Purple Palate Blog

Day 40 – Amalfi Coast

Up early in search of a laundrymat… Quick hint… Google maps doesn’t know the difference between a laundrymat and a dry cleaner, but that’s a story for another day.

We have 1 day to do the Amalfi Coast, so choosing not to bite off more than we could chew, decided to get the boat to Amalfi, then bus it to Ravello in the hills above, then on to Positano.

Walked the couple of kms to the ferry terminal, then the half a km out to the end of the jetty with the ticket office. Were told (in no uncertain terms) that the mill pond that was the Meditteranean was too rough for the ferries to run. Seriously, it was overcast, but there was not a breath of wind. After Roz finished her meltdown (she’s very tired), decided to get the bus to Amalfi instead. Walked over to the bus terminal and waited for the next bus which was due in 30 minutes. 

To say that all the niceties of civilised life went out the window when the bus arrived is an understatement. We were the first in line, and got the last 2 seats on the bus (on the back seat) for the 70minute ride to Amalfi 23km away. The fact that we got the last 2 seats did not stop another 30 people coming on.

Yeah, we got the P plate driver, and for anyone that has ever driven the road along the Amalfi Coast, you’ll know what I mean when I say that is not an ideal situation. That and the fact there was no air conditioning, and the windows didn’t open… I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

So 2hours later (including a 20minute standoff with another coach on a tight bend that was eventually resolved by a dude wearing far too much lycra for polite company), we finally arrived in Amalfi… along with everybody else on the planet.

By this time it was 1pm, so we decided to head straight to Ravello. Onto another bus, for perhaps the hairiest part of the road for the day. But a very efficient control freak with a whistle and a paddle got us sorted.  Seriously, anyone who stands in the middle of a very narrow, extremely winding road controlling traffic with nothing more than a whistle is earning their pay.

Remember, Italy is right hand drive.

Ravello, pretty place, really bad, expensive food (grilled chicken and salad panini for $17 that turned out to be a deep fried crumbed thing with half a limp lettuce leaf). I did however try the local brew Birra Ravello, a pale ale infused with Lemoncello. I figured it would either be really good, or really bad. It was actually really good. Not overly hoppy, but the Lemoncello shone through. A line of bitterness through the back palate balanced really nicely with the lemon.

The other positive for Ravello is their awesome gardens. The Villa was planted out by an English family in the late 1700’s. The infinity terrace has probably the best views for the entire coast… I’m taking Roz’s word for this, cause if you think I was going anywhere near the balconies on that thing, you must be insane. I’m still waiting for my balls to drop back down.

Caught the last bus back down to Amalfi, having completely run out of time to visit Positano, just in time to miss our bus back to Salerno, so after the insanity of this mornings bus trip, and with Roz threatening to walk back, we decided to get a taxi back to Salerno. Yeah, €140 euro for 23kms… So back on the late bus, to do the insane road at night… Yay… This driver obviously has a hot date tonight. 65 minutes. Thank God it was dark.

Out to dinner at a cool little Osteria, whose name I can’t remember, for Italian “soft steaks” (aka rib fillet) and a fantastic bottle of Montepulciano de Abruzzi from Cesearia. Lovely colour, rich mid palate, beautifully balanced acidity. Perfect with the steak.

Early night as we are bound for Roma in the morning, and Salerno is really not a a city to be walking around at night… Even if you look like me.

Ciao Andrew

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