First Day of Autumn on the Amalfi Coast

Vintage Red Fiat 500 on the Amalfi Coast

Happy first day of autumn! Or, at least the calendar says it’s the first day of autumn. The weather is a perfect sunny and 75° with a lovely breeze today. Autumn? Well, not quite yet on the Amalfi Coast. September is often one of the most pleasant months of the year, with weather still warm enough to enjoy the beach and cool enough to actually enjoy the beach. But I do have autumn on the mind since I love the colors and watching the seasons change. Last year I shared photographs of autumn colors in Ravello and an autumn walk in Scala. Since I can’t do much yet with autumn colors, this lovely red vintage Fiat 500 will just have to do. That’s an autumn color, right? I walked around a corner in Scala yesterday morning and this little beauty was caught between the sun and shade of the sycamore trees. Not a leaf on the ground … not yet at least!

Happy autumn from the Amalfi Coast!

Book Review | InterRail by Alessandro Gallenzi

Italy Book Reviews InterRail Alessandro Gallenzi
There is something inspiring in a train station. The coming, the going, the energy of the crowds or the sadness of an empty platform – everything adds to the air of possibility and adventure. And freedom, of course. It’s all three of these that entice Francesco, a university student living outside Rome, to buy a month long InterRail pass and set off to explore Europe. Based in part on the author Alessandro Gallenzi’s  adventures traveling around Europe by train, InterRail follows Francesco’s journey as he travels from Italy to Germany, Denmark, Sweden, to disaster in Amsterdam, sleeping on the streets and falling in love in London and the most unusual experiences in Paris before arriving back home in Italy again.

Although Francesco visits some of the most popular travel spots in Europe, InterRail is a novel more about the people you meet and experiences you have while traveling more than a travelogue about place. While Francesco criss-crosses Europe, it’s the chance encounters, new friends and strange acquaintances he meets that guide his travels and teach him the most.

The tagline on the cover of the book caught my attention before I even started the story: “A novel about the joy of being young and the infinite paths our lives can take.” Since I’m constitutionally incapable of simply jumping on a train and traveling across countries with little information and even less planning, I enjoyed traveling vicariously through Francesco’s mishaps and adventures. His openness to exploring some of those “infinite paths” that life spreads out before us was certainly an inspiration.

As an expat who was drawn to Italy for love, I know just how unexpected those paths in life can be. While my unexpected pathway didn’t happen while traveling by train, it certainly did happen while traveling. There are infinite paths that surround us every day, but when you travel they spread out to horizons you may have never imagined. Sometimes the only way to see that there really are an infinite number of directions life can take is to get out there, take a good look around and be brave enough to walk down a path when it feels right. It takes courage to pack up a bag like Francesco and set off with only an InterRail pass, a few changes of clothes, a map of Europe and a small amount of money – all of which he loses, except, of course, for his InterRail pass!

Whatever it takes, you’ve got to go. If you’re open to change and discovery, life’s adventures might just change the rest of your life. That’s the beauty of travel. The passion for travel and a sense of discovery is just one of the undercurrents in InterRail by Alessandro Gallenzi. If traveling is part of your life, or you simply enjoy a good armchair travel read, you’ll have fun following Francesco’s adventures in InterRail.

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Find out more and purchase InterRail by Alessandro Gallenzi on the Alma Books website.

Stormy Amalfi Skies

September Rain Storm on the Amalfi Coast

An early morning rain storm moving along the Amalfi Coast

September arrived with a surprise this year – cooler temperatures, stormy skies and rain rain rain. While it is mildly perplexing just where summer had to get off to in such a hurry, the record heat and dry spell we’ve had this year means no one is complaining about the sudden weather change. (Although we do secretly hope summer will come back for a little bit longer so we can enjoy the beaches without the crowds!) This morning I awoke to low rumbling, and I couldn’t tell right away if it was coming from up in the mountains or out at sea. Wrapping a robe around my shoulders against the cool breeze, I looked out to see it was coming from both directions.

Storm clouds in the mountains above Ravello

Storm clouds in the mountains above Ravello

Nature was putting on a spectacular show, with the colors of sunrise filtering through and highlighting layers of storm clouds. It was dark and warm, intense and uplifting – all at the same time!

Stormy Sea in the Morning on the Amalfi Coast

A stormy morning scene on the Amalfi Coast

If I could paint this is what I would paint – that little bit of blue coming through the dark clouds, the orange light of sunrise hanging on for as long as it can, the texture of the clouds, the calm sea. I might add a wooden-masted sailing ship out there, but that would be over the top. I think I’d better stick with photography.

Amalfi Coast Travel September Storm

A break in the storm

Off in the distance I could see a small cruise boat hurrying into the port of Salerno and street lights dotted along the walkways in Ravello against the dark morning sky. I hoped for a break in the rain for all the travelers visiting the Amalfi Coast today.

Amalfi Coast Morning Storm Clouds

A cruise boat hurries ahead of the storm toward Salerno

And then said a moment of thanks for waking up to another beautiful morning sky on the Amalfi Coast.