WHERE DO ALL THE PEOPLE LIVE?IS THERE MORE TO AMALFI THAN WHAT YOU SEEWHEN YOU GET OFF THE BUS, OR?
“What more is there?” You ask… Pat pointed at a wooden sign posted on the wall of an alley we were about to pass by – “The Ancient Staircases” it read. We haven’t given it a second thought. “Let’s find out” we said , a day in November as we decided to celebrate his birthday in Amalfi, and well, nothing was open but a pizzeria. We were walking down one of the main streets in front of the Duomo, and a lot of staircases slowly appeared ahead of us. We climbed, and we climbed again, until the real Amalfi has came out. In the narrow, winding streets that were shaded by the tall, pastel-colored buildings on either side, we passed homes with toys left by the front door and laundry hung from the windows, the priest’s office and several other offices and even a public recreation facility. Sometimes the walkway became a tunnel. It went sideways and up and around and down again. There were places where all you could see were the buildings around you and others where the majestic cliffs that protected the city for centuries suddenly loomed above you when you turned a corner. There was absolutely nobody in the streets, therefore our minds turned Amalfi into a kind of fantasy playground. We heard some choral music coming from a white building closest resembling a church. The front door was open and well, Yes We could have take a couple of steps further but then I was so frightened, I felt like in a horror movie with us in the lead. I don’t know what happened next.
EXPLORE AND CREATE YOUR ADVENTURE!
We ran away laughing out so hard for how silly we were being! Right around the corner we ran into the Amalfi Movie Theater! (WOW! I was amazed!) We read some flyers about a “Movie Theater” but we’ve never actually seen it around! We thought was a kind of legend or a place that had been shut down, you know, when you get to Amalfi, you most likely see nothing more than the beach and the two main streets filled with tourist shops and cafés that lead away from it toward the cliffs. Our minds were blown away with beauty and curiosity. We wandered the back streets of Amalfi for a while without seeing anyone, so, because “Pirates of the Caribbean” is my favorite movie and this city reminds me of it, I played the entire soundtrack of the movie on my phone. Suddenly Pat and I were Pirates on the Spanish Main or conquistadors exploring the New World. We laughed so much, I think we also got lost twice. We laugh about our failing memories. We laughed, we talked, we danced. Then before finally descending once again in the main street, we got a Pizza to go and walked our way to the majestic seaview Hotel we were staying. That whole night, we were laughing, telling stories, drinking beer and spumante, and I have to be honest, that night I had discovered my favorite part of the town, though, in the narrow alleys hidden away behind the well-tread main thoroughfares
2 places to visit in Amalfi:
The Emerald Cave – that is known for it’s crystal blue/green water that is created by the sunlight shining through a small cavity and illuminating the water…so yes it’s pretty magical when you are actually inside it, as all of the boats that were in there had the locals who were steering the boats singing different Italian songs which just made the experience that little bit more amazing.
La Scuderia del Duca – The most ancient “Hand Made Paper” store of Amalfi. It is a workshop which is a few footsteps far from the old Arsenals of the Republic. It is called “Wonderland” where the precious paper from Amalfi with its uncut edges prevails. The paper of Amalfi, called “bambagina”, is a very thick, soft, elegant paper that is still appreciated by artists around the world. The beginning of the ancient tradition of paper making dates to around the 1st century B.C. along the banks of the large river of China. Thanks to adventurous merchants, paper began to arrive in the bazaars of Persia, the Syrian-Palestine border, and then onto the Moslems possessions in Sicily, Spain and North Africa. The Amalfitani soon came into contact with the new product in their trading with the Arab world. I bought a unique souvenir, a handmade marbled paper butterfly. Of course The art of paper-folding derives from an old Japanese technique known as Origami and here it is performed greatly!