laura-thayer-ciao-amalfi

Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.

John Steinbeck wrote those oft-quoted lines after visiting the Amalfi Coast in 1953. While his words have resonated with every traveler smitten by this temptingly beautiful coastline ever since, I am sure he was not the first visitor to fall in love with the Amalfi Coast. Yet Steinbeck captured an intense emotion in his seemingly simple description. There is certainly something tempting about this landscape that is hard to pinpoint – a certain something that captures the imagination and dreams.

Everyone who loves this part of Italy has a different story to tell about how they were bitten by the Amalfi Coast bug. Perhaps it was a romantic honeymoon, tracing family heritage or maybe a dream vacation. So how did I end up here? I’ll share a little bit about what lured me here and what compelled me to stay. I do hope you’ll share your own story about how you fell in love with the Amalfi Coast in the comments below!

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One late February day in 2007, I arrived at the Naples airport – without my luggage and, much more importantly, without my mother. Thanks to a blizzard in the midwest, I had lost both en route to Italy. (Fortunately, both arrived the next day!) My mom had planned a week holiday on the Amalfi Coast after seeing the coastline briefly during a day trip from Naples the year before. It was her dream since she was a young girl growing up on a farm in rural Nebraska to live in Positano. (Yes, loving the Amalfi Coast is in my DNA!) But, as fate would have it, I was to spend my first day on the Amalfi Coast missing my mom. Yet it was also that very same day that I met the man who would become my husband – a very charismatic tour guide from Amalfi. Life is strange, no?

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Not really having any idea what to expect, I stepped down off the bus in Amalfi and looked up the mountainside. That was the exact moment I was bitten by the Amalfi Coast bug. Later that evening back in the hotel I wrote in the handmade paper journal from Amalfi (a gift from my mom from her first visit to Amalfi) that this place was going to be important in my life but I wasn’t sure why. Yes, life is strange.

That incredible holiday on the Amalfi Coast with my mom was nearly 10 years ago now. It has been quite the adventure at times living here, but I’ve never doubted that this is where I’m supposed to be. It’s not just Positano that bites deep, it’s the entire Amalfi Coast.

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There are roads you follow that sometimes lead you to surprising places in your life. And then there are places that stop you in your tracks and make you stay put. That’s what happened to me on the Amalfi Coast. Yes, I’ve definitely been bitten the Amalfi Coast bug … and I hope there’s no cure!

 

Italy Blogging Roundtable

italy-blogging-roundtable
This blog post is part of a monthly series called The Italy Blogging Roundtable. Every month our group of Italy based writers tackle a new theme, and you can read about this month’s topic – Bugs – at the links below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments. Please share the stores if you’ve enjoyed them!

Italy ExplainedWhat Bugs You About Italy?

ArtTravBugs That Look Like Jewels at La Specola

BrigolanteOf Flowers and Bees, Butterflies and Dreams: Il Lavandeto di Assisi

28 Comments
  • Wow! It sounds like a film. Your mother arriving late and you falling in love on that fateful day, swept away by the beauty of your surroundings that you so wonderfully capture in your photographs. Great story!

    July 21, 2016
  • Oh my gosh how wonderful! Seriously you married the first man you met when you stepped off the bus 😀 ?!! I would love to hear MORE of this story!

    July 21, 2016
  • Sandra

    Now that’s a nice story and I feel so blessed that it is our true story. What a joy to finally share my lifelong love of Italy, and especially the AMALFI Coast,with you, Laura. Wonderful article and beautiful photos. You continue to amaze me!

    July 21, 2016
  • Denise

    Laura, it was your blog and photos that really brought us to visit Amalfi several years ago, and we fell in love with it and went back last year. Now we spend most of our time figuring how I can retire and we can live there!

    July 21, 2016
  • I love that story. No matter how many times I hear it, it still makes me smile.

