That’s how it all began. It was September 2013. The last day of an overindulgent 10 days of winding our way along and around the Amalfi Coast. Bookending our trip with stays at two of the most luxurious seafront resorts along the coastline. Our final day was spent here at the Copa La Gala high on the cliff tops on the Bay of Naples.
We had started our trip in Rome, a first for both of us, spending two nights in a charmingly quaint and quintessentially 17th Century Italian Loft apartment. Situated 230 metres from the Coliseum this beautiful and highly reasonably priced 1 bedroom attic was the perfect base for two days of mindless meandering and an over-consumption of every culinary truffle Rome had on offer.
On the 9th September my 27th Birthday, we woke with fuzzy heads and hired a car making our way South to the Bay of Naples. Our friends had poured over how beautiful Amalfi was prior to our trip, but no words can truly prepare you for it’s relentless and unapologetic allure and charm. “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone” (John Steinbeck, “Harper’s Bazaar”, May 1953) And what a lasting bite mark it left on us.
Our Amalfi road trip lasted ten days. We started at the Casa Angelina on the cusp of Positano. This truly unique and luxurious retreat provides nothing short of complete escapism. The scenery, the stylish surroundings, the atmosphere and service cumulate to create an unforgettable experience. 2 Days here and one birthday later, Jake and I were horizontal and reluctant to peel ourselves from our 5-star loungers and embrace the relentless Amalfi coastal roads.
We had decided not to plan the rest of our trip apart from our final destination the Copa La Gala. Pouring over our Lonely Planet guide to the Amalfi Coast we headed South along the coast line, passing Amalfi, meandering the SS18 121km to Acciaroli, Salerno. It was here we discovered the charming and utterly tranquil Agriturismo i Moresani. Situated within the National Park of Cilento, this stunning farm is sandwiched between rolling hills in every direction. The Farm which creates its own Goats Cheese, Wine and Olive Oil plays host to both national and international tourists looking to escape amongst the endless vineyards and olive trees. The next two days were spent sluggishly switching between the Farms moorish home cooked cuisine and horse riding treks through the surrounding mountains and olive groves. Absolute perfection.
The rest of our trip was spent in the heartland of the Amalfi Coast sampling the delights of Ravello and later stumbling upon the quaint bay of Marina Del Cantone. This charming inlet promises nothing other than the finest seafood, blue seas and soft sands. The perfect retreat from the Amalfi tourist trail, this is where the Neopolitans holiday.
It was upon leaving Marina Del Cantone that we made our way to our final destination, the Copa La Gala. Nothing can quite prepare you for the impression this hotel makes on you. It’s phenomenal architecture and room design leaves you feeling at one with the endless blue seas that fall before you.
It was sat staring into the endless sea lined horizon that our future plans began to unfold (Subtly aided by 3 bottles of crisp white wine). The Amalfi coast had bitten, bitten us hard with a wanderlust bite that we did little to fight. The thought of planning another holiday seemed insufficient. We had spent the past ten days relentlessly unwinding ourselves from the stresses of London living and we’d had enough. We agreed that as important and as proud as we were of the successful careers we had carved for ourselves that there needed to be something more. Something that we had both always wanted to do. Explore.
Upon moving into our new flat weeks before heading to Italy, we had spent the evenings binging on The Long Way Round, the motorcycle diaries of Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman’s trip from London to New York. This had planted the seed of pan-continental (if that’s a word) travel. Instead of going around, we wanted to go up from one end of the earth to the other.
Inca to Inuit was born.