Why bother? It’s simply some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, and it’s interspersed with tiny charming towns: Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, Minori, Maiori… we love the names of the last two, being musicians—Italian for minor and major. But having been here before, our favorite towns are Positano and Ravello. On our last trip, we stayed in a dreamy little inn, the Casa Teresa in Positano, a hundred and ten steps down from the road. Much of the novel I’m presently writing is set in Positano. However, we opted to stay in Ravello this time. Our faulty memories of it told us that once in the town, the terrain was relatively flat. (WRONG!). Just to be careful, we booked into a hotel with a lift (that’s elevator to any Americans reading this.)
|Entrance to Garden Hotel, Ravello|
I was content to sit on our little balcony and enjoy the view and then eat at da Salvatore, but JP was seeking some culture, so she bought a ticket to a concert to be held that night in the historic grounds of the Villa Rufolo. Ravello hosts a world-class chamber music festival from June through October every year. The concert didn’t start until 9:30 pm—I knew it would be wasted on me.
|Part of Villa Rufolo in Ravello|
We enjoyed sitting at a café on the piazza in Ravello that afternoon, watching three successive wedding parties, three brides all dressed in white satin and lace, descend the
church steps to be pelted with rice and rose petals. We enjoyed it less later, when one of those brides held her reception over our heads until midnight.
I must admit I would not opt to stay in Ravello again. I much prefer Positano. Artist Paul Klee said of Positano that it was “the only town in the world conceived on a vertical rather than a horizontal plane”. Positano with its pastel houses, vistas of the azure sea and narrow little laneways that always end in steps is my favorite on this coast. It’s crowded with bus tours during the day, but they don’t arrive until after ten and they’re gone by four.
One might expect such cliffs and precipices to denote a rather barren landscape. Nothing could be farther from the reality. The steep hills are terraced and covered with grape vines from which a very pleasant local wine is made. There are many lemon and orange orchards. Lemons here are the size of grapefruit and are delicious. Both desserts and an
aromatic after dinner liquor, Limoncello, are made from them. Olive trees and palm trees vie for position and hibiscus and bougainvillea are everywhere. From one end to the other of the Amalfi Drive is one vast lush sub-tropical garden.
|Sorrento at sunset|
Once again our trusty Geraldine took us without a hitch to the Hotel Belair. I really got it right this time. This lovely four star hotel sits right in the edge of the promontory, hanging out over the Bay of Naples. It is decorated beautifully and tastefully in Italian style with many antique pieces. Our room is a delight. And for once our two beds are comfortable and wide enough so that I don’t worry about falling out of mine in my sleep. Across from us, in the distance, we see the Naples and, looming over it, Mount Vesuvius, the still live although hopefully dormant volcano that destroyed Pompeii two millennia ago.
The food in the restaurant is far better than we’ve come to expect in hotel dining rooms. Nevertheless we’ll explore other options. As I predicted in my last blog, the prices of everything escalate as we move north. But, apparently, so do the standards. The last four-star hotel we stayed in (near Paestum) was in no way comparable to this jewel.
|Hotel Belair, Sorrento|
But now the sun has come out. With any luck we’ll be able to get into the cliff-side pool in an hour or so. Life could be worse.
Following are my published novels. Go to my Goodreads page, to find more info and reviews.
To purchase one of these books, just click on the book link below and select the vendor of your choice.
• The Memory of Roses ~ The story of a secret and how it impacts two generations of the McQuaid family. It unfolds on the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu and is a tale complete with beautiful and passionate women, handsome and fiery men, and an intriguing mystery.
• Delighting In Your Company ~ Delighting In Your Company is a paranormal romance set on an exotic Caribbean island, featuring a handsome ghost and an adventurous heroine who travels back in time to solve a mystery!
"Delighting In Your Company is a unique paranormal romance that brings together island folklore, history, and mystery with an unlikely romance between the past and present that had me going through a torrent of emotions and made it impossible to put down." -- The Romance Reviews
• Sonata ~ Sayuri McAllister has just arrived home to Vancouver to find some shocking situations:
~ A robbery has taken place at her family home, and it is being investigated by her old flame;
~ Alyssa James who she barely knows, is about to become her new stepmother;
~ and Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, is a charming Irishman who is intent on bedding and wedding the rich and beautiful Sayuri.
It’s a confusing and difficult time for Sayuri, especially when dangerous accidents happen to her father and herself – or are they accidents?
• Abigail's Christmas (short story) ~ An enchanting tale of love and romance, with a magical touch of fantasy.
Abigail's Christmas is a holiday story about Abigail who goes looking for a tree on Christmas Eve, and ends up with the man of her dreams in a sleigh in the Rockies --- with a wedding in the offing! Is it real? Is she dreaming? Or is it just Christmas magic?