Some of my warmest memories of Amalfi come from remembering the many times I would sit at my window looking towards that enchanting view.
In the morning, the sea below was always crystal clear with the waves washing gently on to the beaches. Quite often I would be brought out of my sleep by the gentle putt-putting sound of fishing boats returning from a night at sea. I loved to watch them land with their catch, a few locals would come to meet them to have their pick of whatever fish they had caught, but disappeared when they saw the local fishmonger arriving in his little ‘ape‘ (the three-wheeled vehicle whose engine sounded like the humming of bees – ape in Italian). As the sun reached its Heaven, our most important visitor was the Faraglione, a sleek, white ferry boat come to carry travellers along our coast to Capri. This boat always gave out a long call to Amalfi on its deep horn and often I would see neighbours leaning from their windows to wave hands and handkerchiefs in welcome. Another sound came from some women who laid out their bedding from their windows or balconies and then beat the sheets and blankets probably with a wicker instrument. More music came from the buses, with their unique baba-baba-baba as they made their way from the piazza along the coast road.
At night, my children asleep and my husband working late, I could then look down at the evening passeggiata (walk), with groups talking and gesticulating in animated fashion, couples strolling hand-in-hand, while others less energetic, would sit and gaze, possibly gossiping about the passers-by. The sea would be dotted with little boats carrying lights to attract shoals of anchovies for the fishermen, while more bright lights twinkled on distant shores across the Bay.
In my imagination I return there most days, but nothing can give me back those never-to-be-forgotten moments.