Sunday, May 8, 2016

On Our Way to Salerno and the Southern Amalfi Coast

This morning we woke with the alarm at 7:00am. We got all of our things packed (both our suitcases and our backpacks) – we put the suitcases in the hall for the porters to pick up and put on the bus.
The Vineyard
We left the backpacks in the room and went down to breakfast. We had a nice relaxing meal and then returned to the room to brush our teeth, use the restroom and wash our hands. We still had an hour before we had to be in the lobby. So Thomas read and I worked on editing photos. At 9:00am we made our way to the lobby and at 9:15 am we boarded the bus for our drive to Salerno. We drove for about an hour and arrived at Feudi di San Gregorio winery. We met Lydia (our guide for this visit) and then she took us on a tour of the facility. We first visited the aromatic garden, then we saw where they took the picked grapes to, next we went into the cellar where she explained their process of fermentation.
Barrels in a dramatic setting.
We also got to see a nativity scene of the Goleto Abbey, the work of a craft master from Ariano Irpino, while Carlo Gesualdo's music plays. The tour ended here and then we made our way to a tasting room. We tried three wines - Greco di Tufo, Fiano Avellino and Taurasi. They were all good but I liked the Greco di Tufo the best. We also had cheese, salami and breadsticks with the wine. It was just after noon when we boarded the bus and continued on with our day.

From the winery we drove to the Amalfi Coast.
The Amalfi Coast looking to Salerno.
We are staying in a little village called Vietri sul Mare just outside of Salerno. It was in the neighborhood of 2:00pm when we arrived at our hotel - Lloyd's Baia Hotel. The traffic was moving slow as we made our way to the hotel. And from the bus we could see our hotel up a ways. It was sitting on the top of a cliff overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. We got checked in and got our keys but getting to the room was a bit of an ordeal. Since the hotel is perched on a cliff we had to go from Floor 0 where the reception desk in located down to Floor -2 (yes, that's right, the reception is actually at street level and everything else is below it.
Our hotel perched on the cliff.
Once you made it to -2 then you had to take a different elevator. Once we got there we were considered to be on Floor 0 of this new wing and we had to go down to Floor -4. We got to our room and found that we had a balcony overlooking a beach and the sea. It was a beautiful site. The water is blue and turquoise and there were gentle waves washing up on beach. We spent about 15 minutes sitting at the table on our balcony enjoying the sound of the moving water.

Then at 2:30pm we went up to Floor 0 and went to the bar for a welcome reception.
Vietri sul Mare Ceramics
 They had drinks for us with a few snacks. We hung out with the group for about a half hour and then decided to take a walk into town for something to eat. Dave, Deanne, Mark, Sue, Thomas and I took the short walk into the center of town. We found a little restaurant that had some sandwiches - Bar-Paninoteca Gustami. So we all ate there and visited. When we were done eating Mark & Sue went off on their own while the rest of us just wandered around the town. It amazed us at how many ceramic shops are in town, they were everywhere. We wondered how they could all stay in business. Around 5:30pm we all returned to the hotel for a little rest. I ended up sitting on the balcony to edit some photos and that way I could enjoy the views. I am finally all caught up on my blog but I still have some photo editing to complete. But it is time to call it a night and get some sleep for tomorrow's activities.
A view of the coast from our hotel room balcony.


Tess Mayle said...
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Tess Mayle said...

This place was surreal! I had always dreamed of seeing the Amalfi Coast!