It’s not just in your person but in every aspect of your life--beauty--breathing it in, bringing it in, experiencing it in each moment, each second of every day, that is the embodiment of a beautiful figure. Warm weather, delightful people, shining vistas, and magnificent food. This past October I led a small group of guests to the beautiful Tyrrhenian seashores of the Amalfi Coast, where we felt Italy’s embrace and we embraced her in return.
Met by our driver at the airport, we made our way to Naples Underground, a city beneath the city last utilized during WWII to protect the denizens from the bombing raids. This isolated city, dating back to the fourth century, lies forty meters below the thriving city above. We wove our way through its twisting caverns, once even through utmost darkness with only the flickering “fake” candle and the person in front of us to guide our way.
Then we traversed to the wonderful Hotel San Pietro, our home for the next two nights. After a leisurely aperitivo hour--a ritual in Italy--we ate a delicious meal and bedded down for the night. The next day was filled with more history and more food delights as we spent the day in Pompeii. The many Italians we met were gracious and smiling, imbuing me with their delight in everything, including my stumbling struggles to speak Italian to them. The next morning we walked the Neopolitan markets before making our own personal Neopolitan pizza at a true gastronomic legend, a trattoria with one of the few remaining wood-fired pizza ovens in Naples. For Italians, food is not only nourishment, it is life. Italians don’t just make food, they put their life and their love into it, and it shines forth in every bite. We felt much like a family as we dined around a long table, sharing pizza made by our hands and others.
With a new memory to add to our growing pot, we waved goodbye to Napoli and wove our way to Sorrento where the guests delighted in the luxurious accommodations at the Grand Hotel Riviera, the amazing vista of the Gulf of Naples from their sea view rooms a dearly loved bonus.
Our days were spent on the move with a private cruise to Capri and visits to a pasta factory, a lemon grove, a family-run Fattoria, the panoramic gardens of an 11th-century manor, a drive along the Amalfi Coast with scrumptious food and wine tastings along with cooking made for a truly memorable journey not just in body but in mind and spirit.
On the return journey to the airport, I was hit with a pang of nostalgia. I had to say goodbye to a place where I had become one with the people, the culture, and the land. But my lips curved into a slow smile as I thought of returning to once again sample la bella figura.
So I invite you to travel along with us for next year’s culinary tour on the Amalfi Coast and experience the Italian way of living. See more info here.
W. Anne Jones
A curious explorer, learning and growing. Join me as I travel the world one day at a time.