Going to the Amalfi Coast is certainly memorable and a unique experience, the story of Amalfi is linked to the nymph Melphe, the apple of Hercule’s eye and the legend says that he built a city so high on the cliffs to buried her when she died but there is another theory; when Romans lived here in the IV century named it Melfi.
Suspended between the sea, sky ad earth the state road 163 twists and turns in an almost never ending path around the Coast, it has stunning views from every corner. In the 19th century access to the Amalfi coast was very difficult and possible only by the mountains in mules. By the 1900’s the isolation of this part of Italy attracted many travelers. In Edwardian times the coast became a destination of choice by British aristocrats, later actors such as Humphrey Bogart, Greta Garbo and Sophia Loren brought fame to the area.
You can find some of the best well kept secret restaurants of Italy (Michellin stars and local eateries) with amazing menus that are well worth the narrowed roadside trip and the headache.
Continuing with our trips around Naples at the top of the hill is one of the most important monuments in the city, the Certosa di San Martino (San Martino’s charterhouse). You can reach this part of town from Chiaia via de funiculars or by Vespa which is the best way of transportation in Naples due to traffic, the narrowed streets and of course…the parking, besides getting around on a Vespa can only make your trip in Italian cities even more authentic.
Pause for Coffee
In Naples coffee is a ceremony, the Neapolitans love their espressos very strong and you can have them everywhere, plenty of historic coffee shops and pasticcerias (cake shops) offering a wide range of coffee brands, many of them born in Naples such as Pasalacqua and Kenon. In fact the moka pot (Napoletana) is a Neapolitan invention dated back from the late 19th centuries.
Italians know if someone is not Italian when they order cappuccinos during the day, afternoon or after a meal. Cappuccinos are meant to be drunk only with breakfast, with those delicious “cornettis” (pastries). After lunch or diner they drink their espressos. Coffee is a way of expression and is a form of art. Enjoy an espresso before or after your Museum visit. See you tomorrow!!!
(c) 2013 Montserrat Franco. All pictures by me taken with IPhone 4S and Sony Cybershot.
Italy keeps inspiring most of us over and over, it is everything from the Arts to the Music, from the Architecture to the Fashion, from the History to the wine and food.
Naples is one of the cities that fascinates me with incredible characteristics and the magnificent views of the Vesuvius, wherever your position is, you will be able to have that postcard illusion. Here you need to take your time, to eat and drink like a local, don’t bring your watch, time here seems like it never goes by, it is the perfect way to feel that “La Dolce Vita” style.
Borgo Marinaro, Marecchiaro and Santa Lucia
One of the romantic walks around Naples is by the Lungomare in the Santa Lucia neighborhood, with plenty of restaurants to choose from surrounded by colorful sun kissed boats lining around the “Borgo Marinaro” (the fishermen’s quarter). Naples inspired also the most romantic Italian songs (canzonettas) and it’s here in this quarter where they were born. In Naples everything is about love, food and the simple life, just experience it for yourself.
The Lungomare was frequented by Sophia Loren and Salvador Dali and you can still have the same taste and get your inner diva and glamour do the rest, just put on some huge sunglasses with a little black dress and enjoy a glass of Falanghina wine which is the perfect pair with any of the local seafood dishes.
The legend around the Castel dell”Ovo and the particular name first appears in the XIV century and it talks about a magic egg that was hidden in the castle. Today the castle with his particular tufa walls is home of art exhibitions and retrospectives that can be visited by the public.
After lunch at the Borgo Marinaro or Santa Lucia a short walk to the chic Chiaia neighborhood it’s a must for the designers stores and the majestic architecture.
Naples can be a city with many contradictions, narrowed claustrophobic streets full of Vespas and chaotic traffic or wide avenues with the most glamorous shops and ladies covered in fur and designer handbags. While in Chiaia experience both sides, take a look at the Fascist era architecture and monuments and don’t forget it’s time for an aperitif, our version of Happy Hour, Italian Style, somewhere around 5 to 7 pm. Chiaia gives many options when it comes to aperitif, the difference is that with one drink most bars offer a full buffet of appetizers and nibbles, all self service but with moderation, remember soon will be time for dinner.
Well, I think has been a long day and you need some rest because tomorrow you will be visiting more wonderful monuments, eating amazing food and tasting excellent wines, what a wonderful life!!!
(c) 2013 Montserrat Franco. All pictures by me taken with an IPhone 4, 4S and Sony Cybershot