Monday, March 7, 2011

Amalfi Coast

This area had been mentioned to me several times as worth seeing. I looked on a map and it's only 20 or so miles from Pompei, so off I went. From Pompei I drove to Salerno: 20 miles and over an hour. The road goes through built up areas all the way so traffic is slow. The road is in poor condition too. In fact, this whole area of Italy around Pompei, including the town itself, is rather shabby.
But once you get to the coast all that is forgotten. What a spectacular drive it is. I went from Salerno along the coast to Positano, then across to Sorrento then back to Pompei.
The coast road is in very good condition, but narrow and extremely twisty. It hugs the mountainside all the way. The little Fiat struggled with the steep, and not so steep, inclines but really came into its own on the tight corners.
Dotted along the coast, around each spur of the mountains, are numerous towns. Signage isn't good in Italy so I was never sure exactly where I was. It doesn't matter though because the scenery and views all the way along are just fabulous. The sun was out too! The Tyrrhenian Sea is a wonderful blue and very clear.

Amalfi Coast

I stopped for lunch in one of the towns. I thought I was in Amalfi but I wasn't - possibly Maiori or maybe Minori. Anyway, I had Panini Classico (which translates as a ham and cheese roll) and a glass of rough local red. A bit further down the road I stopped for coffee in a restaurant that sits right on the harbour.

Itchin' to get out there

The towns are all built right into the mountains as there's no flat plain areas between mountains and sea. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and churches, as well as small forts - either right on the water or up the hillside. Italy was a major sea power during the Renaissance and it's clear that they kept the coast well guarded.
Positano is the town at the end of the coast run. It's a picture postcard place, though I didn't get the shot sadly. I think it features in numerous films.
From there the road heads across country to Sorrento which is on the northern side of the small peninsula that this area sits on. From there it's a short trip back to Pompei. Coming through the town of Seiano was a bit of a nightmare though. It was peak hour and the little streets where chockers with traffic. First gear, stop start, stop start, all the way.
I can imagine that in Summer this whole area would be crawling with tourists. There are a few beaches, which I imagine could get pretty crowded as they're quite small. It's the sort of area where you stroll the promenades, sit in cafes, and just drink in the wonderful scenery.

Amalfi Coast

Today I'm heading north to Perugia and from there on to Pisa.


PS. Amazon have agreed to replace the kindle, no problems with that. The new one will be sent to Liverpool though.

1 comment:

9fragments - CJStrahan said...

That road sounds scary. The rest of it sounds heavenly. Not the traffic, o'course.

Book Killer replacement is good ... I suppose.