Tempting Tuesday: Morning Boat Trip from Salerno to Amalfi


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Salerno Port


As much as I love being out on a boat and watching the sun set along the Amalfi Coast, one of the most beautiful times to see the Amalfi Coast from the sea is early in the morning. The sun is bright and strong this time of year, but the cool evening breezes have blown away the humidity in the air. Everything seems just a bit clearer and brighter this time of year. Last week I took the boat from Salerno to Amalfi on one of those picture perfect days. Want to come along? Sure thing! I’ll be your guide and point out a few things along the way. Just make sure you bring a light jacket or sweater since the morning sea breeze can be a bit nippy. I’ll meet you at Salerno’s Porto Turistico, located in the center of teh city along the palm tree lined waterfront. In the mornings you see a mix of fishermen, locals on their way to work, and tourists heading off to Amalfi and Positano.


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Salerno Porto Turistico


We’ll buy our tickets at those white tents with the pointy tops over on the left. There’s even a little bar down there if you missed your morning caffè or cappuccino and cornetto. Pretty soon we’ll board and leave the port of Salerno behind. It’s hard to look back, however, since the view ahead is so gorgeous! The first town we’ll see is Vietri sul Mare, the Amalfi Coast’s famous town of ceramics. This is where I stayed the first time I visited the Amalfi Coast with my Mom. See that big white building on the right clinging to the cliffs with the elevator down to the beach? That’s the Hotel Lloyd’s Baia where we stayed.


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Vietri sul Mare


Next up is the fishing village of Cetara, with one of the most picturesque beaches on the Amalfi Coast. If you are looking for an authentic view of life on the Amalfi Coast, I highly recommend stopping and spending some time in this charming seaside village.


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Cetara


Just around the corner from Cetara is an even smaller village called Erchie. What’s that you say? You’ve never heard of Erchie on the Amalfi Coast before? That doesn’t surprise me since I know many people who have lived here their entire lives and haven’t been to Erchie. If you’re looking for a quiet spot with a beautiful beach, definitely consider giving Erchie a visit.


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Erchie


Coming around the cape after Erchie everyone heads to the front of the boat to take in this view. I see Ravello. Do you?


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Costiera Amalfitana 

There it is! This rocky ledge is the tip of the Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, offering hands down some of the most spectacular views of the Amalfi Coast. That white villa just under the edge is known as the Villa Rondinaia, or the Swallow’s Nest, and it belonged to Gore Vidal until a number of years ago. No, I couldn’t imagine living there!


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Ravello


Looking to the left you can see how beautiful Atrani is in the morning sun. Do you see the way the bright colors of the buildings are reflected in the water? And just to tease you all, you can see my house from here, but I’m not going to tell you where!


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Atrani


Just around the corner from Atrani, we find beautiful Amalfi waiting for us. The beach umbrellas are starting to appear for another sunny day, or from Amalfi you can hop on a boat to Capri, Sorrento or Naples.


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Amalfi with sailboat


But I wouldn’t blame you if you stayed right here in Amalfi for the day! Buon divertimento! Have fun!



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Tempting Tuesday: Cetara

The charming and quiet fishing village of Cetara is often missed by visitors to the Amalfi Coast. Group tours tend to focus on the major cities of Amalfi and Ravello, due in large part to parking issues, and then zip along the coast making stops at the overlook above Positano and the Grotta dello Smeraldo. But there is so much more to discover! Last week I was reminded of Cetara when Valerie from 2 Baci in a Pinon Tree asked for some recommendations for their day trip to Amalfi. If you are planning a drive along the Amalfi Coast, and you are interested in seeing some of the quieter and less touristy cities, I would highly recommend a stop in Cetara.

Cetara is the first city on the coast after Vietri sul Mare, and it is easy to drive right past it since it sits well below the Amalfi Coast road. Take the exit off the road and drive all the way down to the harbor where there is parking. Once you arrive at the beautiful beach, it might surprise you to learn that Cetara has been an important fishing harbor since Roman times and continues to be the most important on the Amalfi Coast. Located off the coast are Cetara’s tonnare, or tuna processing facilities, where tuna caught out at sea are placed in underwater cages before being killed and processed. The city produces some of the most incredible tuna, which is preserved in olive oil in glass jars. You can buy it in most cities along the Amalfi Coast, and it will completely change your opinion of canned tuna. Divine! Pick up some of the tuna on your visit to Cetara and make pasta with tuna when you get home. It is a simple dish, and certainly one of my favorites. In July the city celebrates their successful local industry during the Sagra del Tonno (Tuna Festival), with good food, music and other events. This year I won’t miss it!

The Parish Church of San Pietro, with its bright majolica dome, is another highlight of the city. I have yet to see the inside of the church, but you can see photos of the beautiful, late Baroque interior and other views of the church on its website. (How great is it that churches, even smaller ones like San Pietro, now have websites?)

Even if the church is closed when you visit Cetara, you will find an impressive set of contemporary bronze doors on San Pietro. The work of Don Battista Marello, they depict the Apostles Pietro and Andrea surrounded by the sea and entwined in a fishing net supported by Christ at the top of the doors.

There are some great restaurants in the area, but I would recommend Il Ristorante Pizzeria Al Convento, located in the Piazza San Francesco in Cetara. Stop by and let the owner Pasquale introduce you to some of the local fish specialities. (They do cooking classes, too!)

Have you been to Cetara?

Will you stop by on your next visit to the Amalfi Coast?

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