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Day Twenty-Five: Amalfi Coast

August 25, 2006

Italy’s Amalfi Coast features such a winding and vertiginous highway, Toonces the Driving Cat would surely fly off into the scintillating blue waters of the Gulf of Salerno.

“Toonces, no-o-o!!”

Costiera Amalfitana is 30 miles of breathtaking coastal scenery and towns improbably perched on steep, rocky hillsides. Monterey resident John Steinbeck, no stranger to such coastal beauty, wrote about the pastel town of Positano: “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.”

Further east, in Conca dei Marini, you will find the Emerald Grotto (Grotta dello Smeraldo), known as the jewel of the Amalfi coast. Boat tours take visitors inside the cave where the sunlight sparkles its blue-green waters and reflective stalactites.

“Ah, bella,” says Orange Bear.

Of course, this being Italy, Mr. Crumpet and Orange Bear travel with knorks to tackle the most demanding local cuisine. Orange Bear wonders if the knork can handle the octopus. Not too worry: it arrives sliced, marinated, and garnished with lemons.


From its lofty vantage point a thousand feet above the sea, tiny Ravello has enticed visitors, including famous artists and writers, from around the world for centuries. Every year, Ravello celebrates its cultural history with the Wagner festival, a reference to the celebrated German composer who fell in love with its enchanting gardens.

As they hurtle down the precipitous road leading away from Ravello, Orange Bear covers his eyes. He hears laughter and peeks.

The red blur of a Ferrari convertible streaks past them. Behind the wheel: an Italian lynx, her ear tufts flowing in the breeze.

“Hey, you don’t see that every day,” shouts Mr. Crumpet from the front seat.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. A Feline Ally permalink
    August 27, 2006 12:23 pm

    Indeed — crowd pleaser numero tre! I’d forgotten all about this one. It’s considered the natives “Riviera”–that is, where Italian tourists go “a riposarsi” (to repose), and let the swarms of international tourists have their share of Nice and Genoa, etc. The fresh fish here is truly some of the best anywhere, and far less crowded than the better advertised coast further north–makes the trainride through Napoli worth it on many levels.

  2. A Feline Ally permalink
    August 27, 2006 1:48 pm

    p.s. Sounds like a pretty racy lynx.

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