Thursday, 3 July 2014


So, where to begin?  Firstly, the fast trains in Europe are amazing.  We rode the Frecciarossa (translates as red arrow) from Rome (Roma Termini) to Naples (Napoli Centrale) with comfort and ease.  It took just over an hour.  Although, prior to boarding in Rome, there was an incident with a young man, who assisted us with our luggage and then demanded 10 Euros each for his trouble.  Ah... a' rivederci Roma!

Once in Naples, we purchased tickets for the Circumvesuviano...wrong move!  We thought it would be a scenic train, not so much...try more like an antiquated above ground subway.  After finally figuring out where to purchase tickets, where to board and ultimately ending up standing and guarding our luggage for the one hour trip that included 30 or so stops, we finally arrived in Sorrento.  From there, we did NOT take a bus as suggested by the ticket agent at the train station, but rather opted for a car hired for us by the Casa Angelina staff.  The driver was lovely, giving us an interesting account of the history of the Amalfi region and stopping so we could take in the breath- taking scenes along the way.  Apparently, the Amalfi was originally populated by dairy farmers which is why the region has an abundance of cheese and other dairy products.  The Lattari Mountains derive their name from this history (late means milk in Italian, lattari loosely translated means milkmen, so mountains of those who provide milk).  The Amalfi coast is also part of the Sorrentino coastline that stretches across many miles to the north and south of the Amalfi coast.
Picture taken as we made our way to Casa Angelina
Incredible Vistas!

And it doesn't end there.  Beauty surrounds us everywhere, from the moment we get up in the morning!
View from our hotel room
We've made a few trips in to Positano.  I'm kind of glad we are in Praiano, as it's a little less crowded and touristy.  We had a great meal at La Strada in Praiano...stuffed zucchini flowers to die for!  And today, my birthday, we celebrated at La Cova dei Saracini in Positano, a restaurant with a one star Michelin chef.  The food was fabulous there too.  As a special treat for my B-day, we were escorted to the rooftop patio for desert.  The view was incredible.  How blessed am I? Oh, and the local wine?  Fabulous! And yes, we've embraced the stairs, Elaina.  Even the restaurants have stairs in this place!  The people that live in this region must be among the fittest in the world!

Even the restaurants have stairs!

To top off the day, we came back to the hotel from La Cova dei Saracini to find a lovely chocolate birthday cake that was left by the hotel staff.  Unfortunately we were too full to indulge, but hopefully tomorrow we'll find room.  It looks really yummy!

Birthday cake left by Casa Angelina Hotel Staff... a lovely touch!

Tomorrow we are thinking of taking the much touted hike along the mountain.  Today was a day of relaxation, spent mostly by the pool, hotter than it has been for a while, so we'll see.  If the humidity lets up, we'll give the hike a go.  If not, we may take a drive in to Ravello instead.  Charles and I are really looking forward to the rest of our stay here, regardless of how we decide to spend the time.  Basically, we figure we can't go wrong. 


  1. Happy Birthday, Jeanne. The photos and descriptions are lovely. I really want to go to the Amalfi coast. Loved the restaurant stairs.

    1. Thanks, Linda. It was a great way to bring in the next decade! Let's not talk about which one on a pubic forum :) I'm sure you will visit the Amalfi coast sometime. It offers among some of the best scenery and culture we've experienced. Definitely worth getting a guide to bring extra depth and insight to understanding the true nature of the region. Oh and lots of stairs pics.. will show you the rest when we get back.

  2. Looks gorg! Love living vicariously through your blog. Stop getting suckered by con men in train stations. They like to target gullible tourists ;)-

    1. Yep, live and learn. There's a lot of desperation in parts of Italy which is hard to see. On the Circumvesuviano young kids would board the train and play toy accordions with tin cups wired onto the top of them for change. One man had some kind of contraption that played music while his son, looked to be 5 or so, played little bongo drums as he walked up and down the isles to collect money. Not sure if this is particular to Naples or if it's more wide spread. Made me feel kind of sad.

  3. There is always that element of travel, isn't there? It's probably adults using the kids to appeal to vulnerable (and gullible) tourists