A Piece of Italian Paradise

Gliding through the deep waters off the Amalphi coast is like being present on the set of a James Bond film. White water churning behind the boat, spray in your face, sheer cliffs resplendent with smooth plasterwork houses painted crisp white or any of an assortment of Tuscan oranges, cheery pinks or lemon yellow, one would hardly be surprised if one of the multi million Euro yachts launched a sleek speedboat into the sea in your pursuit.

Lacco Ameno from above

Image By C London
Forty five minutes to the Ischia harbour, the captain of the ferry pulls back on the power and we sidle up to the pier. Life ashore hums with movement; scooters weave through traffic, pedestrians boldly compete for narrow sidewalks and the carabinieri stand at pivotal passageways allowing only certain vehicles to pass. We hop on one of a small fleet of island circling buses jostling along the smooth black cobbles toward the enclave of Lacco Ameno.

Lacco Ameno

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Up and over one of the numerous volcanic hills, we wind our way along the coast, warm breeze tossing hair about in playful welcome. The wind is not unlike that of the Hawaiian Islands keeping inhabitants gratefully cooled. On the crest of summer, temperatures have not soared into the discomfort zone and I am happy to shed the layers of clothing that have kept me warm the past few weeks in northern climes.

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Image By C London
Time slows in this sleepy little piece of heaven. The appearance of Lacco Ameno’s landmark ‘Il Fungi’ mushroom shaped rock in the harbour ahead signal our arrival.

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Images By C London
Claudia’s warm smile welcomes us to her B&B set a block up a private lane from the sea. Not only do I anticipate warm custard filled coronet crescent roll and frothy café latte in the morning, but evening meals are also included. Our hosts make sure the bounty of their island is served. Rabbit, fresh pesto, herbs harvested from pots decorating the stone walls of the garden and fish caught right off of the coast are amongst the nightly repast.

Christine's B&B cafe

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By the second or third day, I have forgotten the date, the existence of the modern world faded into the recesses of my mind as some long past memory. The sights, sounds and smells of the island fill me with eerily familiar feelings. The flora mimics closely the southern California environs; startling fuchsia bougainvilleas cascade over terraced walls, the dusty green of olive trees compliment oleanders in full bloom.

island oleander

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hibiscus

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The height of the stay is the exhilaration of riding a sleek silver scooter through the winding narrow roads up and down the mountainous terrain lushly covered in grapevines, native grasses and wildflowers.

Christine on scooter

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The smell of sulfur plays undertone to the many pleasant orders of cooking and the ever-present herbs. This is the island known Mediterranean-wide as being the healing spa, its numerous caldera vents heating the sea in natural pools of varying degree. Even the Il Fungi has one, the sea warms as you slip by underwater along its perimeter.
The residents take great pride in the offerings of their shores. Restaurants are nestled in small alleyways and along the sea, smell of garlic and crisp crusty bread inviting the passerby to rest under the shade of a straw umbrella and sip a Peroni lager whilst enjoying the best pizza in the world.

seaside cafe- San Angelo


Hotel/spa by the sea -San Angelo

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Stores close from one to five allowing the island to rest in the cool shade under colorful awnings or retreat into the welcome dim of hotel room or spa.

San Angelo- shops in the cliffs


Therapeutic thermal spa

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corner adornment

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Tile is the choice of flooring as well as décor. It is soothing on weary feet and beautiful adornment to walls and storefront.

Tiles as decor

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ceramic mask embedded in wall
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Civilization heralds from before the Roman Empire. Many visitors since have lingered making this place home. There is a supernatural feel to sea and air, accepting all who come here into its warm embrace. As I head for Rome, I am sad to leave this largely undiscovered island. Setting for an upcoming novel, it will fill the pages with riches beyond monetary wealth. Come along with me to an place bathed by turquoise sea, home to one of summers most prestigious film festivals and respite for the weary urban dweller.

Poseidon
Image By C London

Christine by pool- Villa Campo

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Villa Campo second story
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Lacco Ameno at twilight

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