Discover the Art of Capri in Italia! Magazine

While Amalfi will always have my heart, the island of Capri has a very special place there as well. Recently, I had the chance to share some of my favorite things about Capri in the February 2020 issue of Italia! magazine. With an artistic bent, this article offers a small glimpse into some of the people, places, and experiences that for me really get at the true essence of the island’s magic.

Moon Amalfi Coast: With Capri, Naples & Pompeii

I’m pleased to announce that my guidebook to the Amalfi Coast with Moon Travel Guides will be published on August 13, 2019! This guidebook has truly been a labor of love. Moon Amalfi Coast: With Capri, Naples & Pompeii is not only an in depth guide to the Amalfi Coast, but also includes Salerno, Sorrento, Capri, Ischia, Procida, and Naples. The book is packed full of information on what to see and do as well as excellent restaurants and accommodations. Think of it as me cherry picking the very best of the best to recommend for you, because that is exactly what I’ve done with this guidebook.
 
Unlike most guidebooks to the Amalfi Coast, this one includes information on all of the towns along the coastline. Of course you’ll find plenty of travel information on Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello, but you’ll also find a wealth of tips on towns like Minori, Cetara, Scala, and Praiano. All are included!
 
If your travels will bring you to the Amalfi Coast or surrounding area later this season or in the future, I do hope you’ll check out my new book. You can find out more information and pre-order the book on Amazon by following the link below:
 

Moon Amalfi Coast: With Capri, Naples & Pompeii (Travel Guide)

laura-thayer-moon-amalfi-coast

Special Announcement: I’m Writing an Amalfi Coast Guidebook!

It’s been a little quiet around Ciao Amalfi since earlier this year. For those of you who are regular readers, you may have already spotted the reason why on Instagram or my other social media accounts. I have been wanting to write an update for months, but have been (and still am!) so busy that time feels like it is speeding by. What has kept me so busy is a very exciting new project. I’m writing a guidebook!
 
The book will be for Moon Travel Guides, a company that I love, and it will cover the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Capri, Ischia, and Naples area. It is an honor to have the chance to share so much about this place I love. It is also a massive project! Due to the seasonal nature of travel to the Amalfi Coast, the project has a pretty tight turn around. That’s good news for you since the book is scheduled to be out in the spring of 2019!

ciao-amalfi-cetara

Beautiful Cetara on the Amalfi Coast

So while I work on the book this summer and autumn, I can’t promise I’ll be blogging as regularly as possible or able to respond to your lovely questions. I will try to share some moments from the research and writing process along the way here on Ciao Amalfi. You can also catch more of glimpse behind the scenes via my Instagram Stories, see daily photos on Twitter, or join in the community on Facebook.
 
Thank you to each and every one of you for following along on my journey here on the Amalfi Coast. This next chapter is going to be a thrilling one!

ciao-amalfi-theme-creativity-1

My One-Word Theme for 2018: CREATIVITY

For many years now, I’ve started the new year by choosing one word that encapsulates my goals and intentions for the year ahead. While there are a lot of people out there doing this, I think the idea was inspired some time ago by my friend Michelle over at Bleeding Espresso. I find with my attention focused on one idea that I carry with me throughout the year that it often has more impact than resolutions. Those can so often get left behind.
 
Last year my one-word them was CHANGE. Hoo-boy was it ever a year of change. Although, as the end of the year approached, I did have some doubts about having made positive progress with change over the course of the year. Let’s just say December arrived and taught me a thing or two about change. While all positive, it has felt an awful lot like a roller coaster. I don’t really like roller coasters. But I’ve gripped on extra tight to CHANGE and am going along for the ride to see what exciting new places it takes me. And just maybe I’ve thrown my hands up in the air and screamed in exhilaration a few times!

I can see that CHANGE is still in full swing in my life and will certainly be carrying over to 2018. At times I thought maybe I was looking at a two year theme. But I had a sneaky suspicion another word would arrive. For me these one-word themes always come rather unexpectedly. When they do you just know it’s right. Just when I thought I had settled on another word, this year’s one-word theme arrived a couple of weeks ago and made itself right at home. CREATIVITY.

ciao-amalfi-theme-creativity-5

Ahh … now that just feels right. Much of the change in 2017 was shifting situations in to make space for bringing more creativity into my life. While, yes, it’s true that there’s already a great deal of creativity in my life, what has been missing is the space to pursue new creative projects. From the home remodel project we’re about to start in Amalfi to spending more time with photography and some possible projects I can’t quite share with you yet, this is going to be an exciting year full of CREATIVITY!

