Tag Archives: Amalfi

What A Difference Thirty Years Can Make (1)

14 Amalfi Coast  Vallone di Furore 2004

… the village of Vallone di Furore, a narrow fjord where steep rock walls sheltered an enclave of fishermen’s houses and a tiny harbour with a beach littered with small hard working fishing boats all resting for the day.  I had seen this place before and thirty years later it was completely transformed.  In 1976 it was a shambles with dilapidated buildings but now it was renovated and restored but had kept its charm intact.

Have you ever returned somewhere years later and found it greatly changed?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: ZigZag

14 Amalfi Coast

On the way to Amalfi the coach stopped to admire the view of the town of Positano that clings improbably to a vertical cliff with buildings tumbling chaotically from the top right down to the beach at the bottom.

Best of all, in my opinion, was the village of Vallone di Furore, where steep rock walls sheltered an enclave of abandoned and partially collapsed  fishermen’s houses and a tiny harbour with a beach littered with small hard working fishing boats all resting up for the day.

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Sorrento, Amalfi

Amalfi Italy

Amalfi was a beautiful town, but the traffic was horrendous and parking is a real problem.  The coach operators have to book a slot in the main car park and there is a constant queue of vehicles waiting for their precious turn to set down their passengers.  Once through the approach tunnels and finally inside it is a lovely town with a grand cathedral and lots of sprawling back streets with interesting shops and restaurants.

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Sorrento, The Amalfi Drive

Positano Amalfi Drive

The corniche provides one of scariest but most scenic motoring experiences in the world as coaches veer vertiginously around the jagged granite edges of the Lattari Mountains, twisting and tunneling and hairpin-bending, providing vista after stunning vista of gorges, bridges, cliffs plunging vertically into the glassy Thyrrenian Sea, and sudden improbable villages tucked picturesquely into the landscape.

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Sant’ Agnello, thirty years on


We walked a little way along the cliff tops looking down over the small beaches of black sand and the wooden bathing platforms built out into the sea and the colourful fishing boats bobbing lazily on the occasional gentle wave.  On the balustrades were plant pots brimming with gaily-coloured geraniums and every few metres there were seats to stop and sit and admire the views.

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Sorrento, The Amalfi Drive

22 Amalfi

“Flaming like a meteor we hit the coast, a road, high, high above the blue
sea, that hooked and corkscrewed on the edge of nothing, a road carefully
designed to be a little narrower than two cars side by side.”                                 John Steinbeck

On the next day dad finally dispensed with his tie and dropped a couple of gears down from civil servant to holidaymaker mode and first thing in the morning we had continental breakfast in the dining room.  Bread and jam for the first meal of the day was another new experience for me because I had only previously been used to having raspberry preserve at teatime but I quickly adapted and by the end of the fortnight I had become completely used to it.

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Amalfi Drive


I have made this drive twice and have enjoyed it on both occasions.  I first experienced it in 1976 when I went to Europe for the first time ever, to Italy, with my dad and then again in 2004 when I reprised the event and this time took my son to enjoy a few days in Sorrento.

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