Monday, September 19, 2011

24 Hours of Travel to the Magical Coast of Amalfi

September 19, 2011

We took an overnight, 12 hour ferry from Split, Croatia to Ancona, Italy, a 4 hour train from Ancona to Roma, a 1.5 hour train from Roma to Napoli, an hour train ride from Napoli to Sorrento, and then a ridiculously creepy bus ride on plunging cliffs, in pouring rain, to arrive in Positano. Thank goodness the Amalfi Coast is so beautiful, it actually made the the trek worthwhile. Positano is one of the cities that makes up the Amalfi Coast and the main reason we chose to stay in that town, and I'm not ashamed to admit it, is because it was in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun and I have been dying to see it.

All the train rides were ok and luckily, Italian trains are typically on time and very comfortable. We were even able to take the train with Jadra part of the way.

The Italian buses, however, are another story. We rushed down to the Positano bus stop, which was right outside the train station, for our 5:00 pm bus. Everything is horribly marked and it was such an ordeal to find where we were supposed to be. Luckily, we met a wonderful American woman named Diana, who was also looking for the same bus. After numerous buses passed us by, or stopped in front of us and decided to go out of service, our bus finally appeared an HOUR later. The bus ride to Positano (if you sit on the right side) has incredible views since the bus rides along a coastal road that literally drops 500 ft down to the Mediterranean. I really would have appreciated these views if it didn't start to rain. The hairpin turns where the bus takes up two lanes are bad enough on a sunny day but it was horrifying whipping around curves in torrential downpour! After an hour of nail biting, we found our stop and luckily our hostel was close by.

We made a reservation at Brikette Hostel, since the Positano hotels are ridiculously expensive. As we walked through the door it was a party zone and we were greeted by many nice people! We picked a private 3 bedroom room, rather than sharing a dorm with 8 people. Our room was nice but our balcony had an absolutely stunning view.

We were starving and decided to try the restaurant across the street that the hotel recommended, C'era una volta, which means Once Upon a Time. An kind, old Italian man was our waiter and he was very patient with my Italian and even guided me through my mistakes. We ordered traditional Italian dishes, prosciutto e melone (ham and melon), caprese (tomato, mozzarella and basil), three pizzas, a half bottle of the house white wine and a bottle of my favorite Ruffino Chianti (that was only 10€!!). Once our food arrived the tears came. I adore Italy. There is magic in the air in Italy. The food is incredible, the wine is amazing, and the people are awesome. I was so overwhelmed and so glad to be back in my favorite country that I literally started weeping over my wine. Nat and Kat were laughing at me but quickly joined in with my Italian adoration once the food arrived. It was so good, we literally mopped up every last bit of oil with bread.

Sigh. I am SO glad to be back in Italia!!

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