The sun’s rays caress my eyelids as I sit back on the terrace and allow the floral aromas of a crisp white wine to gently unfold on my palate. I open my eyes in the knowing bliss that the holiday has begun, and that there’s a week of discovery ahead!
The table is arrayed with all things Italian; cured hams, juicy mozzarella, vine-ripened tomatoes, olive oil glazed pasta, and seemingly bottomless carafes of wine! The afternoon, however, brings delights of an altogether different kind. Alejandro (our guide) leads us on a stroll to a nearby viewpoint where we get a taste of the towering coastal treats that are to dominate the trip. We avidly follow his index finger as he points out the towns of Praiano, Ravello, and Amalfi itself to the east, and to the west, Positano and the hazy outline of the Island of Capri in the distance.
Terraced villages cling precariously to the limestone karsts that define this famous stretch of coast. Some 600m above the turquoise waters, lays the age-defiant village of Bomerano, basking on the fertile Agerola Plateau. This idyllic setting is to be our base for the week...
…Boot laces tied, water bottles filled, and cameras at the ready we follow in tow.
Leathered skin, and arched backs, a man and wife tend lovingly to their crops as we pass by their somewhat dilapidated old farmhouse. Twenty minutes (and considerably more steps) later, our calves warm enthusiastically and our mouths demand moisture. We stop for a break to recuperate, quench our thirst, and take in the distant seaward views.
Dappled light penetrating the foliage overhead guides us through the gangly chestnut groves until we come to a small stream. Arms outstretched for balance and steady with our footing, we cross over a log bridge to the National Park boundary fence. Bestowed with the key, Ale opens the gate; it feels as though we’re entering a secret garden or perhaps a lost world. Unbeknown to us, a magical surprise awaits inside.
A curtain of fine water-droplets, refracting the sunlight as they cascade downwards, bejewel the moss covered sides of the gorge. In compliment, the essence and vitality of nature is evidenced in the vivid greens of the vegetation. The solitude of this beautiful enclave within the Valle delle Ferriere National Park is punctuated only by tip-toeing droplets dancing upon the valley floor, and the rustling of leaves above.
After a solid morning’s walk, the earthy woodland aromas awaken our senses and wet our appetites. Perched upon a rock in the rivers midst, I tussle with my crusty baguette, still warm from the village bakery, and watch the crumbs be carried off downstream.
The shells of former paper-factories make for interesting landmarks, until we begin to wind our way through the upper reaches of Amalfi. Colourful hanging baskets adorn the stone walls, shiny vegetables line the terraces, and juicy oversized lemons peep out from trellised groves.
A well-earned gelato welcomes us to Amalfi; the rest of the afternoon is ours, until returning to the warm smiles of the owners of our lovely family run hotel in Bomerano.
By Exodus’ Product Administrator, Jennifer Cox who travelled on our Amalfi Coast trip.