Our long day on the island of Capri, was followed the next day by a leisurely drive along the Amalfi Coast, stopping in the town of Amalfi while there. This coastline can only be described as beautiful. At one point we stopped and looked down onto the famous beachside town of Positano (but couldn’t go there as it would have taken all day to get there and back up). The road along the coast is long and winding and was quite busy with cars and lots of tourist buses. We had been blessed with a gorgeous sunny day which only made the already bright blue water even more bright. Usually when people think of the Italian coast, this area is what they are thinking of – it was so amazingly perfect that it almost seemed a little unreal at times.
The town of Amalfi itself was quite lovely as well, but still similar to all the other towns and villages we’d seen. But while the towns in Northern Italy sold lots of wine, leather goods and meat products, Amalfi was full of brightly coloured ceramics and everywhere you looked, someone was selling limoncello – the famous lemon liqueur. The Amalfi coast is famous for it’s lemons and there were lemon trees growing absolutely everywhere you looked. The lemon orchards were typically terraces cut into the sides of the mountains. The vast majority of the lemons in Italy come from Amalfi as it has the best conditions for growing this sunny fruit. I even saw a lemon that was just smaller than my head. And yes it was definitely a lemon, not aa large grapefruit. This is typical of the sfusato lemons grown here. As a rule, they generally weigh in no less than 100g and have a very thick oily skin which is perfect for making limoncello. The flesh itself is not quite as better as regular lemons and it’s not uncommon to slice them for use in salads, or even eating them as you would a grapefruit. If you’re even in Amalfi, you must take home a bottle of Amalfi limoncello. Anything else you try will pale in comparison. I bought a bottle of limoncello from a liqueur shop here in Australia and after comparing it to a bottle of Capri limoncello (so not even Amalfi!), the flavour is clearly taken from a lemon essence. Real limoncello should taste like lemon, not flavouring.
Everything in Amalfi and along the coast seemed so much brighter and full of colour. It was quite remarkable. But despite all the pretty things around us, a group of us ladies had decided that we now needed to own Capri watches. Consequently we spent most of our first hour or so there looking for jewellery shops until we finally decided that we were going to have no luck here. From then on we just wandered around and enjoyed the sights.
On the way home we took the scenic route right around the mountains and saw Mount Vesuvius looming over Naples which was pretty incredible. Knowing that it could explode at any time there is no way that I would want to live in the shadow of it. As we neared Sorrento again, some of us decided we would hop off our bus in town rather than heading straight back to the hotel – perhaps there would be a jeweller there we might be able to pick up a pretty watch. Thankfully for us, there was. Unfortunately it was closed when we got there so we had to wander around impatiently for 45 minutes or so before we could get in there. But we all left there happy and carrying a little blue Capri watch bag. It is the most expensive watch I have ever purchased and is adorned with sparkly Swarovski crystals, but I love it and make sure that I wear it every day. I also love that I have a story attached to it, and I will remember all those ladies whenever I tell anyone where I got it. After our shopping expedition was done, we caught a taxi back to our hotel and decided we would meet down at the bar later for some drinks and then all have dinner together. Our tour was going to be over soon and it was our last night in Sorrento, so we wanted to make the most of it. I really miss those ladies – so much fun! And all older than me. It was like having a bus full of mothers! Needless to say, when we arrived in the bar that night before dinner, we all had a sparkly new watch gracing our wrists.