I have always heard great things about the Amalfi Coast and it's beauty. This past December, I finally had the opportunity to visit and, let me tell you, all the reviews were dead on. Being from America, I would have to travel to multiple locations throughout the country to enjoy the benefits and beauty of the Amalfi coast. All in the same view you have mountains, vineyards, waterfront, and amazing colors in the background. What's unique about this is all the villages are located on the mountainside so instead of building outwards they are built upwards on each cliff side.
One thing that I would recommend is hiring a guide to drive you around. The roads in Amalfi can be very treacherous and extremely curvy. I personally hit the jackpot when I hired Simply Amalfi to be our driver and tour guide! Our personal guide, Salvatore, was hands down the best guide you could ask for. We started out our day in Pompeii seeing the ancient ruins (which will be blogged about soon!) Salvatore said he would come pick us up after our tour of the ruins. Right on schedule, we walked out of the ruins and there he was. As soon as we got into the van, our experience began. Everyone knew our driver and genuinely liked him! We made the 30 minute drive to the coast, stopping at your typical scenic tourist photo spots. After our photo shoots, we really moved away from the tourist attractions and drove up the mountainside. This is where Simply Amalfi stood out!!! We first stopped at the local Mozzarella factory and slowly made our way over to his house, which is located on a vineyard overlooking the cliffs and Mediterranean (Absolutely perfect). I must say that I was hesitant going into a stranger's home, but European culture is vastly different from that in America.
My family and I went onto his balcony and were treated to all of the local delicacies that you could think of. The wine was flowing; our stomachs were made full of green olives, fresh mozzarella and provolone, tomatoes, and prosciutto. As we all sat and congregated admiring the scenery, Salvatore stepped away for a bit. We didn't even blink and there he was with a platter of food. What kind of food you ask? Salvatore went downstairs and picked off leaves from his lemon trees, put a slice of provolone on it and put it in the microwave for a short burst of heat. The flavor that exuded from the cheese heated with the lemon leaf was indescribable. As I write this, I am imagining everything so vividly! While he was down gathering the lemon leaves, he decided to pick some olives off his olive trees and bring them up to us as well. Oh and one more thing I forgot to mention, the wine he served us was made by him personally.
Our time was growing short, and he wanted us to get the whole Amalfi experience (as if we hadn't had a fabulous taste yet!). We walked from Salvatore's house along the cliff to watch the sunset. At the sunset, we all shared a toast of Prosecco to the wonderful day we had. My family and I still look back at the pictures and cannot wait to go back. It was an experience that I will never forget, and I look forward to planning my next trip to Amalfi!!!