While Wally rested, Lucia and I set off to explore the hillsides around Massa Labrense on foot. She had been there a few times before and trekked around quite a bit, so knew (mostly) where she was going. Always adventurous, she likes to strike out on new paths to explore, so we never knew where we might end up.
A neighbor’s dog guarding his turf…
At the bottom of the hill below Villa Erca is the community of Santa Maria. There is a little store, church and that’s about it. We were walking past the store when we saw movement on the roof…
Gorgeous German Shepherds! What a view I bet they have!
Around the corner, we saw the door was open at the church so peeked inside. Work was being done, but no one was in sight, so I snapped a few pictures of this lovely community church.
Continuing along the road…
Lucia spotted chestnuts in the road and looking up, there was a huge chestnut tree. We began gathering every one we could find, stowing them in her back pack. If you step on them first, you can pop the porcupine hull off. These are an expensive treat – often referred to as being roasted at Christmas time. Lucia later boiled some for us to eat and they were delicious.
Picking wild fennel along the road to cook with later…
Most all of the houses have little gardensTrailside treat! Lucia pointed out the bright green figs that were hanging into the road and said they were ripe. She likes to open them up and eat the insides, but not the skin. That is the fig tree behind her.
They were sweet and sticky and the perfect hiking treat.
The view towards Naples and Pompeii in the far back right with its top in the clouds…
The fruit trees such as lemons are what you see in the terraces with arbors
There was a truck sitting at one of the road junctions full of what Lucia said were Italian watermelons.
We passed this arbor, and after closer inspection, realized it was a kiwi fruit arbor!
Lemon trees along the way. The Amalfi Coast is famous for their lemons (yes they are green lemons) I think they turn yellow when they are mature??
We walked down past La Torre Ristorante and a church and over to Villa Murat or “King’s House”.
The King of Naples lived here in Villa Murat 1808. It faces the Isle of Capri.
Today you can rent the Villa Murat house for your vacation or special event. There was a group of Americans there during our stay and Lucia introduced herself and went back the next week to give the ladies massages. Learn more about it’s history at: http://www.villamurat.com/en/territory.phpThe view from Villa Murat to Capri. There are nice benches you can sit here and enjoy the view.
Villa Murat’s iron fence pointing out Pompeii in the background. Down the hill and onward…There is a path just past Villa Murat that takes you down the hill.
The Massa Labrense marina community
A typical “trail”
I loved the forms of the olive trees…They put out netting for the olives to drop off onto when they are ripe.
Probably poisonous but pretty mushrooms in the woods…
In the town of Massa Labrense is this charming painted tile map…
In the town of Massa, this is where you can pick up one of the local buses going to Sorrento or further down the Amalfi Coast. You can buy tickets in the coffee shop or tobacco shops for the buses but good luck figuring out their schedule!
We stopped in the fresh seafood market to see what the fresh catches were. Again, a pretty painted tile picture caught my eye.
Now don’t be squeamish about the squids – they are very tasty when cooked right!
Mussels are also a local shellfish
Just down the street I spied a sign for what I translated to be a ceramic shop…
I love Italian painted ceramics, so we stopped in.
The artist was at work painting a jug. She didn’t speak English but Lucia chatted with she and her aunt (I believe) for a while.
I loved the soft colors and themes of her pieces…
The paisley-looking platters were FABULOUS! Works in progress…We shopped at this little grocery store for some supplies for dinner.
Then it was time to trek back up the hill ~ a mile? Seemed like 10 since it was almost four hours after we set off. (and I’m definitely NOT in shape).
Home Sweet Home to Villa Erca… wine and food and put my feet up!
Tomorrow, we are going to get educated on hitchhiking in Italy (thanks Lucia) and how to catch a bus to Sorrento! We’ll go shopping, have a delightful lunch and sample limoncello and other goodies.