Mesmerizing, intoxicating, breathtaking. These are just some of the words describing Italy’s Amalfi Coast. But, when we visited for the first time, we were more than awed, we were speechless.
We lived in Italy for three years; in Naples, actually. But, the Amalfi Coast was always one of our favorite places to visit. It bewitched us with its medieval crusader watchtowers, sheer, craggy coastline, mysterious grottos and mountains plunging into the sea. Its stunning, majestic beauty showcasing pastel-hued villages terraced into its steep hillsides and expansive vistas over turquoise waters allured us. Luxuriant gardens exploding in rich colors of red and coral drew us into its spell. It was amore-love at first site!
The magnificent Costiera Amalfitana as the Italians call it is widely considered Italy's most scenic stretch of coastline. Its legendary beauty has inspired artists, writers and musicians for centuries. This is the mythical home of the sirens whose haunting songs lured ancient mariners to their demise. The Amalfi coast beckons and beguiles. And its unforgettable vistas are even better in a convertible!
Thirty plus miles of famously winding, narrow, S-shaped curves, tunnels and hairpin turns make for a white knuckle drive. Offering one of the more exciting excursions in Europe, daring Italian drivers tempt fate with their behind-the-wheel bravado, passing us with literally no room to pass. Buses on both sides of the roadway pull their mirrors in to avoid side swiping. Literally riding on the edge of cliffs with sheer, drop-dead views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, we pull over to the side of the road to hyperventilate. The Mediterranean twinkles merrily below as if to say “no, today is not your time to die”.
On our recent return to Italy, we decided to add a visit to the Amalfi Coast in our travel itinerary. But, we asked ourselves, would it hold the same magic for us as it once did? Realizing time would not permit us to see each of the thirteen charming towns that encompass the entire 30 plus miles of coastline; we chose instead a sampler platter- our “antipasto misto”.