We arrived around 5pm, too late for drink and snack service, but we were still able to spend two hours swimming in the gorgeous inlet and pool as the sun was starting to set. We had the place almost completely to ourselves which was lovely.
Dinner at the hotel was the best of the trip. Our meal included mozzarella and tomato sauce, a light vegetable broth with fresh vegetables, but the favorite of the evening was a lemon chicken risotto made with the famous Sorrento lemons. We dined on the terrace overlooking the water as the sun was setting. It was one of the most picturesque meals I have ever had.
Just as we were starting our main course we heard what sounded like a helicopter and plane getting very close to the terrace. Only about 50 feet from where we had just been swimming, the helicopter was gathering water to fight wildfires in the mountains near the coast. The airplane was diving down to scoop up water and continued to return several more times. We didn’t mind the noise coming and going because it was just a very cool thing to watch something we had never seen before. The kids loved it, and we were very impressed with the pilot’s skills.
After sleeping late the following morning, we went up to breakfast in an enclosed terrace with views of the water and cliffs. The breakfast buffet included fresh croissants that tasted as good as the ones in Paris and some phenomenal orange juice made from Sicilian blood oranges. I wish I could find at home. I’ve tried bottled versions at some specialty stores but nothing compares to the fresh juice we had in Amalfi.
Swimming was the only thing on the agenda for the day. It was still extremely hot and we decided to spend the day at the hotel. My boys saw some other children diving off one of the small cliffs that surround the hotel, and while we hesitated at first to let ours join in we decided to let them try. My husband jumped off as a “test” after I had surveyed the depth from the water below. Swimming went on for several hours and they amused themselves by rotating between jumping and floating on the large rafts the hotel provided. The water here has such a high salinity that it provided a lot of buoyancy and made swimming feel almost effortless. Drinks, snacks, and light lunch options were served by the pool. While swimming we met a lovely Australian Family that was on holiday, but proving how small the world is they were currently residing in Brooklyn. All of the parents were as happy as the kids. They made some friends to play with, while all we enjoyed casually chatting.
As much as I would have been fine staying at the hotel again we decided to visit some of the coastal towns. Our hotel was in Ravello by the sea, and we could have taken a steep set of stairs up to Ravello, but instead we opted for a short drive to Amalfi. Later I found out that had we gone up to Ravello, I would have been able to see one of the filming locations from Wonder Women 2017. Ravello was used to depict the Amazon’s island paradise of Themyscira. While it was disappointing to have missed the chance to see it, my kids are happy that we have a reason to return. They have been asking to come back since we left.
Amalfi was bustling that evening and it was crowded as we walked around. Thankfully it had started to cool off a little, and after a bit of shopping, we had another lovely dinner; one of Italy’s many pluses is that it’s difficult to have a bad meal. Strolling around in a pasta coma, my younger son found a hand made paper store. In Amalfi there are only a few places that still make hand made paper; it used to be one of their specialty industries. He purchased some writing sets, and small notebooks, and I fell in love with a gorgeous water color painted on handmade parchment.
On our last day in the area we had originally planned to go to Pompeii, but they continued to have fires in the area and it was once again extremely hot. So our kids said “We don’t want to leave this gorgeous ocean to go melt on top of a smokey volcano”. We caved. After lunch we finally forcibly dragged ourselves from the water and packed up to head back to Rome. Thankfully the rental car we picked up in Naples Airport could be returned to the airport in Rome. Sometimes the surcharge for returning to an alternate location is very high, but this time it was less money, and hassle, then returning the car and taking the train back to Rome.
We’d only just left our hotel but everyone was starving so we stopped at what looked like a catering hall with only a few cars. They were serving outside in the garden over looking the water and the views were stunning. Looking over the menu we noticed they only had one salad option and three meal options.
Most of us picked the gnocchi with tomato. This gnocchi was the best pasta dish I have ever had anywhere, and I consume way too much pasta. My son and I have attempted to recreate this dish using tomatoes imported from Salerno and it always comes out good, but we can’t recreate the magic.