Category Archives: Amalfi Coast

My Blue Heaven

Amalfi Coast Travel Winter Blue Amalfi

Last week the most remarkably normal thing happened. I went for a walk in Amalfi with my husband. Normal because we’ve done that together countless times over the past eight years. Remarkable because it was the first time we’ve done that since last autumn when he got sick. While his recovery process is coming along — albeit slowly — it was a huge boost in spirits to be able to do such a normal thing again. And, of course, Amalfi was stunning.

Amalfi Coast Travel Architecture

When the sun shines in February something magical happens. I’ve not yet figured out if it’s just the contrast to rain and clouds or if the blues are somehow more blue. Something is different though. As we walked along the harbor I couldn’t get over just how blue it was.

Amalfi Coast Travel Winter Harbor

Everything was blue – the sky, the sea, the railings around the Amalfi cross, the boats. It was as if all I could see was blue.

Amalfi Coast Travel Winter Walk

My favorite walk in Amalfi is along the raised level of the pier that defines the harbor of Amalfi. We had it all to ourselves on this gloriously sunny day last week. It was right about here that the old song “My Blue Heaven” popped into my head.

Amalfi Coast Travel Walking

Okay, so there was a little bit of red, too.

Amalfi Coast Travel Winter Sunshine

I started to count the blue boats as we headed back the other way. One blue boat. Two blue boats. Three blue boats. Four…

Amalfi Coast Travel Fishing Boats

Since our walk in Amalfi was a bit unexpected, I went out without my camera. So to give you an idea just how beautiful of a day it was, these photos were just snapped quickly on an iPhone4. I wished I had brought my camera along with me!

Amalfi Coast Travel Boating

Days like this are a beautiful reminder that spring is coming. Yet the light and colors will be different. Still beautiful, but different. There will be many more walks in the sunshine to come!

Home Again on the Amalfi Coast

Flying to the Amalfi Coast

I wish I could say that I woke up to this stunning sunrise yesterday morning, because that would have meant I had slept on the flight from Atlanta to Rome. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful sight watching the first signs of morning and enjoying this striking pink surprise somewhere over France. I’ve been in America the past couple of weeks visiting family and helping my mom move. This also meant sorting through all of my remaining belongings in America and condensing what I wanted to keep down to what would fit in two rather large suitcases. Including a lifetime of photos. Even though it was a busy and short trip, it’s always great to see my family!

Flying to Naples Italy

Flying into the Naples Capodichino airport is stunning on a clear day. Most of the time the landing flight path from the north comes in over Ischia and Procida, which you can see below the wing in the photo above. You can also see the familiar outline of Capri with the little peak of Monte Solaro in the distance. Then the plane curves in over the top of Naples with a clear view down right over Vomero and Castel Sant’Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino. If you know Naples you can spot Santa Chiara, Piazza Plebiscito and even the soaring glass dome of the Galleria Umberto I. Oh, and of course Vesuvius!

Ravello Villa Cimbrone Winter

But that’s the view I was waiting to see again – home! On the way back from the Naples airport to the Amalfi Coast, we ran into a jingly belled traffic jam. I love showing photos like this one below to people who think the Amalfi Coast is just glamorous hotels, lounging by the beach on a sun bed and endless shops and gelato. (Although the gelato is certainly tasty!) There’s a very rural and rugged side of the Amalfi Coast, and you don’t have to go very far up in the mountains to find scenes like this very typical.

Traffic on the Amalfi Coast

What wasn’t typical is that there were some very curious goats in this crowd, including one who stopped right in front of the car and looked at us seemingly puzzled why we were in the middle of the road. Another stopped and peered in the passenger side window before nuzzling the side mirror and closing it! (The side mirrors fold in on most cars in Italy, which comes in handy on the narrow Amalfi Coast roads.)

A Curious Goat

But there wasn’t much time for traffic, because we had a very important date. I arrived just in time yesterday on Carnevale to celebrate my favorite part of the day – eating lasagna! I thought that lasagna was traditional all over Italy for Carnevale, but I learned last year that it’s pretty much just the Naples area. For all the rest of you Italy expats, I’m so very, very sorry that you miss Neapolitan lasagna. It is a thing of wonder, especially when made by my husband’s sisters!

Neapolitan Lasagna

So it’s not the most photogenic food in the world, but it is one of the tastiest! I also discovered that it really is perfect after 24 hours of traveling and icky airplane food. It’s good to be home again for so many reason!

 

PS: I’m sorry about the iPhone quality photos, but I wasn’t traveling with my Nikon D3200. You can find more of my iPhone photos on Instagram at @ciaoamalfi.

