After accomplishing our “dish mission” in Positano, we headed down the Amalfi Coast for Villa Velina. We had thoroughly enjoyed our short stay in this town, that will always and forever hold a piece of our hearts, but this day would mark the very first time we would stay overnight at Villa Velina and stay for more than an hour! We had driven from Positano to Casalvelino before with Luisa, our realtor, but this would be the first time on our own.
I had the distinct advantage of being able to gawk at the scenery, while George had the huge responsibility of making sure we made it there alive as he deftly navigated the narrow areas and blind hairpin curves of this absolutely magnificent stretch of road that was designed and installed first by the Greeks and later improved by the Romans. “They sure knew how to live”, I thought as I benefited from the views of such beauty that were beyond description. Back in the day, we’re talking horse traffic, so there was no need for these roads to be very wide.
It was stormy and a bit overcast along the Amalfi Coast that day, but nothing can take away from the spectacular experience (except maybe if you try to do this in July/August when these towns are bulging with tourists and the Amalfi Coast Road is gridlocked. And you get to back your car around a hairpin curve because a tourist bus cannot fit. We saw amazing sites along the way.
Then, we reached Salerno. From this point on, we would be driving our local turf through Bufalo Mozzarella territory and the roads would get more and more provinciale until we reached Villa Velina.
As we skirted around Salerno and continued our journey, we could see the skies brighten, until a beautiful blue sky with an interesting cloud formation appeared near Paestum. It was just magical!
As we got off the Provinciale Autostradale 18, we could barely contain our excitement! Just a couple of kilometers and we would be home in Italy (casa in Italia)!! As George drove, I took some initial shots of our town. There had just been a storm and the skies were so dramatic.
After a left turn (gira sinister) and ride up the hill, we identified our dirt road (strada bianca) and turned right. The name of our street is painted on the gray pole: Via San Nicola (Saint Nicolas Street or Santa Claus Way).
We drove down our strada bianca and as we turned right to enter our driveway, this view was waiting for us. At this point, the driveway takes a very sharp turn to the left. Anyone missing it (due to the beverages they chose to drink or inattention), will suddenly find themselves tumbling 300 feet down the hillside into town!
Ahhh, Villa Velina at last! As we entered our Casa Dolce Casa (home sweet home), she gave us the views that will always possess our minds when we leave and keep us coming back!