A grotty grotto


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Europe » Italy » Campania » Amalfi
June 13th 2015
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Geo: 40.6344, 14.6026

It was time to explore the local town which has a combination of narrow streets, seafront and small squares lined with the usual souvenir shops and restaurants. The ceramics are very pretty and the handbags very nice but not cheap. The Cathedral is reached by climbing some steep steps and is composed of 3 parts, the cloisters, the old cathedral with frescoes and the more modern baroque part. The inlaid marble on the columns was really beautiful and some of the frescoes were really lovely, much nicer than the large dark baroque part.
After a beer we bought boat tickets at the information office and sailed round the pretty coast to the Emerald Grotto. There are some amazing buildings perched in impossible places on the steep cliffs. We could have caught a local bus to the grotto and come down the steps from the road but the boat trip was far prettier. At the grotto we transferred into a flat boat in which we expected to sail along and see amazing lit up stalagmites and stalactites. As it was we stayed in the one cave, went round in a circle and saw some poorly lit features and blue light reflected in the pool. It wasn't even Emerald!. The tour of the cave took about 5 minutes and most of that was getting in and out of the flat boat. Having seen spectacular caves in Australia and China this one was spectacularly under whelming. However the boat trip was worth it. Back in Amalfi we walked around the shops and finally chose a restaurant just off the square from the cathedral- Trattoria Casalinga da Barracca. Great ambience and the owner is good fun.
Later on our balcony we were lucky to see the St Anthony's parade pass by on the road beneath us. This is an annual festival to the Saint whose statue is carried through the town with brass band playing and very loud fire works being set off over the sea.
Later dinner was in La Taverna di Masaniello which is full of ceramics collected by the owner. We chose a red wine which Stefan promised would not be drunk by the owner but in fact had to be sent back and changed for another one. The food was excellent and was followed by yet more wine on the hotel terrace.


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16th June 2015

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