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: Seasons
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!
This has been one of those days that just couldn’t make up its mind. Beautiful spring morning … sure thing! Sudden thunder and hailstorm with pounding down rain … why not? My husband called mid morning to say batten down the hatches (well, he didn’t really say that … but now I wonder if there’s a similar expression in Italian?) since he was on the boat to Capri that sailed through that big black storm. I did fix the outside shutters in place, unplugged all the electronics and took in the newly planted basil, parsley and herbs from the terrace. In the sunshine.
Sure enough … not long after I heard the thunder rumbling in the mountains and looked out to see dark clouds up above. The rain and grandine (small hail) weren’t far behind. As the cats slept (they miss just about everything that happens…) I peered out from the dark house (always a good idea to unplug things, see?) at the rain pounding down. Perfect for the garden, but I was glad I heeded my husband’s warning and brought the delicate new herbs in. Some fat snail has already sat on enough of the new basil plants, and they certainly didn’t need a hailstorm!
Now the sun is shining and, besides the shimmer of raindrops on the plants, there’s no sign of the sudden storm. Spring brings with it so many remarkable moments – just sharing one of them on the Amalfi Coast!
After a long and unusually dreary winter on the Amalfi Coast, the time change and arrival of spring temperatures means it’s finally time to dry laundry outside again. If you heard a loud cheer recently from the general direction of the Amalfi Coast, it was all the housewives who could finally put the laundry outside to dry again. While some lucky women have a balcony or terrace with sun exposure in the winter, our terrace receives sunshine for approximately 35 seconds per day in the winter. (Sure, I’m exaggerating … but 35 seconds is really what it feels like!) I’ll spare you the drama involved in drying laundry in a humid and cold house all winter long, but I will tell you that it involves much creativity, patience and small prayers to the heavens. (Translate: socks and underwear on every electric heater, buying special towels for the kitchen that dry quickly and seriously debating wearing the same thing for 12 days in a row…)
And then one day the sunshine arrives and all is good and right in the world again. Quickly we forget about icky smelling clothes that never dried, days upon days of being lost in the low-lying clouds and the monumental effort of trying to dry queen size flannel sheets without a dryer or sunshine. Now the laundry smells like sunshine … and I don’t want to hear anything about winter until I have to. (Usually I pass the denial of winter phase about January, so we can talk then…)
Happy spring from one very happy southern Italian housewife!
Things have been pretty quiet around here on Ciao Amalfi lately, and I apologize for the lack of updates! In some ways it’s quite natural as life slows down this time of year to savor a bit of quiet on the Amalfi Coast. After the buzz and celebrations of the holidays, the rest of January and February are very quiet months around here. This is the time of year to rest, enjoy a bit of holiday time and to mentally and physically prepare for the busy season ahead. Easter comes early this year at the end of March, which is usually the kick-off to the holiday season on the Amalfi Coast.
Despite the lovely quiet that I’ve been surrounded with, this year has gotten off to an extremely busy start. The days of full of the click click click of my fingers dancing across the keyboard trying to keep up with a rush of writing work. I love the way this work inspires and challenges me. I’m exceedingly grateful to be busy with work I love and to be working with people that bring joy into my life. (Although watching my husband relax during the winter season has made me seriously reconsider the value of seasonal work!)
As the weather improves and beckons me out with my camera again, there will be more life and activity on Ciao Amalfi. The new season is coming … and with it sunny days, lots to do and all the beauty of the Amalfi Coast to enjoy!
With just a few days left before Lasagna Eating Day … er, I mean … Carnevale, the temperatures have dropped and snow has arrived at high elevations on the Amalfi Coast. It snows so rarely here that it’s often a welcome surprise. This morning while we were having breakfast I noticed the snowflakes starting to fall outside. Is there anything better than being home, warm and enjoying a cup of tea and the newspaper while watching the snowflakes fall?
They didn’t fall for long and the sunshine quickly melted the teeny bit of accumulation, but it was a happy sight while it lasted. Since it’s hard to capture the fleeting magic of snowflakes out the window, I’ll leave you with the image that welcomed us back to Naples yesterday evening. The snow atop Mt. Vesuvius was the first sign that the temperatures had dropped while we were away last week.
The weather is cold and we have to bundle up inside and out, but I’ve been enjoying these rare glimpses of winter’s beauty the last few days. Wishing everyone who is dealing with blizzards in America and big snow in Italy to stay safe and warm!