Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2011 Amalfi Coast Adventures: Like pearls on a string . . .

Listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, the Amalfi Coast is located along the Sorrentin Peninsula in Southern Italy.  With it's limestone cliffs, sparkling turquoise waters, beautiful gardens/lemon groves, magnificent vistas and spectacular sunsets, I have read that the Amalfi Coast is the perfect place to relax and experience the genuine soul of Italy.  

After considering all of my options (scheduling, flight options and price), I went with the amazing City of Rome to be my fly in and fly out city rather than Naples. Although it was not the cheapest most convenient option out there, who am I to complain about "having" to travel to Rome again. :)

My first night's hotel is not very far from the famous Trevi Fountain so first on my agenda will be to head over so I can throw my traditional Euro coin into the Trevi Fountain to guarantee my 5th return trip to Italy. :) Next, I'll have to find a gelato shop then head over to the Spanish Steps, where I can enjoy a brief "Audrey Hepburn, Roman Holiday" moment.  In 2005 (the last time I was in Rome), I purchased this really cool Calendar which contains several scenes on it from the movie.  This was my favorite.

And before my return flight home at the end of my trip, I'm excited and lucky to be able to get together with blogging friend Sandra (Leaping Without a Net). It will be the second day of what will be several months (or years) living in Rome. Her journey is an amazing story and I am looking forward to hearing more about her plans. A great way to end my 2011 Amalfi Coast Adventure.

My logistics are all but done and now all that is left to do is pack and write a few Pre-Trip posts about my planned itinerary.  Here is my first installment . . .

Like pearls on a string the beautiful small villages that line the famous Amalfi Coast offer travelers beauty, history, great food and lots of timeless Old World Charm.  With 3 whole weeks I will be able to savour my time exploring the many interesting and beautiful things in this part of Southern Italy.

I have created a short list of "must sees" for each town and with the exception of my two night day trip to Capri I will decide day by day what I want to see and do.  I'll be there in November so the weather will be a factor.  I also plan on making day trips to Paestum (to see the Greek Temples) and Naples (to see the National Archaeological Museum and  Santa Chiara Monastery), but more on these day trips later.     

I plan on limiting my sightseeing to 1 or 2 places per day and then use the rest of the day to go on walks, sit at a cafe/bar or just have fun with my photography. This trip will be a lot about me and my desire to relax and feel like I'm part of this little town.  But I also want to learn about the history, art and culture.

My home away from home will be the small town of Praiano which sits between the more popular tourist destinations of Positano and the town of Amalfi.  My apartment looks really cool. It has a terrace in every room opening up to breathtaking views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and a distant view of Positano. I read somewhere that the position of the town makes Praiano the ideal place to view both the sunsets and sunrises and that the sunsets here are among the best in the world. Whoo hoo!

The name Praiano comes from the Latin Pelagium (open sea). It is a small village west of Positano and sits below Monte Sant'Angelo. It is a town that once had a flourishing silk industry and was during the 10th-11th centuries the summer residence of the Amalfi Doge.  Today, Praiano has opened itself up to tourism without the masses typically associated with it's neighbors, Positano and Amalfi.

For a little town, Praiano has some really interesting things to admire.

Inspired by blogging friend, AnnieNC (Churches in Venice), I have developed a genuine love affair with the wonderful churches in Italy.  It started back in 2007 when I visited Venice and experienced seeing so many incredible churches there influenced a lot by reading Annie's blog and her Slow Travel article called "My Favorite Lessor Known Churches in Venice". And how lucky am I to have several charming churches to visit here in the small villages along the Amalfi coast.  Yay! 

My first church to visit on my trip will be the Church of San Gennaro located right down the street from my apartment.  Built in 1589, the structure is a Renaissance basilica style building with three naves that is flanked by a bell tower with a cupola covered in majolica tiles.

In front of the building is a beautiful Piazza San Gennaro also adorned with a beautiful tiled majolica design.  This delightful Piazza has a wonderful distant view of Positano and serves as a great gathering place for the locals to enjoy the cool evening breeze and friendly conversations.  I think I know where I'll be hanging out during the early evenings. :)

Other sights on my must see list here in Praiano include:

- Church of San Luca Evangelista, built in the baroque style in 1588.

- Sighting towers such as Toree a Mare and Toree Asciola which were built to protect the harbour against saracens and pirates. 

- Marina di Praia is a pebble beach located between two cliffs.

You know, for a little town there seems to be a number of interesting things to see. 

Next up, Positano and Amalfi . . .


  1. What a wonderful itinerary and a perfect pace, Kathy! Nothing rushed, but plenty of time to relax and soak up all the beauty that will surround you! (And I love that calendar, I'll have to try to find one in Rome, too.)

  2. Hi Sandra, thanks so much for your comments. I'm glad you like my pace too. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing too much and when I don't have things planned I somehow feel like I should have every minute on my trips covered doing something. This will be a different kind of trip for me where I'm not going to be worried about racing from one place to another. Maybe because I've already been to Italy (although not in Amalfi) but still it's not as much pressure on myself to have to see everything. It's a great feeling.

    I think that calendar is so cool and that would be great if you can find one when you get there. I think I bought it at a touristy type shop.

    Hope all is well with your packing. Have a great evening.

  3. It really sounds like so much fun, and I'm glad that you and Sandra will be able to have a GTG! What fun. I can't wait to see your photos and hear all about it. I bet the churches will be fantastic!

  4. Hi Annie, thanks so much for your comments. Yes meeting Sandra will be a highlight on my trip and it will be so wonderful to hear more about her new life there.

    The churches on the Amalfi Coast are small with the exception I think of the one in Amalfi which I'm working on a post now because it actually has cloisters, which is very cool.

    Have a great Friday and weekend.


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.