Saturday, 12 August 2017

12th August 2017 - Sorrento to Amalfo to Ravello

Saturday 12th August 2017

Ravello, Italy
Amalfi coast
40 degrees 36.321N
14 degrees 35.861E

View from Hotel Parsifal room
We are having two days of peace, quiet and extreme beauty before rushing off again.  The temperature has dropped about ten degrees – mid 20s instead of mid 30s.  Bliss!

Ravello, highly recommended by our dear friend Roberto, is gorgeous.

As we knew it would be!

It has been home and holiday destination for many famous people – EM Forster, DH Lawrence, Wagner, Andre Gide, JKF and Jackie, Greta Garbo, Tennessee Williams, Graham Greene, Truman Capote, Edvard Grieg, Escher, Virginia Woolf, Leonard Bernstein et al - and is still a playground for the rich and famous, and also for…people like us!

We are staying in an old convent, now the beautiful, serene Hotel Parsifal, just short walk from the main piazza.

Hotel Parsifal
Getting here was…not so easy!

I have just googled Road Sorrento to Amalfi because I didn’t get many photos of the actual road…

The first headings to come up were…

Road deaths

Road accidents

Way down on the water...a catamaran!
And…Dangerous Roads!

Our big powerful bus hurtled along, full to capacity and more.  The aisle was full of people standing and lurching from side to side.

We were among the first on board so we – thank the Lord – had our very own seats. 

The driver was very competent and the scenery was breathtaking.  But…the road is narrow and built into what is, for the most part, a sheer cliff, with many twists and turns.

The woman across the aisle from us started out a perfeclty normal colour and by the time we had reached Positano she was a peculiar shade of green… The poor thing was suffering most dreadfully.

I had a lot of sympathy for her and as we approached Amalfi I too was suffering…not motion sickness but the effects of two cups of coffee with breakfast and some unwise sips from my water bottle. 

OMG I was unhappy!  No way out of it…I couldn’t get off the bus, even though it stopped for ten minutes at a time to let the stream of traffic going the other way, because…there was nowhere to go!  No room even to stand, let alone crouch…

I was SO happy to get out at Amalfi and to find a public toilette facility down some stairs right at the bus stop.

But…I had to find 1 euro for the turnstile, and I only had small coins… I sobbed a bit (DESPERATE) and a nice man changed my 2 euro coin for me so I was back to normal again.

We had to wait quite a while for the next bus to take us up to Ravello but it didn’t really matter.  Quite nice to have a break between switchbacks and cliffs!

Along the way we saw a few ancient watchtowers.  There are many of these along the Amalfi coast as well as along the Cinque Terre – those dreaded Saracen pirates were at it for centuries, looting, pillaging, ravaging!

Car parking along the coast road is at a premium.  I was tickled to see how people had built out little platforms for their cars, firmly gated to stop the modern ravaging hordes of tourists, desperate for a park along the cliffs.

Ravello is way up in the hills, a glorious little town.

There are several ceramic factories here

and all of the street and hotel signs are made from lovely ceramic tiles.

In the Hotel Parsifal
There are many many cats, and many bowls of water and little heaps of dry cat food out on the streets.

Cat and kitten waiting for closing time at the butcher's
Such a civilised place!

We have missed a spectacular concert – Wagner, Beethoven, Mahler – which happened at 4.45 (crack of dawn!) yesterday, before we got here… But apparently tickets are sold out a year in advance so we would have been hovering on the doorstep unable to see it so…tonight we are going on what is called the Calici di Stelle, a sort of mobile gourmet walking tour celebration thingy.

It looks very wonderful – we have little vouchers for all sorts of treats, both solid and liquid.

(And…for our return trip on Monday we are planning to go down from Ravello to Amalfi in a bus and then…catch a ferry to Sorrento!)


  1. Goodness that road! It looks utterly spectacular and terrifying.

  2. Oh and I love the ceramics. It must be hard not to buy everything!