2 Adults, 3 boys, 365 Days of Adventure
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Amalfi

[Catching up o the balance of our Europe trip]

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After dropping papa John off in Rome we began the four-hour drive down to Sorrento – just across the bay from Naples.  It was a beautiful drive.  The fall colors were everywhere against a backdrop of snow covered peaks and a new hill town seemed to pop into view just as the previous one dropped over the horizon.  Inside the car was not quite so peaceful, however.  I think getting back to the reality of traveling after leaving the paradise of the Equinox was a bit of a shock.  At one point, in a fit of anger, I turned the car around and started heading back to the Rome airport intending to catch the next flight back to the U.S.   Alone! Luckily we were meeting the Karlins and Marilyn and John in Florence two weeks later and that realization was enough to get me to turn the car back to heading south.

Jen had found a couple of hotel options in Sorrento on our drive down (our Vodaphone internet key was working great) and we decided to check out the town before committing.  Ultimately Sorrento just didn’t feel right.  It has a beautiful setting on the cliffs above the Bay of Naples but it was very busy and densely populated.  Jen and I were both feeling that we wanted something more secluded and quaint and there were other hotels in nearby towns along the Amalfi Coast that looked promising so we decided to head down.

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The drive along the Almafi Coast is said to be one of the most vertigo inducing of any road in the world. Both Jen and I had read about this before and should have been aware of it.  In fact, looking back, one of the reasons I had suggested Sorrento instead of Amalfi was that is was NOT on that road.  Somehow, in the moment that we decided to leave Sorrento, these facts did not bubble to the surface with their true significance.  Maybe it was because we had just drove along the cliffs to Sorrento with barely a peep from Jen, or maybe it was my subconscious holding back this important piece of information because I have always wanted to see the Amalfi coast.  Whatever the reason we were on our way…

The drive certainly lived up to its reputation.  The road was carved into the side of massive cliffs that dropped precipitously into crashing surf below sometimes at heights of 1000 feet.  The road was so narrow that that you felt as if you have to hug the edge of the cliff in order to not ram head first into oncoming traffic and at each curve we had to watch out for buses on the other side because the two of us could not share the same corner at the same time.   As we were heading south on the road Jen was in the unenviable position of being in the seat that was on the very edge of the cliff.  Needless to say she was terrified.  By the time we arrived in Positono, Jen was on the verge of tears, she was refusing to go any further.  We parked the car at the top of the hill and walked down into town only to find that the hotel she had hoped to stay at was closed for the season.  The next hotel of interest was another four miles down the coast and, after talking Jen into getting back into car we arrived at the hotel only to find that it was perched on a cliff several hundred feet ABOVE the road.  At this point Jen, now fully in tears, decided she was going to walk the 6 miles to Amalfi and started on her way with the rest of us following slowly behind her in the car.  Eventually she regained her courage and we made rest of the drive to Amalfi with only a few screams and tears.

All that said it really was a beautiful drive.  Jen describes the experience of looking over her shoulder and seeing the scenery behind us and thinking to herself “wow, that’s really beautiful” and then looking in front again and being completely terrified.  I guess it was frighteningly beautiful.

Amalfi is a cute little town and we had a nice little room with a loft right in a B&B right in the center of town.  The owner, who was from Boston, was very sweet and made us feel right at home.  Unfortunately we had to spend most of our time inside for the three days we were there because of the torrential rains.  We ate a lot of pizza (the place across the street was great) and plenty of pasta and the boys did crafts and watched movies on iTunes.  Quinn got inspired by watching the Incredibles to create his own superhero costume and we used construction paper to turn him into “Super Rizzoli” – it was adorable.

We had hoped to have Jen take a ferry to Salereno so she wouldn’t have to do the rest of the drive along the coast but unfortunately the ferries had stopped running for the season a few weeks prior.  So in the end Jen did the entire 30-mile drive along the Amalfi coast and she never wants to do it, or anything like it, again.

1 comment

1 Erica { 02.26.10 at 4:35 pm }

So glad we helped disuade you from a premature departure. Man, you musta been mad!

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