During our stay in the Amalfi Coast, I decided to use one company to do all of our tours, just to keep things simple. The company was Tours of Amalfi Coast, and they were very easy to work with. They picked us up in our hotel lobby, except for the Capri tour – where we met our guide about a block from our hotel in the town square. They were very quick to answer any questions I had, and our guides were great.
Our second day was the Amalfi Coast Tour – which took us to the towns of Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. Our driver was Lallo, and he was fantastic! He had actually been a secret service agent in the past, but wanted a slower paced job, which landed him as a driver/guide for this company. He was very knowledgeable having lived there his whole life. We met him in our hotel lobby at 8:30am and we were off for the day!
The early morning light made for some beautiful and serene photos.
Round some narrow winding mountain roads on our way to Positano.
The island on the left is privately owned!! Wouldn’t you just love to live there!
We made our way through the mountains to Positano. It’s amazing how this small village town just perches on the rocky face of the mountain!
It the picture below you can see where the 2 black cars are parked – on top of the house! That’s because space is so limited here that they build the garage on the street level, and then build the house on the mountain side below it!!
Driving through the town…
Check out this villa’s views! Gorgeous!
Religion is a very deep and fundamental part of the Italian culture. These nativity scenes could be seen all round the town, and along the roads. Lallo told us during the Christmas Holidays, they are exquisitely decorated and lit.
We stopped our car and walked around Positano for a bit. We were still early – a lot of shops weren’t even yet open at 9:30am! Plus it was a Sunday morning, so many people of the town were still in church services.
After walking around the shops, we walked down the hill towards the beach.
Always trying to get a good shot!
By now we were ready to grab a drink and sit for a bit to enjoy this beautiful town!
This little cove was the original fishing village of Positano!
It was time to leave Positano and make our way to Amalfi. Some sites along the way…
We made it! As you can tell by the traffic, people were out of church and ready to enjoy a beautiful Sunday afternoon!
The main square.
The main Duomo of Amalfi – Duomo di Sant’Andrea Apostolo
A Catholic Mass service was going on when we visited, so we didn’t stay long.
Somehow both cars and people manage to make their way through the narrow streets.
The main Nativity in Amalfi – De Cape ‘e Ciucci Fountain Presepe. It was amazingly detailed, and included everything! Be sure to check out the link above for more information on this Nativity fountain and see more up close pictures!
After seeing Amalfi, it was time to continue our tour. Ravello is further up the mountain, and much more remote.
One of the first things you notice about Ravello, is that it is largely terraced, so crops can be more easily grown here.
The ancient, medieval walls that surrounded this city still stand, and no vehicles are allowed within the walls. So we parked the car, and walked around Ravello.
The main square had some amazing views.
You can still see ruins here and there.
And visit the castle and walk around ancient streets of Ravello.
After all that walking around ancient ruins, it was time to get some lunch. Lallo told us about a restaurant that had the fantastic views and okay food, and another restaurant where “Mama” cooked that had no views but fabulous food (and is where the drivers and guides always eat!). So we decided to check out the views at the one restaurant, and eat at the other! The views here and the food there did NOT disappoint!
After a wonderful lunch (sorry, I don’t have pics of the delicious lunch we had!) it was time to head back to our hotel. MyMan and I both loved Positano and Ravello the most. Amalfi was just okay for us. It kind of had a gritty feel to it. If you were not able to compare it to other towns nearby, and went there on vacation, it would be a lovey town and a great vacation. But when compared to the surrounding villages – there was just no comparison for us.
On the way back to the hotel in Sorrento, Lallo made a stop at a ceramics factory in Positano, as it is known for their ceramics. The Picadilly Ceramics Factory had all varieties of pottery you could imagine, in all colors and designs. Honestly, I am not really into the colorfully designed ceramic pieces like the majority of shops have. But I have always wanted a serving dish or bowl that had a Tuscan countryside scene on it. After looking at all the pieces they had, I found a nice sized fruit bowl and olive oil container that called my name. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the exact ones I ordered, but they have matching scenes on them very similar to this: After ordering my new ceramics pieces, we headed back to Sorrento. Lallo was talking to us about inlaid wood working, which is what Sorrento is known for. We told him we had been to several shops, but had not yet purchased any. So he made a call to Notturno, which is an inlaid wood factory that was very near our hotel. They are continuing a 500 year old tradition of the region and use a variety of materials and woods including walnut, olive, birch, and mahogany to create their masterpieces.
What was amazing to me (besides the beautiful artwork and craftsmanship) was that it was Sunday afternoon, and no workers were in the shop. It was literally my family, our driver Lallo, and 2 of the owners of Notturno!! One of them made a demonstration for us on how they inlaid wood was created step by step. Then they took us to their showroom floor so we could look at their pieces. After looking around for a few minutes, MyMan and I saw a table we both immediately fell in love with! It was a design that they had only made twice – one had a shiny lacquer coating on it, and the one we liked was more of a matte finish. I can’t wait until it’s delivered!!
The Amalfi Coast is definitely an awe-inspiring destination. The people are so nice, and the sites just can’t be beat! I’m hoping we can visit Sorrento and Positano again in the not too distant future!