07 June 2014

Amazing Amalfi

The final day of our "Spring in Italy" tour was spent travelling 
via the stunningly scenic Amalfi coast 
to Naples where we boarded the train back to Rome.

The Amalfi Drive is known as "the road with a 1001 turns" 
and the most precipitous in Europe.
We were very thankful for the skill of our excellent driver,
 Roberto as he navigated his van around all those hairpin bends ...

There were picture perfect panoramas to admire 
at every twist and turn ...

So much to take in - the cliff side dwellings,
the pretty bays with azure water, the wild flowers and roses 
growing down the slopes,
the little boats ferrying folk to and from Sorrento and Positano ...

But it was morning coffee time and thanks to Libby's connections 
we were able to enter the exclusive Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel 
at Conca dei Marini. 

This luxury boutique hotel has just 20 rooms 
and a real "you have to see to believe" WOW factor!

A former 17th century monastery the nuns used to make
delectable desserts here, including a cream filled pastry called sfogliatelle, which is still made today, using the original recipe.

The structural integrity of the building has been maintained and a serene ambience emanates as you wander along from the 
cool tiled passageways.

The current owner Bianca Sharma is an American who has devoted the past 14 years restoring what was a crumbling structure she spotted whilst sailing with friends in the bay below and knew 
"she simply had to buy it". 
Her dismayed sons suggested it was a "pull down and rebuild", but she has persevered and created a most tasteful and tranquil 
hotel with an utterly superb terraced garden.
Not sure if it is a fact, but an online article states her head gardener is also the Pope's at his summer residence 
at Castel Gandolfo.

Apparently the first guests were Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Charlene who christened the infinity pool. 
Not difficult for her as former Olympic swimmer.

The rose covered terraces are quite lovely ...

Our morning coffee was graciously served in this superb setting 
with the appropriate china. 

Thank you Libby for including this special stop on our Amalfi Drive.

The landscaping is a visual feast for the eyes on every level

So this seems a perfect place to bid farewell to our happy and harmonious group - thanks to you all for the happy days 
and the loads of fun and laughter.

One last look at the Amalfi 
before I head off on my own to Venice ...


1 comment:

  1. It all looks sensational. Thank you Joanna for sharing highlights of your heavenly Italian tour. Looking forward to further updates. Elizabeth.