Ciao AmalfiWriting, photography & tales from daily life on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, through the eyes of Laura Thayer, an American writer, blogger, photographer and art historian. Currently co-writing a novel with my mother, Sandra Thayer, set on the Amalfi Coast.
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Category Archives: Amalfi
Recently I’ve had the chance to go through the first six years of photos that I took on the Amalfi Coast, which are on an external hard drive and no longer conveniently on my laptop just a few clicks away. While it was a quick search through file after file for specific photos I had in mind for an exciting project I’ve been working on, I had to stop a few times when I cam across moments I had forgotten.
Then I found this photo. It was taken from a bus coming around the corner into Amalfi one sunny February day in 2007. It was the first time I saw Amalfi. There it was. It’s the very first photo I took of Amalfi.
A person’s life purpose is nothing more than to rediscover, through the detours of art, or love, or passionate work, those one or two images in the presence of which his heart first opened.
– Albert Camus
And just then my heart cracked open.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Okay, so there was a little bit of red, too.
I started to count the blue boats as we headed back the other way. One blue boat. Two blue boats. Three blue boats. Four…
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
If you simply can’t resist, Pasticceria Pansa does ship all around the world!