We decide to explore in the easterly direction today and after an early breakfast we make our way to the bus stop hoping we are early enough to beat the crowds.
On the way we pass the Onde Verde Hotel and restaurant and as the menu looks delicious, the location excellent and within a stone throw of home we book for the evening.
We are right , the bus is only half full so we get a seat to enjoy the truely incredible trip along the cliff edge to Amalfi town. Once there we stock up on SITA bus tickets, get the lie of the land down pat for our journey to Salerno and Ravello and head off to explore the city. There is a very famous cemetery perched high on the cliff with a long row of arched style windows. This tempts us and we start the journey up.
The roads here have proper names on the map but when you get there it’s just a steep set of stairs leading up. Despite the long ascent Tanya is still smiling.
Once we get to the cemetery there is still a lift up the last 15m , to our disappointment the only day the cemetery is closed is Tuesdays which is today. Nevertheless I hail the lift , it comes down and the door opens. I coach Tanya to go in first as I am more likely to be able to raise help when she gets stuck in the lift with my Italian, and …. she bravely and trustingly goes in. Just before the door closes on her I have a flash forward on what Tanya’s family would do to me if I lost her so early in the piece of our travels and we decide to give the lift and the cemetery a miss, I will still be able to talk to all the family members 🙂
We wonder how it is that people get their groceries home as there are no “ real roads”, the mystery is shortly solved as we see a donkey train loaded up with supplies scaling the steps one by one. Naturally we also wonder how does an ambulance get to someone that is sick and we figure that probably you just eventually are found in your apartment after you haven’t been seen for a while in town.
All the hill sides here are covered by terraced lemon groves full of fresh, ripe lemons, the smell in the air is wonderful. We start making our way down to where the local church inspired by Ottoman influences stands in the square.
It has a very different feel both inside and out and we decide it’s worth the 3E to explore inside.
The central courtyard is filled with palms, so quite a different look. It has now been several hours and as clockwork we feel we need to find a place to decant. Luckily there is a lovely bakery / pasticeria in the square and we prophylactically charge up with Morning and afternoon tea supplies. The side benefit is they have a toilet, nice and clean. Tanya buys an emergency bar of chili chocolate called peperconcino over here. We also just have to try the white ball which we are told are filled with fluffy lemon custard.
We line up with the big queue for the Ravello bus and I literally use my tall presence to muscle in and reserve two seats for us, as one after the other people come in and now there is only standing room left , I seriously start wondering if Tanya will get on, but she does. We have a comfortable trip up to Ravello which is ultra cute.
There are many ceramic shops here, selling all hand made and glazed pieces , it’s hard not to go in as they are so inviting and colorful.
After our homemade lunch of yummy rolls filled with prosciutto and local Asiago cheese for Tanya and a buffalo mozzarella for me, we think the local artisanal gelateria is worth a try. I am running a trial on the gelataries always picking nocciola and another flavour for consistency. So far this proves to be the best Gelateria.
Ravello is a very cute and artistic town, we wander the little streets and check out the shops. Clearly even the local pets enjoy the Italian way of life as we come across a pussy enjoying an afternoon snack.
We find a lot of little alleys and get a good feel for Ravello, as it’s been now over a week of our travels together, for those of you wondering how Tanya ( my twin sister) and I manage to stay side by side as we walk, we have learnt to adjust my beanpole stride and Tanya’s puppy trailing behind to be about the same length 🙂
Its time now for our two bus return journey home. As we approach the bus stop , it doesn’t look good. There is a line four people deep and the bus is already late. As the bus arrives there is a human surge and the elbowing and shoving is immense. I still manage to block enough people that we just get on , this time holding Tanya’s hand and dragging her behind me. The man in front of us gets separated from his wife and as the bus driver starts closing the door , he desperately calls out “ my, wife, my wife”…, she gets let on. We think that the strategy for us should that happen would be one of us calling “ my twin sister, my twin…”
This is not a pleasant trip back and the same awaits us in Amalfi when we change over to our Praiano bus. We definately are ready for a cuppa and our remaining lemon white bomb, but…….
the journey back by bus did not serve it well :), the taste was still fantastic.
After a little rest it’s time for dinner and we just go down our stairs and up the other side and we are there.
Tonight we pick a shared appetizer of Fritto calamari and for main Tanya goes for the spaghetti with oil, garlic, almonds and hazelnut cream sauce , I go for a risotto with tomato, basil and local lemon flavour. Another success, tummies full we head home for the night.