Night Location: Amalfi, Italy
Song of the Day: Jet Lag - Simple Plan
Mumisode of the Day: "I could ride to London on this knife."
Fabulous breakfast in 'La Pansa' consisting of cappuccinos and an assortment of to-die-for pastries (courtesy of Lonely Planet and charades).
The square of Amalfi was filled with people talking and laughing and sitting on the great staircase that led up to the duomo. We were drawn up the 57 stairs (Amber counted) and were greeted by St Andrew in a gold mosaic. The columns at the top were very Moorish, as was the cloister circa 12th century. The crypt with the tomb of St Andrew which held his body and was brought to Amalfi during the crusades to indicate its wealth and power, was spectacular. The cathedral itself, while not as striking was very interesting, particularly a sculpture of Jesus lying in a tomb with Mary standing over him. It's not really something that you see very often.
We wandered down to the sea and purchased bus tickets to Ravello. While waiting for the bus, we entered the famous 'Bar Savoia' (from yesterday) and had a fantastic lemon granita in the shade of an umbrella while looking out over the sea. Perfect and so refreshing.
The bus eventually arrived. Goodness knows why we bothered with tickets; it was a general free for all onto the bus. Everyone but David was able to get a seat and off we went. Dad probably had the worst deal, sitting under Italian armpit for the 30 minute drive to Ravello. We were definitely glad we caught the bus. It has right of way and can basically push everything else off the side of the cliff.
Ravello is just spectacular. It is perched high up on the hill overlooking the coast and is filled with villas and art and people wandering. We set off through the town in the direction of Villa Cimbrone, a villa with an outstanding garden we wanted to see, and were fortunate to stumble upon 'Villa Maria Ristorante'. We sat under the wisteria arbour in padded wrought iron chairs overlooking the cliffs and the sea. It is impossible to describe how beautiful it really was. We kept looking at each other and saying, "We are so lucky."
Lucky for us, in addition to the view, the food was magnificent. Gemma and Amber tried the Caprese salad: fresh tomato, green olives, basil and buffalo mozerella drizzled with divine olive oil. For mains we collectively tried a beautiful pumpkin and porcini pasta, traditional spaghetti bolognaise and vegetable soup. All of the fruit and vegetables were grown in the villa's garden. We caught sight of the desserts as they were going past and even though we were full we had a look at the menu. Gemma couldn't go past the lemon soufflé, Amber the pineapple carpaccio, Mum and Dad the traditional dessert of the region, a creamy lemon cake with lemon ganache.
After lunch we continued the stroll to Villa Cimbrone, where we were astounded by the beauty that we saw. Once again it is impossible to put into words just how magnificent it really was. If you are ever in the area, you must visit here. We wandered along the Avenue of Immensity and out onto the Terrace of Infinity. They are aptly named, and one can do very little to elaborate further. There are paths all over the garden that you can wander. We took many photos, including one of Amber's impressive all-in group shots.
We returned via bus to Amalfi. Unfortunately for Gemma, there was a very wet and sweaty Italian short man pressed up against her. Amber thought that there was potential husband material here, however, Gemma did not agree and proceeded to pinch her repeatedly. We wandered back through the streets of Amalfi, picking up fresh tomatoes, apples, red grapes, plums, fresh bread and pastries for dinner and breakfast.
The apartment has a gorgeous new swimming pool that we made excellent use of. It is quite surreal to swim on a rooftop with huge limestone cliffs either side of you. We wandered down to the town for some gelato. A perfect end to a fabulous day!