Do you have a one-word theme for the year? Please do share it below in the comments. I’d love to hear how you’re envisioning your 2018!

ciao-amalfi-atrani-time-travel

Timeless Atrani

The cry of a gull overhead pulls me back into the moment. But it wasn’t the moment I left behind. Beyond me the quiet piazza stretches to the infinity of the sea. On a day like today the horizon is gone, playing a game of hide and seek – and winning. The church is quiet today, taking a well-earned break from its Sunday duties. Two ornate street lamps stand out in silhouette. One lantern cocks its head slightly, as if beckoning my gaze on. A light is what is needed to lead the way to what is past and what is present, but they stand as only guardians to the gate of that journey.
 
Time stands still in this piazza, despite the hourly ringing of the church bells. The bells have always rung out the hours here and they always will. Something so regular to define time actually defies it. How many people have heard those bells ring out over the village? While hanging laundry out in the sunshine, while feeding their families, while making love, while crying? Those people are all still here and will also all be here soon.

ciao-amalfi-atrani-time-travel-2

Here there are the echoes of other sounds, too. Of children chasing a small orange ball across the piazza. A cat’s pleading meow, asking for something to eat. Of wind howling down the mountain valley on a stormy winter night. The click of my camera’s shutter as I capture this moment full of invisible sounds.
 
But most of all, it’s all the voices I want to listen to as they float through the piazza. There are stories caught in this piazza, countless stories. Not the kind you read about in the newspaper. These are moments of daily life, the moments that make a life, the moments that are forgotten, but nevertheless left behind. Stories crated day after day, lost to time except in the memories of those who stopped to listen.
 
Listen.

ciao-amalfi-atrani-time-travel-6

There’s the hum of a fisherman early in the morning making his way down to the beach. He’ll pull his small wooden boat, blue paint chipped off around the edges, down to the edge of the sea. He’ll give it one last push as he hops aboard, perhaps with the hope about what he’ll catch filling his mind.
 
That hope floats through the maze of tiny, shadowed streets back up to the piazza. It finds an open window and settles into a kitchen – still quiet except for the sound of a moka pot bubbling its dark, intoxicating scent into the morning air. A new day has begun, and with it comes the thoughts for another day ahead. Another menu to prepare. While tying an apron around her waist, a woman wonders, “What catch will the fisherman haul in today?”
 
The clattering of steps brings new life into the piazza. Children with bags slung over their shoulders and sleep in their eyes run across it on the way to school. Always late, always running. Across the piazza they go and down the steps to the future, a future that is unseen and unknown from here.
 
Unknown and yet the same. An old man sits at his window and watches the children run, just as he once ran to school. He knows the future, he’s seen it. But now he watches the future of others, sitting there. The steps are cruel friends. They take you where you want to go, but they take their toll with every step as well.

ciao-amalfi-atrani-time-travel-3

And steps are what this village is made of from top to bottom. The sound of heavy steps carries through the labyrinthine staircases. Finding your way is like walking through an M.C. Escher drawing come to life. Even he was here, lost in the alleyways, inspired by the alluring confusion of this place. There he is in the quiet piazza, setting down his sketchpad, mind swirling in the haze of yet to be visualized designs. He stops for a moment of respite. Maybe he sees all the stories, too?
 
My feet are tired. I look down at the honey leather loafers battered by the steps of the Amalfi Coast. Glancing over my shoulder, my eyes land on a cement bench. There’s a spot to sit and watch the stories unfold. Settling in uncomfortably, I look up expecting to find the same scene, the same voices, the same time and place.
 
But it’s all gone.
 
A seagull’s taunting call fills the piazza, seemingly laughing at my confusion. The church bells ring, slowly eleven times. I’m going to be late. I grab my bag and throw it over my shoulder, hurrying off across the piazza and down the steps to my own unseen future. But before going, I stop to turn and look up at the balcony, half expecting to find the old man watching me. And he’s there. As my feet carry me swiftly down the steps, I know they’re all there.

________________

ciao-amalfi-atrani-time-travel-8

– A short story by Laura Thayer inspired by Atrani.