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: Driving
The first sunny weekend on the Amalfi Coast and everyone … and I mean everyone … hits the road for a drive. When there’s only one road, that can be problematic. But with the Amalfi Coast road, it’s always best to pack a little extra patience … and your camera! Fortunately, there are the views and the sheer magnitude of this road carved out of the mountainside to keep one company. The colors in the springtime are a nice touch, too!
A couple of weeks ago we had a Sunday lunch invitation with family in Salerno, so we hit the road along with everyone else. The scooters and motorcycles were out in droves. After the rainy spring, I can’t blame them for wanting to enjoy a ride on a sunny Sunday. What a view!
Spring was in full bloom and the scent of wisteria and lemon blossoms filled the car with all the windows open. What a heavenly scent … I wished I could just roll up the windows and keep it inside. Looking at the photos brings back the memories of that warm, spicy scent and the sunshine on my arms.
After passing Capo d’Orso, the Cape of the Bear named after a bear-shaped rock, the road climbs higher and twists and turns as it winds in and out of ravines in the mountains. Before long there’s a quick glimpse of the harbor at Cetara, which is an absolutely charming little fishing village.
The road curves through Cetara just above the level of the rooftops of many of the houses and about eye level with the colorful majolica tiled dome of the church. If you’re driving along the Amalfi Coast road and have time, do stop off in Cetara and explore the village, enjoy lunch and the pretty beach.
One of the most captivating parts of the drive is just barely catching a glimpse of an incredible panorama and then a moment later it’s lost between the trees or around another curve. It’s one massive temptation … curve after curve!
It took me quite a few attempts to get a clear shot of Vietri sul Mare, above, with its beach area called Marina di Vietri. The beach wasn’t packed like it is in the summers, but it was definitely a popular spot on this sunny Sunday. Around a few more curves and I tried to catch a clear shot of of Vietri sul Mare with the dome and bell tower of the Church of San Giovanni Battista. There it is … can you see it?
The Amalfi Coast road never fails to impress me, with it’s intense beauty, crazy curves and views that make you want to drive it again and again. If you’re lucky enough to be the passenger … bring your camera!
Much of the beautiful autumn colors that I look forward to each year on the Amalfi Coast have been blown away by a few big rain and wind storms. However, on the drive to the airport in Naples last week, I was happy to see some beautiful colors still lingering up in the mountains above Tramonti. I love the show nature puts on in autumn with all the bright colors!
I took a few shots when I could as the car zipped in and out of the curves. It’s hard to get a decent shot, but I hope these capture at least a little of the beautiful scenery.
Autumn is always such a fleeting moment, but this year it seemed more difficult that usual to hold on to before it blew away. Happy to share the little bit I caught on the Amalfi Coast this year!
Happy first day of autumn! Or, at least the calendar says it’s the first day of autumn. The weather is a perfect sunny and 75° with a lovely breeze today. Autumn? Well, not quite yet on the Amalfi Coast. September is often one of the most pleasant months of the year, with weather still warm enough to enjoy the beach and cool enough to actually enjoy the beach. But I do have autumn on the mind since I love the colors and watching the seasons change. Last year I shared photographs of autumn colors in Ravello and an autumn walk in Scala. Since I can’t do much yet with autumn colors, this lovely red vintage Fiat 500 will just have to do. That’s an autumn color, right? I walked around a corner in Scala yesterday morning and this little beauty was caught between the sun and shade of the sycamore trees. Not a leaf on the ground … not yet at least!
Happy autumn from the Amalfi Coast!
Early this morning, we made our way around the familiar curves on the way home from the Naples airport. The only hard part of having family visit is that eventually the time comes when we have to haul the suitcases back up the stairs—invariably at an unreasonable hour of the morning—and make the trip over the Chiunzi pass to the airport. Rounding a gentle curve not far from Tramonti on the way home we were greeted with a golden glow across the mountains. I stopped short in the middle of a sentence, completely forgetting what I was saying. The car was silent for a few minutes as we took in the warm light of the sunrise above Ravello.
After a few more curves, I couldn’t stand it anymore. “Stop the car, please. I have to take some photos.” In the distance the Cilento coastline stretched all the way to the Punta Licosa, and the sunshine shone brightly like a flashlight beam across the Bay of Salerno.
Down below Ravello, the first rays of light were arriving in Minori. Around town people were waking up and heading to work or school, and I wondered how many were aware of the beautiful sunrise starting the day.
There must have been a bit of magic in the sunrise this morning. It soothed that heaviness in me that comes from saying goodbye, and helped bring a smile to my face. Like sunrises and sunsets, life is about hellos and goodbyes. They color our lives and fill them with warmth and happiness. I was filled with gratitude for the early morning drive that made us happen across this beautiful sunrise, just as I’m grateful for every moment I have with my family and friends.
Earlier this week I arrived back home in Italy at Naples’ Capodichino airport, the closest airport to the Amalfi Coast. Anyone who has driven on the autostrada through Naples knows that the stress of international travel is nothing compared to simply surviving the short drive from the airport to the exit for the Costiera Amalfitana. Jet lag does help to keep one calm though. I always breath a sigh of relief when we reach the exit at Angri, because I know that shortly the road will start winding its way slowly up the the mountains toward the Chiunzi pass leading to the Amalfi Coast. My fiancé said I was in for a surprise, because the autumn colors were still beautiful up in the mountains. Boy was he right!
Around every curve in the road there was another beautiful view of the autumn colors up close or covering the mountainsides.
As we reached the top of the pass and started over toward Tramonti, the colors reached their peak. I didn’t get any good shots, but you can enjoy the colors from an autumn drive to Tramonti from a couple of years back.
While hauling (and occasionally dropping) my suitcases down the approximately 60 steps to the house, the gorgeous colors were much appreciated. After much experience with it, I can safely say that 50 pound plus suitcases and ancient stone staircases don’t go well toegther. I stopped often under this terrace of bright red grape vines. What a sight!
While the autumn colors are more striking up in the mountains on the Amalfi Coast, I did find this stunning bit of color in Amalfi’s Piazza Duomo.