MINORI - LITTLE GEM
Compared to the commercial buzz of Amalfi, Minori is a little gem of tranquillity, lemons and quality food! We found ourselves there unexpectedly - after a week in Rome - and were quite a novelty as we were the only non-Italian holiday makers, being from South Africa, and we stayed for a whole week, using the local boats and buses to navigate around the Amalfi Peninsula.
The village is on a very, very steep hillside and so the climb of 308 steps to our B&B each day was rather daunting to begin with, but our legs soon grew accustomed to the exercise. The view from high up was worth the daily hike!
We were easily able to find snack foods at the local mini-markets or family-run cafes, to either nibble on the beach or to take back to our apartment on the hill. Do not expect luxury or grandeur. Minori is a simple village with a gentle, peaceful character which we loved.
"MINORI FOOD AND RESTAURANTS"
We were not disappointed! The restaurants on the beachfront served the most delicious fresh pasta and seafood, and De Riso - where the most spectacular icecream, cakes and coffee were sold - became our favourite!
Fresh fruit was available at a small store run by two lovely old Italian nonnas, and we were able to enjoy our own glorious melon and proscuitto as a snack, having purchased what we needed in the town. It's best to shop in the morning as shops close for siesta for most of the afternoon and by then fresh breads are sold out.
There is a fresh pasta shop in Minori selling pasta which is made on the premises. The shop is up a little alleyway and is not difficult to find. Just ask around!
"TRANSPORT AROUND MINORI"
Well, taking a look at the map left us with NO idea of how long it would take us to get to Minori and back from the nearest big city, Salerno! The local bus takes 1 hour from Salerno, and is cheap and comfortable. Don't forget to write your destination on your bus ticket as inspectors hop on and off to check! You may have a long wait at the bus station outside the train station.
We used only public transport and ventured out to Pompeii on a Saturday - by bus to Salerno and then by very, very crowded train and a good, long walk to the ruins - and that took us 4 hours one way! We managed to get a faster bus back, rather than using the train, so our return journey to Minori, via Salerno, took 3 hours!
The boats along the coast are wonderful and cheap, but be warned that it takes ages to go quite a short distance. Our day trip to Capri saw us on the boat from Minori for 2 hours, one way! The scenery along the way was magnificent, including Amalfi, Ravello on the summit above, Positano and a slice of Sorrento.
Get to Ravello if you can. Take the bus from Amalfi and enjoy seeing how the bus driver negotiates the winding roads leading to the top of the mountain. The views from the public garden overlooking the ocean are splendid. You do pay to get into the garden.
We hired a private boat to sail around Capri for one day, from Marina Grande. It was worth the money (250 euro each) as we could stop and swim or snorkle when we wanted to, we had our picnic lunch on board, and our captain was a quiet, peaceful man who knew the sea well. We were just sorry that the tide timetable hadn't been checked as we missed the Blue Grotto by about 2 hours!
If you have lots of time on your hands you'll enjoy Minori and its relaxed atmosphere, just don't be surprised if it takes you ages and ages to get there and back! Be prepared!