Italy, November 3

Thursday, November 3rd

Praiano is about 10 km from the actual town of Amalfi, and that was our destination on this day.  We loaded up The Beast and set out along the Amalfi Coast road, otherwise known as Strada Statale 163.  Yeah, it’s no better east of Praiano.  We did luck out with finding a parking spot in Amalfi.  Not only was it centrally located and easy to get in and out of, but it was also right in front of a café.  We had coffee and croissant and experienced the inverse law of tourist food – this place was high on price and low on quality.  They did, however, offer free WiFi (which was non-existent in our villa), so we got to check in with the Internet for a few minutes.

The Amalfi Coast (the actual town of Amalfi), outside of the high tourist season.

The Amalfi Coast (the actual town of Amalfi), outside of the high tourist season.

While we were sitting outside, in front of the café, Tommy picked a flower off a bush and held it out for a young (12 maybe?) girl sitting at the next table.  He stood there like a total boss and just held the blossom out to her.  I’m not sure what she was thinking, but without saying anything, she just shook her head “no”.  Perhaps it was the gnarly wound under Tom’s eye.

Duomo di Sant'Andrea Apostolo in Amalfi

Duomo di Sant’Andrea Apostolo in Amalfi

From the café, we walked up to the main square where there are lots of cool shops and things.  We went up the stairs and into the Amalfi Cathedral – the Duomo di Sant’Andrea Apostolo.  There’s a museum located in the original cathedral, a pretty cloister and the ancient Basilica of the Crucifix.  The guard at the museum seemed taken by Tommy and got a few high-fives out of it.

The interior of the Amalfi Cathedral

The interior of the Amalfi Cathedral

Of course there is a crypt under the cathedral.  It is a grand affair with vaulted ceilings and amazing artwork.  This is where the relics of Saint Andrew the Apostle are kept.

Stairs leading out of the crypt under the Amalfi cathedral

Stairs leading out of the crypt under the Amalfi cathedral

The weather was kind of rough this day.  It was stormy and did rain a little bit, but there were cool sun-breaks that lit up the cathedral beautifully.  I couldn’t stop looking back at the Cathedral, especially the tower.

The tower at the Amalfi Cathedral. The sun shined through a break in the dark clouds directly on the church.

The tower at the Amalfi Cathedral. The sun shined through a break in the dark clouds directly on the church.

Back in Praiano, we went to our favorite family ristorante – Genarro’s – for lunch.  After lunch we toured the small church of San Luca Evangelista, which was directly under the balcony of our villa.

The Chiesa di San Luca Evangelista in Praiano

The Chiesa di San Luca Evangelista in Praiano

Upon exiting the church, we were treated to this:

It’s a damn waterspout right there in front of us.   We couldn’t believe it.  For some reason, people usually ask me if this happens often there.  Does that really matter?  For the record, no, it does not happen often, and the locals were just as eager as we were to get photos and video of the phenomenon.

The great Praiano waterspout of '16

The great Praiano waterspout of ’16

We ate dinner at a different place (not Genarros’s) called Brace (BRAH-cheh).  I thought the service and food was even better than Genarro’s (our server was really nice to Tommy), but my companions were only, like, meh.  Perhaps it was a post-waterspout low.

Back in Amalfi, here's a shot of the photographer and his son

Back in Amalfi, here’s a shot of the photographer and his son

Next:  November 4th (Pompeii)

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