Sorrento and Amalfi Coast – Dolly Travels

Author: , August 2nd, 2018

Sorento and the Amalfi Coast - Dolly Travels

Buongiorno, tutti,

The sirens of the Sorento and the Amalfi Coast were calling us. We left Rome on Sunday morning and traveled to Napoli by train. At the train station, we got a taxi to take us to the port, where we would board a ferry for a short ride across the Bay of Napoli to Sorrento. The taxi ride itself was an adventure. I felt like I was on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in Disneyland. Napoli, to me, is so crowded and congested, I never want to spend any time there. The taxi driver made certain that we got to the port in one piece, but I had my doubts for awhile. He was a genial soul. He did not speak English, but I was too terrified to speak, anyway.

The boat ride across the bay was such a pleasant way to get to Sorrento. I have always, in the past, taken the small train, the Circumvesuviana, which is usually very crowded and takes twice as long to get to Sorrento. I was happy for this new experience.

Once we arrived in Sorrento, and checked into our hotel, we set off on a short walking tour of the town. The walk was not very long, as we were hungry. We went to Ristorante Aurora, to have pizza, for they make the best pizza in Sorrento. The restaurant sits right on the main piazza, Piazza Tasso. From our outdoor table, we could watch the people walking by, as well as the activity of the piazza.

Sorrento sits on top of huge limestone cliffs. The canyons, the small streets, the hills, as well as the parks and quiet places, are so stunning, making Sorrento a superb walking town.

On Monday, we went on a driving tour of the Amalfi Coast. Carolina Monetti, daughter of our usual driver, Raffaele, picked us up at 8:30 and away we went.

Carolina drove us over the mountain to the Amalfi Coast side of the Mediterranean. She pointed out different points of interest to us, and stopped frequently for us to take pictures and get better views of the sea.

We stopped in one turnout on the road, where a man with a small truck had set up a little fruit stand. Lemons are everywhere. We were told that the trees down here produce three crops a year. Most of the lemon trees are in groves that are fenced and covered with mesh screens, as the torrential rains of winter, plus the birds and other calamities of nature, would destroy the fragile lemon blossoms.

Finally, though, we had to return to Sorrento. We finished our day by enjoying a fabulous dinner at my favorite restaurant in all of Italy, Ristorante Delfino, situated down at the Marina Grande. We celebrated Danny’s birthday in style. This was a perfect finish to a perfect day.

Until we meet again, Arrivederci. There are certainly more adventures in our future, but Danny’s birthday this year has to go down in history as one of the best days ever.

Ciao for now,
Dolly

The Amalfi Coast -The Scruffy Italian Traveler

Author: , January 13th, 2017

Amalfi Coast

Last Summer I spent a weekend in this stunning part of Southern Italy, and I fell in love with it! Although not far from Puglia, the region where I live (a mere 3 and a half hours drive), I barely knew the area. I had visited it once with my parents when I was a kid, but I didn’t have much memory of it: it was such a surprise to discover how beautiful it is! I slept in Maiori, the perfect starting point for many different day trips around along Amalfi Coast.

First of all, where is that? Amalfi Coast is so called after the name of one of its best known towns, Amalfi. It is a stretch of coastline about 50-kilometers long in Campania region (the most famous city of it being Napoli, or Naples). It runs from Vietri sul Mare, a picturesque town worldwide famous for its ceramics, up to Meta, hilltop village just outside Sorrento. Amalfi Coast runs at the base of the Lattari mountains, which makes the view of the coastline very dramatic.

Driving through the so – called “road of 1,000 bends” is an experience itself. Very tortuous, the road passes through lemon terraces (being the lemon the most characteristic fruit of the area, well known for the limoncello productions) and traditional villages. The road is so narrow that during summer months traffic jams are inevitable! For this reason, if driving is not your favorite thing, you should probably avoid to drive on this road, preferring to take one of the buses that link the coast. It will also be a pleasant way to enjoy the stunning cliffs on one side and the astonishing azure sea on the other.

