Interview with Giulia, Blogger from Minori
1. We are curious to know how life is in a wonderful place as the Amalfi Coast. Tell us who you are, what your job is, what life is like in Maiori, Minori and surroundings?
I am Giulia, a college student enrolled at the Oriental Institute in Naples. Here, life passes by quietly: you know just about everyone and this means being able to feel your own individuality, without the sense of loss that you might feel in huge contexts, those varied and dispersed atmospheres of metropolitan areas. We live on small things of life: a coffee at coffee shops with friends, the simplicity of a sunny day, of those that catch you unprepared in the middle of winter, while the news announces rather cold and gray weather elsewhere. And as for the “colors”, I would like to emphasize that here we live on “shades”, small cheerful notes: the lady who happily talks on the street, little old men playing cards, kids playing football while their mothers group up observing them from a safe distance. Here everything is on a human scale: life here passes by pleasantly, but passes by well, in a healthy way, with no frenzy, with no rush. You walk at a comfortable pace, you don’t run too much. And even time, lived well, acquires a new value.
2. What do you do when you don’t work? How do young people have fun when they go out with friends? And what about the elders? Do they have any recreation areas to spend their time?
When I am free from commitments, I spend my time reading. I happened, on nice days, to read outdoors on the waterfront of Minori, or at the beach, if it was summer, when the sun was not too hot, but pleasantly warm. I often go out with friends and go to the pubs of the place: in the summer Maiori turns into a beautiful Movida crowding a couple of places loved by young people. You drink a beer, chat a bit, enjoying the evening breeze going for a walk. Sometimes, especially on spring or summer afternoons, but even in the beginning of autumn, when the days are still warm, I walk on foot the long stretch of road from Minori to Amalfi. It’s a pleasant walk, especially when the road is not too busy, giving a pleasant feeling of relax, walking surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the place that we often forget (you also get used to beauty, unfortunately.) Walking along the street you have the chance to finally take a close look, you can capture the nuances that are often forgotten, you’ll find something new, whether it is the scent of the changing season or a shade of blue of the sea. It’s something very pleasing to the senses and brings benefit to the body too!
3. Let’s play. Close your eyes. Visualize your town and answer without thinking it through: what image comes up to your mind? What colors? What sounds? What smells?
A terrace of lemons, those that characterize our landscape, those which in summer give great shelter from the heat, a place in the shade, a scented shade, full of a particular scent that combines all the features of my land. Just imagine this place in the shade, away from the summer heat, where even the colors, green and yellow, seem to enliven the spirit. There is the scent of “sfusato of Amalfi” lemon, of damp earth and fresh leaves. You breath serenity.
4. If for some reason you were forced to leave your land, your town, one day, what would you miss most and why?
Needless to say that I would miss the sea. Speaking with more people of the Costiera, who for various reasons are forced to live far away, everyone admits to breathe better when, finally arrived in Vietri, they come back to see their sea again. We have the sea in our soul: we grew up having it before our eyes, we know it in all its guises. When we have it before us, maybe we don’t even notice it, but when it is far away it is the first thing we miss. And we miss it a lot. Then I would miss the food: our cuisine is exceptional. I have eaten in several places, both in Italy and abroad, but have never been able to find anything that could replace the flavours that I am used to. We are used to the simple things: tomatoes, pumpkins, fresh fish, handmade pasta and these are flavors that you can hardly do without.
5. The Amalfi Coast is one of the most sought after tourist destinations during the summer season. We are curious to know, though: how is the Costiera in winter? How is life in the Amalfi Coast during the winter season?
Unfortunately the winter becomes rather monotonous. The villages desert and also the young people of the place prefer to look elsewhere for sources of entertainment, Salerno nearby, for example. The places where the nightlife is concentrated in the summer are completely forgotten, especially since there are no facilities and entertainment suitable for the winter season. However, especially in sight of the Christmas season, we organize several events, from disco parties to bingo, from theater to more traditional events (musical and folk performances.) Let’s say they are organized at best, even if it is not always easy. The traditional weekend includes a dinner at a restaurant in the area, a stroll with friends, a drink at the favourite pub. Or, when it’s possible, you go out of town. This usually happens in the winter season, when towns become rather empty and gloomy.
6. If you were a traveler, what should you NOT miss out on in your trip to the Amalfi Coast, apart from the classic tourist routes?
Amalfi’s Valley of the Ferriere, where there are many plants which have survived the climatic changes; the path of the Gods: a beautiful trekking route along which there are a few points that offer a breathtaking view; Scala: the oldest village on the Amalfi Coast.
7. The Amalfi Coast is famous for its handicrafts. In your opinion, which of these are the most representative of your homeland?
Definitely those made using the product that represents us: the lemon. On first instance, I would say Limoncello, but I am lemon sorbet dependent, so I can’t forget it. Maybe it’s the easiest thing that I could suggest, but it impeccably represents my land, perhaps because despite its simplicity its flavor is unlike any other lemon sorbet that you can taste. In summer it is something beyond description.
8. When you decide to eat out, do you have a favorite restaurant? What’s its name? What are the delicacies you usually order? What kind of wine do you pair with them?
The Divine Coast is rich in culinary traditions and special dishes: most of the restaurants and taverns, therefore, outline the “Gastronomic chest” proposed by the area, offering almost always succulent specialties. I prefer not naming a single restaurant, thus leaving the readers to choose their restaurant according to their needs or preferences: seafood restaurants, popular dish restaurants, locations on the sea of the coast, every city of our beloved Coast offers various solutions. Oh yes, one suggestion, but on the individual ingredients: pasta dishes made with handmade pasta, main dishes with fresh seafood, desserts made with our “lemon,” the wine of our hills, the end of the meal with “Limoncello of the Amalfi Coast”…
9. Can you think of a work, a ‘famous’ quote, or a book, a song or a movie, that could “capture” the true spirit of the Divine Coast? Can you tell us why?
I’ll copy from the investigation book by Renato Fucini “Naples to the naked eye,” this passage from a chapter dedicated to Amalfi, Sorrento and Pompeii: “On the way from Vietri to Amalfi, one that is easily enthused, runs the risk of being taken for crazy. And I had moments in which I thought I could really lose my mind.” And going on reading the same chapter, the most popular: “The day of judgment, for the Amalfi people who will go to heaven, will be a day like any other.” In a few words is summarized just how I feel about my land. Needless to add more.
10. What is your blog / website about? And why did you decide to carve yourself a little space on the web?
Currently, for pleasure and passion, I write on the blog www.costadiamalfi.info, why? I don’t know, maybe, you know, to sort out the swarm of summer events that you cannot take into account, or to have, in every autumn and winter week, an idea for something to do… The Costiera, beyond the period of the year, is always worth being lived and valued.