Saturday, May 23, 2015

Boating Along the Amalfi Coast

Guest Blogger: Michael Mammele 

“Does it get any better than this?” That’s what one of the guests asked yesterday as he laid on the back of a 38-foot Itama boat, with sunglasses on, beer in hand, and a massive smile on his face. No one answered him because no one needed to; the answer was clearly, “No, it does not.”

Yesterday I had the chance to embark along the Amalfi Coast on one of our boats for the first time, something I’ve been chomping at the bit to do since January, when I learned I had the opportunity to join the Exclusive Cruises team. 

There’s something special about being on boats that is almost impossible to describe. Maybe it’s the breeze blowing in all directions, or the drop in your stomach each time you catch a bit of wake, or perhaps the sound of the motor cutting through the water. I’ve always loved boating, growing up on the Long Island sound where it’s quite popular, but something I had never done elsewhere. 

With a family of four on the boat, I tried my best to appear like I was an expert of the coast on the outside, but on the inside I was giddy like a kid on Christmas morning. We drove along the coast from Salerno all the way to Capri, examining crumbling towers, five-star hotels, and the naturally made limestone arches and rocks that decorated the waterfront. 

We examined cavities and caves in cliffs, with Valeria listing the various facts and notable sights. Francesco drove us through arches of rocks in Capri and around the Li Galli Islands, and backed the boat into grottos so the guests could swim through the illuminated areas. I wanted to jump in with them so badly, but had to restrain myself from doing so, reminding myself that while this may be a vacation, work comes first. 

For lunch, we stopped in Nerano at a restaurant called Maria Grazia and ate dish after dish that led up to pasta with zucchini, and melted parmesan cheese. The restaurant laid on a gorgeous beach, with the sun shining and reflecting off the turquoise water, only adding to what was an all around unbelievable day. 

Songs by Bob Marley and Dave Matthews accompanied us on this nearly 7-hour day, only allowing for a more relaxing vibe on the boat. On the ride back Francesco drove slowly along the coast so the guests could take in each feature and sight. 

I’ve been on family trips to places like St. Marten and St. Thomas, and always envied the Americans I saw there who were able to leave the constant movement and hectic life of America to come work in a more mellowed-out place. I’ve even questioned if that sort of thing was really the right gig for me. I’m unbelievably lucky to have this opportunity, and be able to have days where I can spend hours on a 38 foot luxury boat, speeding along one of the most beautifully decorated places in the world. What blows my mind is that I’ve only been here for one week. Hopefully, my return to the United States doesn’t creep up too quickly, as I truly feel at home in this stunning area of Italy.

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