Amalfi Winter Blues (and Reds)

Amalfi Coast Winter Blues and Reds

Even though the first signs have begun to arrive that tell us that spring is around the corner, a cold north wind blowing down the mountains the last few days has made it feel very much like winter isn’t ready to let go quite yet. I’m ready for warmth and sunshine and spending more time outdoors. The line goes that April is the cruelest month, but I’ve always been sure it was March. At least I’ve always had enough of winter by the time March comes along! But then when I look at this photo I fall in love with the winter light all over again and know I’ll miss it until next year.

Snow on the Amalfi Coast!

Amalfi Coast Travel Snow December 2014

– A glorious snowy sunrise on the Amalfi Coast

We woke up to the most beautiful surprise this morning. Snow on the Amalfi Coast! What an incredible way to remember the last day of 2014. While we occasionally get snow up in the mountains during the winter, I could tell this was a special snow. I could see snow on the beach in Atrani and snow by the red faro in Amalfi. This was really a snow!

Amalfi Coast Travel Snow Ravello

A snowy Villa Cimbrone in Ravello

The ruins of the Church of Sant’ Eustachio in Scala had a dusting of snow and way down in Amalfi by the sea the bell tower of San Biagio was also white. In the photo below, far on the left, you’ll even see snow on the pier that juts out into the port. My husband says it has been about 30 years since there was snow on the beach in Amalfi!

Amalfi Coast Travel Snow Pontone

The ruins of Sant’Eustachio and snow in Pontone

We watched the few brave drivers out slowly … very slowly … navigating the road down from Ravello. That’s a tough stretch of road even in good weather. I couldn’t imagine trying to drive that road this morning!

Amalfi Coast Travel Snow Road

Snow falling this morning

And if you look closely in the photo below you’ll see a snow covered beach in Atrani. It was still snowing when I took this photo and it wasn’t until after that I noticed the white beach.

Amalfi Coast travel Snow Atrani

Snow on the beach in Atrani!

But I think the prettiest view of all was the snowy scene in Scala. The snow-covered terraces on the mountains above the village created stripes as the backdrop to the winter scene. It was like a postcard winter setting!

Amalfi Coast Travel Snow Scala

A wintry scene in Scala

Of course I had to go out. I waited just a bit and thankfully there was a short break in the strong wind. It was still -3 C, but without the wind and bundled up it wasn’t too bad for a short walk.

Amalfi Coast Travel Snowy Steps

Out I go!

Crunching up and down the steps in the snow was a little more challenging than usual, but the beautiful view and quiet scenes were well worth the effort.

Amalfi Coast Travel Snow Minuta

A winter walk in the snow

I love the way a dusting of snow changes everything. I suppose that is especially the case in places where it doesn’t snow all that often like the Amalfi Coast.

Amalfi Coast Travel Snow Minuta Fountain

Mr. Fountain in the snow

I couldn’t take many photos of the view across the valley to Ravello since a gust of wind arrived that nearly knocked me off my feet and set me crunching through the snow back home.

Amalfi Coast Travel Snow Ravello Scala

The valley between Scala and Ravello in the snow

Winters on the Amalfi Coast require boots that are good for the rain and cold weather … and sometimes even the snow!

Amalfi Coast Travel Snow Boots

Crunch crunch crunch …

Before going back inside I had one more mission … find Puffy! He’s one of our outside cats who spends the day inside. It took a few times calling him before he came out of hiding. He’s a smart cat though, and was completely dry.

Amalfi Coast Travel Ginger Cat Snow

Is there anything cuter than a fluffy orange cat in the snow?

He was ready to come inside and warm up though! He’s all curled up and toasty now.

Amalfi Coast Travel Puffy Snow

Puffy in the snow!

Seeing Puffy in the snow reminded me of the last time we had a bigger snow like this, which was in 2009. Puffy was only about a year old and had so much fun trying to catch snowflakes.

I hope the last day of 2014 brings you many beautiful surprises!

Amalfi Coast Moments of Poetry

Foto Friday: Instructions for Living a Life

Amalfi Coast Moments of Poetry

There are so many ways that the poet Mary Oliver has captured beautiful moments of life in her work, but this excerpt from her poem “Sometimes” is perhaps my favorite. It has that slap you in the face simplicity and speaks a truth that really resonates with me. So few people pay attention to what happens in life – from the simple little things that can bring joy to those experiences that can change our lives if we let them.

If you pay attention, it’s easy to be astonished.

If you pay attention, it’s impossible to be bored.

