Category Archives: Weather

Spring Showers on the Amalfi Coast

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Weather April

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!

Spring Laundry

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Laundry Time in the Spring

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!

Snowflakes on the Amalfi Coast

Snowflakes and terracotta tile roof Amalfi Coast

Snowflakes and terracotta roof tiles

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?

Snowflakes on the Village Amalfi Coast

Morning snowflakes

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.

Snowy Cap on Vesuvius Naples Italy

Mt Vesuvius in Naples with snow on the top

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!

The End of the Season

Amalfi Lido delle Sirene Beach - Laura Thayer

The empty beach at Lido delle Sirene in Amalfi

Like clockwork, the end of October often brings with it a big storm and an abrupt change in the seasons. One day the beaches will be dotted with sunbathers enjoying the last warm autumn days while holding onto summer for as long as possible and then the next the beaches will be barren and covered with debris washed up from the rough seas. We’ve had a few intense storms pass over the Amalfi Coast recently, and they brought with them the official end of the summer season. During a break in the rainy weather last week, I was out and about and was struck by the sudden change. Where not long ago there were rows upon rows of beach chairs lining the rocky Lido delle Sirene in Amalfi, now the beach is empty for the winter.

Amalfi Coast Fishing Boat Harbor - Laura Thayer

Brilliant blues in Amalfi

The colors were brilliant, even more so after the recent storms. The rough sea had churned up a spectacular turquoise that only shows up after bad weather. Besides the Amalfitans coming and going, the walk along the harbor was quieter than usual. After seeing the empty beaches, the other indication that the season has ended is the empty port. The boats have been loaded up and driven away on big, traffic blocking trucks to safer spots for the winter. Even the docks that are lined with boats all summer long are pulled up to protect them from rough winter seas. They’ll become scenic perches for the seagulls for the rest of the winter.

Winter in Amalfi Harbor - Laura Thayer

The Amalfi harbor without boats lining the docks

Perhaps the strangest sight at the beginning of winter is seeing the Marina Grande beach, the largest in Amalfi, completely empty. If you’ve been swimming here during the summer months you’ll know just how odd it is to see it without the rows of beach chairs and candy colored umbrellas. It will look like this, besides the odd group of visitors having a picnic on a sunny day and those rare locals that swim all year round, until next spring.

October at Marina Grande Beach in Amalfi - Laura Thayer

All is quiet on Amalfi's Marina Grande Beach

The season has ended, but with it another has begun in Amalfi. While it’s different for everyone, for us this is the time for catching up after a busy season – for running all those errands that there simply hasn’t been time to do and for trying to find some much needed moments of relaxation at the same time. The Christmas holidays are around the corner, but for now I think I can use just a little bit of time overlooking an empty beach.

Stormy Amalfi Skies

September Rain Storm on the Amalfi Coast

An early morning rain storm moving along the Amalfi Coast

September arrived with a surprise this year – cooler temperatures, stormy skies and rain rain rain. While it is mildly perplexing just where summer had to get off to in such a hurry, the record heat and dry spell we’ve had this year means no one is complaining about the sudden weather change. (Although we do secretly hope summer will come back for a little bit longer so we can enjoy the beaches without the crowds!) This morning I awoke to low rumbling, and I couldn’t tell right away if it was coming from up in the mountains or out at sea. Wrapping a robe around my shoulders against the cool breeze, I looked out to see it was coming from both directions.

Storm clouds in the mountains above Ravello

Storm clouds in the mountains above Ravello

Nature was putting on a spectacular show, with the colors of sunrise filtering through and highlighting layers of storm clouds. It was dark and warm, intense and uplifting – all at the same time!

Stormy Sea in the Morning on the Amalfi Coast

A stormy morning scene on the Amalfi Coast

If I could paint this is what I would paint – that little bit of blue coming through the dark clouds, the orange light of sunrise hanging on for as long as it can, the texture of the clouds, the calm sea. I might add a wooden-masted sailing ship out there, but that would be over the top. I think I’d better stick with photography.

Amalfi Coast Travel September Storm

A break in the storm

Off in the distance I could see a small cruise boat hurrying into the port of Salerno and street lights dotted along the walkways in Ravello against the dark morning sky. I hoped for a break in the rain for all the travelers visiting the Amalfi Coast today.

Amalfi Coast Morning Storm Clouds

A cruise boat hurries ahead of the storm toward Salerno

And then said a moment of thanks for waking up to another beautiful morning sky on the Amalfi Coast.