By Sergio Scardia – Full Story at The Scruffy Italian Traveler

Campania Gay Travel Resources

Amalfi Coast – Carlos Melia

Author: , June 11th, 2016

Amalfi Coast - Carlos Melia

My day took me from my base at Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento, all the way to Ravello and back along the stunning panoramic road of the Amalfi Coast, with stops in Amalfi, Praiano and Positano. From the distance, I was also able to catch a view of Maiori and Minori, and drive by Atrani, which I thought I was very charismatic.

Amalfi Coast - Carlos MeliaDriving along the Amalfi Coast for us was rather easy, since we were there during the off-season, but during Summer time you better be patient. Distances are not to long, I mean from town to town, there is 25 to 30 minutes drive, without traffic.

First stop was Ravello, which is the furthest point I have explored Amalfi Coast. I only did a quick overview, since I would be staying later during the week, for a night at Belmond Hotel Caruso. So I will leave this open to my next upcoming post. But most definetely a MUST visit.

Amalfi Coast - Carlos MeliaLunch at Trattoria pizzeria Cumpa Cosimo was just perfect. Unlike many other dinning experiences I had during my time at the Amalfi Coast, it was very local, rustic, grewat Italian food and and very charismatic owner and Chef Netta Bottone, who tours the tables to ensure her clients are content. Her family has owned this cantina for more than 75 of its 300. Not only I tried her cooking, but also got plenty of love and kisses from her. ADORABLE.

Next stop was Amalfi, a brief walk around, at the foot of Monte Cerreto. The town of Amalfi was the capital of the maritime republic. Amalfi is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The highlight other than the spectacular panoramic views, which you will find all along the way, is the Amalfi Cathedral di Sant’Andrea.

Next stop, for many, the star of the Amalfi Coast, beautiful – but very crowded and over the top touristy – Positano. I mean, it is GORGEOUS, the views are all you would expect when visitin the Amalfi Coast and more, now it is very hectic and happening.

I came to do a walk around Le Sirenuse Hotel, and I deeply fall in love with the property, the panoramic views and the lovely Michelin starred restaurant La Sponda. I was so pleased, that right away booked my clients there for their upcoming Summer stay in Positano.

Dinner was at this quaint ristorante called KASAI, in Praiano. Again, just what I needed, great local food and great company, along the owner of the restaurant and my new – fabulous and fun friend – Fiona Fava. Lots of loval delights and even more bottles of local white wine. Literally eating and drinking my way across Italy. This was my full day discovering the many charming towns of the Amalfi Coast.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog

Campania Gay Travel Resources

Dream Euro Trip – Amalfi and Cilento Are The Most Beautiful Coasts in Italy

Author: , July 29th, 2015

Salerno - DJ Yabis

If there is one place that keeps surprising me with its beauty, cuisine, culture and history, it’s Italy. As much as I hate to admit it because it is so cliche and predictable even: I love Italy. No no no no. This is not coming from a tourist visiting for a week for the first time. I have visited Italy hundreds of times, ruined my waistline (all the time) and pretty much abandoned my Paleo diet which I worked so hard for to tell you a fact: I REALLY LOVE ITALY.

I love its big historical cities and its smaller, unknown – sometimes abandoned – towns equally. And my favorite coastline to date? It has to be the famous Amalfi coast and my recent discovery, the lesser known Cilento coast next to it.

The Amalfi coast and Cilento coast are both part of the province of Salerno in the Campania region. I visited Positano, the most famous town along the Amalfi coast, in 2011 and immediately fell in love. I vowed to come back and explore the area more so I am happy to make that dream a reality this summer.

By DJ Yabis – Full Story at Dream Euro Trip | Italy Gay Travel Resources | Other Gay Travel Events

Dream Euro Trip – Villages of the Amalfi Coast

Author: , July 27th, 2015

Amalfi Coast

You all know by now that I love traveling to Italy. I just recently travelled to the Amalfi Coast for the second time and before I tell you all my stories and travel tips about this beautiful area in Italy, I would like to orient you first about it with a map of the Amalfi Coast.

