The Amalfi Coast with Ed and Lydia

The adventures of Chili III
Peter & Belinda Vernon
Wed 4 May 2022 12:36
40:37.9N 14:36.1E

A superb day’s sailing with Ed and Lydia along the Amalfi coast. With a few exceptions the coast is steep-to so we were able to sail (or mainly motor) a few hundred metres from the shore. From Salerno we sailed past the small towns of Priano and Amalfi to Positano where we dropped the anchor in the bay for a delicious lunch on board of Serrano ham, burrata and salad. This really is a very beautiful coastline and as Ed pointed out, sailing is by far the best way to explore it. There is no major development anywhere along this coast, just pretty colourful villages of modest houses and churches clinging to steep cliffs and hillsides plunging down to the aquamarine sea. It was a lovely morning. We had a good wander ashore through the delightful Positano with lots of stair climbing and including coffee and exceptionally delicious deserts at a cafe terrace overlooking the town and the bay. Then back on board and a short sail to Amalfi where we moored for the night at the tiny harbour.

We were delighted to find that Amalfi, whilst an obvious tourist destination is also a real place. On the shore by the dock was a children’s playground busy with kids and their parents with prams and bicycles. The shops are a mixture of smart boutiques next to fruit and veg shops, tabbachis and hardware stores. The Duomo in the main square is vast and impressive especially the striking facade, with its Norman / Byzantine / Arabic influences and gold-leaf mosaics. A massive stone staircase leading down from the Cathedral to the town square with its stylish street cafes is a major feature of the town. Amalfi now has a resident population of only 5,000 but was once a maritime superpower of 70,000 which explains the cathedral. In 1343 much of the town and many residents fell into the sea during an earthquake. We had a tortuous bus journey to Ravello and back (endless hairpins and ultra narrow roads) but loved the town and Villa Ruffalo with its fabulous views down the coast. The black and white photos of Jackie Kennedy attending summer classical music concerts on the Villa’s the outdoor stage lent a glamorous feel to the place.

A delicious fish dinner outside in a tiny traffic free square in Amalfi rounded off a wonderful visit to this unique coastline and yes, Ed was right, visiting by boat is definitely the best way to experience the Amalfi coast!