Hiking the Amalfi Coast in Cute Shoes

Today I unlocked the blue gate and headed west on Via Roma, past Angela’s shop and Sandulli’s tower. Past Via Miglina – the farthest point I’ve been on foot in this direction – and kept going.

When Nicola took me to the winery I’d cranked my neck back and forth ooooing and ahhhhing as one magnificent scene after another sped by too fast.

So I set out today with no other purpose than to photograph this stretch of the coast for as far as I could walk and still walk back.

The road hugs the cliffs. I never lost sight of the sea…except in the tunnels…

There isn’t much of a margin for error. I hugged the side and flattened myself against the wall if two cars tried to pass next to me.

I’d just cleared one tunnel and could see the next across a ‘sunken’ village. It isn’t really sunken – just another fisherman’s inlet.

I marvel at the engineering of these soaring bridges.

Can you see them – Roman soldiers crossing on horseback, armor flashing in the sun, banners waving, lances piercing the sky?

That’s a strange-looking rock formation…from a distance (above) and up close (below).

So much of the architecture seems free-form, whimsical almost. It has to be to cling to the irregular edges of rock cliffs.

A plunge to turquoise waters far, far below.

I love the stucco and I love the stone! I love the cliffs and I love the sea!

Still not crazy about tunnels…but I’m getting better!

During the 10th-11th centuries, Praiano was the summer residence of the doges of the Duchy of Amalfi. I have to believe that some of these grand structures were once royal homes.

Italy has fjords. Who knew? This one is called Fiordo di Furore (Fjord of Fury) and it doesn’t look anything like the fjords I sailed on in Norway. But according to the Oxford Dictionary definition: a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs, it fits.

A stoplight! I just happened to arrive as all the testosterone you could wish for came roaring to a stop to wait for the green light!

There are two types of towers built on outcroppings of rock along the coast. The round ones came first. They were strictly watchtowers. If danger was approaching by sea a huge fire was lit so the people of the town could assemble, or run, or whatever they needed to do back then.

The square towers, like this one, came later. They housed artillery actually used to shoot at enemy invaders.

Notice the church sitting high on the ridge.

I’d reached the Grotta Dello Smeraldo, the Emerald Grotto.

Across the street from the steps leading down – which I’ll save for another day – was a ceramics showroom. This is a far different quality product than I’ve seen in the little souvenir shops. I drooled for a while. It’s probably a good thing the shop was closed.

Did I mention everything was closed? Sunday morning, of course. Although knowing what I know now I expect maybe they’re all closed Monday through Saturday, too! Many of these places won’t see the light of day until April or May when tourists again begin to flock to the beaches.

I checked the clock and the map. It had taken me 1.5 hours to walk 2.25 miles stopping every other step to take a picture. Hopefully I’d get home in half the time. I was getting hungry.

Plus, my ballet flats do great in town on the steps, but this highway hiking – I should have worn the New Balance shoes I brought along for just this purpose. What was I thinking?

Actually, I know exactly what I was thinking. These are cuter. Oh, Sherry!

As I started back I realized the road sloped very gently downward. I’d been walking uphill the entire way and hadn’t realized it.

The water was on my left for the return and I saw things I’d missed going the opposite direction.

All along the coastal road outcroppings of rock like this one, hang over the highway. An elaborate net system is used to hold them in place. Nicola told me rock slides still happen and when they do, the road may be impassable for days.

Arches. They’re everywhere in Italy, and here’s why. From study.com: The Roman arch was the foundation of Rome’s architectural mastery and massive expanse of building projects across the ancient world. It allowed the Romans to make bigger buildings, longer roads, and better aqueducts. The Roman arch is the ancestor of modern architecture.

Now this…this must have been a royal residence at some time. I want to believe it!

Only one more tunnel after this one. That’s Praiano in the distance.

And on the other side of the tunnel, Paulo Sandulli’s tower. I’m almost home!

I read the news every day so I know in some ways this exquisite experience is a make-believe bubble. Yet I’m grateful, so grateful to be here. To see the beauty and share it. To feel the utter joy of being alive. I don’t want to send more doom and gloom into the ether. There’s an overabundance of that already. I believe we need to do our part to alleviate suffering wherever we can. But still we must celebrate what can be celebrated and not feel guilty about doing so.

As though to put an exclamation point on a perfect day, the leftovers of sunset on the other side of the mountain hung for a few breathless moments in the eastern sky. A benediction.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. stevecastley
    Feb 24, 2020 @ 03:01:36

    Loved the walk, the view and that magnificent coastline. Thanks for sharing this beauty. And those magnificent ceramics. Yes, lucky the shop was closed.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Carol
    Feb 24, 2020 @ 06:07:46

    I can’t imagine hiking in those cute shoes. You’re fortunate to have good feet!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Feb 24, 2020 @ 15:48:51

      To be fair…they have rubber soles and great treads! Not your typical, thin leather bottoms. So it wasn’t as terrible as I made it out to be HAHAHA! But my feet still hurt before I got home and I’ve learned my lesson.

      Like

      Reply

  3. Gail Brown
    Feb 24, 2020 @ 06:30:06

    Good morning, Sherry. That was just beautiful! The ceramics remind me of a gorgeous little town in Sicily called Tourmina. You’ve made me really yearn to go back there for a longer visit.

    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Lisa
    Feb 24, 2020 @ 09:34:50

    I’m loving reading your posts, I almost feel like I’m there! Hope to get to that part of the world someday! Enjoy the rest of your time in Italy.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Anonymous
    Feb 24, 2020 @ 10:26:55

    AWESOME!! But the shoes…….really!? Sl

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Feb 24, 2020 @ 15:55:39

      I know, I know!!! But as I explained to another anonymous comment…they have rubber soles and great treads! Not your typical, thin leather bottoms. So it wasn’t as terrible as I made it out to be HAHAHA! But my feet still hurt before I got home and I’ve learned my lesson.

      Like

      Reply

  6. Diane Struble
    Feb 24, 2020 @ 15:57:29

    Thanks, Sherry. The pictures are lovely and your comments informational. I think the buildings all look so precarious perched on the mountain sides. I know they have been there for hundreds of years, but somehow that does not help. I love going with you this way.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Feb 24, 2020 @ 16:11:16

      This part of Italy is susceptible to mud slides and seismic activity. With changing weather patterns the coast is becoming more prone to erosion and other damaging influences. Those precariously perched buildings, especially the ones in these photos, wouldn’t be my first choice for an extended stay though they’re lovely to look at.

      Like

      Reply

  7. Linda G
    Feb 28, 2020 @ 01:24:19

    Thank you for the wonderful pictures and taking me along with you on your walks! You are an explorer!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: