Friday, May 22, 2009

Well Mr. Steinbeck your essay worked

Positano and the Amalfi Coast as a whole is one of the most beautiful spots in Italy.  I am looking forward to exploring lesser known regions to find a local comparison, but for now the A.C. is it.  Mr. Steinbeck wrote "it is difficult to consider tourism an industry because there aren't enough tourists."  That has certainly changed.  It's booming with tourists.  As well it should.  Like any popular spot there is a reason and the reason is it's amazing.

It is one of those things.  Someone tells someone and all of a sudden it's out there.  The A.C. has been host to day-trippers and the wealthy for quite some time, but it can certainly be enjoyed as a local.

I have to admit that I'm not a beach guy so the A.C. on the surface doesn't do it for me.  Once you get here and start to dig in you find a whole new world.  A world of small local cafes, little markets, fantastic terrace gardens, huge lemons, clinging clouds, insane Vespa drivers, and some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.

My advice for the A.C. is simple...don't take a day trip here or there.  If you're in the A.C. be in the A.C.  Don't try to hit each town in a day with a home base in miss all the fun.  The towns have a different life entirely at night when the boats take the sore and weary Americans home.  (I write sore because you'll walk up so many steps that it's best not to think about it.  Buy some great shoes and go for it.) The smart ones stay here and enjoy it at night.

It is expensive, but if you do it right you'll be good.  

1.  Don't eat at the seaside restaurants.  Great food, but insanely expensive.
2.  Buy some fruit, bread, cheese, salami, from the in town, top of the hill markets and walk down to the beach for a little picnic.
3.  Hit the cafes like Bar International on Via Chiesa Nuova for an espresso.
4.  Ask the locals where they eat and go there.
5.  Don't assume everyone speaks English.  Be p0lite and begin the conversation by asking if they speak Italian if you can.
6.  Go to Capri, go to Ischia, and go to Procida.  Be sure to stay the night to enjoy the local side of things.
7.  Enjoy anything with lemons and olive oil.  The combination here is the best I've ever had.  I truly love the Italian Anchovies (not salty) with lemon juice and olive oil.  This is one of the best snacks i've ever enjoyed.
8.  Treat yourself to some plump green olives and prosecco on the beach.  Or, take Hande's advice from Vino Roma and order a Franciacorta instead.  I have to admit it...I like it better too.  :)

Explore the A.C. and let it touch your soul like it has since the Augustus and some of the worlds most beloved writers.  

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