Friday, February 6, 2009

Costiera Amalfitana - Amalfi Coast Part One

Positano, where we're staying, was described by the artist Paul Klee as "the only place in the world designed on a vertical axis." We take the bus "interio" from our Hotel Pasitea down a series of switchbacks at a fairly terrifying speed before being deposited several hundred feet lower and nearer to the beach and our restaurant of choice, The Pergola Restaurant / Buca di Baco. That ride is just a warmup for the trip along the Amalfi Coast.

As the Michelin Green Guide says, "The corniche road follows the indentations of the rocky coast between Sorrento and Salerno which is Italy's finest coastline." Even that inadequately describes it. The bus rides are reminiscent of a carnival ride, with some of the most spectacular views imaginable. We could swear the bus was articulated as we went around the switchbacks, and we hope it's as strong as a tank as we roar around blind single-lane corners with the horn tooting a warning.

It's interesting that, among the construction cranes and heavy duty equipment, donkeys are still used to haul dirt up hills.

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