Sunday, 31 May 2015

Beautiful Amalfi

The Amalfi Coast has been on my list of 'must-go-to' places for as long as I can remember. Although we considered it for our honeymoon last year, we eventually decided on Rome, Lake Garda and Venice as those locations made more sense geographically and we were keen to finish our honeymoon in Venice. After an amazing honeymoon, we were determined to return to Italy very soon!

After debating between a few places on the Amalfi Coast and surrounding areas, namely Sorrento, Ravello and Positano, we found a gem of a hotel on Trip Advisor which was situated in Amalfi itself. The reasonable price and the fantastic reviews swung it for us so we booked six nights at Hotel L'Antico Convitto for the end of April. The hotel arranged our transfer from the airport which was seamless (just like all our honeymoon transfers). The drive from Naples airport to Amalfi is unbelievably stunning. You can't get through the mountain that separates the two areas, so you have to drive up the mountain and back down again. We were given a lovely warm welcome when we arrived at our hotel and were shown to our massive suite with a lovely view of the mountains. We'd booked a standard double room so we were very impressed!




I loved everything about this hotel. It's situated barely a minute's walk from Piazza Duomo, Amalfi's main square. It has a tranquil roof terrace with a beautiful view (see photos below), and the breakfast selection was out of this world. This has has been our experience at every Italian hotel we've stayed in. I had a delightfully rich hot chocolate every morning! The hotel staff couldn't have been more helpful, from the kitchen staff to the hotel manager, and they presented us with a bottle of Limoncello when we left. I absolutely love Limoncello so this was a very welcome gift. As well as being very sad about leaving beautiful Amalfi, I was just as sad about leaving our lovely hotel.





Amalfi is a tiny little town with lots of restaurants, bars, bakeries, boutique stores and touristy shops. I love its little narrow streets and the tantalising glimpses of the sea at the end of every street. I fell in love with Piazza Duomo and we spent many hours people watching (and dog watching) in various bars and restaurants in this square. It's a lovely sun-filled piazza with lots of hustle and bustle, but it never felt too crowded. Such a relaxing atmosphere! Everyone we met in Amalfi was so friendly which really added to the experience.






Amalfi Cathedral is situated right in the heart of Piazza Duomo and a few minutes from our hotel. We visited this beautiful location on our second full day in Amalfi. The cathedral is made up of four main components - the Cloister of Paradise, the Basilica of the Crucifix, the Crypt of St. Andrew, and the cathedral itself. The architecture and grandeur of all four components is just awe-inspiring, just like so many other religious Italian buildings. You can see the bell tower for miles and it was a beautiful focal point from Amalfi's many vantage points.










Talking of vantage points, it's safe to say that we spent a lot of time on Amalfi's piers during our stay. We quite often used to grab an ice cream or a pizza slice then walk to one of the piers to have a leisurely stroll or a sit down to gaze at the view.There were three different piers at various locations on the sea front, and there were spectacular views from each one. I took over 600 photographs during our stay in Amalfi and most of those were taken from these three piers. That's precisely why this little paragraph is represented by so many photographs in this blog post! However, it's impossible to capture the true beauty of Amalfi in photographs as there really is beauty all around you in every possible direction. Beautiful mountains, beautiful buildings and beautiful sea views. 

















We had initially considered staying in Ravello and we'd heard lots of people raving about its views, so we decided to go on a City Sightseeing bus tour to Ravello on our fourth day in Amalfi. The bus ride was quite an experience as the roads steeped into the mountains definitely aren't ideal for large buses, but the views made it all worth it. It's a shame that it was a little cloudy on the day we visited Ravello, but the views were still breathtakingly amazing. Ravello was even smaller than Amalfi with the same characteristic narrow streets and pretty little piazzas. Although Ravello was really beautiful, I'm glad we chose to stay in Amalfi rather than in Ravello as it had more character and it was a better base from which to travel to other parts of the Amalfi Coast.








On our last full day in Amalfi, we decided to take the ferry over to Salerno to see a different side to the Amalfi Coast. Salerno is a huge city so it was very different to little Amalfi, but it was still a pretty sight despite its obvious industrial nature. Whereas Amalfi is full of independent stores, we found lots of chain and designer stores in Salerno. The streets in the main tourist area of Salerno were very wide and open, but we found the traditional Italian narrow streets in Salerno too at the ends of the main shopping streets. I'm glad we got to experience the ferry ride as well as the city of Salerno... I love a good boat trip and it provided even more photo opportunities. Amalfi looks amazing from a boat, as you can see from the many photos at the end of this post!












I was going to tag our food and drink on to the end of this blog post, but who am I kidding? I'll need a whole separate post for that!

If you're considering visiting Amalfi (or anywhere on the Amalfi Coast) but haven't quite made up your mind yet, I urge you to look at Trip Advisor to find a hotel and an area that suits you then book it as soon as possible. It really is breathtaking and the views are second to none. I desperately hope to go back one day!













2 comments:

  1. Now I reeeeeeeeeeeeeally want to go to Italy! Hot chocolate for breakfast every morning sounds good to me...

    x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great stuff! Reminds of a pre-kids holiday to Ravello. Stunning area and amazing food. Ate at restaurant in Amalfi accessed via lift on cliff face from seafront - superb.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comment! :)