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LA DOLCE VITA. . .REVISITED

September 17th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Destiny has covered about 10,000 NM since she was first dropped into Naples Bay from the transport ship that delivered her to us in April, 2009.  Since we started our “Med Adventure” in Italy, there is some nostalgia associated with returning. 

Destiny is lowered from the Yacht Path ship on a rainy April day, 2009.

Santa Maria de Leuca was one of the last Italian ports we visited in July, 2009 before we headed to Croatia, and was our arrival point for our return from Greece.  Reflecting on the differences between then and now, the biggest change has been in us.

When we first arrived in the Med everything was a little scary.  We were not accustomed to anchoring in really deep water, and Med mooring where you back stern to into a slip either dropping your anchor or picking up lines tailed from the quay was a total nightmare.

Destiny Med moored in Ischia, Italy 2009

There was difficulty communicating.  Most Italians speak very little English even in predominantly tourist areas, and those who do prefer not to and will make you struggle with their language while feigning incomprehension.  So far, that has not changed.

However, the climate is wonderful.  The food is wonderful–proscuitto, parmesan and local wine.  The perched villages with their Venetian forts and towers lend a magical touch to the coastline.

The Medieval town of Agropoli, September, 2011

We have now traveled both north and south through the Straits of Messina.  We have anchored in places we would never have considered three years ago, and actually slept through the night.  Revisting Vibo Valentia, just north of the Straits, I was disappointed that a favorite butcher was closed for vacation, but delighted in improvements made to Marina Stella del Sud, where Angie (a Canadian who speaks excellent English) and her Italian husband greeted us with homemade pasta from their own lunch.

As much as things change, they stay the same.  One of our favorite anchorages in 2009 was just southeast of Capo Palinura where we stopped for just one night heading south. 

Late arrival to Capo Palinuro, June 2009

We had no idea that we would still be in the Med in 2011 and were driven to see as much as possible as quickly as possible.  Now, we are more laid back—more “Italian” in spirit. 

Anchorage at Palinuro is crowded mid-day. . .

but by dusk we are one of four boats. . .same as June, 2009,

We climbed the hundreds of steps to see the view from the top of the Cape, snorkled among the rocks and visited caves—yes, more caves.  There are caves everywhere in the Med.  And yet, every experience is unique. 

We had to wait for other boats to exit the largest cave. . .

before entering in the dinghy.

No where is La Dolce Vita more evident than on the Amalfi coast.  We arrived at Positano yesterday on a hot, hazy summer afternoon.

On a hazy September day we anchored off Positano

. . .where the beach was packed with people trying to stay cool.

We anchored off a beach that was little more than a rock crevase in the vertical shore that towered over us.

In the morning Positano was bathed in sunlight.

In the morning Positano was bathed in sunlight.

No matter how many times you see this coast, it is never the same twice.  Some days are crystal clear and others cloaked in a haze so thick it is hard to make out buildings on the shore.  There are billowy white clouds hanging over the mountains that draw the eye up to the heavens, while caves and rocky outcroppings draw you back to earth.  Villages of all sizes dot the hillsides, with church bell towers and steeples scattered throughout.  At the very top of mountain ridges you see palatial residences and hotels– the cherry on top of the icing that slides down the hillside in the form of soft pastel houses, blending one into another.

And then there is the town of Amalfi–I could live here. . .if only I spoke Italian!

Amalfi. . .la dolce vita!!!

“La Dolce Vita”–Life is definitely good.

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