Amalfi / Bomerano / Ravello

Community Highlights Europe Amalfi / Bomerano / Ravello

Frankfurt to Naples

Saturday, May 25
It was an early morning as I packed up and took the train to the airport to catch my flight from Frankfurt to Naples. I was just starting to feel very comfortable in Frankfurt and now it's time to leave. I got to the airport in plenty of time to do my self-serve check in, self-serve baggage drop off (my bag is so fat that it almost didn't fit into the slot!) and self-serve scanning my boarding pass. They won't need employees anymore at this rate. It was a nice short two-hour flight to Naples, but we took another scenic bus ride around the airport before getting to the arrival area and then it took forever for my luggage to arrive. I was concerned that my airport ride may not wait for me. Fortunately, I saw the bright orange "Explore" sign from the distance and Matteo, our Italian tour leader, was waiting for me. I joined the others in our group and we took a short walk to our own personal mini-bus.
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Early afternoon, we left Naples and drove about an hour up into the hills with lots of curvy, narrow roads heading south to Agerola, to the authentic village of San Lazzaro which will be our home during this tour. It sits 650 metres above sea level and there is a feeling for slow-paced village life. Our hotel, the historic Albergo Risorgimento, is a traditional, family-run hotel built in 1878 and it's situated just a few minutes' walk from the village's main square. My room is lovely with a beautiful view of the countryside. I'm so happy that I don't have to pack up again for a whole week! The bathroom is quite large with a bidet, but the shower is very small (6 sq ft) so it's a bit tight. We settled into our hotel and had a free afternoon. I walked into the village just to get my bearings. My first impression of this place is fabulous! The views are stunning. We had a nice fish dinner at the hotel.

Our tour group consists of 11 people plus the tour leader ranging in age from 40s to 70s. There is a group of Aussies (2 couples and 1 gal) who know each other from Perth and one other lady from Perth. There are three Brits, one American (from Romania) and once again, I'm the lone Canadian.
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View from my hotel room
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Bomerano to San Lazzaro via Pino Gorge

Sunday, May 26
We had an early breakfast and left the hotel at 8:45 to travel in our own bus to the village of Bomerano, just a short journey across the Agerola Plateau. Today's hike back to San Lazzaro took us along a scenic route of coastal views and through the dramatic rocky pathways of the Pino Gorge. Although it wasn't a lengthy walk, our first encounter with the terrain, a mix of steps, some rocky and some flatter sections, provided a good taste of what's to come and helped warm up our wallking legs! It was about a 3-hour walk covering only about 4 kms, but with a total ascent and descent of 250 metres/850 feet. We got back to the village and had a nice outdoor lunch with a bit of free time to rest up at the hotel.

In the afternoon, we had the option of joining another walk, which I chose to do, but it was even more difficult! This one covered about 5 kms and had a total ascent and descent of 300 metres/984 feet which took about 2.5 hours. We headed up through the outskirts of the village, passing through lush forest and stretches of countryside. We took a circular route, treating us to open vistas of the Gulf of Salerno and the Amalfi Sea. All these hikes just about did me in today ... not sure how I'm going to survive the week!
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In the evening, we joined a pizza-making demonstration at the hotel followed by a pizza supper.
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Amalfi & Ravello

Monday, May 27
Today we explored two Italian icons, Amalfi and Ravello. In the morning, we took a bus from San Lazzaro down to Amalfi, our starting point for today's hike. We had a slight encouter with a big cement truck blocking the narrow roadway and it took some doing before our bus was able to get by. The bus driver wanted the cement truck moved, but the worker insisted he could get by, which he eventually did!
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Leaving the famed harbour town behind, we ascended on ancient footpaths and staircases to Ravello. I decided to start counting steps and there were 1430 steps (mostly uphill) on our first 2.5 hour hike. Our hike took us up through fragrant lemon groves and past farms cultivating olives, fruits, and vines, giving us a real snapshot of life on the Amalfi coast. Often referred to as the hidden gem of the Amalfi coast, Ravello is located high up on the rugged coastal cliffside. Famous for its Moorish architecture, the village has attracted artists and writers for generations, thanks to its tranquil atmosphere as well as its enchanting streets, brimming with spots for al-fresco coffee.

Here, we had a quick lunch and just a bit of time to explore. A few of us visited Villa Rufolo, an old palace from the 13th century, that boasts "more rooms than the days in a year".
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We did a quick tour through the Gardens of Villa Cimbrone, which consists of the main building and around six hectares of historic parkland, considered one of the most important examples of the landscape, botany and culture of England created in the Mediterranean area between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Its origins date back to the 11th century, but the villa and the gardens were extensively renovated by a British nobleman, Lord Grimthorpe, in the early 20th century.
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Terrace of Infinity
The villa’s belvedere, Terrazza dell’Infinito (Terrace of Infinity), is lined by a series of marble busts that on clear days sparkle against the bluesky above and the azure waters of the Mediterranean below.
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Here is a link to a drone view of Villa Cimbrone:
https://vimeo.com/user15996602/villa-cimbrone-ravello-italy

We headed back to Amalfi via a different route. Another one-hour walk with 1470 steps (mostly downhill). Today's circular walk covered 8 kilometres/5 miles. It had a total ascent and descent of 400 metres/1,312 feet.
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In the evening we joined a mozzarella and pasta making cooking class run by hosts of the agriturismo, followed by a dinner to taste what we've prepared. It was a lot of fun and tasted great! It made me appreciate the art of making pasta even more!
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This featured blog entry was written by liztravels from the blog 2024 Europe Adventure.
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By liztravels

Posted Sun, Jun 02, 2024 | Italy | Comments