Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Most Beautiful Place on Earth

I have been extremely lucky to be able to travel as much as I have during this abroad trip.  Although I am getting a lot out of my classes during the week, I am getting an incredible experience exploring and discovering new cities and places in Europe during the weekends.  This past weekend, and my favorite so far, Julia and I ventured to the Amalfi Coast of Italy.  We left Florence Thursday night, and spent Friday-Sunday on our trip.  

Capri, Italy

This place is pure bliss - I've never seen anything like it.  The houses and shops are quaint, little colorful buildings all connected together.  Almost every shop owner creates their product by hand from start to finish, whether it's handmade Italian leather sandals or bottles of limoncello.  We had a great time just wandering and getting lost amongst the shops, and conversing with the locals in Italian, as many residents of the Amalfi Coast don't speak much English.

Our first adventure Friday morning was a boat tour around the island of Capri, which would end up at the Blue Grotto.  Our tour guides on the boat were several post-graduates who had studied abroad in Florence or Rome during their college years, and came back to guide current abroad students on adventures such as this one.  They pointed out to us many of Capri's most beautiful sites, including the rocks where the Dolce & Gabbana ads are shot.  We saw Gucci's house, Versace's house, and much more as we soaked up the sun on the boat.  The tour ended at the Blue Grotto, which is a small cave off of Capri where the water is royal blue.  The entire Mediterranean sea surrounding the Amalfi Coast is absolutely gorgeous, crystal clear water, but the Blue Grotto is the most beautiful royal blue I've ever seen.  It gets it's color from the sun shining into the small entrance to the cave, which illuminates royal blue once inside the cave.  We got off the boat in groups of 4 into much smaller row boats, operated by old Italian men that serenaded us the entire journey into the cave.  We were pulled into the cave by metal chain, and had to lie down flat on the boat in order to not get our heads smashed by the cave entrance.  This is what the cave looks like on the inside:

Blue Grotto - Capri, Italy

On Saturday, we spent the day on the beautiful island of Positano.  I didn't think it could get any more beautiful than Capri, but Positano is a close contender.  I would love to have my honeymoon and own property here someday.

Positano, Italy

We got onto a boat on the shore of the island, and went to cliffs about 15 minutes away.  Our guides told us we were going cliff jumping, and I got extremely excited and also slightly nervous.  The cliffs weren't nearly as big as I imagined, but still tall enough to get the adrenaline pumping.  It was probably as high as jumping off of a 3-story house in the suburbs.  The water we jumped into was a beautiful light blue, and was so salty that it really took no effort to keep afloat.  It felt as though I was jumping into the water with a lifejacket on, because the salt water propelled me back up to the surface so quickly.

Positano, Italy

Cliff jumping was definitely a highlight of the weekend.  If and when I return to the Amalfi Coast, I plan on doing it again.  The weekend ended with a tour of Pompeii on Sunday, which was really cool to see and a little educational piece of the trip.  We were unsure of what we were looking at most of the time, since most of the ruins look the same, but we had fun exploring and taking pictures.

Pompeii, Italy

This weekend was absolutely unforgettable, and I can't wait to return to the Amalfi Coast.  It is hands down the most beautiful place I've ever seen, and could easily spend the rest of my life there.  I hope that many of you get the chance to visit during your travels!



  1. This sounds like an amazing little excursion! The water sounds incredible. I really hope to someday get to experience Italy because you are really selling it! It is interesting to read how different all our abroad trips are, especially when it comes to our close travels. Prague is landlocked and makes me miss the water!

  2. It looks like you had an amazing time! I know from my own travel experience that the Amalfi Coast is an extraordinary place full of culture and natural beauty. It sounds like you took advantage of being in Europe and visiting other places when you got the chance. Your post made me want to go back right now!