5 days of luxury

Amalfi, Italy
Monday, May 22, 2006

I took my usual morning constitutional down the main street and into the square of Amalfi while the town was waking up. This is a very cool part of the day as you only ever meet locals and never tourists. I had a superb cup of coffee and pastry for breakfast from a cute little cafe in the town square (I have learned to have them at the bar and save two euros). I took a fresh baked pastry back to the apartment and waved it under the BOSS's nose while she slept. She ungraciously rejected my offerings and rolled over and went back to sleep.

When the BOSS and the Boys eventually appeared we all sat down and discussed shopping for the next five days. As the Boys had volunteered to do all the cooking, we sent them on a mission to do all the shopping. They returned an hour and a half later with a quarter of a days food supply. We sacked them from shopping duties.

The BOSS and I went exploring and came across an old paper mill which had been partly restored by the museum. Our excellent guide Margot explained how the mill had produced paper from old cotton clothes since the Chinese had introduced the idea hundreds of years ago. There had been sixty seven cotton paper mills in Amalfi producing the highest quality artist's paper and writing paper, but now there are only two. The workers had operated the machinery in the harshest conditions, many suffering deafness and frostbite. It was one of the best museum tours I have ever done.

Next week there is an election in Italy and at frequent intervals the candidates have been campaigning with loud speakers and other attention seeking devices. Occasionally during the morning there had been loud explosions and I had put it down to more electioneering. However Margot informed us that today was actually a special celebration day for Amalfi and the explosions were part of a procession which would be coming down from the church at the top of the hill later that evening.

Later in the afternoon, the BOSS and I explored the cathedral (which was remarkably well preserved) and then we headed down to Amalfi beach to go for a dip. As the water was bitterly cold, the BOSS was the only one brave enough to go for a swim.

The Boys had cooked us a lovely pasta meal and then we watched the procession of Maria Santa del ?? (sorry I'll have to look it up later). For a small town Amalfi has a great marching band and later on that night fireworks were heard all around town.

01 Museum Garden
Museum Garden
02 Margot making paper
Margot making paper
04 Old paper press
Old paper press
06 Paper mill
Paper mill
07 Our apartment
Our apartment
08 Our apartment again
Our apartment again
11 Church cloisters
Church cloisters
13 Missing faces
Missing faces
17 cool gate
cool gate
19 Inside the church
Inside the church
20 Cherub with attitude
Cherub with attitude
23 Fountain
24 Mmmmmmmm
28 The Barber
The Barber
29 So called tourist office - one brochure only
So called tourist office - one brochure only
33 Matt and the BOSS
Matt and the BOSS
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