Our adventure continues…
We quickly headed out of Salerno, onto the Amalfi coastal road. The road is famous for it’s narrowness, hairpin turns, mountain curves, and fast Italian drivers. If you hold on tight enough, it’s a thrilling and beautiful drive. The road first takes you through Majori and Minori, small coastal towns that are less famous than the town of Amalfi, but equally as sweet.
We stayed in a hotel just outside of Amalfi, The Grand Hotel Excelsior, that was simply wonderful. Situated high above the town on a cliffside, the hotel is octagonal in shape and occupies 6 floors. There is a lovely swimming pool, a grotto like lounge, and terraces at various levels for enjoying a meal and the stunning views. Every room is individually decorated and all have balconies overlooking the sea.
The staff were helpful and gracious, especially Annie, who worked at the front desk. She spoke great English and told us she was originally from New York. She related that her father had moved her and her family to Italy when she was a teenager, but in the end, he was the only one with a round trip ticket! She liked living in Italy, so she was still here.
The hotel was so friendly and comfortable that each room only has one key, on a very heavy key fob, which you would just hang back up on the key board when you left. The honor system seemed to work quite well.
Upon Annie’s recommendation, we ate at a lovely local restaurant, Il Teatro, hidden off the beaten path in Amalfi. Owned and operated by Nonna and her family, we ate the best ravioli we’ve ever had. It was one of the specials that evening, filled with cheese and the local lemons, it was heavenly.
We wondered the streets in the small town; watched a bride and groom pose outside of the Duomo; ate well; took an elevator from street level on the cliffside down to the hotel’s beach were we swam in the warm, blue sea and I collected green sea glass from the rocky shore.
Sad to depart, we drove back to Rome from Amalfi over the mountain, passing through funky little mountain towns that hung on the cliffside. We took in our last views of the sea and held on tight.