Yesterday, we took a day trip from Rome to visit the Amalfi Coast. We had originally wanted to do this drive ourselves, but decided to go with a small tour group. A good thing, because the drive is quite long and involves climbs up steep mountains and curvy, narrow country roads. Luckily the driver had no problems navigating them and we all made it back it one piece.
This also gave us more time to appreciate and enjoy the spectacular views of the sea and the towns built into the sides of the mountains.
I didn’t know that citrus fruits grow like crazy in the Amalfi Coast. Our driver said that the green, step-like formations in the photo above are covered in lemon trees.
Our first stop was Amalfi:
We wandered around town, stopping to try a few citrus flavored treats, including lemoncello:
And, two varieties of lemon sorbet, which is made with lemons that are the size of a small child’s head:
The white sorbet is made simply with lemon juice and the brighter yellow version is made with the lemon peel. I had never had anything like the latter version, which was creamy and had the most intense lemon flavor. I must try to recreate it at home when I break out the ice cream maker this summer.
And then, it was on to Positano:
While we were there, we stopped for lunch at Chez Black, which is reportedly a favorite with celebrity visitors (Denzel Washington was proudly mentioned several times). We didn’t see anyone famous, but I did have one of best caprese salads ever:
And, of course, pizza. Since the Amalfi Coast is close to Naples, pizzas are made in the Neapolitan style, which includes a bit of a thicker crust. I don’t like it as much as the Roman version, but this one gets extra points for being heart-shaped:
After lunch, it was back in the van to head to Pompeii. I am sure you know the story of how the city was partially destroyed and buried under thick layers of ash for centuries after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Many of the houses, temples, the expansive red light district, mosaics and frescoes are surprisingly well preserved and a tour through Pompeii gives an interesting look into what life was like in ancient times. And, it is just a bit eerie to see the volcano in the distance, and wondering when it might blow it’s top again.
If you find yourself in Rome and have some time for a few side trips, this is one that’s definitely worth taking. We booked ours through Avventure Bellissime, and although the price may seem a bit steep, having the transportation is definitely worth it!