Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Med

Second up on the Coast to Coast to Coast tour was the Mediterranean.  The fabled sea that laps the shores of southern Europe and northern Africa, and flows out the Straights of Gibralter.  It is on the opposite side of Basilicata from the Ionian, and is opposite in character, too. 

Where the Ionian is shallow and limpid, the Med is deep and moody.  Steep hills tumble down to it, like they want to jump into the sapphire depths themselves for a splash in the surf.  The waves roll in with more force - the Mediterranean is felt

We actually made two forays to its shore - once in Agropoli, south of Salerno, where long golden sand beaches curve out from the town.  Here we parked ourselves for an aperitivo of local white wine while watching the sunset and listening to the water rhythmically make landfall.  Cara of course submerged her feet for a photo.

Cara at the Mediterranean in Agropoli
Later, we went to Maratea, the gem of Basilicata's coast, with its pastel houses, dramatic cliffs, pretty port, and unique black beaches.  Teensy opal-like pebbles -that are actually smaller than pebbles but bigger than sand grains- carpet the coves and make the water appear even bluer than blue. 

Beaches are wedged in between rock formations, involving a descent to reach them.  As such, they're pretty uncrowded.  We sunned ourselves, took a swim, and enjoyed a warm morning of beach-time in mid-September, a nice treat for my northern Ohio sister who knows that her hometown has only two seasons - Winter and Non-Winter.  September turns the tide on the interval between them.

Sunset from the hotel terrace

We spent the night in a gorgeous hotel above the sea, where the meal was memorable and the gourmet bath goodies made us swoon like the girly-girls we are.  We roamed around the delightful historic center, popped around the port (where the best gelato in Maratea is found), and took in the breathtaking views from the hilltop above.

The Mediterranean is my favorite, and the Cilento area, from Agropoli to Sapri, is the my favored destination.  Maratea is, in my Lucana-biased opinion, the loveliest resort on the coastline, with all the dramatic scenery you'd see on the more famous Amalfi Coast, without the crowds and high prices.  The road isn't quite as scary to drive, either.  My sister agreed it was the highlight beach for her, as well.

Black sand beach in Maratea


Mama Jo said...

Maratea - the gem of the coast!

One of our most-favorite places in bella Italia.

Evey said...

As the leaves are turning golden here and the evenings ask for a light sweater, your tale of two seas was wonderful....

Anonymous said...

I want to go!!

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