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Check Out My Favorite Capri Walks in Dream of Italy!

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It’s been a quiet summer around here on Ciao Amalfi, but it certainly hasn’t been a quiet time. Summer is always a busy period, but this year seems especially hectic … and hot! We’ve had a heat wave on the Amalfi Coast, making usually hot August even stickier than normal. But I’ve had a lot of fun experiences this summer, including writing a feature piece in Dream of Italy’s June/ July newsletter on my favorite walks on Capri. It was a pleasure to explore the island, covering familiar pathways and discovering some new ones to me – all while taking notes and photographs for the article. I’ve shared a variety of walks, including some short and easy walks if you only have a limited time on Capri as well as some longer hikes if you’re staying for more than a day. However, all of them show you the way to discovering the natural beauty of Capri!

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You can check out a sneak peek of one of the walks on the Dream of Italy blog with Capri Walk #2: Natural Beauty Up Close. To read about all the walks, check out the Dream of Italy June/ July 2017 issue here.

Amalfi Coast Travel May-2

Buon Primo Maggio!

Amalfi Coast Travel May-1

As I sit down to write this morning, rain is pouring down on the Amalfi Coast and low clouds have turned my view into nothing but white. Spring arrived early this year, but the last couple of weeks have been a most unwelcome return to winter. Yet the rains will clear and when the sun shines everything will be an even more brilliant shade of green. This truly is my favorite time of year watching the Amalfi Coast come to life!

Amalfi Coast Travel May-2

Spring has been busy this year in so many wonderful ways. I’ve been to Paris for work, Florence for fun and Rome and exploring the Amalfi Coast with some of my family – visiting Italy for the first time! So many happy memories and amazing experiences along the way. In Paris, I did a one-on-one mentoring day with the incomparable Carla Coulson, which was an incredible day from start to finish. Couldn’t possibly put into words how much that one day has changed everything, but I will soon try in a blog post all about it.

Florence in the Spring

Then I dashed off to Florence for a long weekend with Michelle from Bleeding Espresso and the cutest two year old in Italy. I spent the weekend being a My Little Pony (Miss Pommel to be precise) and it was so much fun! And having my family visit here and being able to show them this beautiful part of Italy that I am fortunate to call home has been a very special time. The weather was a bit finicky, but we had a great time!

Amalfi Coast Travel May-3

Behind the scenes, I’m also working on a complete redesign of Ciao Amalfi, which I am really impatient to share with all of you. (There’s just this pesky four page to do list before I can launch the new website …) Today may be the Festa del lavoro (Labor Day) in Italy, but there’s no rest for me as I want to launch the new website as soon as possible. So hang tight a little longer! In the meantime, I’m back to blogging and have so many fun things to share soon from this spring. Happy May Day!

Amalfi Coast Travel Faraglioni rocks from Monte Solaro

Finding the Height of Beauty on Capri

Amalfi Coast Travel Capri Monte Solaro View

A view you can get lost in from the top of Monte Solaro on Capri

What started my passion for writing and sharing about the Amalfi Coast is my love for this remarkable place in Italy. There is so much to see and discover, and I want every traveler to experience the stunning natural beauty for themselves. It was a joy to have the chance to write about two of my favorite places on Capri for the Winter 2014 issue of the NIAF Ambassador magazine. I adore Capri and get a bit peeved when I hear people talk about it being too touristy. It takes no more than a few moments from any place that might feel a bit busy to find utter peace and stunning views. In the NIAF article I took readers to the two highest points on Capri to get a nice vantage point. Oh, and some of those stunning views, too!

NIAF Ambassador Capri Article by Laura Thayer

The first stop was Monte Solaro, the peak high above Anacapri, which you can reach by a fun chairlift. (You can also hike up or down or both ways if you’re up to the climb!) Anacapri slowly drifts away behind you as the chairlift glides to the top. The view waiting for you when you alight and climb a short staircase is one you will surely never forget.

Amalfi Coast Travel Capri Chairlift Monte Solaro Anacapri

– Riding the chairlift that goes from the center of Anacapri to Monte Solaro

Atop the viewing area at Monte Solaro you can look straight down to the sparkling sea, across to the village of Capri and feel a refreshing breeze off the sea. There are areas to explore and wander around, a bar with a tremendous view for drinks or a snacks and plenty of photos opportunities.

