Harmont & Blaine on the Amalfi Coast

One day last spring I was hurrying along the harbor in Amalfi to catch the boat to Positano. I stopped for a second when I noticed a photo shoot taking place at the end of one of the piers. I looked down at the prep area where all of the outfits were carefully arranged on racks and the ground was scattered with shoe boxes and accessories. There was tweed and more tweed and there were boots, scarves and other seasonally inappropriate gear. Ah … the fashion industry. Always working a few seasons ahead!

Harmont and Blaine Photoshoot in Amalfi Clothes

All the clothes and accessories ready for the fashion shoot

There was a sign on the truck that said Harmont & Blaine, a Italian clothing company with strong connections to Naples. (They presented their first show in Capri.) How appropriate to do this year’s Fall/ Winter photo shoot on the Amalfi Coast! I snapped a few quick photos and continued on my way to catch the ferry.

Harmont and Blaine Photoshoot in Amalfi

Models posing for a photo shoot in Amalfi overlooking the harbor

I had forgotten about the event until I was searching through my photos earlier this week and spotted them. I wondered what had ever happened with the photo shoot so I checked out their website. Ah … gorgeous photos! Their website is not only filled with beautiful styles, which are now most seasonably appropriate, but also offers a visual treat for those of you who love the Amalfi Coast.

Summer Reads for Amalfi Coast Lovers

Last Voyage of the Valentina by Santa Montefiore

The summer has arrived and with it comes some much needed beach time with a great book. I hope your summer brings you travels to a warm and sunny destination … perhaps even the Amalfi Coast! If you can’t make it to the Amalfi Coast this summer, I’ve put together a list of books set on or about the Amalfi Coast to inspire your summer travel dreams. These aren’t your guide books to tell you where to eat or park your sun umbrella. These are the books that make you dream of sailing off to explore the Amalfi Coast when you close your eyes. I’ve included some of my favorite novels, travel books and memoirs set here, along with some excellent works of non-fiction and some cookbooks if you’re feeling hungry for something Amalfi Coast inspired after all that reading!


Novels Set on the Amalfi Coast

My perfect beach read is a novel, one that captures the beauty of a place and weaves a story that you don’t want to leave behind when you finish. One of my favorite authors, Santa Montefiore, has set two of her books on a fictional town of Incantelleria – an enchanting place you won’t ever want to leave!

The House in Amalfi by Elizabeth Adler

Sailing to Capri by Elizabeth Adler

The Night Villa by Carol Goodman (Capri)

Stones of the Madonna by Jan Mazzoni (Positano)

Last Voyage of the Valentina by Santa Montefiore

The Italian Matchmaker by Santa Montefiore (sequel to Last Voyage of the Valentina)

The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners by Luanne Rice (Capri)

Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani (Tuscany, New York City, Buenos Aires and the island Capri)


Travel Writing About the Amalfi Coast

If you’ve got the Amalfi Coast travel bug, you’ll enjoy following Chantal Kelly on her travels along the Amalfi Coast in Gelato Sisterhood on the Amalfi Shore. Here are a few other choices to enjoy, too!

Amalfi Blue: Lost & Found in the South of Italy by Lisa Fantino

Gelato Sisterhood on the Amalfi Shore by Chantal Kelly

Capri and No Longer Capri by Raffaele La Capria

My Amalfi Coast by Amanda Tabberer


Non-Fiction About the Amalfi Coast

Not a fiction fan or just curious to find out more about the history of the Amalfi Coast?

The Mystery of the Duchess of Malfi by Barbara Banks Amendola

Art and Patronage in the Medieval Mediterranean: Merchant Culture in the Region of Amalfi by Jill Caskey

Positano: La città verticale by Romolo Ercolino (I have the Italian, but it’s available in English as Positano: The Vertical City)


Amalfi Coast Cookbooks

How about a slice of Mamma Agata’s famous lemon cake while you’re reading? Here are some cookbooks that highlight the local cuisine in easy to follow recipes so you can enjoy the flavors of the Amalfi Coast at home.

The Lemon of the Amalfi Coast: Recipes History Art by Ezio Falcone and Maurizio Apicella

The Amalfi Coast: A Collection of Italian Recipes by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi

Mamma Agata: Simple and Genuine by Chiara Lima

Amalfi Coast Recipes by Amanda Tabberer


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You may have noticed that I’ve included books set on Capri in this list, but not Naples, Ischia and other spots in Campania. I wanted to keep this list focused just on the Amalfi Coast, but I love Capri so much that I had to squeeze it in. If you’re interested in more books set in this beautiful part of Italy, check out this fuller list of Books Set in Campania that I put together for My Bella Vita. My summer read just arrived in the mail, and I look forward to diving in. When I spotted That Summer in Ischia by Penny Feeny online, I knew it was a must read. I’ll be sure to report back with a review when I’ve finished. Enjoy your summer reading!

Primo Bagno

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel First Swim Summer Beach

Heading to the beach in Amalfi for the first swim of the season!

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel First Swim Summer Beach

Heading to the beach in Amalfi for the first swim of the season!

