Yes, I’d fallen in love with Amalfi within hours of our arrival, but it was only when we finally found our own home there on the hillside, that my dream was realised. From those windows we looked down to the coast road, the beaches, all of the Bay of Amalfi, the open sea beyond and the hills of Cilento on the horizon. All of life seemed to pass there; horses pulled their carozze, people strolled, stopped to chat, ate their ice-creams, sat to take in the views and note who was walking with who. My boys could play with all our neighbours’ children on that ‘private’ road with almost no outside intrusion. Our neighbours became such good friends, always with a smile, always ready to help. Every day was a good day.
“On the floor below us lived Don Biagio with his wife and four children. Every morning he set out for his work as a guide to the island of Capri. In those days there was only one ferry to take passengers from Amalfi, but how impressive it was! This long, white-painted boat called the ‘Faraglione’ came from Salerno and would loom into sight around the curve of the Bay, giving a loud salute to the town from its siren before sailing majestically into the port. There were always onlookers at various windows, waving hankies to greet this familiar visitor, who was an old friend to many of the townspeople, but a figure of mystery and adventure to some old- timers who had never ventured on the hour-long cruise to Capri.”
You’d never find so much as a cigarette-end on this road, swept and scrubbed every day and when it was freshly washed no-one was allowed to walk past until it was dry.