Amalfi Coast

July 3, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | TRAVEL | 1 Comment |

Painting by Edmund Berninger, 1929

(May 2013)

We started the day well, with a very fast and comfy train, replete with champagne, from Rome to Naples.  But then we were emptied at Naples station where an old gent showed us to a shop, where a young fellow, probably the grandson, sold us tickets on a local caboose to Sorrento.  P spent the trip standing at 10 degrees off perpendicular, and L was groped.


In Tasso’s town, we caught a hotel jalopy that took us up a 60 degree slope on a nerve-twanging single road to the Art Hotel Gran Paradiso, a chichi, vaguely Bohemian pile on a mountain, looking towards Vesuvius.


Drinks, a pool, views of the Amalfi coast, taking sun and alternately shade in a gentle, anabatic breeze, eating and drinking while the sun went down and some fireworks went up.  Squisito.


After some days where we wended hither and thither along the picturesque cliffs, we arranged, in halting italiano, a voyage to Capri, where the Emperor Augustus enjoyed “rest and social diversions” and Tiberius enjoyed porn and sadism, according to Suetonius.


However, that was cancelled.  We believe the ship’s captain wanted to watch the Sorrento leg of the Giro d’Italia, pace the proffered excuse of inclement weather, unless that means sun, slight soughing breezes, warm and dry….

Thomas Fearnley, Grotto De Madre

Thomas Fearnley, Grotto De Madre

P felt like some potentially important Hollywood hack, correcting his proofs of Tranquillity by the Sorrento pool.


The rocky coast, with its vertiginous drops, inspire now as then.  Here’s some early Corot:


As local boy Torquato Tasso wrote (in Now the Waves Murmur):

O beautiful and gracious Aurora,
The breeze is your messenger, and you the breeze’s
Which revives each burnt-out heart.


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