Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ravello, a hike, and a fantastic meal!

Dave and Carla found an amazing hotel for the four of us to stay in for a night on the Amalfi Coast in Ravello. Being that it was low season we were actually the only people staying in the hotel that night and it seemed we were the only non-locals in Ravello! Ravello sits above the coast boasting fantastic views of the small town Minori and the coast itself. Our balconies looked out to this beautiful scenery.

Sunrise the next morning.

Looking onto Dave & Carla's balcony from ours.

After checking in, we went to the Gardens of Villa Cimbroni. These gardens are considered among the most important examples of the English landscape and botany culture in the South of Europe. Numerous impressive decorative items (fountains, statues, small temples, pavilions) from all over the world were placed in the gardens. It is proclaimed by many to have the most beautiful view in the world and I think we all had to agree that it was quite spectacular!

The entrance.

View from the gardens.

The exit.

Since December is a very off season time we had a few bottles of wine at the hotel before heading off to dinner. We had dinner at a quaint, family owned trattoria where we learned that although mamma (the chef) can be a little pushy with recommendations, mamma does know best! It was a delicious meal with fantastic company. Another bottle and a few cigars after dinner left us feeling great about our getaway.

All other pictures from this night were not suitable to be publicly posted!

The next day we went on a "moderate" hike called Valle dei Ferriere. This hike takes you from the starting point in Pontone, up and through the mountains, down through the valley, and ending in the town of Amalfi. We were told it takes 1-2 hours, but our research afterwards indicates that it takes about five hours, which at the time we were not aware of. We hiked up, up, up the mountain... and then up some more. At points there would be a very high cliff on one side of us and the other side would have you plunge to your death if you fell. Every turn lead us in an upwards direction with steep climbs. We saw some amazing foliage throughout the mountains; a mix of reds, oranges, yellows, and greens, that we had not seen since being in Italy. Up we went, passing a man herding goats with bells on, passing colorful lizards scurrying away from us, passing small waterfalls. At points we could see Amalfi in the distance, with the bright blue sea behind it and we were excited to end our hike there.  Unfortunately, after two hours of hiking it started to pour, we were nowhere near Amalfi (we figured we were at about the halfway point), the direction we were headed continued upwards and not down, we were out of water and snacks, and it was going to get dark in two hours (and we didn't know how long the next part would take us). So we played it safe and turned around. Even though we didn't make it to our ultimate destination, the hike was beautiful, fulfilling, and well worth the rain, grumbling tummies, and numbing legs!

Picture perfect rock!

Amalfi is behind us.

Cold, wet, and tired!
Tired from the day we decided to stay in and make dinner. When we got home we went to our local fish guy and bought two octopi, two fish, and a bag of mussels (which he gave to us for free), along with eggplant and peppers from our vegetable stand. Dave took care of the octopi (I'm still not really sure what went in to that), Jon put his surgeon skills to use and cut and gutted the fish, and Carla and I scrubbed, debearded, and steamed the mussels. It was such a memorable night filled with laughter, love, and of course molto vino.


  1. Wow, we really must have had a great time. Awesome photos and recap. That hike was ridiculous!!

  2. This is an awesome blog!!! So cool. :)