“Ciao Anna and Marcello
First of all, may I thank you for organising a wonderful walking holiday for me. Every part of your detailed information was useful and ‘worked’, all the way to Rome… I have not been able to email you before, as I was then in Rome for a week on an academic conference, a very different experience indeed! I am now back in London, and have just looked at the 290 photos I took of my trip to the Amalfi Coast – unfortunately, as my camera is just a cheap digital one for snapshots, they don’t do it any sort of justice, but they did remind me of some of the outstanding sights I saw.
All of the travel advice and timetables were absolutely right, and the only difficulty I had was finding the bus in Salerno – because it was right in front of me! I was too impatient and went on to other bus stops before returning to the obvious one. The drive to Amalfi, sitting on the left hand side, was amazing.
The hotels were each very different: In Amalfi, big room, friendly, old-fashioned (which I liked); Praiano, rather small room, but very friendly staff, great breakfast, great view; Positano, amazing room! though it was a little more impersonal as Positano is ‘something else’ altogether! and the Hotel in Sorrento was a very good ‘solution’ for my brief stay in Sorrento.
As for the walking: I followed all your advice about clothing and walking sticks and you proved to be absolutely right. I was worried about the heat, but with the hottest day at 31 it was OK and I didn’t get burnt or exhausted. Each one of the walks had something interesting, different and special about them, and I enjoyed each day. On day 2 the gardens of the Villa Cimbroni were very restful and, as a great reader of D. H. Lawrence, all this was very interesting to me. I think probably just for walking, day 3, the Valle delle Ferriere with the waterfalls, was my favourite. And perhaps my favourite place was the little church and square at Minuta – just a pity the church was not open.
One of the highlights of the holiday was definitely climbing Monte Tre Calli, because that was the first point from which I saw the amazing view all the way down the coast to Capri. While I was up there it came on to rain quite hard, so I returned to Bomerano rather than going all the way round because I was on my own, and thought it would be a bit irresponsible to be scrambling over the wet rock.
The whole walk on the next day was great. I loved the Monastery of San Domenico, where there is a fresco dating from about 1400, and also a man selling refreshing lemonade, figs and olives. And the path of the Gods was lovely with all the views down the coast and to Positano. Great view from the Santa Croce! And then you hit Positano – something of a culture shock!! Get out the smart clothes. The visit to Capri was memorable. Huge crowds, but as soon as I started to walk to the Villa Jovis, very few people indeed. Coming rpound to the Faraglioni rocks was remarkable, another highlight. However, on a Sunday the Villa Jovis and Certosa di San Giacomo both close at 1 pm, so you have to make a choice between them. Perhaps go quickly to San Giacomo first? By the time I got there it was closed, which was my only disappointment in the whole trip.
I decided not to go to Pompeii as I had been there 40 years ago, but if I had had another day I would have liked to go to Herculaneum. I am very grateful for all the information you provided, and the reading on history and art. It was a wonderful six days, full of variety, interesting places large and small, and great vertical! views everywhere – quite ‘do-able’ for a reasonably fit but 65 year-old red-haired Englishman in the height of summer. I strongly recommended you to friends in Rome who were thinking about the same sort of experience, and I will certainly recommend you to any friends in London who are looking to go walking in Italy in future. It could not have been better, and your helpfulness in the instructions and on email from both of you was truly outstanding – so grazie mille!
Ciao belli, Hugh”
“The Jewels of the Amalfi Coast & Sorrento ” – tailor made self-guided walking tour – July 2013