Posting this a few days late…
Epic journey yesterday with many different forms of transportation and only two near disasters: 1) Dirck got lost on a mountain trail after a morning hike to an ATM in the small village of Atrani. Roberto, the proprietor of our B&b nearby came to the rescue in his car. 2) what was advertised as an 11 minute drive from the Catana airport to our b&b Crociferi lasted 2 hours thanks to a limited map and lots of one way streets. at one point things looked grim but suddenly we found the tiny street in the historic district we needed and our amazing little place in an elegant old mansion.
beyond that, other highlights included the ferry ride from Amalfi to Salerno, gorgeous again (and somewhat relieved to depart already tourist heavy Amalfi just as a giant tour boat was disgorging passengers via lifeboats for a little visit (not evacuation); a quick visit to Naples, where we got a taste of the cacophonous street life and some fantastic pizza! The famous place we tried to go to for pizza was mobbed but we did just fine at a little place nearby, Pizza Sorbillo on via Tribinali. We really liked the clutter and clatter of Naples downtown streets, hanging laundry, fish mongers, graffiti, vaguely dodgy at
Atmosphere. Hope to return. it was also very easy to leave our bags at the left luggage office at the train station. Also enjoyed Cafe Mexico by the station where old fashioned guys in vaguely military like outfits served us expresso at the bar (not your typical yank barista.)
We were also impressed by the Naples airport.
Very stylish, with modern sofas in the waiting area that looked like something out of a shelter magazine ad and incredible food (an airport mozzarella bar…take note LaGuardia airport rehabbers) and high end high design shops.
Once we finally got to b&b Crociferi in Catania, all was well and we found a beautiful people crowd at a nearby outdoor cafe, Locanda Cerami, in front of a beautiful old stone church, at 10 pm and excellent food…my first salad in Italy (with small balls of creamy buffalo mozzarella, tuna and corn) and my first braesola with a little olive oil and asiago cheese. Yum.
Our room turned out to be an entire apartment, with a fresco painted in the high ceiling and stylish modern furniture. We had our best breakfast to date, prepared by our friendly host Teresa and enjoyed the fellow guests, an Australian couple, a Berlin couple and two Vermonters (one of whom lived on a commune in Decorah Iowa, presumably in the 60s.)