Category Archives: Amalfi

Amalfi Winter Blues (and Reds)

Amalfi Coast Winter Blues and Reds

Even though the first signs have begun to arrive that tell us that spring is around the corner, a cold north wind blowing down the mountains the last few days has made it feel very much like winter isn’t ready to let go quite yet. I’m ready for warmth and sunshine and spending more time outdoors. The line goes that April is the cruelest month, but I’ve always been sure it was March. At least I’ve always had enough of winter by the time March comes along! But then when I look at this photo I fall in love with the winter light all over again and know I’ll miss it until next year.

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!

Christmas Sweets at Pansa in Amalfi

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Pasticceria Pansa Christmas Panettone

Artisan panettone at Pansa this Christmas

The holiday season has arrived in Amalfi! The Christmas decorations are simple this year, but they add a bit of a festive touch to the town. The shop windows of the pasticcerie, or pastry shops, are always the most colorful and tempting. I stopped in Pasticceria Pansa right in Piazza Duomo the other day to get some of their torroncini, one of our favorite Christmas desserts. They’re a nougat with almonds that’s scented with cinnamon and covered with Pansa’s deep, dark chocolate. Fabulous! They produce a host of seasonal cookies, biscuits as well as various types of panettone, too.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Pasticceria Pansa Christmas Chocolate

A chocolate moka pot – perfect for those chocolate lovers in your life!

Pansa has an artisan chocolate production right in Amalfi and they create all kinds of treats for the holidays. I got a kick out of the different and fun shapes on display in the windows.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Pasticceria Pansa Amalfi Christmas Chocolate

Chocolate Babbo Natale anyone?

Inside they had a unique display made of branches decorated with candied orange and lemon slices, cinnamon sticks and even their esse di miele and roccocò cookies – both traditional sweets eaten after Christmas lunch.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Pasticceria Pansa Christmas Decorations

Christmas decorations in Pansa using the scents of the season – candied oranges, cinnamon sticks & cookies

If you simply can’t resist, Pasticceria Pansa does ship all around the world!

Happy in Amalfi

For those of you that love the Amalfi Coast, then you’ll enjoy this video featuring Pharrell Williams very catchy song “Happy” filmed in Amalfi. Like that one? Check out the We Are Happy From Positano video and the Happy from Ravello video, too. Love all the enthusiasm and, well, happiness!

 

Return to the Sea

Amalfi Coast Travel History

Amalfi and the sea as depicted in a hand-painted ceramic scene on the Ristorante Lido Azzurro in Amalfi

The people of Amalfi have always had a strong connection to the sea. Not just because of the town’s geographic setting, but because of something that seems to run deep in the blood. This is the something that led those Amalfitani in the Middle Ages to head out across the sea to other parts of the world, to sail those same seas home again and then turn around and do it all over again. And we’re not talking a day trip to Capri here. Try Africa, Byzantium and Jerusalem.

Amalfi Coast Travel Fishing Boats

Preparing the fishing nets for the spring

Over the centuries, the sea has meant livelihood in many different ways for Amalfi. While trading and fishing aren’t the center of life as they one were, the sea is still a livelihood for many people in Amalfi – from the remaining fishermen to the companies that rent boats to tourists in the summer and the workers on the ferries that do make those day trips to Capri. More than work, however, it’s the sea itself that rejuvenates the soul. I can’t even say at this point how many times I’ve heard Amalfitans that now live elsewhere return home and comment on how they miss the sea, the expanse of it and its salty scent. It’s just not the same anywhere else.

Amalfi Coast Travel Sea

Setting off in the springtime sunshine

By the end of February you can feel a bit of anxiousness in the air. When the sun glimmers across the sea and the weather gives those first signs of spring, it’s hard to keep the people of Amalfi away from the sea. It’s time.

Amalfi Coast Travel Amalfi Harbor

Sitting by the sea

While there are those few and brave who swim pretty much year round and fish throughout the winter, the majority of Amalfitans wait for the weather to indicate that it’s springtime again. In the meantime, life still takes place near the sea – from conversations with friends, to afternoon walks and kids kicking the soccer balls around and learning to ride their bikes.

Amalfi Coast Travel Winter Walk

An early springtime walk in Amalfi

I love this time of year in Amalfi watching all the little changes — in the town and the people — as the seasons change and spring arrives. Over the years I’ve absorbed some of that connection with the sea, but it will never be quite like the people who were born here. It’s tradition, it’s history and it’s love.

Amalfi Coast Travel Christmas Nativity Fountain

A charming fishing boat (and tickets to Capri & Positano!) in a fountain Christmas nativity in Amalfi