This weekend four friends and I took a trip to the Amalfi coast. We took a train around 8:20 Saturday morning and got to Salerno around 12. Two of my friends had to take a later train because ours got full, so they arrived around 2. While we were waiting, we got lunch and gelato by the sea. I got a calzone for a euro and then got gelato so we could use their wifi. Dark chocolate gelato is the BEST.
Once our friends arrived, we went to our hostel. It only cost 13 euros per person for one night, and we got lucky and had a five person room to ourselves. It was very eclectic and had weird artwork and graffiti, but it was just fine for a cheap one night stay. It was only a 10 minute walk from the train station and had dorm style rooms and hall bathrooms. I would advise those traveling in Europe to bring your own hand soap or hand sanitizer, because many of the restrooms around town had none. Also a lot of them didn’t have toilet paper, or not very much.
We got settled in, locked up our bags, and made a plan for the night. I went exploring the town with two friends, while the other two took a nap. We ended up walking all the way across Salerno, totaling around 9 miles I think. First, we walked along the beach, which had black sand and pebbles. We also picked up some sea glass that was scattered around. It was beautiful.
We found a cool little alleyway that had a bunch of beautifully written quotes on the walls by a poet named A. Gatto. He apparently was from Salerno and was a very important writer. And since gatto is cat in Italian, there were also little cats painted on the walls, too.
We then went to the botanical garden and took a break from all the walking. We saw where another couple had gotten married and I snapped a photo of their getaway car, which was just like the one we saw in Fiesole.
We then peeked inside the duomo, where several sarcophagi are housed, including the remains of St. Matthew. It was gorgeous.
We decided to stop at a cute pizzeria and met up with our other two friends. It was very good and had free wifi. I really love how the pizza here is served not by the slice or a pie to share, but little individual pizzas. Whenever you eat out in Italy, know that it’s not customary to tip your waiter, they charge you to sit down, and you have to know the right way to order water or orange juice. “Aranciata” will get you orange soda, but “spremuta di arancia” will get you fresh orange juice. If you order water, they will bring you a large bottle that will cost money, but if you ask for “acqua del rubinetto,” they will give you tap water.
We then walked a block or two over to a gelateria that the lady at our hostel recommended/insisted that we go to. It had brioche (sweet) buns filled with GELATO. Like an amazing Italian dream of an ice cream sandwich. It was so good! On our way back to the hostel, we passed a puppet show with a bunch of kids watching. As we walked along, we could see the beautiful lights of the city on the mountain reflecting on the water. It was a beautiful day.
Once we got there, we calculated what time we needed to leave, and headed toward a caffe. There, I got a cappuccino and a lemon cream-filled cake for breakfast. This weekend was full of sugar, might I add.
We then wandered around a little street until the stairs became too much for us (we were carrying all our stuff on our backs). We went straight to the nearest beach access area, picked a spot in the shade along the wall, and plopped our stuff down. The weather was warm, the water clear and cool, and we had nothing to do but soak it all in. This was a pebble beach, a little hard to walk on, as your feet sank in with each step, but much easier to clean up afterward. No sticky sand on your feet or in your bathing suit! After a lovely afternoon of soaking up the sun, we ferried back to Salerno, got some more calzones and gelato, and boarded the train back to Florence. It was an amazing first weekend trip abroad!
P.S. My gelato was Nutella flavored, but I’m pretty sure it was just a giant heap of pure Nutella on a cone. It was amazing.