Sunday, May 13, 2012


Villa Cimbrone

View from our hotel room
Amazingly beautiful.  Fantastic week!  I didn't think I particularly needed a holiday but I feel a lot better for it.
So here are my observations of ways in which the Italians and Italy are different from the Brits.
1.  They dress better.  This became clear to us while waiting to board the plane to Naples. 
2.  Emotions.  They are pretty expressive.  On the plane back the first attempt at landing was aborted and when we landed successfully on the second attempt the Italians on board gave a round of applause!  On the minus side of this emotion - our head waiter in the hotel was a bit needy!  To the extent that we were relieved it was his day off on our last night.
Mules working on a building
4.  Driving!! Not always necessarily a bad thing.  Italians assume they have the right of way and take risks and on the whole the other driver will accept this.  However, the Amalfi peninsula has only one road around and this for  only the last century and a half.  Before that it was boat and mule (both still used).  The road isn't too wide and is VERY bendy.  The buses beep (it sounds like a herd of roadrunners sometimes)  when they are approaching a blind bend so that an approaching vehicle will hold back but this doesn't always work and then it is gridlock with people having to reverse back etc.  We caught local buses and took a bus trip to Herculaneum and Sorrento so travelled the whole peninsula and it was slow progress.  I have to say the bus drivers were very patient and good humoured about the whole thing.  As for the scooter drivers......!
4.  Pasta and ice cream are so much better there then they ever are everywhere else.
5.  History.  The place is dripping with it.  I know we are not exactly lacking ourselves.  But in Positano they had Roman Amphoras just built into the houses as flower pots.  As for Herculaneum - just amazing.
Nativity scene in Amalfi
Shrine on a mule track walk we did (1100 steps down then up again!)
6.  Religion.  Little shrines and nativity scenes everywhere and the churches are still alive.  Actually, it really annoys me how disrespectful some tourists are.  Not just in Italy.  There were church services going on in side chapels at the Duomo in Amalfi and people were just walking in and taking photos!  How can they possibly think that is respectful behaviour?
Anyway, that's my observations.  Brilliant place - go if you get the chance. If you want to see more pictures you can do so here

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