Ten years earlier I had made a very similar trip alone, so I felt well-prepared to share the experience with Barbara this time around. We stayed at the Hotel Santa Caterina in Amalfi, one of the Leading Hotels of the World (literally and figuratively). From there, we explored:
- Ravello (went to two music recitals there)
- Positano (round trip by ferry from Amalfi, a little shopping and an excellent lunch)
- Amalfi (shopping for Barbara, a haircut for me with Gerardo — my personal Italian barber, and another fine lunch for us both)
- visits to two different organic wineries (Le Vigne di Raito in Vietri sul Mare, and Reale in Tramonti) These included tours of the vineyards, tasting the wines, and being served fantastic lunches by each of the proprietors. These were arranged for us by my friend and wine importer, Nick Mucci, of Mucci Imports in Boston. Thank you, Nick!
- all of this was greatly facilitated by the superb staff at the Santa Caterina (Pino, Gennaro, Simone, and Matteo) and…
- by Salvatore Lucibello and his marvelous drivers at Amalfi Car Service, who transported us safely and comfortably along the tortuous roads that hug the coast and up into the steep hillsides. I’ve been driving cars for 60 years, and have driven before in several parts of Italy, but the city of Naples and the Costa d’Amalfi I leave in the hands of true professionals, like Salvatore and his team.
Overall, this is world-class scenery, food, and wine, with warm, delightful people. It was a wonderful week.