Out & About: Olive Trees Above Amalfi


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Olives


While the warm temperatures still say summer, little signs that autumn is just around the corner are starting to appear along the Amalfi Coast. The cool mountain breeze in the morning reminds me of the crisp autumn days ahead, and everywhere the grapes are getting heavy on the vines.  Earlier this week while out and about for a walk to Amalfi, I noticed the olives are starting to get nice and plump. 


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog olives close


It was one of those perfectly clear and bright days, and the olive trees nicely framed the tip of Ravello where the beautiful gardens of the Villa Cimbrone are located.


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Ravello Olives


The steps were covered in olives that had blown off in the strong winds we’ve had this week. It made the walk a little treacherous, and I had to watch carefully where I took  my steps.


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Olives on Steps


It’s always hard to say goodbye to summer for the year, but these little reminders of the pleasures of autumn ahead certainly help!

July Banner: Celebrating Bougainvillea on the Amalfi Coast


Ciao Amalfi Banner July 2009 full


One of my favorite plants on the Amalfi Coast is the lush and brightly colored bougainvillea that seems to grown in every nook and cranny, over terraces and around doors. I’ve even spied it climbing up the railings on staircases. It is flowering and lovely this time of year, making it the perfect banner image for July. For all of the Positano fans out there, the photo above shows a glimpse of the vertical city in the distance. Here are a few more pictures I have taken in the past couple of weeks:


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Bougainvillea AnacapriAnacapri



Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Bougainvillea Capri Capri



Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Bougainvillea SunBougainvillea in the morning sun



Happy July to everyone!!

Out & About: Amalfi Coast Mystery Flowers

Last Sunday, just outside the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Pontone, I noticed a plant with these strange, bright red flowers. They looked like bottle cleaners! I was told they weren’t native to the area, but yesterday I noticed a couple more while driving between Amalfi and Maiori. They are really beautiful!

Do you know what these are called in English and/ or Italian?
Please leave a comment! Grazie!

Hearing Ancient Birdsongs on the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast Cranes

This morning I opened the windows in the house to enjoy the beautiful sun and warm breeze. As I was straightening the bedroom and putting away laundry, I heard a familiar and unusual birdsong outside. “Strange,” I thought, “Sounds like cranes.” That seemed unlikely, however, and I thought I just had cranes on the mind after reading an email earlier this morning from my Mom describing the Sandhill Crane migration through central Nebraska near where she lives. I tried to categorize the sound as hungry seagulls screaming over food, or a couple of unruly crows. But I couldn’t shake that haunting and distinct sound, and I finally went to the window to investigate. It did look like cranes, and with the binoculars I was able to confirm that they were definitely cranes. On the Amalfi Coast! If you look at the photo above closely, you can see the flock as it was circling above Ravello.

With a bit of research online, it seems likely they were Eurasian Cranes, also called the Common Crane, which appear to migrate right across southern Italy. The map below, from the International Crane Foundation, shows the typical migration routes for this type of Crane.

Image from www.savingcranes.org

I mentioned the haunting sound that cranes make. It is difficult to describe, sounding more like a frog than a bird. You can hear a Sandhill Crane here and you can watch the migration live through the Crane Cam on the Platte River in central Nebraska. Seeing the migration twice with my Mom is a memory I will never forget. The sound of hundreds of thousands of birds calling and taking off all at once took my breath away! I made a rather poor video this morning (the sun was too bright in my eyes), but you can hear the crane song if you turn your speakers up.

I watched them for about three or four minutes before they caught a wind draft and quickly disappeared. I am so happy I just happened to be in the bedroom with the window open for those few minutes!