Meeting Dale outside Mickey Dee’s at Napoli station, it was so good to see a familiar face. Tickets bought, we boarded our train bound for Salerno. In 40 minutes we managed to catch up on all the gossip, flat updates and solve the world’s problems, and then boarded our bus for Atrani, the last leg of the trip before we could put our feet firmly on Amalfi Coast soil for a week.
Atrani, our village home for a week, is a 10 minute walk from Amalfi and the place owns a large part of my heart. This was to be my fourth stay there and every time I return and walk through the piazza I fall in love a little bit more.
Stepping inside A’Scalinatella and being greeted by the owners, two brothers, Filippo and Gabriele, I feel like I’m visiting family. “Ciao Ana-Maria! Welcome back!”. Small talk over, Dale and I wasted no time dropping our bags and high-tailing it to the beach to work on our tan’s and swim in the sea. As always with Europe, all shapes and sizes were parading in the smallest of bikini’s and speedo’s. I love that about this side of the world, they flaunt it even when they haven’t got it. High five to that!
Sun disappearing, Dale and I took our tan’s over to Amalfi, and I introduced him to the utter deliciousness of lemon granita, before heading back to the piazza in Atrani and then introducing him to two of my favourite Italians, Luigi and Luigi, no not a typing error, two cousins with the same name who own Bar Birecto, and who’s cafe I spend a good majority of my time at whenever I visit. They are your typical Southern-Italian boys, the biggest flirts, but completely harmless, and they are part of what make’s Atrani so great to return to. Filling our quota of people watching, we retired to bed.
The following day, Cath, another of our flatmates arrived. And so the cycle repeated, drop bags, head to the beach, top up tan, swim, walk to Amalfi, purchase lemon granita, sit on the church steps to devour the granita, and back to Atrani for dinner. Exhausting! 🙂
Our group was complete the next day when yet another housemate aka Dale’s fiance, Aimee arrived, followed by my friend Jo. That evening was the first night of the Atrani fish festival, and for a small village these guys know how to make things fun! The piazza was packed, perfect for our favourite pastime – people watching, they even had a band playing on a stage at the beach.
I won’t bore you with the following days details and I’m guessing you can probably imagine how the order of events went by now! However, that evening was the final night of the fish festival, and whilst sitting at Bar Birecto it turned out I wasn’t the only person due to celebrate my birthday the following day. An extremely vibrant Italian called Vincenzo, explained in broken English that he too shared August 26 as his birth date, and insisted we had a midnight countdown and champagne to celebrate. Corks popped, Happy Birthday was sung in English and Italian, photos were taken and at the same time the fish festival’s finale was in full swing, so we made our way down to the beach to watch the spectacular fireworks display.
Happy Birthday to me! ….