17.05.2014 - 18.05.2014 70 °F
We spend Saturday relaxing and visiting the town of Amalfi, familiarizing ourselves with the alleyways and the ebb and flow of daily life. We're finding this town to be utterly charming. During the day, the town is flooded with an influx of day-trippers, but most of them only stop for a short while to visit the Duomo or the seafront, perhaps stopping at one of the tourist restaurants on the square. Then, they move in a rush to see Positano or Ravello. In the evening, though, the town is mostly locals, gathering in the Piazza and going about their business.
We find a wonderful restaurant, La Taverna di Masaniello, run by Andrea and his brother Pietro. It's a small place, with a few outside tables, tucked away in the corner of the Piazza dei Dogi. There are much showier places right outside their door, but they are the real deal. Delicious food, simply and wonderfully prepared with fresh ingredients. When the present you with a plate, the pride that they have in the food they have prepared for you is evident. We felt like family and ate there frequently.
On Sunday, it's time to go adventuring again. Mrs. Zukini's knees have recovered from all the stair climbing in Florence, so we decide to head off on a hike through the Valle dei Mulini (The Valley of the Mills), named for the three ruined paper mills that once operated there. This trip starts from the far end of Amalfi town, and winds its way gradually up through the valley, eventually bringing us to the town of Pontone, high above. From Pontone, we'll take a side trip to the ruins of Torre dello Ziro, then head back down via the long stairways to Amalfi.
For the most part, the photos and captions will speak for themselves.
As we wind our way through the valley, we are seldom far from the sound of rushing water from the stream. Periodically, we get glimpses of the many cascades and waterfalls, and the icy cold, crystal clear mountain water.
As we reach this point, noon arrives, and we hear the Sunday church bells from Amalfi come drifting up through the valley.
We break for lunch at the Blu Bar in Pontone, where we get a great Neapolitan style pizza and icy cold glasses of fresh-squeezed lemonade. Fueled up with carbs, we'll be off on the side branch to Torre dello Ziro shortly.