Amalfi Coast Travel Faraglioni rocks from Monte Solaro

– Looking down from Monte Solaro to the Faraglioni rocks

From Monte Solaro you can see the second highest point on Capri as well. All the way across the island on the top of another peak you’ll spot a large villa. You can even see it in the photo below. That was once the home of none other than the Roman Emperor Tiberius. The peak is still named after him and is called Monte Tiberio today, and you can visit the ruins of the one splendid Roman villa.

Amalfi Coast Travel View of Villa Jovis from Monte Solaro

It’s a bit of a hike, but an absolutely gorgeous one, to reach Villa Jovis from the center of Capri town. If you thought the only Roman ruins to be found in the area were at Pompeii and Herculaneum, then you’re in for a treat. There’s a lot more to discover on Capri than you might think!

Amalfi Coast Travel Villa Jovis Capri

– Exploring the ruins of Villa Jovis

Villa Jovis was the opulent home of Tiberius and was completed in 27 AD. Even today it seems to remote, and it’s hard to image that he ruled the Roman Empire for 10 years from this very spot. Well, he certainly knew how to pick a good view! From Villa Jovis you can see straight across to the very tip of the Sorrento Peninsula. To the right is the Amalfi Coast and to the left the Sorrento coastline.

Amalfi Coast Travel View of the Sorrento Peninsula from Villa Jovis

Looking across to the Sorrento Peninsula from Villa Jovis on Capri

I hope the next time your travels take you to Capri that you’ll spend some time exploring, whether the high spots or the gorgeous coastline and beaches by boat, to see a different side of the island. Thank you to the NIAF Ambassador magazine for the chance to share two of my favorite spots on Capri!

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!

My 7 Links Project on the Amalfi Coast

It’s been quite a busy summer for me, and that means it has been hard to keep up with many of my friends in the blogosphere. I smiled when I saw that Lisa from Wanderlust Women Travel tagged me recently in the My 7 Links Project started by Tripbase. If you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s a fun idea that is pulling together an impressive list of bloggers of all kinds! It was a fun project thinking back over the 2 1/2 years now that I’ve been writing Ciao Amalfi. Here are my 7 Links in the categories selected by Tripbase:

1. Most Beautiful Post

The post that comes to mind immediately is the one that pulls my heart the strongest. If you didn’t catch it last week, I invite you to read about my experiences Finding Home on the Amalfi Coast.

2. Most Popular Post

I don’t keep stats for very long on Ciao Amalfi, but lately the post that’s been getting the most hits has been an oldie on one of my favorite churches in Campania, the Church of Santo Stefano on Capri.

Church of Santo Stefano Capri

Facade of Santo Stefano Church on Capri

3. Most Controversial

I don’t think I actually do controversial, so this is a tough one! I do believe one of the only times I’ve expressed a negative opinion on Ciao Amalfi was back in the spring of 2009 about the New Ticket Booths in Amalfi. For the record, I still don’t like them.

4. Most Helpful

Not long ago I wrote about the Summer Religious Festivals on the Amalfi Coast, which is the first in a serious of posts I have planned about religious festivals, sagre and events on the Amalfi Coast. Stay tuned!

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Festival of Sant'Antonio Statue

Festival of Sant' Antonio in Atrani

5. A Post Whose Success Surprised Me

I didn’t have a clue about the story behind it or the widespread popularity when I wrote about the Love Locks in Salerno back in 2009. I love learning new tidbits about Italian culture!

6. A Post Which Didn’t Get the Attention it Deserved

I can’t get enough of how fabulous it is to finally have transportation here with my new motorino … and recently I took a ride On the Scooter Around Scala.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Motorino Ravello View

View of Ravello from Scala

7. Post I’m Most Proud Of

Last year I mused about time passing and those little things that you hold on to along the way in my post Every Sunday Evening. I was honoured to win the Blogging from the Boot contest in 2010 for the Buon Viaggio category for this post!

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And now comes the fun part of nominating some of my friends around the blogosphere to take part in the 7 Links Project. Head over and say “ciao” to these lovely ladies!

Anne in Oxfordshire because we both share a love of Paris…

Pat from Sicily Scene for making me smile by leaving such sweet comments on Ciao Amalfi …

Valerie from 2 Baci in a Pinon Tree for always inspiring me …

Annika from dove mi porta il cuore for sharing my love of Amalfi …