Travel Inspirations – A New Series on Ciao Amalfi!

 

Laura

 

Many of you who have been regular readers of Ciao Amalfi over the past year will know how inspired I am on a daily basis by the distinctive beauty of the Amalfi Coast. I feel many days as if it is inside me now, as if it has become a part of who I am here in Italy. Now I can’t imagine my life anyplace else but here on the Amalfi Coast. This passion has diverted my career path from art historian to travel writer, a path that I can pursue and that keeps me here in Italy. And this is exactly where I want to be.

 

With this in mind, I can think of no better theme for a new weekly series than to present similar stories about passion, place and how where we are impacts and influences who we are. Tomorrow I’m excited to launch a new series on Ciao Amalfi called Travel Inspirations, where I will share guest posts by talented writers around the blogosphere. Along the way I might just share some of the spots on the Amalfi Coast and in Campania that have inspired my path. Stop back by tomorrow for the first Tuesday post of Travel Inspirations!

Howdy from Nebraska!

From the rainy Amalfi Coast I landed late last week in snowy Nebraska. I did at first feel a bit “walled about with drifts of snow,” and was reminded of Longfellow’s poem about Amalfi. But the wintry white landscape is beautiful and certainly different from what we see on the Amalfi Coast. When it does actually snow, it never sticks around quite like this.


A week before I left it did snow on the Amalfi Coast for the first time this winter. I’ll share the photos and videos of the beautiful nighttime sugar snow on the Amalfi Coast soon. In the meantime, howdy to all of my readers from Nebraska!

Paris is always a good idea.

I know you movie fans will remember that scene in Sabrina where she says “Paris is always a good idea.” (Or at least you will if you’ve seen it as many times as I have!) Well, last week I went to Paris for the first time, and now I can agree with Sabrina. Paris is always a good idea. Here’s what I’ve been up to while I’ve been away from the blog:

January in Paris is wonderful! We even had a light dusting of snow, which only added to the romance. I will share more stories here in the coming weeks. In the meantime, enjoy the slide show of photos from my trip above, and please do leave a comment with your favorite Paris memories. I would love to hear them!

À bientôt!

A Night of Music & Magic in Scala

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Concert

 

The moon, accompanied by her bright friend Venus, shone brightly over the Amalfi Coast a few nights ago. Along the moonlit and silent coastline, the ruins of the once magnificent Basilica di Sant’Eustachio tucked up high in the mountains about Amalfi were aglow. A magical night in Scala was about to begin. As I scurried down the steps to the ruins, I heard something familiar being recited. It was an excerpt of Homer’s Odyssey telling of the brave Odysseus and his voyage past the deadly sirens, long thought to have once inhabited the coastline along the Sorrento Penninsula. Thus began an enchanting evening!

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Moon Olive Trees  La luna through the olive trees

 

The event was called Il Viaggio in Italia (The Journey in Italy) featuring solo performances by great Italian singer Lucio Dalla interspersed with readings by Marco Alemanno of writings by travelers to Italy. It was held at the ruins of the Basilica di Sant’Eustachio in Scala, which I’ve written about here on Ciao Amalfi. I couldn’t think of a more evocative setting on such a beautiful night on the Amalfi Coast. After squirming uncomfortably in the pews that had been carried down the steps and placed in the church (now I know why the church that got ride of them did so), we got up and started exploring the ruins. Seeing them inside for the first time on a moonlit night with the music and recitations in the background was truly magical!

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Sant Eustachio1

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Sant Eustachio2

 

It was amazing to stand right at the base of the church and see the details so closely. I was able to distinguish for the first time the original details and what was added during a restoration to stabilize the ruins in 2002. For those architecture fans, here is a video with more detail:

 

 

 

 

And for those fans of Lucio Dalla, here is a video of him singing one of my favorite songs called Caruso.

 

 

 

 

I apologize that the video is cut off, but I have a strange problem with  my camera that prevents me from making videos much longer than two minutes (or they will be stuck forever on my camera). If you want to hear the entire song, here is a moving video of Lucio Dalla performing Caruso at Naples’ San Paolo stadium. 

 

 

 

 

This concert was the opening event for a conference taking place in Scala today and tomorrow called Grand Tour: Viaggio in Italia. In an area of Italy famous for its many visitors today, it seems quite appropriate to go back to the origins of today’s tourism, the Grand Tour, which brought so many visitors from across Europe to Italy in the 17th and 18th centuries. While these original tourists brought canvases and sketchbooks rather than the digital cameras of today, they marked the trail down to Naples, further south to Calabria and onward to Sicily. These were the tourists who wrote home telling of the beauty of southern Italy, its impressive historic sites, its people, culture and traditions, and who knew they had found a place at once remarkable and unforgettable. Avanti viaggiatori! Onward travelers!

Sunday Shout-out: ItalyItalia.com

I love all the Sunday Shout-outs I have posted here on Ciao Amalfi, but I must say I am particularly excited about this week’s. At the beginning of this year, I finally got up the gumption to go after one of my biggest dreams – travel writing. With a background in art and architectural history, a passion for travel writing, and a deep love of the Amalfi Coast, my dream was to one day write and share information about this beautiful part of the world. I still can’t believe it some days, but that day has arrived!

I am pleased this week to annouce that I am the new Travel Guide for the region of Campania on the fabulous website ItalyItalia.com! This is truly an honor and a great pleasure for me. You can check out my biography page where you can read my Amalfi Travel Guide. You will also find many interesting articles on Naples, Capri, Ischia and more great spots in Campania on ItalyItalia.com’s Travel Guide section for Campania.

For those of you who haven’t discovered this great travel website yet, here is a bit of background information on the company:

ItalyItalia is Italy’s fastest growing travel portal, offering valuable advice for travellers to and within Italy on where to go and what to see. Whether you plan a weekend trip to Rome or a weeklong holiday on a beach in Sicily, ItalyItalia provides the information you need to plan your travels.

And once you have chosen your destination, we enable you to book your hotel and other travel services at attractive rates.

ItalyItalia is unique in that we are an Italian travel portal that is owned and run by Italians. We know the country. We know the best places to visit. We know the best places to stay. We will help you plan and book everything you need for a memorable Italian holiday.

So are you ready to start planning your next trip to Italy? I hope you enjoy the great articles and the insider travel tips on ItalyItalia.com. And you if you just can’t get enough Italy travel news, be sure to follow ItalyItalia.com on Twitter @ItalyItalia!