Foto Friday: Festa della Liberazione

Amalfi Coast Festa della Liberazione

Buon anniversario della Liberazione!

Today is the Festa della Liberazione, a national holiday in Italy commemorating the liberation from fascism at the end of World War II. Quite an important historical event to celebrate and an even more important one to never forget. I caught this photo of the Italian flag (with the symbols of the four maritime republics from the Middle Ages – Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa and Venice) off the back of the ferry from Amalfi to Positano. There couldn’t be a more perfect day to share than today!

Easter Weekend Errands

Amalfi Coast Travel Rainy View

Not a bad view!

This morning we set out early to do some shopping for Easter lunch before the shops got too crowded. As Easter is really the kick off to the tourist season on the Amalfi Coast, we also hopped to beat some of the traffic. We got through the shopping at the fruit and vegetable shop (line not too bad), the butcher (line much longer) and even scored a small pastiera without too much of a wait at all. We whizzed past the traffic that was totally blocked coming into Amalfi (cringing because we knew we’d have to come back that way since there is only one road …) and decided to stop by the mechanic in Conca dei Marini to have him look at the tires on the car. Big heavy clouds loomed over the mountain, but the view toward Praiano with the Li Galli islands off the coast was still a lovely sight while we waited.

Amalfi Coast Travel Rainstorm

It’s going to rain!

After awhile the sky darkened and I watched as a rainstorm swept quickly across the sea toward the coastline. Just before the rain arrived there were several young tourists that passed by with a map looking rather confused and in search of a hiking path in the mountains high above. I poked my husband outside to help them, but there was really no convincing them otherwise, so he eventually just pointed them in the right direction. One wouldn’t really call this a good day for hiking, yet there were a lot of people out doing just that. At least the hiking group below were mostly fitted out for the rain, although their boots were sounding a bit squishy as they trudged past. They looked happy though!

Amalfi Coast Travel Easter Weather

It’s a long way to Tipperary, er, Positano in the rain!

On the way back to Amalfi we did get stuck in that traffic, and it was getting later and later by the moment and our stomachs were rumbling. I rustled through the shopping in the back seat of the car and pulled out the small casatiello, a rich bread made for Easter in the Naples area, and tore off a chunk for each of us while we waited. I suggested some sopressata and my husband dug out a knife he keeps in the car for emergencies. You know, emergencies like pre-Easter picnics in the car while stuck in traffic in Amalfi. One must always be prepared. It was hilarious and delicious at the same time. So, the shopping for Easter is done and there’s still a little sopressata left for tomorrow. Buona Pasqua a tutti!

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!

Passing Time

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Marina Grande December

The weather was glorious most of December!

Just the other day a fan on the Ciao Amalfi Facebook page left a nice comment and asked if I was still writing my blog. Yes, I sure am! But, of course, not as frequently as I would like to be writing. It has been a busy period here with work, life, travels, the holidays and the unexpected adventures of a three legged cat named Toulouse. But more to come soon on that! So here’s a brief recap of what I’ve been up to since last November.

The University of St. Thomas

One brilliant red tree in front of the library at the University of St. Thomas

I started off November with a trip back to the United States and a short visit to Minnesota to see good friends. It was beautiful! I caught autumn nearly at its peak and thoroughly enjoyed (and photographed) the gorgeous colors. I even got a chance to visit the University of St. Thomas, where I did my masters in Art History, and sighed when I saw the library where I spent so many hours of my life. Very happy hours! I then went down to Nebraska and spent two wonderful weeks with my family, enjoying time catching up, cooking and celebrating Thanksgiving early.

Thanksgiving Decorations

Yes, turquoise IS a Thanksgiving color on the Amalfi Coast

Then it was back to the Amalfi Coast for a week, where I did a big American style dinner for the actual Thankgiving with my husband. Before long I had to repack the suitcase again for a trip to Paris and London. You can read about the lovely time in London in my Smitten with Mayfair blog post, but here’s a peek at my favorite moment in Paris.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Notre Dame Paris

I finally got to the top of Notre Dame in Paris!

Back home again and it was time for the holidays … but it was also time for Toulouse to have a big surgery. Remember when I introduced you to Monday back in September? Well, that cute little kitten has grown up to a sweet, feisty and very handsome cat. But unfortunately, the one leg that was injured very badly was able to be saved. This is Toulouse just before his big day!

Toulouse Before the Big Day

What a sweetheart!

He’s doing great and has fully adapted to having only three legs. I’ll share more photos of Toulouse and hss adventures in a separate blog post full of cat wonderfulness and cuteness. But it was stressful over the holidays as Toulouse recovered and we tried to keep a rather rambunctious 5 month old cat calm. (Note: Impossible.) But the holidays came just the same and they were full of wonderful time with my husband’s family, delicious dinners and lots of sweets.

Oh, and DRY CLOTHES!

A Dream Washer Dryer Combo

A washer/dryer combo - the best Christmas present EVER in Italy!

Just after New Year’s we celebrated our two year wedding anniversary. Two years already! The weather was awful, but the day was beautiful. You’re just going to have to believe me, because this was the only photo I took.

Fog Fog Fog and More Fog

Fortunately the weather was better than this two years ago!

Besides that particular day, the weather has been excellent and slightly warmer than usual for much of the winter so far. But as I write we’re in the middle of a nasty wind and rain storm. The shutters are closed and the internet comes and goes. Ah, winter! But when the sun comes out, everything is even more beautiful than before. Really, I promise.

Atrani in the December Sunshine

Can't stop looking it's so beautiful ...

And so, that’s a look at the last few months. They’ve been wild, a little scary at moments, tremendously special and unforgettable. Especially Toulouse’s big puffy tail sticking out of the Pandoro box.

Toulouse and the Pandoro

"What do you mean there's no more Pandoro?"

I hope the holidays have been a special time for you, too. I look forward to the year ahead and to sharing more often here on Ciao Amalfi. I’ve got some exciting ideas for blog posts and a whole new design for the blog planned for 2014!

Happy New Year – Buon Anno!

Capodanno on the Amalfi Coast

Ringing in the New Year watching the fireworks over Ravello!

This year we counted down to midnight on New Year’s Eve with family in Ravello while watching the fireworks going off in Minori, Maiori and all up and down the Cilento Coast. Ravello puts on their Capodanno fireworks display after midnight and we were able to catch them from a spectacular viewing point in Scala. Wow! I hope everyone reading here had a lovely and memorable New Year’s Eve with family and friends. I’d love to hear how you celebrated!

The beginning of a new year is favorite time for me – a time for reflections and intentions looking to the year ahead. I have many exciting plans for 2014, and I look forward to sharing them with you. Stay tuned for some of the plans for Ciao Amalfi in the year ahead … buon anno a tutti!