Friday, September 13, 2013

Italy 2013 - Day 7 (Amalfi/Ravello)

So today is the day to do Amalfi coast.  We woke up early to have breakfast at 7:30am so that we could head there as soon as we could.  Staying at Piano meant that we need to take the train from Piano to Sorrento and then from Sorrento, we need to take the bus to Amalfi.  If you plan to do the same thing, go to the train station and ask for a 24 hour pass which is valid for trains as well as the SITA bus which takes you to and from Amalfi/Sorrento.  Currently it costs about 7.60 euro, well worth it.

We met the neighbours this morning (of the B&B), a couple from New Zealand who is also going to Amalfi today, so they took us to where we needed to go and we parted ways once we arrived.  The breakfast at this B&B is similar to Arches, tea/coffee/cappuccino, orange juice, bread with jam, and a croissant.  We all quickly ate our breakfast and dashed out the door since we had about 4 minutes before the train was scheduled to arrive, the next one would be 45 minutes later.  Little did we know that the train would be late.  Once we got to Sorrento, you leave through the main exit and just across the street is the spot to wait for the bus to Amalfi Coast. 

If you are doing this, try to get a seat on the right-hand side of the bus.  The view is amazing.  You will also be able to see how close the bus is to plunging into the ocean is from this vantage point.  The bus ride from Sorrento to Amalfi Coast is about 2 hours, so it is a fairly long drive.  Actually distance-wise, it is only maybe 25km away?  The reason why it takes so long is because the roads are really windy roads.  Some of the roads are actually so narrow that you cannot fit more than one vehicle on the road at once.  During the hairpin turns, if the bus turns, cars need to avoid it or be in a collision.  I was actually really amazed by the bus driver.  The bus is in manual only (I didn't see an automatic), he drives with one hand (I don't know how he is able to make the big turns with one hand), AND he was talking on his cellphone!

Once we made it safely to Amalfi we decided that we should go to Ravello and see what the fuss is all about (actually, the host at the B&B said that we should go).  Right across the plaza from where you are dropped off is the wait for Ravello.  It is about a 30 minute bus ride.  Well worth a visit.  In some ways, even better than Amalfi.  Make sure to visit Villa Cimbrone.  The views from this place are absolutely stunning.  There is a 7 euro charge to visit the Villa, but it is worth it.

After we wandered Ravello, we made it back to Amalfi, took a look at the non-sandy beaches (I don't actually get why it looks so pebbly), and we did some wandering around in the area.  It seems to be known for lemons since we saw lemons that were the size of a 6 inch sub at subway.  It is pretty ridiculous how large they got.

On our way home, we decided to grab some pizza at Re Pizza again since we liked it last night.  Today I got a pizza that only a kid could make.  It had french fries and hot dogs on it.  I blame Google Translate.

Only one big gelato today!

Tomorrow, Pompei!