Early Morning on the Amalfi Coast

 

Early morning is an enchanting time on the Amalfi Coast. I’ve been a morning person my entire life (heck, I was born at 6:01 am!), and I love opening the shutters to find the first rays of sunlight peeking over the Lattari Mountains. Breathing in the still-cool night air, I can see the bright sun sending its wake up call to each city it reaches, and hear the echoes of birdsongs and early morning church bells as they fill the valleys.

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Early Morning

 

This morning the silence was complete. I sat and waited quietly for the day to begin. A lonely crow floated in the cool mountain breeze, his crackly voice filling the valley above Atrani. I watched the little cars in the distance silently making their way up and down the twisty roads. I wondered where those people were off to for the day?

 

Before long the sounds of daily life start arriving at my window. The honking of the first SITA buses as they careen around the tight corners, the sounds of the big boats coming in and out of the port of Amalfi, the clattering sound of the mules as the workers begin another hard day hauling material up and down the stone steps, and, of course, the ubiquitous dog barking.

 

And so another day begins on the Amalfi Coast. The bright sun and clear skies tell me it will be a gorgeous day. Warm and sunny wishes to all of you from the Amalfi Coast!

Every Sunday Evening

 

Romani Playing Bocce  Romani playing bocce in Villa Borghese by Ben just Ben

 

Every Sunday evening during the warm weather months, of which there are many, the old men near where I live play bocce. This game is played all over Italy, but here it is a local ritual that takes place only on Sunday evenings. The familiar clicking sound of the balls and the voices from afar have become a weekly ritual all its own for me. These sounds reach me at a different moment every Sunday, sometimes watering the garden, sometimes reading, sometimes preparing dinner. But no matter what I’m doing it marks a passage of time, that another week is coming to an end and a new one is about to begin. As I type this now listening to the clicking of the computer keyboard, the familiar sounds of the bocce balls remind me that almost all of the Sundays this summer have flown by. One by one, with the clicking of the bocce balls they have passed.

 

It is a strange and new experience for me to regularly reflect on the passing of such a length of time. The 7am church bells often wake me with a startled reminder that a new day has already begun outside my closed shutters. Yesterday with all its hopes, plans and dreams has turned into another day. I open the windows, breath in the fresh air, and take in the sun and beauty of another day. By noon, the bells from the churches of Ravello and Scala fill the valley with a melodic reminder that it is already midday. The 7pm bells are a not so subtle reminder that it will soon be time to start thinking about dinner.

 

Yet, when the the clicking of the bocce balls comes on Sunday evenings, I am often taken aback. Could it be that another week has gone? Didn’t I just hear that sound? Wasn’t it yesterday? No, it was a week ago already. How can everything that happens in one week suddenly be made to feel as if it had vanished with a few clicks of these little balls?

 bocce balls 

Then I hear the sound again, accompanied by celebratory sounds from the distant voices. Something good has happened! I am back in the here and now knowing that this moment will soon lead to another and another. The thoughts, feelings and experiences of now will soon be bumped aside by new ones just like the bocce balls—one strike and they will have fallen away to the past.