Traveling to Italy with Ricky, Ricky, Ricky Part 2

11 Sep


I had to wait until I was seventy-years-young to go on my first overseas vacation. But, who would ever have guessed that I would return to Italy within the year. My first trip was a Leisurely Tuscany Tour with Starr Tour. The second trip was to Benevento and Amalfi with family. Although I truly enjoyed and recommended the first to my friends and family…it was the trip with my family that was the most special. Did my family and I enjoy Amalfi? Did Ricky survive the trip? Am I looking forward to trip#3? Find out after the jump.

Amalfi Coast

After spending a few days in Benevento where we sampled our family history; the culture; friendly people; and delicious food and wine, Uncle Mario, Ricky, JoAnn, Aubrey and me were picked up for the interesting ride to Amalfi. I have to say this. If you can drive the sharp curves, severe winding roads, and tightly packed road conditions of Amalfi, then you can drive anywhere.



Gas is six dollars a gallon, but the people of Italy know how to conserve. Most vehicles, including trucks, are built as compacts and, there are lots of scooters, bicycles, or plain ole foot power to compensate for the high fuel prices. Italians are way healthier than we are and there is no such thing as a “Car Ass” or a “Couch Potato.” The Amalfi Coast consists of a mountainous coastline that is dotted with picturesque towns and buildings clinging to the high cliffs. The streets lead you down to the sea…and the sea….to the Isle of Capri.

Livia Apartment

As soon as we were dropped off in front of our fourth floor apartment that was located at the top of the hill, Uncle Mario began to pester Ricky about checking and double checking the luggage. All bags accounted for; we began our long climb up the steps that led to our apartment. Uncle Mario made it up all four flights, which was amazing considering his age. He did a hell lot better than me. I was huffing and puffing the whole way up, but once we unlocked the door to the Livia Apartment, I knew those freaking steps were well worth it.


The Livia apartment was big enough to house seven people and because it was so high up, we were able to get a great cross breeze with all the windows. This was amazing because there was no air-condition and it was the hottest part of the summer. We went the last two weeks of August, and yet, we never felt the heat. There were also two strategically placed fans to help with air circulation during our stay in the Livia.


The kitchen and dining room looked out onto a beautiful mountain view while the patio looked down onto the street leading into the center of town. The tile floors were stunningly beautiful as were the floating steps leading to the two bathrooms upstairs. The patio was huge and we would sit out there in the early mornings or late evenings and just stare up at the beautiful hills surrounding us.


I don’t know how to explain my reaction to this two-storied apartment except to say that I felt immediately at home. I didn’t sense any spirits or ghosts at this place, but I did feel the building itself speaking to me. As a psychic/medium I often pay attention to what the land has to show me as well as the buildings on that land. There was a sense of joy in this place and I’m guessing that the original owners who lived in this apartment were very happy and that happiness was absorbed by the entire building.


After setting our suitcases down, we got Uncle Mario to try on one of his new outfits. He looked pretty spiffy if I do say so myself. Uncle Mario wanted to get a better view of the hills surrounding our apartment…but his binoculars were in that missing piece of luggage. Poor cousin Ricky got an earful on the lost binoculars during that long walk into the center of town.

The Sights of Amalfi

The streets are so narrow in Amalfi, but in spite of this, traffic flows easily up and down the hills. The cars are small enough to scoot pass the throngs of people, but there is more use of motorbikes and bicycles. Although the walk down towards the center wasn’t bad, when the time came to walk up the steep hill leading to our apartment, Uncle Mario and I opted for the service of the golf carts owned by Di Francesco Cappuccio and E. Alfonso Infante. Those hills are steep and I was still recovery from being sick.


I’m not sure what I was suffering from, but my cousins lovingly nursed me back to health with some good freshly made soup that they brought back for me from one of the neighborhood cafes.


My cousins Ricky and Aubrey decided to use the two days that I was recovering to explore the hills that surrounded us. Some of the homes are so very high up that the only transportation is by donkey. Later that week, Ricky and Joann got some private time together after they rented a motorcycle and toured the outskirts of Amalfi and the surrounding towns.


Once I was back on my feet, we investigated Museum of Paper located a few feet from our apartment. It was pretty damn interesting. It was once owned by the Milano family until Nicholas Milano decided to convert the building into a museum in 1969. The paper was originally made from Egyptian cotton.


The next day we headed further up the hill for our scheduled tour of the lemon grove. We were picked up at our door. Uncle Mario and I were driven to the top of the hill by a cart while the rest of the family took the walking tour. While Uncle Mario and I sipped our cold glass of lemonade and ate our homemade lemon cake, we watched a Korean Realty Show being filmed, but I don’t know who the actress was or what the show was about.


My maternal grandmother only spoke Italian when my cousins and I were children. I understood most of what she said to me, but after she died no one continued to teach us. While in Amalfi, I slowly began to understand what the people were saying and I felt more at ease trying to communicate with as many people as I could. When my attempt at speaking the language failed, I always reverted to Charades.


I made friends with the owners of the little grocery story on our street. It was fun to use my translate app on my phone to order what I wanted. But towards the end of our stay, I could shop without using the app. I was finally re-learning the lingo. Grazie, Nonna!

The final and third part of this blog will be posted in a few days. It will be about our trip to Pompeii and to the Isle of Capri.

5 Responses to “Traveling to Italy with Ricky, Ricky, Ricky Part 2”

  1. Sudhir Chauhan September 13, 2017 at 5:03 am #

    Age is no bar till the time your young….. You have described the place beautifully….. and have given very minute details of the same….. enjoyed reading…..

    • gilbertspeaks September 13, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

      Thank you so very much. I do want to go back, but this time to the town of Maratea where my dad is from

  2. Victoria Marie Lees October 4, 2017 at 10:15 pm #

    The trucks/cars would need to be compacts here, Marie, as the roads are so narrow. I’d have claustrophobia driving here. But then again, I’d probably NOT drive. I’m loving all these photos, my dear! I’ve heard that Italy, France, and Spain don’t have air-conditioning as a rule. I wondered if everyone spoke English or if you spoke Italian. By the way, I’m very good at charades! A good thing since I can’t speak any other language well enough for native speakers to understand me.

    • gilbertspeaks October 5, 2017 at 12:57 am #

      Hi Victoria. The restaurants and hotels have air-conditioning, but our apartment did not. I am so glad you liked the photos.


  1. Gilbert Speaks on Cruises | gilbertspeaks - October 24, 2019

    […] trip was with Starr Tours’ Leisurely Tour of Tuscany, and the second trip was to Benevento and Amalfi with my 92-year-old Uncle Mario and my cousins. The cruise was with Starr Tours, and I went to […]

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