Friday 25th May: As we had been advised last week, our pre-booked tour of the Amalfi coast and Ravello had been cancelled so we decided to take ourselves. Instead of traveling both ways by bus, we took the boat from Sorrento to Amalfi. It was a good chance to see the coastline and the towns from the sea and, although the weather was a bit overcast, it was still stunning. The villages cling to the cliffs like barnacles on a rocky shore. We did not get off at Positano to keep the day manageable but went further on to Amalfi. Once there, we purchased bus ticket to Ravello and back to Sorrento. By this stage the day had brightened considerably.
The 30 minute drive to Ravello was quite hairy with many switchbacks as we climbed higher and several sections being one way only and controlled by lights. Ravello was delightful sitting up in the air and gazing down on all around it. We had some lunch in one of the cafes in the small main square where a wedding was taking place in the church on one side. Then we bought a lovely majolica plate to replace the one that broke after our first trip. The main attraction to see was the Villa Rufalo entered off the square. It was built by the Rufalos and is now partly ruined but with enough left is show its former glory and the gardens and views were magnificent.
Back in Amalfi, we found it absolutely heaving with tourists. We walked as best we could up and away from the centre and the crowds thinned a little but it was still not pleasant and there was not much worth looking at other than tourist shops. So our stay here was short and we caught the first available bus back to Sorrento.
This time we saw everything from high up on the famous roads that wind around the coastline. Going in this direction, we were on the inside lane and I put Heather on the window seat with the camera so I couldn't see much of the road or the sheer drops. There were still sections where the bus had to inch past another one and there would not have been more than two inches between them. It was amazingly spectacular (or spectacularly amazing, or both!). Not only was the scenery incredibly beautiful but it is astonishing how roads, buildings, hotels, etc. are constructed on the side of cliffs - even swimming pools that seem to dangle in mid air.
As it was getting late when we arrived back in Sorrento, we bought arancini and ricotta and spinach pie from the shop across from our B&B and ate on our balcony on busy Corso Italia where there is always plenty of action. Tonight’s included a very formidable female police officer blowing her whistle and making the illegally parked motorbikes move from across the road.