Two years ago my dear friend Lelia got engaged to Devin, her long time beau, while they were in Ireland. These travel fiends decided to give their guests an incredible opportunity and started planning an extraordinary celebration of their union that included a trip to one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been, the Amalfi Coast in Italy. That celebration all came together on Thursday Sept 19th, in a magnificent church in the village of Minori.
waiting for his gorgeous bride
lighting the unity candle
I’ll talk about the wedding in my next post when I can get online to grab some photos from Mary Beth who was the unofficial photographer for the week. For now I’ll tell you about everything that led up to the day and what John and I have been doing with our time.
We started off in Rome, we left Seattle late on Thursday and got to Rome midday. It took us a little while to locate our hotel which was steps away from the Pantheon.
We’re standing in the doorway of our hotel here.
We only had one night before heading out to the coast and we were tired from traveling so we didn’t go too far from the hotel. We visited the Pantheon, which was a bit crowded but not unbearable, it was just before it was about to close for the evening, we basically stuck our heads in, walked around a bit, but didn’t really know what we were looking at. By then we were getting hungry. A little stroll took us to Piazza Navona where we had dinner. We had no idea that this was a “site to see” we just happened upon it and later read that it’s known for its bustling nightlife.
After an expensive dinner that wasn’t really worth the price, we made up for it by getting our first gelato, this would definitely not be the last. We headed back to the hotel with plans to wake up early and tour more of this neighborhood before our breakfast arrived at 9:00AM.
John had read more in our tour book, had a map and was ready to go bright and early.
We toured the churches near the Pantheon, getting our first taste of Baroque illusions.
We saw the headquarters of the Jesuits in Rome (The Gesu Church) and saw the only Gothic church in Rome, the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva (which has a Michelangelo statue near the back.)
After touring around the churches we stopped back into the Pantheon, there were about 20 people in there at the time which was very nice, we got to take closer looks at the sites inside, including the tomb of the artist Raphael.
We went back to our hotel and ate the breakfast provided to us by the very nice owner of the bed and breakfast (We stayed at Best Suites, I definitely recommend it)
We checked out and made our way to the train station to get to Salerno where we planned to meet Lelia and Devin. I have to admit we didn’t realize how much planning we should have done before leaving (this is another post that I’ll write!). I had little idea of what the drive would be like from Maiori to Salerno, and how easy it would be to get a bus from Salerno. When our friends couldn’t come get us quickly due to the transportation they were providing for family, we easily made the alternate arrangement of getting on the bus, it was simple and painless, and an incredible ride!
Gives new meaning to share the road, those are cyclists on the right!
When we got into Maiori and got settled we ran into the happy couple. It was so great to see them in this beautiful setting they had provided for us!! I knew that they would be busy, so I looked forward to being able to talk with them at the welcome dinner they were hosting on Monday. John and I took the opportunity to relax at a bar and enjoy the view.
Afterwards we decided to brave the supermarket. Having a kitchenette in our apartment was great, we were able to save money by preparing a lot of meals ourselves. It also saved us from much confusion at restaurants with trying to make sure that there would be vegetarian options for John.
Pasta is vegetarian and bountiful in Italy!
Our week on the Amalfi Coast was just getting started, but I’m going to end this post here before talking about all the hiking and eating and of course, the wedding! More to come.