Sometimes we need to top up our lives with pink sunsets, lemons, glamour and bright colours. That's when we've got to go (back) to the Amalfi Coast. I recently visited this beautiful part of Italy along with the Eternal City, Rome, which is only a short drive away and home to thousands of years of wonders.
The Amalfi Coast
After flying into Naples, I made my way down to the pretty town of Sorrento on the northern side of the Sorrentine peninsula.
The main square and the winding streets are filled with lovely restaurants and cafes, so I grabbed a delicious pizza – of course – before watching the sun go down over the Gulf of Naples, the lights of nearby towns twinkling in the distance.
Terraced cliffs, lemon tress, a jumble of white and pastel coloured houses that tumble down to the still blue waters: this signature landscape is only found here, on the Amalfi Coast.
And those charming towns dotted along the coast – Positano, Praiano and Amalfi – each has their own character, vibe and romance, like different types of travellers…
Heading inland a little brings you to Ravello, a lovely hilltop town home to enchanting gardens and villas, and the views of the terraced farmland that surrounds it are no less impressive.
Pretty pastel buildings line the streets and there’s a lively main square, the perfect place for a coffee or gelato. If it’s peace and quite you’re after, there are plenty of tranquil lanes along which to wander and placid gardens in which to relax.
The views are what makes the Amalfi Coast so special with blue sea, still as glass, stretching as far as the eye can see.
The roads that wind their way along the coast reveal new vistas at every turn and half the fun of driving in this region is waiting to see what the next bend brings.
On my way to Amalfi I was treated to beautiful sunsets where the sky was lit up pink and purple, the late evening sun casting its last rays on the craggy clifftops.
The water had taken on the purple hue of the sky – I was captured, I had to stay till the sun had fully melted behind the curved horizon.
I was sad to leave the coast, but excited to get to what is arguably the most romantic city of them all – Rome, of course (sorry Paris!)
Rome is the Eternal City indeed, and its amazement renews itself each time: where else can you experience such an incredible presence of an ancient civilization strewn across what is simultaneously a thriving modern city?
There is so much to see and do in Rome and one of the best ways to explore it is like the locals: by Vespa!
With my very own Roman driver, we wove our way through the streets stopping to visit the city’s most iconic landmarks – the Colossuem, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Aventine Keyhole and finishing at the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola where all of Rome lay before me, glowing dusty pink in the evening light. Boom.
On my final day I visited the famous Vatican Museums. I arrived early, skipped the queue like the stars, and headed straight to the Sistine Chapel before the crowds. There I stood in silence, admiring Michelangelo’s painted ceiling. And time stopped.
It takes some time to recover from Rome’s immense beauty, and truly the only way to leave is by promising yourself you will go back. Arrivederci Roma!