Sorry for the long delay in posting, the internet connections have been slow the last few spots we've been. We are just finishing up the Amalfi coast after a week in Toscano (Tuscany). We were staying in Lucingnano, a small medieval town outside of Siena that was our base for our travels around Tuscany. Another set of friends joined us at the last minute, so there were eight of us there together. Luigi, the owner of our castle within Lucignano, was a doll and welcomed us warmly and gave us a partial tour of the 35 room home he inherited from his father and his grandfather before him.
In Tuscany, we visited Siena, San Gimignano, Volterra, Perugia, Assisi, Orvieto, and Civita. Civita was our favorite. It is a little tiny town that can only be accessed by foot (or horse or donkey or probably motor scooter for locals). Only about a dozen or so folks actually live there, but the town is so picturesque and rustic, we fell in love with it. Assisi probably takes the prize for the cutest town, and Volterra for views that stretch to the Mediterranean.
We dropped some of our group off at Piombino on the coast and then drove south past Naples to the Amalfi coast. We accidentally got off in Naples which was an hour detour through the scariest traffic any of us have ever experienced. Bob, who was driving, is now part of a special club of the INTS (Internationale Napoli Traffico Surviali). We all agreed he should get a special T-shirt. There was a lot of screaming in the car that night.
We then had to navigate the twisting roads of the coast to get to Priano, which is just outside of Positano, at night. Our nerves made us wonder if we should have bagged the Amalfi coast. However, the views from our rooms had us changing our minds in minutes. Our room had a big terrace looking out over the night sky with the moon shining in and the fragrance of flowers, olives, and other herbs coming in along with the sea air. We slept with our terrace doors open all night, and awoke to a sunrise (surprisingly we are on a hook that faces east) that was beyond spectacular. It was paradise.
One day we drove to Paestum where there is nearly an entire city of Greek ruins that are over 2500 yrs old. They are some of the best preserved Greek ruins available. Words escaped us all in trying to described what we saw. Pictures will help, but not do it justice. The next day we spent on the beach soaking up the sun in Positano. The third full day we popped over to Capri, took a boat ride around the island, and then went to the other side of the island and rode a chair lift up to the top (about 1800 feet above the shore) and had a view of the whole island as well as the mainland! It was pretty incredible.
The weather has been warm and sunny here (though we had a few gray days in Tuscany). Now we are off to Rome tomorrow for the last week of our trip. It will be good to be home, but we know we have to come back!