Winter Rest on the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast Travel Winter Mist Ravello

- A dreamy glimpse of Villa Cimbrone in Ravello lost in the winter clouds

I don’t get the winter blues as the change of seasons just feels right to me. I enjoy watching the way the light shifts and the color palette of nature takes on more muted hues. Gone are the bright bursts of orange beach umbrellas against the expansive blue sky, the brilliant glow of hot pink bougainvillea in the summer sun or the crisp colors on chilly autumn day. Everything softens a bit in the winter, especially up in the mountains when low clouds meander through the villages like Ravello and Scala leaving behind a mysterious atmosphere.

Amalfi Coast Travel Ravello Winter Weather

- Ravello hovering in the clouds

It’s not the weather that postcards and screensavers are made of, but it’s no less magical. If you’re one that loves a little bit of romance, it’s easy to get lost in the clouds as they intimately weave their way through the mountains. Everyone once in awhile the sun even shines though, if you’re patient.

Of course, some days the clouds and rain settle in and the whole world seems to disappear just for a little bit. But aren’t there times of year that feels kind of good? As I wrap up with a blanket and my cat cuddles close for warmth, the Amalfi Coast is covered with a blanket of clouds and rests awhile, too.

The Golden Hour

Amalfi Coast Travel Sunset Winter in Amalfi

Amalfi glows in the evening light. This is true all year long, but it’s especially so during the golden hour just before sunset in the winter. Looking east, the cascade of buildings above the Hotel Luna watchtower take on a gorgeous hue. If I could paint, I would sit up here in the evenings and paint the view just to feel a little bit more a part of it than taking a photograph. The beach is empty except a few people drawn to take a closer look at the irresistible scene. Not far from the edge of the sea, rows of fishing boats take a rest pulled up on the beach while waiting for a new coat of paint in the spring. They look like they’ve had a busy season and need a break, but before long the stones will be dotted with drops of paint and the boats will be gone, back to work for another year.

Amalfi Coast Travel Beach Boats Fishing

I do so love the rows of brightly colored sun umbrellas during the summer months that look like candies scattered across the beach. Yet there’s something I love even more about the beach in the winter. It’s so quiet and beckons to be devoured in a slow and lingering way, like following the long shadow of a lone beach walker crunching along the pebbles near the water’s edge. While the summer beach scene in Amalfi clamors for your attention with a riot of colors, people of all shapes and sizes and waves crashing to the sounds of kids playing, the winter scene simply waits. You can stop and look if you’d like, but it’s not going flail about in the water or hit you in the head accidentally with a beach ball. Its indifference makes it even more alluring. If you stop and look, there are moments to witness that you’ll never forget.

Amalfi Coast Travel Winter Beach

Meanwhile, in Piazza Duomo, the mosaics designed by Neapolitan artist Domenico Morelli on the facade of the Cathedral of Sant’Andrea begin to glow in the evening light. I sometimes wonder if Morelli sat in the piazza while working on his designs. He would have been in his late 60s when the new facade of the Duomo was completed in 1891. I also wonder when I look at at the Apostles and scene in the tympanum if he got to see the way the sunset made his designs glimmer. The scene at the top depicts the Triumph of Christ, and it surely is a triumph.

Amalfi Coast Travel Cathedral of St Andrew

While life is busy all year round, there’s something a little easier about slowing down in the winter to notice details, to wonder and to really get to know a place – on its own terms and without the distractions. But those distractions of the busy beaches, relaxing in the warm sun, watching new faces light up when they see the Duomo of Amalfi for the first time, sitting on the steps of the church enjoying a gelato, hopping on a ferry to Positano or Capri, these are just as much part of Amalfi that I miss during the winter months.

Getting to know Amalfi over the years has been like watching the change of seasons. There’s beauty in every season – even the frigid days of winter and the long, hot days of summer. During the winter we miss the warmth and the joy of diving into the clear blue sea and during the summer we miss these quiet, intensely beautiful winter days. Taking photographs is a mindfulness practice for me since it makes me stop and notice little moments like the ones I’ve shared here today.

How do you capture or enjoy beautiful moments in your life?

Si Accettano Miracoli – Now in Theaters!

Si Accettano Miracoli Film Amalfi Coast Italy

Today is the day! Oh, yeah, new year and all that jazz. But today is also the release in Italy of “Si Accettano Miracoli,” the movie by Alessandro Siani that was filmed on the Amalfi Coast last spring. Now I know that a lot of you reading this will be sad that you can’t see it right away, but do enjoy the trailer below and put it on your radar. If you’re in Italy, check it out at the movie theater. I’m really excited to see it, but not sure if I can make it to the showing on the Amalfi Coast. While there were other filming locations in Campania, a lot of the film was shot on the Amalfi Coast in Conca dei Marini, Atrani, Scala … and even my front yard! For about three weeks we had an up close view of how films are made as most of the equipment was stored in our garden along with lunch taking place right outside our windows, too. It was quite the experience! I had the chance to be an extra in some scenes shot in Atrani, which was really interesting.  I hope you’ll get to see the film … it looks like a fun one!

There are tons of great photos and videos on the Si Accettano Miracoli Facebook page if you’d like to see more.