We woke to cloudy skies that we didn't anticipate to be in today's forecast. Hopefully it's only a morning overcast. After breakfast at the hotel that came with quite a view, Gianpiero Fiorentino met us in front of the hotel to spend the day with us on the Amalfi Coast. Prior to coming here we had read that driving the coast is better left to the professionals. Now having ridden it, we can't stress that enough.
The scenery along the coast has got to be one of the most beautiful places in Italy. No wonder Sophia Loren and Bill Gates have homes here. We can only imagine how much nicer it would have been had there not been so many clouds. Gianpiero told us he was sure they would pass before the day was out. (he would be right) The one thing he was not sure of was the amount of traffic we would encounter. Tour buses, vans, cars, and mopeds monopolized the coast line today as the Italians were extending their holiday. How Gianpiero maneuvered through them was impressive, all the while keeping his cool and joking with us. We were never so glad to have someone chauffeuring us around.
The first town we came upon is Positano. After finding a place to park Gianpiero gave us an hour to explore the town. Lemons are plentiful on this coast and you see loads of lemon trees as you drive along. In Positano you can by limoncello, lemon candy, soaps, candles you name it. We walked to the bottom of town and picked up a few gifts before meeting back at the van. Next stop would be the town of Amalfi.
It was around lunch time so Gianpiero called ahead for us and made lunch reservations at one of his favorite restaurants that doesn't see too many tourists. We had a great table and a wonderful meal. After lunch it was back in the van to head for the next town, Ravello up on the hillside. On our way there Gianpiero asked if we wanted to see a grotto, similar to Capri's blue grotto only this one is said to be green. Why not since we won't be visiting Capri this trip and have never seen a grotto. Here you take an elevator down to the bottom and walk into the grotto. They put about 20 people on a small boat and guide you out just a short distance into the water. It looked blue to us!
We arrived in Ravello where Gianpiero took us to a wine store of a friend of his. Gianpiero is a wine connoisseur and told us a lot about the different wines from this region. We bought just 2 bottles that we will be able to bring across the border from Canada coming home and some olive oil. It was after 6:00pm so we started to head back. Still more traffic than usual but at least now the sun was out and the view got even better than on the way down. We said goodbye to Gianpiero and thanked him for the wonderful day.
We ended tonight with a nice dinner at the hotel watching the sunset while listening to a piano player serenading the guests. We've had a great few days in Sorrento. Tomorrow morning Guiseppe will be picking us up at 11am to take us back to the Napoli train station. Last leg of our trip is coming up...Rome!