• europe,  Travel

    Even a Shed in Ravello Would Do

    On the other side of Scala, far from the crowds of the Amalfi Coast is Ravello. The town hugs the top of a ridge that looks out onto the Gulf of Salerno. Our very first sight of it and we were irrevocably, irreversibly hooked. If a fairy godmother materialised and swished her wand for me, I would ask for a home in Ravello, on those mountains with a view of the inky Tyrrhenian. We would then be residents of a town with a history that goes back all the way to the 5th century when it was founded as refuge from attacks by barbarians. In time, it became a wool-producing, trading powerhouse in association…

  • Travel

    Far From the Crowds on the Amalfi Coast…

    … are Scala and Ravello. They reinforce what the Gambardella sisters, owners of a 19th-century hotel on the coast, pointed out once. That ‘there are bits of the old life left on the coast, but you have to know where to find them.’ You do get more time to linger in spots you take a fancy to without having someone breathing down your neck.   Scala is a sleepy village. Period. Apart from some dogs in a farmhouse excited by the sight of us passing by, we did not see many people. We sat on the terrace of a family-run trattoria in this oldest village on the Amalfi coastline. In our field of vision  was…

  • europe,  Travel

    The Amalfi Dream

    On the string bean of a road on the Amalfi coastline, it is imperative that you shall be caught in the midst of substantial traffic jams. You will hear a fair bit of Italian cursing or laughter — depending upon the mood of the driver. You will also peek out of your window, curious about the ado, till you spot the troublemaker. A man in a blush pink blazer getting into his ramshackle car with a sheepish smile and a few scusas and molto bene grazies. But he has had his coffee, thank you. Such important matters of life are not to be bypassed in Italy even if it means that you park your…