One of my long standing ambitions has been to explore the Amalfi coast. This goal inspired us to persevere in our struggle with the Italian traffic, and we made our way to Sorrento. A little preparation made the journey to the area much more bearable. We were able to find a campsite open in the ‘off’ season and avoid all those challengingly low bridges. Our campsite was tagged onto the end of Sorrento with amazing views of the coastline.
We decided to spend our first day in this area exploring it on foot. The Italians don’t seem to be overly keen on footpaths, or even pavements, and you have to take your chances on the narrow roads leaping sideways to avoid scooters undertaking three-wheeled Piaggios. We diverted off the main road onto a walkway, straddled on either side by lime and lemon plantations. We scrumped some limes for our larder, though our pickings were meagre compared to a retired Italian couple we encountered, dragging bulging plastic packets filled with olives, lemons, limes and pomegranates in their wake.
The coastal road to Amalfi is closed to motorhomes during the day due to the huge volume of traffic and the jaw droopingly narrow squeezes between cliffs and houses. The coast is easily visited by bus and boat, both run by the municipality and very reasonably priced. Feeling more adventurous we opted to rent a scooter from Sorrento for the day. Finding a good scooter-spot for Odie proved to be an interesting challenge but soon, like an unwilling sandwich filling, he was wedged firmly between us, sniffing and staring at the passing scenery.
We bumped and weaved our way along the peninsula, through isolated villages to Santa Agata which has stunning views all round. The road hugs the cliffs and continues on to the beautiful towns of Positano, Praiano and Amalfi. The towns are mid-way down the cliffs, between the sea and the towering limestone monoliths that stretch into the clouds.
We stopped for a delicious seafood lunch in a restaurant, with tables looking out across one of the bays. It turned out to be a rather expensive treat of seafood pasta and freshly prepared veggies from the proprietor’s garden for only €10 extra (or yous sleeps widda fishes). After lunch, the clouds descended and rain quickly fell upon our cheap plastic helmets. We weaved our way homewards through mist and fog, our TomTom bleating out alternatively a direction to turn, or a warning about a low battery. With the TomTom off to save the battery we powered on, thinking we had our bearings right, but discovered after a long descent to a small fishing village that we had made a monstrous diversion to a dead end. I’d usually have been annoyed but strangely the last hour of scooting back through the Italian rain was as much fun as you could possibly hope for. My spirit of adventure was feeling much alive.