We flew into Naples from Paris and rented this cute little fiat car, because road trips are our thing. Then we started off for downtown Naples looking for breakfast, which ended up being hilariously unexpected and fun. The downtown itself is crumbling, it’s technically bankrupt as is evident by spray paint on the beautiful old architecture around the city (think Detroit a few years ago). No one uses traffic signs either, but somehow it all works out…organized chaos at its finest. I think a lot of people get stressed in situations like this, but for some reason we couldn’t stop laughing, perhaps too aware of the ridiculousness of the situation we were in.
We decided to get the hell out of downtown Naples and head towards the Amalfi coast. Little prepares you for the italian coastline. I’ve seen cliffs that drop into the ocean before…but this is just next level. The small roads and houses carved into cliffs that hug the coastline… the most beautiful turquoise colored waters of the Mediterranean sea just below…the vintage shellacked wood boats in the harbor that I could not stop taking photos of…the Italians and their animated hand-gestures…it was just so idyllic. We visited the small towns of Positano, Priano and when we rounded the turn to Amalfi we just couldn’t take it anymore…we had to park the car, throw on our bathing suits, and jump into the ocean.
We arrived salty and wet to our Airbnb flat. We rented out the home of two artists in the small hillside village of Ravello overlooking the sea. The most beautiful pink and purple wildflowers surrounded the home. Not far from us was a bar with outdoor tables set underneath a cavern where old Italian men sat playing cards and yelling at each other. In the mornings, roosters woke us. Sometimes I wish I could capture everything on my camera, but a lot of the time I just want to be experiencing it and I forget, so I have to describe it with words instead (use your words, nicole). We explored more, walking through lemon groves and down steep stone hillside stairs into town. There were friendly townie cats that hung around, which I always appreciate. One of the days we were there we decided to take the city bus up the hill after spending a day swimming at the local beach. The bus arrived and everyone began piling in. I held onto Trey, pulling him inside the bus (we were the last two that got on) and one behind us who didn’t make it on mustered up all the english he knew to tell Trey, inches from his face, “You are so bright! You stupid idiot!”. I laughed, thinking the guy must have been kidding…it was just a bus ride, and another bus was coming in 15 minutes! The guy gave me the death stare. Nope, he wasn’t kidding. That night we stumbled onto a “International Pop festival”, which reminded me of this tragically uncool talent/beauty pageant my high school used to throw called “The Miss CHS Pageant”, complete with big hair and sequined gowns. After a few liters of wine, this is really, really entertaining.
For local eats, Ada, our Airbnb host, recommended this seafood restaurant up in the hills. We arrived to the restaurant for dinner one night and were greeted by a young, mustached man. The restaurant was surrounded by a vineyard to our right, a goat farm to our distant left, and the sea in front of us. The mustached waitor brought a basket of fresh, whole fish over to our table and told us in italian-english “this is fish from the sea this morning (pointing to the sea). I prepare it for you”. We ordered a liter of the house wine made from the vineyard we were in, appetizers with goat cheese from the goats, and the fresh fish from the sea. Everything tasted amazing, and then…the supermoon came up, casting the most amazing shine on the night water. I know, I know…I didn’t believe it either, but there we were…bellies full of fish, minds tipsy off wine, walking home past friendly cats under the light of the biggest moon. And now I’m dead. It was a good life. Just kidding.
The last day we were there we walked down to the local harbor in Amalfi and rented a private boat that I captained, my first time outside of US waters. We cruised along the coast, hugging the shore and getting more views of the hillside, then we sailed over to the island of Capri before stopping and diving off the boat into the water. After that we came back, packed up the car, and headed for Rome. We really had an awesome time on the Amalfi coast and hope to come back one day.