Atrani so beautiful

Trip Start May 05, 2011
Trip End May 17, 2011

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Flag of Italy  , Campania,
Friday, May 13, 2011

Today our tour guide was Maria. I loved her.  The first city stop was Atrani.  This village was smaller than Amalfi and it was very "local" only 5000 people live there.   It is an isolated fishing village, the only one left on the Amalfi coast.  We talked about how difficult it is to live there.  You buy groceries daily because the climb to your home is long.  When asking the value of a home or a place to rent the first question should always be “How many steps.”  The fewer the steps the more expensive the property.  Interesting.  The village way located between two mountain sides so it was called the “dark city”.  A couple of people decided to have a cappuccino while the rest of us continued on to the church in the town which was quite a climb.  It was lovely.  The main church was very high up on the mountain and on the special occations when the entire town ascends to the church all the people that live along the way open their homes to give everyone a place to stop and rest and have food and drink while they are on their way to the church.  What a community.  Maria told us that the children had a hard time leaving because of the culture.  They didn't want to leave their Momma’s.

Because Maria has friends in high places we were allow to visit the government  building which used to be a palace of an aristocrat when we reached the town of Maiori. The original frescos were still there and we were told the story by the police officer about the meaning of the paintings.  Actually he told Maria in Italian and she told us in English.  Very interesting.   This was a fairly modern city.  The streets were flatter than any other place we had visited.  The water that runs through the city and devides the street is their curse as well as the reason for their abundance.  The town has been flooded several times claiming entire families.

Families were everywhere.  Small children and babies.  Much easier to raise a baby here. We sat and ate lunch and continued our march to Naples.

 We stopped in the city of Vietri Sul Mer . Very small but just a beautiful as the other cities and the coast line was amazing.  Onward ho.  Next was Raito know for their ceramics, Beautiful.  The architecture of the largest pottery factory was very interesting.  Maria did not take us in though because she said that the people who owned it were not nice people and she was embarrassed at how they treated the guest and how they treated the workers.  So to Naples we go.

Naples is good to see….from  a distance.  The place is a mess.  They have problems with their garbage because they have no place to put it.  So… it is piled to the sky on the side of the road, ruining the beauty that lies beneath.  They have a beautiful coast line and a couple of amazing castles but it is hard to see them because of the trash. We purchased a hop on hop off bus tour for tomorrow but have decided to stay in and sleep to get ready to prepare for our departure.  This isn’t a city that you want to hang out in.  I feel bad for the lovely people who are trying to make a living her because it must be very hard.  3 biggest city in the world.  We had our good bye dinner at a pizza restruant that was wonderful.  I am going to miss everyone so much.  This has been an incredible adventure with some amazing people.  We are having our reunion at Marv’s house.  Terry is organizing it.  This was a trip that will have a life time of memories.  One day of sleep, then good-bye Italy.  So sad.
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