I am sad to say that this will be my last blog post from Italy this year. We have had a great time. First there was a group of 6 of us travelers, then Susan and I had one week in the Dolomites, where we met more friends, then we went to Florence and Jayne joined us for this last 3 weeks.
We have experienced a heat wave like I have never felt before, but still we kept going…not doing as much as we would have like to do, because of the heat, but fortunately, for us, Italy has some amazing beaches.
We elected to bypass Rome during the heat, and instead, spent our last seven days in Sorrento. While the weather was still pretty warm, it was tolerable. We especially love the Marina Grande in Sorrento. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the commune of the “Fisherman’s Village” had covered the rocky beach with some great sand, apparently dredged up from the sea near there, as we were told it was native sand, not sand that had been brought in from somewhere else
The Marina Grande, at night. Ourfavorite restaurant in Sorrento, Delfino’s, is the furthest one out. During the day, one can rent a sun chair on the deck and swim. There is a ladder on the north side of the deck that goes into deeper water, while on the south side, a ladder takes you into shallow water. Just perfect!
On Tuesday, we toured the Amalfi Coast. We had hired a driver to take us on this tour. . Raffaele Monetti, of Monetti Taxi, picked us up at 9:00 a.m. He escorted us down the coast. What beautiful scenery all along. We stopped in Positano and Amalfi, then had lunch in Ravello.
This rock has been standing there, just like that, for thousands of years. Raffaele told us the local people say it resembles the Virgin Mary. What is most remarkable about this rock, is that “Mary” has a crown of flowers in her hair and is holding on a bouquet of flowers. Those are always there. I do think that rock is blessed.
This is the remnant of an ancient watch tower. It was not a lighthouse…it was a tower where a watchman could spot ships of invaders, and light a fire in the tower to warn the people, who could flee to the upper parts of the mountains. These were in use over 700 to 800 years ago. The invaders were the Turks and the Moors. Raffaele told us the Moors were the most feared, as they were so violent. They would kill the men and take the women and children for slaves. Then, there were also pirates from Portugal and Spain. Seems like lots of people wanted a piece of this coast.
By lunch time, we had reached Ravello, which is 500 meters above sea level, up the hill from Amalfi. This is a view taken from the restaurant, Salvatore, where we had an awesome meal..
There is a staircase, hundreds of years old, made of stone, of course, that goes from Amalfi to Ravello. There are over 3,000 stairs in that staircase. That would be a difficult walk.
Here is a portion of the stairs. Even Susan, who loves climbing stairs, declined this walk.
Finally, we had to go back the way we came, back to Sorrento. It was a very enjoyable day. I have had tours with Raffaele several times. He is the nicest person, and thoroughly enjoys what he does. I asked him if he ever gets tired of driving that coast, as the traffic gets horrendous. He told me, “No, how could I get tired of this lovely sea coast.” He told us his father has done these tours for 45 years, and he is still not tired of driving the coast.
We spent the next day packing and getting ready to leave. Believe it or not, it was too hot to go to the beach. We were told, that evening, that someone had to be taken from the beach to the hospital, because of the heat.
Now we are at our hotel near the airport in Rome, so that we can fly home tomorrow. This hotel is situated in the town of Fiumincino, right where the River Tiber meets the sea. It is beautiful. I just have to send you a picture of our sunset tonight.
Taken from the little deck off my hotel room. This makes staying near the airport so much nicer.
We will be home in 37 hours! I will write more when I have another adventure.
Ciao for now,