My heart soars when the trees burst into bloom and the air is full of the sweet scent of wisteria on the Amalfi Coast. Spring has officially arrived and brought with it all the excitement of a new season. Tiny leaves are the brightest shades of green and the valleys glow with a vibrant new tint. You can smell the wisteria before you turn a corner and see it climbing up a wall or draped across a pergola. The almond, cherry, peach and apple trees are decorated with white and pink blossoms that simply make life better. Want to test that out? Here you go:
How’s that? I hope it brings a burst of joy and sunshine to your day! The trees are alive and the bees are buzz buzz buzzing around happy as, well, bees. Do you see the one in the photo above? I stood and watched the bees landing on one blossom and then another, always seeming to find the ones with a bit a sunshine on them.
The view across the valley to Ravello from under this beautiful tree was also quite the sight. I may or may not have stood under this tree for an embarrassing amount of time. Only the bees know the truth.
If you have time to explore during your stay on the Amalfi Coast, be sure to visit Ravello. Its setting high in the mountains means it has a completely different atmosphere than the villages right along the sea. The views are also remarkable! If you feel like exploring a little more, be sure to head across the valley to the neighboring village of Scala where you’ll find a sleepy and very authentic lifestyle and panoramic views looking across to Ravello. Both Scala and Ravello are excellent for hiking, so lace up your shoes and head out to explore. Don’t forget to stop and look at the blossoms along the way!
The first signs of spring are starting to arrive on the Amalfi Coast, and yet even more visible is the yearning for the spring everywhere you look. After the cold, humid winter months there’s a physical need for warmth. When the sun shines it’s almost too much to resist. The locals in Amalfi are “street people,” as my husband describes them, and even in the middle of winter you’ll find people out and about walking and talking. However, there’s a palpable sense of joy this time of year when the sun shines, especially on a weekend morning.
Everyone seems to find a way to enjoy the sunshine, whether it be taking the grand kids for a walk along the harbor, walking and talking with friends, having a picnic on the beach or a bit of fishing. My favorite way is a leisurely walk from the center of Amalfi along the port to the very end of the pier looking back on the village. With my husband (and camera) of course!
There are some people a little more eager than I am to go swimming. I must admit the water is so clear and tempting this time of year. There’s no need to rush though. The beach days of summer are sure to come, and for now I’m content with the spring sunshine, soft colors and time to watch the reflections in the sea.
A Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Spring Day
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!