If you pay attention and are astonished, the drive to tell about it is second nature. For some people that comes through writing, photography, art, music or any other form of creativity. Or maybe it’s just telling a good bedtime story to your kids or sharing what happened yesterday on your walk with a friend. These are the things we remember.

So, what do you have to tell?

Foto Friday | Nel blu dipinto di blu

Amalfi Coast Travel Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu

Oh, it’s good to be back home on the Amalfi Coast. Since moving here many years ago, I’ve never traveled back to America in the summer. After enjoying warm weather, sunshine, fresh picked sweet corn and BLTs in Nebraska, I realize what I’ve been missing. But then I come home and see colors like this and I remember just how sweet summer is here, too. (But, unfortunately, without corn.) The weather has been gorgeous this past week, showing off the best of summer with temperatures not too hot, a sea breeze and relatively low humidity. We couldn’t ask for a better last hurrah of summer.

This picture reminded me of the famous song “Volare,” which is the popular name for “Nel blu dipinto di blu.” The name translates to: “In the Sky, Painted Blue,” and was written by the great songwriter Domenico Modugno. I shared  it earlier this week on Instagram. If you’re on Instagram, you can find me @ciaoamalfi, where I share photos of the Amalfi Coast, Toulouse being cute and a variety of cooking adventures.

A Day at Santa Croce Beach

Most Beautiful Beaches of the Amalfi Coast

– My favorite beach on the Amalfi Coast – Santa Croce

Anyone who has spent time on the Amalfi Coast or lived here has a favorite beach. The beautiful beaches and tiny little coves that dot the coastline certainly can make that a hard decision. While I have quite a few that would be contenders, there’s only one that could be called my favorite – the Santa Croce beach. Located just a short boat ride west of Amalfi, it’s isolated enough to feel far away from the world, but still relatively quick and easy to reach.

Most Beautiful Beach on the Amalfi Coast

– Arriving at the Santa Croce beach not far from Amalfi

There are two restaurants with beach access at Santa Croce–Ristorante da Teresa and Ristorante Santa Croce–and they both offer boat service back and forth from Amalfi if you are dining at the restaurant or renting a sunbed for the day. For a small fee, there’s also a separate boat service to Santa Croce if you’d just like to throw down a towel on the free part of the beach (beware … very large stones!) or want to get to the beach on a larger boat. There’s a ramp on the front of the boat that drops down to the beach.

How to reach Santa Croce Beach Amalfi Coast

– The boat service to Santa Croce for a small fee

We’ve always gone to Ristorante da Teresa, which you can spot from the sea with its bright orange umbrellas. They have a covered dining patio for relaxing meals overlooking the sea, or you can eat on the beach as well.

Beautiful Amalfi Coast Beach

– The view of the beach from Ristorante da Teresa

I’m in love with the orange umbrellas and their shocking color against the clear blue sky. I could lay and look at them all day long. (Yep, I’ve tested that.) Deep down in my soul I must have a thing for complementary colors.

Amalfi Coast Best Beach

– I could look at this view all day

Oh, and I definitely have a thing for beach picnics at Santa Croce, especially when they involve fried calamari with a dose of freshly squeezed Amalfi Coast lemon, insalata di mare and a most divine parmigiana made with zucchini instead of eggplant. And the summer essential – refreshing white wine with slices of sweet peaches.

Where to Eat on the Amalfi Coast

– Lunch on the beach from Ristorante da Teresa

What better way to finish off a beach picnic than with fresh fruit? Ristorante Da Teresa also does excellent panini and the restaurant is out of this world for fresh fish. Even if you’re not a beach person, you can enjoy the boat ride to the restaurant and dine overlooking the sea.

Amalfi Coast Travel Picnic Beach

– The perfect beach dessert

The beach at Santa Croce is not for the faint of heart as it’s quite rocky. Adventurously rocky. I love exploring and climbing over the rocks along the beach, perhaps even more than swimming in the water. It opens to the most beautiful views of impossibly blue pools sparkling in the sunshine. Look closely and there are tiny crabs crawling over the same rocks and lots of other little things to discover.

Amalfi Coast Travel Santa Croce Beach Rocks

– This is what I love

 

Amalfi Coast Travel Beautiful Beach Blue Water

– Mesmerizing scenes

 

Amalfi Coast Travel Most Beautiful Beach

– Dreamy sea views at Santa Croce

After a bit of climbing and swimming, it’s back to the sunbed to enjoy a view like the one below. This is good for the soul. Very good! It has been a rare experience over this busy summer and with my recent trip back to America. But when it’s rare it’s even sweeter somehow.

Amalfi Coast Travel Beautiful Beach Summer

A much needed day at the beach