Atrani: Day One (or four, depends on how you count)

 Our room at Rooms With A View (there are only two, and we have the same one as last year) has the same huge window as our room in Rome and the same shutters that block out all the light. So again, we sleep like rocks. We hadn’t bothered to tell Frances when we wanted breakfast so we decided rather than bothering her we would walk to Amalfi for coffee and pastries.

Amalfi is about 1/3 of a mile around the bend in the coast road (with the tower and pool on the water side in the picture below), on the other side of the ridge we can see from our terrace.

atrani coast road to amalfi

The Coastal Road, from our terrace in Atrani


Amalfi is one of the tour bus/cruise ship stops, meaning that around 10AM the place loads up with large groups there to see the square and church. It gets incredibly crowded for a small town. But at 7:30 or 8 its quiet and empty with locals heading to work and opening shops. We find a cafe, sit outside and enjoy the people watching. Towns like Amalfi and Atrani can’t accommodate large vehicles other than on the coastal road, so all delivers are done via scooter or golf cart or three wheeled cars (like Guido in Cars!). Deliveries aren’t really interesting I guess, but like everything that’s a bit different, we are totally entertained by the perilous stacks of boxes, newspapers, bottled water and produce.

We have two plans today: sit on the beach and go to Ravello for dinner.

Beaches on the Amalfi coast have free sections and pay sections, in which you pay for two chairs, a table and an umbrella (you can see the sunbeds and umbrellas in the picture above). Unless you have your own umbrella, you really need to rent one, because the sun is oppressively hot by mid-day. We tried the free side last year, once. Shade was absolutely worth 10 Euros. Especially since Jake sort of glows in the dark with his whiteness. He once burned the tops of his feet so badly he couldn’t wear shoes. So that’s the day; beach, swim, sleep, read, eat lunch at the bar/restaurant on the square with internet service (insanely slow service, but they feed me and give me wine, so I’m not going to complain).

Our evening plan was to go to Mamma Agata for a an evening of wine tastings and pairings, but it turned out we were the only people who registered and Mamma sent us an email canceling the event. The next one isn’t until next friday and we’ll be back in Rome. I was very disappointed but Jake pointed out that it left us with an unexpected windfall to spend on other things while here. Mamma Agata’s is just up the hill from Atrani (and when I say just up the hill I mean up half a mile of super steep stairs), with Ravello just a bit further than that.

I’m not sure what possessed us to walk. I am sure that I’ve never been so sweaty in my life. When we finally arrived in Ravello after 40 minutes or so climbing, we were puddles. Never one to let sweat get in the way of a good time we stopped at wine bar for some vino bianco (we tend order house wine) and a mixed plate of brie, Gruyère, provolone, brusoela, prosciutto, and mortadella—I wish I’d found the name of this place, the plate was large and well selected and only 12 Euros. For anyone interested, when in the piazza with the duomo to your left head down the narrow road with the ceramics stores. Take the first right and walk past the shops (including the wine and drugs shop, seriously, its called Wine and Drugs) and the on the left you will see a vertical wooden sign that says Wine Bar. We were the only ones there at 7PM while the cafes on the piazza were packed with people paying too much for the their touristica menus.

Since it wasn’t quite dinner time yet, we stopped in the piazza too, for wine.

The Duomo in Ravello, the view from the cafe

We followed the signs to Compo Cusima for dinner where we had one of our favorite dishes: prosciutto and figs. The figs were huge and fresh and the combination always makes me happy. For dinner Jake had a mussels and pasta dish and I had bean soup. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? I wasn’t super hungry and thought I’d try it. It was awesome! Oh, and wine. And then we walked back down the bazillion stairs in the dark.

santa maria maddalena

The Path From Ravello to Atrani, our best attempt at a night shot without a tripod...

And since it was early (11?) we decided to sit in the piazza for yet more wine; I’m trying to prove my theory that there is never too much.


2 responses to “Atrani: Day One (or four, depends on how you count)

  1. Love to get off a cruise ship to visit Amalfi. We know how nice a clam shell is (ha ha oops an umbrella) which cost 20 dollars USA. Have fun Love you Mom and Dad

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