Foto Friday: Buon San Valentino!

Amalfi Coast Travel Ciao Amalfi San Valentino

Sweet words in chocolate at the Pasticceria Pansa in Amalfi

Love is in the air … and not just for Valentine’s Day today. It’s sunny and beautiful on the Amalfi Coast! This morning I snapped this shot of the chocolate on display and the buildings of Amalfi reflected in the curved glass windows of the Pasticceria Andrea Pansa in Piazza Duomo. The white chocolate bar says, “Ti amo,” which means, “I love you.” How’s that for something sweet for your sweetheart? Wishing everyone a day full of love … Buon San Valentino!

Stormy Sunday Morning in Amalfi

Amalfi Coast Travel Stormy Weather Marina Grande Beach Amalfi

Watching the waves crash in Amalfi

There was a little break in the bad weather, but it came back in a dramatic way this weekend! The rain and wind storm Sunday morning is up there in the top 10 bad storms I’ve seen since moving to the Amalfi Coast. This was one of those close-the-shutters-put-on-the-red-sparkly-shoes-and-hope-the-house-doesn’t-blow-away sort of storms. Just before we went out to join friends for lunch the sky cleared and we made a mad dash to the car. Well, as madly as one can dash up steps while wearing Hunter rain boots. (Note: Don’t try that at home kids.)

Amalfi Coast Travel Rainy Days

These are the days made for rain boots!

The sky was blue but the sea was angry, sending in big waves crashing against Amalfi. Always a striking view! It was a strange mix to see blue skies and big waves together. Part of the parking area along the port was closed for, well, obvious reasons. You wouldn’t have wanted to park there yesterday!

Amalfi Coast Travel February Weather

Not where you’d want to have parked yesterday

After lunch, while we walked along the port, the sea had already calmed down and the afternoon was clear and calm. What a difference a few hours can make!

Foto Friday: San Biagio in Amalfi

Ciao Amalfi San Biagio Church Amalfi

The pastel buildings of Amalfi and the Church of San Biagio

This week’s photo shows one of my favorite spots in Amalfi where you can see how the buildings were built right into and around the mountains. I love how they’re all stacked up on top of one another! At the top of the heap is the Church of San Biagio (or Saint Blaise). The zigzag staircase leads to the entrance of this church, which was founded in 1082. It has one nave and a lovely 18th-century ceramic tile floor, but unfortunately it is rarely open. Good to note before you climb several hundred steps to get there! I’ve only been inside one time years ago for a special mass for San Biagio, which is celebrated on February 3rd. Since that’s coming up next week, this Foto Friday features the Church of San Biagio!

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!