    July 21, 2016
  • Jean

    Thanks for sharing your story Laura- now here is mine –
    For years I wanted to visit Sorrento. One wonderful year in the early 90s we made it.
    We got on a bus near Sorrento railway station with the intention of going to visit Amalfi.
    We rounded one of the many twisty corners on route and thought we had arrived in Amalfi- it wasn’t. It was Positano.
    We walked down many ,many steps to get down to the beach and ended up staying for the rest of the day.
    We never made it to Amalfi that year.
    Still craving to go we managed to get a package holiday to Hotel Lodomare in Amalfi the following year.
    We arrived quite late in the evening. Our rep showed us the way to our hotel through the arch. The magnificent sight of the floodlit Cathedral will never leave me. I was smitten. Stood for 5 minutes just looking at it with the rep getting impatient and wanting to finish work.
    We were taken to our room which was quite high up and no lift!!!
    In the morning I went to the window and could see the sun coming around the headland, the sea, people going about their business and I truly thought I was in heaven. So beautiful. So magical. So romantic.
    Such a wonderful holiday and we have now been back to our beloved Amalfi town 5 times. It gets more difficult to get around there now we are seniors and more difficult to leave evey time we visit -but this will not stop us from returning- hopefully next year.

    July 21, 2016
  • I’m Also an Italy Blogger as well as the entire Mediterranean Coast. I Will arrive in Maiori (Amalfi Coast) on October 1, 2016 (this year, just over 2 months from now. I Will live there for just over a month. I Hope to do some blog posts during my stay, depending on Internet service, & I would like to join the round table!

    July 26, 2016
  • What a fabulous story! And I think it’s testament to how far Amalfi has got under your skin that I thought you’d been there waaaaay longer than ten years

    July 26, 2016
  • Hi Laura,

    Love the new look of your blog! And what photographs! How does that place look even better every time!! Not fair. That shot looking at the bell tower with mountains at the back is spectacular!
    Love your story as well!
    I took my first trip to Italy was in Oct 2012 and the trip was called Amazing Amalfi!! 🙂 I fell in love with Italy and Amalfi right away. The tour group had only booked 2 nights in Amalfi and we did a LOT of hiking. I have to say I loved Amalfi way more than Positano, beautiful as it was. Your blog has kept me connected to Amalfi ever since. So, thank you!

    Best,

    Rashmi

    July 26, 2016
  • Gill Colverson

    Oh Laura, amazing story and as John Steinbeck wrote about Positano bites deep, for me it’s almost every turn on the Amalfi drive, all the quaint Piazza’s, all the hidden treasures of Italy. We all need to venture off the beaten track sometimes and in The Amalfi region you would never be disappointed. We returned a couple of years ago to our favourite mountain village Pogerola, why fav with us well because you can be one minute in the hustle and bustle of Amalfi then a short bus ride in the mountains and feeling like like it’s another world, so quiet and relaxing, with the most stunning scenery. On this trip we took our grandaughter with us she had heard our stories Seen the photos and my pencil sketches and asked if she could come along. The next year we made it happen, I swam with her every day in the beautiful sea with her and felt like a child again, her love then, and still is now sport. The village boys were so impressed with her football skills they invited her to join them for a match. They couldn’t speak English and Paige couldn’t speak much Italian only the odd phrase she had heard me say, but it didn’t matter they played together until dark in the piazza. Special memories that will stay with me forever. Thank you Laura for sharing your lovely stories and all the info about the region. Keep it coming. Gill

    August 6, 2016
  • Carmelina Carra

    Hi Laura – I love the Amalfi coast – Ravello, Positano, Praiano,etc. I try to come back at least every 2 years. I am returning this year and I am going to the Island of Procida. I will be there soon. Can’t wait. I tell everyone I know that Amalfi Coast is the most beautiful place on earth. I wish I could live there too. I love your story too!!!

    August 10, 2016
  • Sharon Sanders

    Ciao Laura,
    Lovely remembrance. We had lunch together when I visited Amalfi on assignment (2010 I think). May you enjoy Amalfi and your husband for many years to come.

    August 21, 2016
  • Stefania arena

    Hi Laura,
    not only English and Americans fall in love with the Amalfi coast, but also Italians. My first visit in Amalfi was on a school trip long time ago and since then I have been there many times. Luckily I live in the south , so I can go to Amalfi more often. Going by boat and seeing the stunning coastline before getting there is an experience which fills your heart with joy and pleasure.
    I definitely leave a piece of my heart there every time!

    August 21, 2016

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