As I shared in an earlier post, the guide that picked us up from the train station in Naples and drove us to Amalfi was an Italian named Salvatore. During the one and half hour drive he educated us on the sights along the way, taught us how to correctly pronounce some of the little Italian that we knew, as well as teaching us some new Italian words and phrases. He also serenaded us like a gondolier in Venice! During this time we began to connect with him and feel very comfortable around this “stranger”. It is funny describing him that way now after just three days of being around him, because both Beth and I now consider he and his lovely wife Katharine to be friends.
Salvatore was our guide for our first day in Amalfi, but his wife Katharine was our guide on the second day. Katharine grew up in California, but has lived in Italy more than half of her life, so she is bilingual was able to and help us even more with our Italian. After spending a day with Katharine, it was easy to see why her and Salvatore are together. For starters, they are what I call “good people” – they are kind and caring in a true way. And they also compliment each other.
Our day with Katherine was as enjoyable as our time with Salvatore and as the day continued on, we were feeling connected to her as we had done with Salvatore. While the sights she took us to that day were gorgeous, the highlight of the day was being invited to their beautiful hillside home overlooking the Amalfi Coast for a lunch cooked by Salvatore (along with some of his home made wine of course).
It was a delicious lunch, but the view and the company of Katharine and Salvatore made it even better.
Day three of our stay in Amalfi was to be a fullday private boat charter, but some rainy weather forced us to cancel that. Instead, we had Salvatore back as our guide. He took us to the Reale winery in Tramonti and drove us through the mountain city of Ravello. During this drive we learned that it was his birthday. We asked him how he was going to celebrate, and he just shrugged and said nothing special. Well, somehow between that moment and before the end of our day we were invited to dinner with he, Katherine, and his nephew, also named Salvatore.
What a treat this was for us! Dining in an Italian trattoria with Italians who didn’t even look at the menu to order. We had a pizza bruschetta, seafood appetizers (with more of the delicious fresh local anchovies – not the terrible sardine-like things we get in the States), two huge bowls of pasta and after all of that, three pizzas to share! I thought I was going to explode! During the feast we had lots of fun and laughter at our table, and our bonding with our new friends continued.
Sadly, this was the last that we would see of Salvatore, but we did get to see Katharine the next day as she drove us from Amalfi back to the train station in Naples where we we off to Venice to start the next chapter of our trip.