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Mission Italy Impossible

by Ashley Casorio

If you’ve never been to Italy, it’s exactly as you’d imagine it. Amazing views, scenery, and people. I had been once before in college, but hadn’t been back since. When a two-night work trip popped up, I was excited, but immediately exhausted at the thought of it. How would I cram everything into those three days including travel PLUS cram in enjoying everything that I remember loving about Italy? The best thing was that this trip was to the Amalfi Coast. AMALFI!

We landed in Naples and hit the winding and steep road to Ravello. Quaint little shops lined the narrow and winding cobblestone streets that were peppered with mysterious old doors that led to some secret spot. We stopped at Villa Cimbrome and Palazzo Avino and all I can say is that you need to Google them. Wow.

We were tight on time and unfortunately had to jump back in the car for our drive to our hotel in Positano. We, quite literally, wound our way along the coast and finally arrived at Le Agavi which offered different, but equally unreal views of the Mediterranean. The following morning, we boarded a private boat to Capri.

Before arriving at the marina in Capri, we made a quick stop at the Blue Grotto, a little cave known for its dazzling blue waters that looked electric against the dark walls. I’d heard many things about this place, but nothing could have prepared me for what it really is. We docked in a sea of boats, trying to avoid hitting one of the small boats that the “guides” are paddling. There is no rhyme or reason, simply calling out how many people you have that would like to go inside. The guide pulls up, you jump in his boat, he takes you to the boat that sells tickets, and he paddles to the line to get you inside. When it’s your turn, he tells you to get low. Like low. As low as you can go. I had no idea why I was on the bottom of the boat with my neck strained so hard that my chin was to my chest. That is until I saw the guide grab onto a chain and start a countdown. In one whoosh, we were flying through the tiny opening that led to the cave. When I say tiny, I mean it. Despite trying to become one with the floor of the boat, my head almost scraped across the top of the cave.

When we got inside, there were many boats, but I didn’t see that. I saw the most amazing water I’ve ever seen. I could not believe it was real. Before I knew it, all the guide boat captains started singing together, their deep voices echoing off the grotto walls. Our guide rocked our boat along with the tune. We came flying out of the cave the same way we went in and my head was buzzing.

Capri was just as amazing as you’d expect it to be. We sat down to lunch at Villa Verde, a spectacular restaurant known for its famous visitors, where we just let the waiters bring us out food. Imagine every kind of Italian food that you love. They all made it to the table that day.

Short on time, we said farewell to Capri and were greeted along the way back to Positano by dolphins. Sipping on champagne, I couldn’t believe my luck. Not just in the dolphins, but in this trip. Our quick stay in Italy was capped off with dinner at Il Pirata in Praiano which, funnily enough, is built into a cave on the water. I purchased a cookbook they were selling which featured some of their recipes along with other restaurants along the Amalfi Coast. Shockingly, I have not made one single thing from the book because I know that nothing could ever top being in Italy itself.

Ashley Casorio is the writer behind The Wandering Ash. Catch pictures of her travels on Instagram @thewanderingash. Stay tuned for the re-launch of!

Here are some pictures to use if you have the space:

Ashley Casorio is the writer behind The Wandering Ash travel blog: Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @thewanderingash for photos and musings on her travels.