Amalfi Coast

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November 7th 2014
Published: June 25th 2017
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We Rode the BusWe Rode the BusWe Rode the Bus

These small buses were as big as could get around on the roads. This is the front of the hotel which faces a tall cliff. The back has the views of the Bay of Naples.
Geo: 40.6263, 14.3757

Today was the first group outing which was supposed to take us along the Amalfi coast all the way to the town of Amalfi. However, we only made it as far as Positano. Overnight last night, there was a giant rainstorm between Positano and Amalfi which caused a rockslide on the coast road. Since there is only one road going that way, we couldn't get past Positano. We saw and heard some rain at the hotel, but it did not seem as dramatic as what must have happened farther south.

On the way to Positano, Philip and I had seats on the right side of the bus so we could see the sea and the precipitous drop-offs right on the edge of the road. At least a stone railing about two feet high lined the pavement between the road and the sometimes abyss-like cliff. The driver did a remarkable job of winding around on the road avoiding cars, both stopped and moving, scooters, people walking and standing, cats and dogs, and other buses, too. The driving can't be easy; we were glad to leave it to a professional. Today's buses were 24-passenger types. This is the low tourist season and the rainiest month of the year for the area. I can't imagine what the traffic is like in the high season. Must be crazy.

In Positano, the driver let us off as far into town as he could, but still pretty high up. Our guide, Salvatore, walked us down to the row of cafes and shops on the edge of the sea, gave us a meeting place and time, pointed out where to buy espresso and gelato and where to find the toilets, and left us on our own for almost two hours. That was much more shopping time than I cared for so Philip bought an espresso and we sat down to watch the surf come in. When it seemed like we had been in the cafe long enough, we started our slow climb back up to the gas station where the bus was parked. We did some window shopping along the way and explored down one of the side passages. By the time we neared the top, we were ready for another break and stopped for another espresso and Coke and were joined by Olivia and Tommie for a little while.

Back in the bus, we returned to Sorrento for a group lunch at a beautiful restaurant, Ristorante 'O Parrucchiano La Favorita. Before arriving at the restaurant, we walked through the center of Sorrento to get there. The buses could not get very close to it since it is on a small side street. On the way to the restaurant, our guide stopped at an old doorway right on one of the busiest lanes and said that it was his house. He surprised us by pulling out his key, unlocking the door, and inviting us in. We walked into the vestibule of an apartment building with high ceilings and a crown representing the original owners of the building embedded in the ceiling.

At the restaurant, we were seated at tables surrounded by a lemon and orange grove in a building that was architecturally reminiscent of Victorian England. It made for a lovely setting. Cannelloni was invented and first served at this restaurant about one hundred years ago. We ate with Matt and Inez of the Whitener Law firm. They brought their two small boys who seem to be handling the jet lag fairly well. Lunch was a selection of appetizers with eggplant, tomatoes, pizza, and other items
that I didn't recognize, cannelloni as the main course, of course, and a creamy lemon dessert. Bottles of still water and red and white wine were on the table for everyone to share.

Afterwards, we walked back up to where the buses were for a ride up the hill to the hotel. Others choose to stay in town and shop again, but we were tired. This schedule of staying up late and starting sightseeing early on the first day of the trip is not our usual and not ideal, in my opinion, for adjusting to the time zone change. But we will manage.

Tonight, we walked back into town for dinner at Ristorante L'Antica Trattoria. It was a wonderful choice. One of the local agents helping the group had a list of recommended places, so, when we chose that one, she called and made the reservation for us. The restaurant was not very busy; I never saw all the tables full at the same time. Service was excellent. Food was plentiful and oh, so tasty. And I will give this restaurant a high rating and good review on I ordered more than I could eat, and the waiter must have thought that I didn't like the entree because I couldn't finish it. I tried to explain to him that it was delicious, but I was full. Rather than letting that go, he brought me another plate unexpectedly. It was so nice, but that really made the situation harder. I didn't want to hurt his or the chef's feelings by not finishing it. Philip was able to help me and we did finish the plate of tempura shrimp that he gave us.

After we finished dinner, we walked back up to the hotel. It's about 15-20 minutes uphill. During the walk my Fitbit buzzed that I had finished 10,000 steps. Sure feels like it, and most of it was up and down hills and steps. This morning Salvatore told us that there is no crime in Sorrento even though Naples has a bad reputation for street crime. He said it would be perfectly safe to walk anywhere in town. We felt quite comfortable walking home even though it was 10:30 p.m. and had been dark for hours.

Additional photos below
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Amalfi CoastAmalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast

Looking up you can see the way the road is cantilevered off the side of the cliff. There is a mirror showing that was used by drivers to see who is coming around the curve of the road.

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