Our adventure to the land of pasta and vino started with a very early morning and a lengthy layover. Matt and I were out the door of our B&B around 3:30 AM so I was extremely surprised to find that our wonderful innkeeper was also awake and making us to-go mugs of coffee! We returned our rental car and hopped on the quick puddle jumper flight back to DC. Coincidentally enough, we had a ten hour layover at Dulles Airport which meant that we easily could have cabbed back to our home in Arlington and relaxed and then cabbed back to the airport with time to spare. However, that meant we would have had to re-check our bags, go through security again and spend around $80 total on cab fares so we decided to just kick it in the first class United lounge and eat their free food.
I actually didn’t mind the long layover because it gave Matt and I a chance to reminisce about the wedding, take a few naps and dream about our upcoming two weeks in Italy.
This was our first time flying business class (wedding gift from a friend) and it did not disappoint. I’m sure everyone could tell it was our first time since I insisted on taking pictures of everything. No measly paper or plastic cups for business class – you get your tea in an actual ceramic mug! And they gave us free socks. #overjoyed.
We watched a couple movies then slept for a few hours, which was made much easier by the fact that the seats laid flat. The flight was very smooth and before I knew it we were eating breakfast, flying over the Alps and preparing to land in Rome. Once we grabbed our bags at baggage claim we headed off to find the train station. Although neither of us spoke Italian we found the Fiumicino Airport easy to navigate. We took a 45 minute train ride to a different station where we caught the Frecciarossa high speed ‘bullet’ train for our 2.5 hour ride to Salerno.
Once we reached Salerno I knew we had one final leg of our journey (an hour long bus ride along the rocky coast) but I was starting to fade. We had been traveling for almost 30 hours at this point and the language barrier, heavy luggage and non-existent to-go coffees were starting to wear on me. Little did I know that for my first surprise of the trip my husband rented us a driver to take us straight to our hotel in Atrani! As unromantic as that sounds it was actually the sexiest gift ever. I couldn’t have been more thrilled and relieved. We both love taking public transportation when we travel but at this point, boarding a bus with all our luggage and 60 of our closest friends did not sound appealing.
We reached our hotel and had some help carrying our luggage to our room. If you’ve ever traveled to the Amalfi coast you know that you cannot get anywhere without climbing steps. The towns are built into the sides of mountains and it’s not unusual to climb a set of 50-60 steps just to get to your front door.
Matt and I showered, napped, unpacked, drank champagne and relaxed after checking into our hotel room. We woke up and forced ourselves to go to dinner around 8:00 PM. We knew we had to stay up in order to get our bodies adjusted to the 6 hour time difference but I was so wiped out. This is one of the more unattractive, and hilarious, photos of me I’ve seen in a long time but I had to post it because it really captured how unbelievably exhausted I was.
The next day we had big plans to visit the town of Amalfi so after watching the fireworks on the beach, we headed to bed and slept for 13 hours…
On our first full day in Italy we walked from our town of Atrani to the larger town of Amalfi. It was a short, 15 minute walk and was peppered with beautiful views of the rocky coastline and lovely Italian grandmothers doing their grocery shopping for the day.
We loved our little town but there wasn’t much to see or do and if you needed any groceries or wanted to peruse local shops you had to walk to Amalfi. Most of our time on the coast was spent relaxing, drinking wine, spending time together and eating delicious food.
Curious about the rest of our trip? Read about Part II, Part III and Part IV!