rid ourselves of a LOT of carbs. Now, Amalfi is built into a cliff and flat ground is at a premium, so we did laps of the marina area dodging tourists, nonna’s, and old china’s fishing, for 30 minutes or so in the heat and humidity.
Redeemed,we had breakfast, then headed out for a serious coffee. Caffe latte just doesn’t cut it in Italy, and espresso may blow my head off, so we settled on cappuccino…..not bad. Macchiato tomorrow. Bouncing, we booked a bus to Ravello and prepared for a bit of exploring…Amalfi style.
Ravello sits up the hills above Amalfi, and is a peaceful area with a small population, offering stunning views of the Mediterranean. In 1996 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is just beautiful, with a peaceful piazza, tiny alleyways filled with shops and restaurants, and one amazing villa. Villa Cimbrone is an oasis on top of a hill with the most amazing views, The famous American author, Gore Vidal, described the Villa…. “Twenty five years ago I was asked by an American magazine what was the most beautiful place that I had ever seen in all my travels and I said the view from the belvedere of the Villa Cimbrone on a bright winter’s day when the sky and the sea were each so vividly blue that it was not possible to tell one from the other”.
Yeah…we went to the belvedere…..and so did everyone else. The view from ‘the terrace of Infinity’ is breathtaking. Sheer drops from the balcony, almost to the ocean, are unbelievable. The views are to die for, and if you took that one last step too far for the photo opportunity, that is exactly what would happen!
Obviously this is the highlight of the Villa, so it’s very hard to get the photo you want, especially when the Germans come running! Man those Germans are noisy. Get out of my way, people!! Actually, the crowds aren’t too bad. In fact Ravello is very much an out of the way visit for most day trippers, so the lack of crowds is a pleasant relief.
Next stop, Villa Rufolo, built in the 13th century by one of the richest and most influential families of Ravello, the Rufolo family. Once again fabulous views, with an artistic bent, as this estate holds a season of classical and opera nights overlooking the Mediterranean.
Spectacular stage they use, and a pity we couldn’t stay a night to watch. As we had a rest day yesterday, we were full of vim and vigour, so decided to walk to our next town, Minori. 50 minutes of stairs down to the town, about 4km’s away.
Suffice to say we saw no one else on our lonely, but spectacular trip down about 2000 stairs to the ocean, and the township. Minori is a smaller inlet fishing town which doesn’t seem to have the same tourist influence as others making it more quaint, but probably not the best place to base yourself.
Bus back to Amalfi which included some close encounters of the stone wall kind! Relax, finish pretty **** book (Inferno, by Dan Brown. I know! Not bad for Florence tourism references, tho!)
Dinner in a small trattoria, a bottle of local (average) wine, then bed. Boat trip to Capri tomorrow, we’ll try to find ‘via boffe’.