Pink Flowers on the Bell Tower

Amalfi Coast Travel Pink Flowers Campanile

In early summer the Amalfi Coast blushes a bright pink. When the days become warm and spring showers have turned everything a lush green, the valerian flowers burst out, quite literally, from every nook and cranny. They poke out of crumbly stone walls, drape over the walkways through villages and call home every untended corner of the garden – and sometimes even the the campanile. Yes, even the top of the bell tower had valerian flowers this year. There used to be a pine tree, but the flowers are decidedly more colorful.

Their dramatic position right at the edge of the bell tower caught my eye one day. Scanning the garden and surrounding area, I spotted them all over the place. It was a gorgeous day, so I grabbed my camera and took a walk to take photos of the valerian flowers. It was fun to have a fixed–and lovely–subject in mind.

Here are some of the photos from the pink flower photography outing. It brings me right back to those crisp, bright early summer days.

photocrati gallery

First Summer Swim in Amalfi

Amalfi Coast Best Beaches Harbor

Summer has arrived on the Amalfi Coast! The first half of June has been unusually warm, which has the beaches busy and sunbathers happy. Dig out the flip flops, swimsuits and towels. It’s time for the beach! I didn’t make it to the beach until last weekend, a tad behind many of the locals and a lot of the tourists. But there’s a right time for everything, and that time was last Sunday. The sky was clear, the sun was hot and there was a slight breeze from the sea – the perfect beach day!

Mesmerizing Blue Sea in Amalfi

Since we hadn’t been in the sun much yet we just wanted to take a quick swim and get that first sun without burning. (Well, me burning. My husband tans in about 32 seconds and doesn’t burn.) We had planned to go to the larger Marina Grande beach, but were stopped in our tracks by the clear, tranquil water at the port. There weren’t very many people either. We found a spot for our towels right by the edge of the water and the view was lovely. The mast of one sailboat soared above all the other boats moored in the harbor.

Sailboat on the Amalfi Coast

Since the temperatures just warmed up a couple of weeks ago the sea is still pretty chilly. I was able to wade in quite a bit, but chose not to make the full plunge. The little girl that ran into the water with a big splash only to pop up a moment later and scream, “Aaaaaah it’s freezing save meeeeeee” wasn’t particularly encouraging either.

Beautiful Rocky Beach on the Amalfi Coast

So I attended to my normal beach activity of watching the waves rush through the rocks, enjoying the sun sparkling on the sea and taking photos. While I’m not an overly cautious person, I do appreciate the fact that to date no one has had to save me from any of those activities.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Beach Amalfi Flag

That was followed by a particularly noble attempt to lay in the sunshine and do nothing. I’m way out of practice there, so that lasted about 5 minutes before I remembered I had grabbed a magazine on the way out of the house. Yes, Elizabeth Gilbert to the rescue! This is a magazine that I bought in America last November. I guess I’m a little behind on my pleasure reading, but I enjoyed the interview. The cover matched my towel and swimsuit. That’s how I accessorize for the beach, yes siree!

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Summer Beach Reading

The small beach where we stopped in Amalfi is right in the port and is a free beach, which means you can just throw your towel down. It’s a popular beach with families, especially with very young kids or babies, since the access to the beach is down a gentle slop, the water is calm and the swimming area is small. Now that school is out for most kids this beach will be pretty crazy soon. But last weekend it was perfect for our first swim of the summer!

Family Friendly Beach on the Amalfi Coast

 

Foto Friday: The Duomo in My Dreams

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Cathedral of Amalfi

Not a dream at all …

I woke up this morning just after sunrise but before the alarm beeped the beginning of a new day. I’m a morning person, even on the mornings when my body feels like starting a little bit slower. Even before I had moved, my brain was fighting its way through the fog of sleep and when I woke up it was full of words. It was crafting a piece on the Duomo of Amalfi that I hope to share soon on Ciao Amalfi. I jumped out of bed, hurried to my desk and began scribbling on all the little scraps of paper I could find to get it all down. When I finished the 7am church bells rang. I wonder just what had I been dreaming about?

Foto Friday: Up the Ancient Staircases in Amalfi

Amalfi Coast Travel Steps in Amalfi

Follow the suggestion of this little sign to discover another side to Amalfi

Just like all the top travel destinations in Italy and around the world, there are certainly times during the year when Amalfi can be quite a popular spot. But I feel sorry for the people who say things like, “Venice is too touristy” or “Amalfi is too crowded.” Those people miss out on so much. I remember getting lost during peak travel season in Venice, wandering not too far from Piazza San Marco, climbing over bridges and meandering along canals and finding it so utterly tranquil that the local cats seemed pleased that someone had finally discovered the little sunny piazzas they called home. Along with the light gleaming on the golden mosaics of San Marco, this is the Venice that I’ll always remember.

Amalfi is very much the same. Even when Piazza Duomo is teeming with people during hot summer days, all you have to do is wander a street or two into the maze of Amalfi staircases to find a very different atmosphere. You can call it the “real Amalfi,” or whatever you want, but that’s really too superficial of a way of seeing a place. The bustling piazza and shop-lined streets are just as much a part of Amalfi as the quiet streets with laundry hanging in the sunshine and the scent of home-cooking lingering in the air. But, I think visitors should see both sides to feel Amalfi, and I’m most definitely not alone there. Any good local guide will take visitors on a walk through the side streets and up and down the steps of Amalfi. I love this hand-painted ceramic sign that encourages visitors in Italian and English t0 go explore the ancient steps of Amalfi. Go on … and have fun!