Gaetano’s directions to the Amalfi Coast Road were perfect and as long as I followed signs that said Costiera Amalfitana, I was in the right spot. Only once did I end up going the wrong way on a one way road, and since there was not too much traffic I was able to correct this without any problem.
I had been on this stretch of the Amalfi Coast last year on a bus so I sort of knew what to expect, although it seemed shorter on the bus. Luckily there was not much traffic so I could drive slowly and leisurely without feeling rushed. I have driven out West in the U.S. through some of the national parks in California that are known for switchbacks and s-bends, so this was similar, although it has been years.
The Amalfi Coast is so beautiful with its high cliffs and rock formations all the way down to the sea. It has to be my favorite spot in Italy I think.
We passed Vietri sul Mare and I was able to capture a photo of this beautiful place, and then we drove through the little fishing village of Cetara. Originally I had thought of stopping here but we had decided to go to Maiori since I was familiar with it and I knew there was a nice promenade along the beach and a place to park. Here in Cetara I was not about to practice parallel parking on these winding and steep roads.
Maiori is beautiful and last year I spent five days here in a monastery with a room that had a view of the ocean. There is always a breeze and although today is cloudy it still is wonderful being at the ocean. Once we parked Sue and I walked a little along the promenade and then sat down at the outdoor beach place, Lido Bussola and ordered a cappuccino.
The atmosphere was perfect and Antonio was very happy to sell us cappuccino for only one euro fifty cents.
I walked across the street and bought a gelato, another bargain, two scoops for two euros. I had amarena and pistachio and really enjoyed it as I knew this would be my last gelato in Italy before I fly home tomorrow. We sat here for awhile, enjoying being here and having no other agenda. It was only two or three hours to Rome and we had all day.
We walked along the promenade again before leaving and suddenly Antonio came running down, calling after us. Sue had left her wallet at Lido Bussola and he was returning it. Do you think this kind of honesty and goodness happens everywhere? Not.
After leaving Maiori we had to drive again along the Amalfi Coast, retracing our steps until we came to the entrance to the autrostrada. Then we drove to Rome on the good autostrada, as Gaetano described it, and arrived at Rome’s airport with no problem and returned the rental car to Auto Europe. This process was much easier than renting it the first day.
After checking the mileage I can now say that I have driven 1200 miles in Italy in five days. I don’t think I did too badly for the first time driving here, although economically it was not the best choice. With all the low cost flights within Italy, it would have been much better to rent the car and drive to Colle d’Anchise and to Sicily and then fly back. Maybe it would have been good to drive to Colle d’Anchise and return the car somewhere else on the mainland and then fly to Sicily and back. Live and learn.
We had booked a hotel near the airport and it was actually across from the beach. We took a taxi to the hotel and checked in, then went to dinner at a recommended seafood restaurant, Amelinda. It was packed so I assumed the food was good. They even had large tanks of live fish to select for your dinner.
Not to disappoint, I had pasta pomodoro.