One of the small pleasures of going away is coming home again. When you love the place where you live, it becomes like an old friend that you haven’t seen in awhile. You notice, perhaps, how they’re wearing their hair in a new way or the new glasses. With a town like Amalfi, it’s the small details that jump out, like new signs, a store that redesigned their interior in a modern style or the arrival of tourists. Walking around Amalfi this morning in the sun felt good, and everywhere I looked my eyes were eagerly searching out the familiar and the new.
Anyone who has made the jump to live in another town or a different country, will know how it feels to see a friendly smile welcoming you back when you’ve been away. Sure, big city anonimity has its advantages at times, but after experiencing the warmth of the Amalfitans, I don’t think I could go back. Over the past four years I’ve been constantly amazed by how friendly the people of Amalfi have been to me, and by how they have welcomed me into their community without treating me differently for being the americana that I am.
It’s good to be missed in the place that has become my home.
One of the first spots I go in Amalfi is the Piazza Duomo in the center of town. When I left in February it was the winter quiet time in Amalfi, and today it was a nice surprise to walk into the Piazza and see the early spring tourists groups gathered on the steps of the Duomo. The shops were open, many of them having been repainted or redecorated over the past month, and there’s the distinct feel of the busy summer ahead in the air. While the tour guide greeted one of his colleagues from Naples who was in town with his group, I couldn’t resist pulling my camera out and taking a few (more) photographs of the Duomo of Amalfi.
It’s beautiful in the spring. Who am I kidding? It’s beautiful all year! I think I feel like I’m back home on the Amalfi Coast when I see the facade of the Duomo of Amalfi again. I could stand and gawk at it for hours. (I wrote my masters thesis on it so I’d have an excuse to do just that for as long as I wanted.) Even though it’s become so familiar to me, I love how certain details stand out when I’ve been away for awhile. Today I noticed the Torre dello Ziro watchtower high in the mountains. You can spot it in the photograph above just between the ornate facade of the church and the roof of the oldest area of the church, today called the Basilica of the Crucifix and home to the Duomo Museum. It reminded me that it’s time to hike to the Torre again soon, especially during this beautiful spring weather!
It’s good to be home again, just in time to watch springtime and all its beauty on the Amalfi Coast!