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It's Raining in Rome While I Reminisce About the Amalfi


I woke way too early this morning at around 4:00 a.m. and my mind began to wander without stopping. The plan was to be up early to head over to Piazza del Popolo (3th century AD) by 7:30 to beat the crowds. The famous Piazza is known for trident roads, one of which leads to Trevi fountain. When we were last there, the fountain was crowded with hundreds of people and it took away from the beauty and elegance of the experience. So, I got up at 6:00 and dressed. I put the water on for tea (required espresso comes later), opened the patio ceilling-to-floor door to discover that it was pouring rain in the dark early morning. Instead, I sat with my tea on the covered patio to watch and listen to the rain. Rain is so rare in drought-ridden California and I miss it enormously.


My friend and I returned to her apartment in Rome a couple days ago after spending four days on the island of Ischia in one of the most beautiful and relaxing spots I'ver ever been to. It's so difficult to describe the color of the sea. When you look straight down at it from the cliff, it throws the most incredible shade of jade. It's also deep blue jade and so clear. I was worn out when we arrived. I'd been non-stop since four months back and then arriving in Rome, where the blogging for 7-days on behalf of Nonprofit, SMOV was my priority. In a former blog, I mentioned ending up in the hospital after climbing the Cupola and suffering from severe dehydration and nearly passed out on the marble floor of the Cathedral. Goodness, it was quite traumatic and dramatic. Milena and I both needed recovery time in Ishcia and on our return to Rome. Back in Rome the next morning, it consisted of a quick trip to the market for basics and in the afternoon, we walked to the Villa Ada park for a stroll on a warm afternoon.



So, to give a bit of story on our trip to Ischia where we had a travel day of taxi, train, boat, and long taxi ride to our gorgeous hotel, I knew I wanted to be still and bask in the beauty to enjoy much-needed R&R. I spent the days coming down the hill from Villa Maria after breakfast on the patio to gaze at the sea to then stroll along the path of a charming village to the beach where you rent a lounge chair that has a cover overhead. I can't remember the last time I relaxed on a beach. Probably Playa del Carmen with SMOV in 2018. Back home, I exercise by the beach but the ocean is too cold and murky for a tropical girl like me.


While the sea is spectacular and so clear on Ischia, it is chilly this time of year and I love warm, tropical ocean. However, the next day when the clouds broke and a warm sun was shining, determined to swim, I made my way in s-l-o-w-l-y and pushed myself to get in or I'd regret it. I finally plunged and swam around the large rock formation (the other side of which was boundless sea) three times before getting out with goosebumps. I was certainly refreshed and happy to have made it in an ocean of such a unique blue.



When we researched where our base ought to be so we could tour the Amalfi, four areas came up. Milena had heard about Ischia from the series, "My Brillant Friend". I was searching the internet and randomly came across Villa Maria (very reasonable rate) not knowing where on the island it'd be, the surroundings, etc., but it turned out to be the most desirable area of the island (Saint Angelo at the end) and right on the sea. It's also a far more quaint spot and quiet, not at all overly crowded like Positano and Amalfi remains to be. We really lucked out. The sunset from our deck was out-of-this-world.



We did a day's tour (12 hours all-in-all) of Positano and Amalfi. Taxi to the boat and a two hour boat ride on to Positano. When the boat approaches the harbor of Positano, you can't help but catch your breath. It's so stunning.



Touring around Positano was such a delight and a place I had been dreaming of and envisioning for decades. I had to stop myself in my tracks to remind myself of another manifested dream. Pure loveliness. We were back on the boat to the next destination of Amalfi, which was also beautiful but not quite the rival of Positano. We lunched at a seaside restaurant on the beach and I had gnochi in Amalfi that was covered in a rich tomato sauce My, it was good. It was all so magnificent and a memory to hold close to the heart.


I hope you've enjoyed taking this tour with me that consists of only a bit of the stoies to tell on my adventures in Italy this fall. Everything from high drama to restful relaxation. That's what traveling overseas in a foreign country and culture is all about. :)


Keep on swimming through life,

Valerie Anne



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