We recently returned from a lovely week on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, somewhere I’d wanted to visit for years. It’s hard not to have it on the wish list of European holidays after no more than one Google image search – the rocky coastline is incredibly picturesque.
In terms of scenery, the Amalfi coast doesn’t disappoint.
We stayed in a village between Amalfi and Positano called Praiano, which in retrospect was the perfect choice for us. The bigger towns we visited were pretty busy in July, and we were after a bit of relaxation. Praiano is about as calm as a town on the Amalfi Coast can get – the roads are a little bit, ahem, treacherous!
There was a lot about the holiday which would have been a disappointment had we not been somewhere so beautiful – the hotel was pretty naff, the parking was unbelievably bad, the driving was crazy, my knees gave out for a full 2 days of the holiday because of the hundreds and hundreds of stairs… but look at where I got to sit with my knee pain!
Praiano itself was great fun – we had plenty of restaurants to choose from, and a lovely little bar to end our evenings in, with a view of the village church and the cliffs.
The food was amazing – I never realised I had such strong feelings about tomatoes and mozzarella! Caprese salad inspired crochet patterns may be on the horizon.
The church in Praiano became a bit of an obsession for me because of one thing: its roof! I’m dying to make this into a crochet pattern.
There’s something about the crisp white teamed with the almost-navy blue and the mustard, and the geometric pattern which really speaks to me. I can see this becoming a pattern in the future… maybe a cushion cover? What do you think?
The church roof is made of the local ceramics. Ceramics are everywhere in the Amalfi coast – and they’re really gorgeous. We had this little basin on the walk down to our hotel which I was obsessed with.
Over the course of the week we managed to fit in a trip to Sorrento and one to Capri.
Sorrento was pretty busy, and the hairy bus ride getting there had us dealing with a bit of adrenaline come-down when we arrived. Nevertheless, it was really beautiful.
Our trip to Capri didn’t get off to the best start – taking my dodgy knee down 400 steps to the beach to catch the boat wasn’t fun!
The trip over was gorgeous though – the perspective change from the top of the cliffs to the bottom of the cliffs is astonishing. We had a distant view of the famous Faraglioni rocks from our terrace so it was crazy to be taken, er, through them (!) on the boat.
And then we got off the boat to some huge crowds and overpriced cafes… it was tough to keep my short fuse from burning out! But then when we got off the funicular to the main town, Capri was lovely.
We immediately took ourselves away from the bustling crowds in the main square. We had no idea where we were going, other than “away from all the people”. And we found a gorgeous little restaurant with a panoramic view of the sea – I swear, I could feel my blood pressure go down as we sat there.
After lunch we decided to keep away from the crowds and pound some back streets behind the church. The best part of these back streets for me were the sneaky peeks I had into people’s gardens through their gates. Front entrances are so neglected in the UK – often just where people keep their dustbins or park the cars, I think I prefer the Capri approach.
In true Elsie Pop form, I of course found some crochet on our back street walk! We stumbled upon a lovely little shop called Eco Capri.
Eco Capri, like most of the shops we found in Capri, is super high-end – it was SO nice to see crochet items in this kind of place.
The home accessories were all either single-colour or bold stripes. This is so my usual crochet style, I was really excited to see it all put together like this.
I loved the vases of crocheted flowers around the shop too – I’ve made bouquets before, but never thought to crochet the vase as well!
I left the shop – and Capri – feeling fully inspired! A lot of the items in Eco Capri used t-shirt yarn – something I have a lot of, but have never found the ideal project for. The clean lines and bold patterns of these items really gave me food for thought.
On our last day, we had a late (and delayed!) flight home, so we decided to stop at Pompeii for the day – something I had always wanted to do.
Pompeii didn’t disappoint at all. It’s absolutely incredible seeing how much they’ve restored of the original city. It was much more emotional than I expected – above all, Pompeii seems like a normal place. The Romans were spectacularly advanced, and there is so much modernity to the city, which makes the tragedy of the events there feel very close and very real.
It’s a tough place to photograph as – you guessed it – it was super busy! (Note to self: next time, don’t go to this part of Italy in July!)
Don’t worry – there is crochet inspiration there too! Look at this lovely pattern, found in the baths.
The theatre is incredibly well-preserved, and feels huge when you sit in it.
Upon leaving Pompeii, you’re greeted with a great view of the city which really helps convey its size. The sight of Vesuvius looming over the city struck me as really sad.
Oh, I’m all misty-eyed! This is the problem with writing a holiday blog post so long after the actual holiday (sorry!) – I just want to go back!
Until next time,
(A very wistful) Elsie Pop