Coastal Dreams

May 17th, 2018toDecember 17th, 2019

by Ellie Rosa (Stanford University)

A trip to Southern Italy, essentially a dream come true. Who would not want to spend the day lying by the sparkling blue water and meandering from gelateria to café to beach again? The beautiful mountains behind you, the crystal blue water at your feet, it could be the very definition of paradise. Even the hordes of tourists that march in every direction cannot dampen the feeling of utter joy that the Amalfi and Salerno coastlines give to each individual who makes the trek to their shores. These beautiful oceans are accessible to Florentines by train or by bus. Here are some of the experiences I had on my weekend visit; hopefully they will inspire you to leave Florence behind (just for a bit!) and enjoy all that the South of Italy has to offer.

To begin the journey to the coast, I took a train from Florence to Naples, and then from Naples to Salerno. Once in the charming city center of Salerno, it is easy to take a ferry from the pier to any coastal village you desire. I spent the first day of my visit in Salerno, exploring the boutiques bursting with different artisanal assortments and strolling up and down the walkway by the ocean. The stores hosted all matter of fun trinkets and clothing items; everything from hand-made espresso cups to fedoras. The walk took me through trees that provided welcome shade and past two darling restaurants that jutted out directly over the water. The only disappointment in Salerno was the lack of a clean beach. The view of the ocean was stunning no matter where you were, but the beach itself was littered with plastic bottles and did not have an atmosphere suitable for lying out in the sun comfortably. Luckily, I got my fill of beach the next day, in Amalfi.

Taking the ferry to Amalfi was gave me breathtaking views of the mountain towns that are perched to overlook the water and seem ready to topple into the ocean bellow at any minute. Once off the ferry I headed straight to the beach. There was plenty of room for my three friends and I to lie out on the beach and enjoy the sun’s rays, but I was informed by a waiter that later in the summer the beach becomes far too crowded for people to access any patch of it easily. With our own little part of the beach, the afternoon passed magnificently. The simple pleasures of basking in the sun and taking dips into the salty water left everyone smiling. The sun slipped behind the mountains at around six o’clock, and the evening became calm and relaxed as the ocean took on a darker hue. Wandering the town of Amalfi before getting on the ferry to head back to Salerno for the night, life could not have been any more blissful. The Southern coast provided a much needed getaway from the bustle of Florence and I truly believe it will leave anyone who visits breathless with awe and joy.

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