Ciao AmalfiWriting, photography & tales from daily life on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, through the eyes of Laura Thayer, an American writer and art historian. Currently co-writing a novel with my mother, Sandra Thayer, set on the Amalfi Coast.
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Category Archives: Ravello
There is a staircase I follow often to visit family that leads from the main piazza of Ravello, through and under the Villa Rufulo and past two churches. The first church is the much photographed Chiesa della SS. Annunziata. But my favorite view of it is the one you see above, which is so nicely framed by an arched walkway going down this staircase. Around a few more corners and you’ll spot the undulating roof and bell tower of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Last week the curves of the roof and the bends in the staircase as it twisted and turned down the mountainside caught my attention more than usual. Maybe it was because the sun was mostly hiding and the light was a bit odd. (That view can be particularly distracting when the sun is shining!)
I love the curves of the roof and especially the part above the little window with criss cross bars. It’s hard to know just where to look with the steps leading one way and the lines of the building so smoothly rolling up and down. The eye doesn’t come to rest easily in one place.
Vertiginous moments like these make it easy to understand why an artist like M.C. Escher fell in love with the Amalfi Coast. (Take a look at some of Escher’s drawings from the Amalfi Coast here.)
There are also little architectural details that shed some light on how brilliant and colorful these churches must have appeared when they were built. (Although it’s hard to just how much has been retouched with restorations.) The border around the window above is on the side of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Walking up and down the steps and stopping to enjoy little details like this is what life — and travel — is all about for me.
It has been a rather brutal week in the weather department on the Amalfi Coast, with seemingly endless rain and very strong winds. When the rain stops, I quickly lace up my shoes and head out for a walk. This is a view I caught last week while out for an evening walk, which seemed the perfect way to peacefully bring back the Foto Friday series on Ciao Amalfi. It has been ages since I regularly posted photos each Friday, but it’s just one of the intentions I have for my blog this year. Wishing everyone a happy weekend ahead … with hopeful a great deal more sunshine than predicted for the soggy Amalfi Coast!
This year we counted down to midnight on New Year’s Eve with family in Ravello while watching the fireworks going off in Minori, Maiori and all up and down the Cilento Coast. Ravello puts on their Capodanno fireworks display after midnight and we were able to catch them from a spectacular viewing point in Scala. Wow! I hope everyone reading here had a lovely and memorable New Year’s Eve with family and friends. I’d love to hear how you celebrated!
The beginning of a new year is favorite time for me – a time for reflections and intentions looking to the year ahead. I have many exciting plans for 2014, and I look forward to sharing them with you. Stay tuned for some of the plans for Ciao Amalfi in the year ahead … buon anno a tutti!
Yesterday morning we awoke to a wintry surprise … snow! A cold front blew down from the mountains overnight and left a light dusting of snow at the highest elevations along the Amalfi Coast. Even at the top of Scala the cars were covered with a slushy white covering we don’t see all that often here. I bundled up and went out first thing in the morning for a hair cut appointment in Ravello. I forgot to grab my camera before heading out the door, but I did snap a few photos on my phone. I know some of you get serious snow in the winter, but here it’s pretty rare and photograph-worthy!
The sunrise this morning, the first day of September, was warm and soft. The start of a new month on the calendar can mean so little and so much. One day to the next, no big deal, right? But there’s something special for me about the beginning of September. While mindfulness and enjoying the present moment are important parts of my daily life, there’s still a part of me that counts down the days of August. Finally, it’s over.
And it’s not just the heat and chaos of August on the Amalfi Coast that makes me eager to flip the calendar over and see September 1st. I was one of those kids who couldn’t wait for school to start at the end of August. Getting new school supplies (pencils and notebooks … oh my!), the cooler temps and digging my nose into the new textbooks to inhale that distinctive textbooky smell were things I looked forward to. Yes, I actually sat around and thought about the smell of new books.
Even now when autumn arrives with a chilly breeze and crunchy leaves underfoot there’s a part of me that longs to be walking across a college campus, the air full of anticipation and new things to learn. While those days are over, for me there’s still a feeling of endless possibilities in the autumn.
This summer has been extremely busy and very far from relaxing. Yet another reason I’m relieved that it is over, while at the same time appreciating the many things I’ve learned along the way. I’m eager to dive into new projects–both writing and in other directions that I’ll share here soon–and to enjoy another beautiful autumn season on the Amalfi Coast.