Up early to get the van from the garage where we parked it overnight. Alan packed all the suitcases in the back of the van and we are on our way to the Amalfi Coast.
The highway was very smooth, and once we were outside the vicinity of Rome, the driving was smooth. We took the Appian Way, with fairly heavy traffic, perhaps modern day gladiators on their way to work! At times , the road became very narrow, probably part of the original road before cars and buses were made. Motorcycles are very common here, one ofÂ most popular modes of transportation. We saw dozens lined up along the streets wherever we went.
We stopped at one of the Auto Grills that can be found along the modern highways. We were all impressed with the quality of the food: fresh, colorful and plentiful! (Of course, the bathroom toilets in public places still had no seats!) Here are some photos taken at the Auto Grill. Being a “foodie” I wanted to capture the variety and quality of the food. The food was better than most restaurants we visit in the USA and far better than any of the roadside places along our highways…and made fresh while we watched.
The road to the Amalfi Coast is narrow and winding, with lots of twists and turns and stops for local buses and touring buses. These are huge and take up most of the narrow roads. Alan is doing a great job of navigating the van. We drove at least two hours to the Holiday Hotel, our â€œhomeâ€ forÂ the next few days.Â
The hotel is in a lovely spot overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, in a tiny town called Praiano, about halfway between the town of Amalfi (same name as the coastline area) and Positano, the rendezvous in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. (Hotel logo>>>)
Our rooms all faced the water and we were high enough to see the houses clinging to the mountainside. Spectacular! I took lots of laundry photos hanging from the balconies and courtyards. Ever since Rome I have been noticing how many people hang their clothes out to dry, something we are not allowed to do here. I have become addicted to laundry photos! Maybe I should put them all on my website or send them to a magazine. Food for thought, or should I say clothes for thought?
Each room at The Holiday Hotel is a different color scheme. Ours is purple: purple tile on the floors, purple bedspread and purple lamps. Quite royal! Two women run the hotel and you can see the feminine touches. The manager is named Marianna and goes all out to make sure we are happy with our rooms.
We rested and unpacked before dinner, walking down the long hill from the hotel to the main street. The name of the restaurant is Trattoria san Gennaro. Â Too chilly to eat by the water, so we sat near the window overlooking the water. The staff was very gracious and the portions quite large. I had the best grilled veggies ever! At the end of the meal, we each received an after dinner liqueur and a bottle of wine for each couple.
We planned to take the local bus back, because the hill to our hotel is so steep, but lo and behold, the owner or manager offered to drive us back, making two trips in the small car. Now thatâ€™s service!
Here is the house across the street from our hotel. The houses are often high up with many steps, as is this one, so the ride back to our hotel was met with gratitude.
Before going to sleep, I stepped onto the balcony to capture the moon on the water. The photo does not do justice to the night sky.
Our first day here was perfect! I feel as though I am living in a world I only saw in a postcard or an Italian movie. I must be dreaming!!