Why? Because it can be a bit confusing for first-time travellers.. The Amalfi Coast is actually made up of 13 villages, or what they call the “13 Pearls of the Amalfi”. The most popular among them are Positano (which I visited back in 2011), Ravello and Amalfi.

The Amalfi coast is basically the area from Vietri sul Mare at the right near Salerno all the way to Positano on the left. All the other villages of the Amalfi coast are scattered along the way and I highly recommend driving along the entire coast. The views are breathtaking although it can be a bit dizzying with the winding roads.

By DJ Yabis – Full Story at Dream Euro Trip | Campania Gay Travel Resources

Dolly Travels – Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

Author: , July 24th, 2015

Amalfi Coast - Dolly GoolsbyI 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.

At the Marina Grande, one can rent a sun chair and umbrella and enjoy the beach. Many of the restaurants loan chairs and umbrellas to their customers. Our favorite 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!

Amalfi Coast - Dolly GoolsbyOn 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.

There’s an amazing rock overlooking the sea 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.

We also saw 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.

y lunch time, we had reached Ravello, which is 500 meters above sea level, up the hill from Amalfi. 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.

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.

We will be home in 37 hours! I will write more when I have another adventure.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Campania Gay Travel Resources

Amalfi Coast and Paestum

Author: , May 9th, 2013

Paestum, ItalyOur dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on the go again, this time in Italy. She has graciously allowed us to republish her travel blogs. Enjoy!

Another Wow!!

What a day we had today. Our driver, Raffaele Monetti (look him up in Rick Steves’ Italy guidebook) picked us up at our apartment at 8:00 this morning in his 6 passenger Mercedes van. He drove us down the Amalfi coast, pointing out different sights and giving us some history of the area as we drove.

We stopped in Positano for about 45 minutes, so we could look around the small city, then on to Amalfi. The beauty of the coast was so fabulous. The houses look like they are Super-glued to the hillside, but they have been very stable there for centuries, through invasions by Romans, and Moors.

As we drove along the winding road on our way to Amalfi, Raffaele pointed out this natural sculpture. It is a rock formation that looks like the Virgin Mary, with flowers in her hands, and some flowers in her hair.

Raffaele told us that this formation has stood there for centuries, and the greenery in her hands and in her hair never turns brown, but always stays green, even when the hot summer sun turns everything else brown. That story made a chill run down my spine.

We stopped in Amalfi for another half hour or so, then went on to Paestum. I had never been there before, and was so anxious to see it. The drive to Paestum was another 2 hours from Amalfi. But that visit was well worth the trip.

This area with the Greek temples dated back to 6th century B.C. We are talking over 2500 years ago. All the temples were built with stone from the area, mostly limestone. When the Romans arrived, they did some repairs with brick, but even those repairs date back to 3rd Century B.C.
(I tell you, there is nothing like travel to increase your knowledge of history. To walk the stone walks that the Greeks and the Romans used, with the imprint still of the chariot wheels, just brings history right up close and personal.)

We had a wonderful lunch before our visit to the ruins, at Ristorante Basilica, where we had fresh buffalo mozzarella, green beans fresh from their garden, roasted small artichokes, fresh tomatoes, then focaccia bread, warm, with fresh herbs, pizza with the buffalo mozzarella and artichokes, fresh strawberries with lemon and a bit of sugar for dessert. We could have stayed there all day, but we had Greek temples to see. All these foods are grown or produced right near Paestum. Even the water buffalo, who provide the milk for the cheese, live only in this area.

Finally, Raffaele brought us back to Sorrento by way of the Autostrada, but we were all tired….10 hours of viewing the most wonderful landscapes one could even imagine seeing.

We were going to go out to dinner, but as tired as we were, we settled for a lovely dinner of leftovers and wine. Life just cannot get better than this!

Tomorrow is our last day in Sorrento, so everyone has their own idea of what is important to see. Then, for sure, we are going down to Marina Grande to Delfino’s for fresh seafood for dinner.

Next stop: Orvieto.

Love you all. Please keep in touch and keep following my blog.

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