Today we spent about 7 hours driving down (and back up) the Amalfi Coast. Haze caused by the unrelenting heat and a fire on one of the steep hillsides kept some of the beauty of this coastline obscured but it was still breath taking and we were glad someone else was driving us around the hairpin turns.
We we happy to discover that Massimo, our guide, was a careful driver who didn’t take chances and was polite, knowledgeable, neat, and friendly. At one point, the narrow road was blocked when a German tour bus, unfamiliar with the narrow roads and tunnels, got stuck in a tunnel and the cars backed up for about a half hour. After that finally cleared, we witnessed a Vespa accident when one Vespa driver failed to yield the right of way and another, a young woman, plowed into him on one of the hairpin turns, inches from our car. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries and they, and we, continued on our way. I don’t think I want to drive in Italy again.
We saw lots of roadside vegetable stands with lemons unique to the region from which limoncello is made and lots of chile peppers that are available to add zest to Italian dishes. We visited Positano which clings to the side of a cliff, Amalfi, and Ravello. Massimo was adorable and has only recently started this tour business with his brother-in-law to support his young family. He loves to cook seafood and makes his own limoncello so we picked his brain for insights into Sorrentine cooking.
We ended the day back in Sorrento and returned to La Basilica Ristorante for Risotto del Mare. This dish, with its perfectly cooked rice, was filled with succulent mussels, razor clams, calamari, Manila clams, and crab claws, and it was delicioso!! After dinner, we staggered onto the Sorrento City Train, a funky local tour ride, with other drunken revelers and drove around Sorrento laughing and singing with the mostly Italian tourists. Couldn’t see much in the dark but enjoyed the ride.
Here are a few of today’s shots and the link to Massimo’s website. Drive Through Paradise