This spring has been an odd one on the Amalfi Coast with many days of rain and surprising chilly weather. When the weather finally got the messsagio that it was time for summer, the beaches went from empty to busy practically overnight. Everyone was eager for the primo bagno … or first swim. I’m not up to cold water temps so my first swim didn’t happen until a couple of weeks ago at the beginning of June.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel First Swim June Clear Water

Temptingly clear but cool water in Amalfi

The water was quite chilly like it usually is in April or May, but that also meant it was still as beautiful and clear as it is in early spring. Just look at that turquoise!

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Blog Sea Amalfi

Looking down at the sea and rocks in Amalfi

I must admit that I enjoyed the sunshine more than the swim since the water was still too cool for me to really enjoy. Just look at the boy wading into the sea in the photo below and his body language pretty much expresses just how chilly the water felt.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel First Swim June Cold Water

Hot hot sun and cold water …

Either side of the Marina Grande beach in Amalfi has a free area where you can just throw down your towel. Or in between there are several places to choose from for a sun bed and umbrella if you’re staying longer and want to be more comfortable. Seeing as it was my first swim … and sun … we didn’t stay long.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Blog Marina Grande Beach

Amalfi’s Marina Grande Beach

The recent scorching temps have warmed the water up quite a bit and it finally looks and feels like summer around here. The beach season has begun!

A Sunday Drive to Salerno

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Drive

Zooming along the Amalfi Coast curves looking toward Amalfi

The first sunny weekend on the Amalfi Coast and everyone … and I mean everyone … hits the road for a drive. When there’s only one road, that can be problematic. But with the Amalfi Coast road, it’s always best to pack a little extra patience … and your camera! Fortunately, there are the views and the sheer magnitude of this road carved out of the mountainside to keep one company. The colors in the springtime are a nice touch, too!

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Broom Bushes

Bright colors of spring along the Amalfi Coast Road

A couple of weeks ago we had a Sunday lunch invitation with family in Salerno, so we hit the road along with everyone else. The scooters and motorcycles were out in droves. After the rainy spring, I can’t blame them for wanting to enjoy a ride on a sunny Sunday. What a view!

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Drive Salerno

Around the curve toward Salerno!

Spring was in full bloom and the scent of wisteria and lemon blossoms filled the car with all the windows open. What a heavenly scent … I wished I could just roll up the windows and keep it inside. Looking at the photos brings back the memories of that warm, spicy scent and the sunshine on my arms.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Wisteria Drive

The scent of wisteria wafting through the car

After passing Capo d’Orso, the Cape of the Bear named after a bear-shaped rock, the road climbs higher and twists and turns as it winds in and out of ravines in the mountains. Before long there’s a quick glimpse of the harbor at Cetara, which is an absolutely charming little fishing village.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Cetara Salerno

Catching a glimpse of the port of Cetara

The road curves through Cetara just above the level of the rooftops of many of the houses and about eye level with the colorful majolica tiled dome of the church. If you’re driving along the Amalfi Coast road and have time, do stop off in Cetara and explore the village, enjoy lunch and the pretty beach.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Cetara

The colorful majolica tile dome and rooftops of Cetara

One of the most captivating parts of the drive is just barely catching a glimpse of an incredible panorama and then a moment later it’s lost between the trees or around another curve. It’s one massive temptation … curve after curve!

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Vietri sul Mare Salerno

Beautiful Vietri sul Mare and Marina di Vietri beach

It took me quite a few attempts to get a clear shot of Vietri sul Mare, above, with its beach area called Marina di Vietri. The beach wasn’t packed like it is in the summers, but it was definitely a popular spot on this sunny Sunday. Around a few more curves and I tried to catch a clear shot of of Vietri sul Mare with the dome and bell tower of the Church of San Giovanni Battista. There it is … can you see it?

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Vietri sul Mare

The Church of San Giovanni Battista in Vietri sul Mare

The Amalfi Coast road never fails to impress me, with it’s intense beauty, crazy curves and views that make you want to drive it again and again. If you’re lucky enough to be the passenger … bring your camera!

On a Sunny Saturday in April

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Sunny Saturday April

Beautiful blues and greens in Amalfi on a sunny Saturday in April

It amazes me each spring just how quickly we can forget certain things. Dinner with the gas heater blazing by the table for warmth, the hot water bottle (or cat) sitting on my lap to keep my fingers warm enough to keep typing and that old “for the rain it raineth every day” attitude. But then one day I noticed that it has been several days since we’ve turned the heater on for dinner and my fingers are no longer so cold. It’s the sun – it makes us forget all those cold days of winter and look forward only to the warmth of spring.

This morning the sky was clear blue and after a busy week it was time to enjoy a walk in the sunshine. Much needed – both the break and the sunshine! Here’s what was happening in Amalfi this sunny Saturday morning in April.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fishing Boat

Checking the nets

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Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog No Swimmer

Not sure where the swimmer for this gear got to ...

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Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Buses April

All kinds of buses in Amalfi - the season has started!

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Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog April Boats

Signs of spring in the harbor of Amalfi

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Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Amalfi Harbor

Gorgeous colors of spring looking toward the Amalfi harbor

I love the brilliant green of the sea today. That peculiar color is a leftover from the bad weather the last few days. Here’s hoping that spring sticks this time and that we’re done with winter until next year!