In this blog Debra writes about the town of Agerola, located on the Amalfi Coast of Italy, where her family lives and where she guides a summer retreat.
Agerola is a town at the very top of the Amalfi coast, on top of the world. Views of the Tyrrhenian Sea – the Gulf of Salerno below and the whole Amalfi coast add to the views of this picturesque village. From our Hotel Le Rocce the views are stunning. Enjoy coffee, tea or a drinks on the terrace overlooking the Amalfi coast. Our morning workshops will nurture your spirit and passion for life and birth, a lunch that will tantalize your tastes. You will be ready to explore the riches of the region each afternoon and evening.
Agerola offers a glimpse into the culture, tastes and traditions of Italy that are often lost in the cities and escape the average tourist. Here life is rich with the smells, taste, sounds, views and traditions of life. The village announced each babies birth with fireworks, even number of blasts are for a girls and odd numbers signals a boy.
Festivals of Life Each month brings it festivals, March 8th – International Woman’s Day is a day when all the women in Agerola are celebrated. Women are given Mimosa flowers and taken out to dinner, as the men celebrate the women in their village, together they remember the many women who live in much more challenging situations. Easter brings the whole village out for a procession between the fractions\hamlets of the village. May, the month for the Holy Mother, begins with a village pilgrimage of 20 km to the chapel in Pompeii where Holy Mary’s many healings and miracles there have been celebrated for centuries. June 29th Festival of St. Piedro, July 2 is Madona delle Grazie. Early August brings the festival of “Fior Di Latte” to celebrate their special cheese and Agerolese products. The night of San Lorenzo, August 10th, is the night of the shooting stars, a magical midsummer night when all dreams come true. Looking at the stars from atop of the world, in Agerola they say the stars come down from the sky, and here you can really feel you can touch them. September 12th – Madonna del Rosario celebration, Mary of all Saints, October bring the chestnut festival. Other local celebrations abound all year long many dedicated to the Patron Saints of each region of the town.
Art is everywhere From the historic art, churches and old palace with art from Mussolini, as well as pottery makers who create the typical Italian pottery of the region, couples with views that are art to our eyes – your will be intoxicated with beauty at every turn. We will visit the Ceramiche Silvestri, a family owned pottery shop where they have been making and painting the traditional pottery of the region in the Vietri tradition for generations. You can purchase items or have them made for you, personalized with your family’s name on tiles, serving bowls and more.
Agerola da Gustare – A taste of Agerola If you are not feeling the culture of Italy yet, the local foods, the best in Italy will surely transcend you to another time and place. Agerola supplies the entire coastal area with many of it specialties. It is famous for their fior-di-latte – mozzarella cheese, made fresh every morning from the special Agerolese cows that are found grazing on the mountainside. If you are willing to wake early one morning we will visit a local cheese maker related to our family where you can help make the mozzarella and fresh ricotta cheese. In addition to their great cheeses Agerola is also famous for their salami Di Agerola, Provolone Cheese Del monaco – spicy cheese and Crisp Agerolse bread, traditional rye bread with its many nutritional benefits. We will visit a local bakery Integralpane di Armando Naclerio where you can watch the local breads and Terrari being made. In the evening you may enjoy the Nocino di Agerola, chestnut liquor, Limoncello, -lemon liquor, great local wine, in addition to all the breads, pasta, and fresh vegetables and fruits Hotel Le Rocce will ensure that you explore all the tastes of the region.
The Hidden Mystery If you have not felt completely transcended to another time, this special recent discovery, known only to the locals, will add to your sense of mystery. A fresco of the Last Supper was discovered after an earthquake loosened the plaster on the ceiling of a 12th century church. Was it done first here or after by a student or Leonardo Da Vinci? Whatever the answer, with no long lines and reservations needed as in Milan, you can walk in and wonder for yourself where this treasure came from and the story it tells.
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The Paths of the Fairy’s and the God’s There are many walk that have been carved out of the mountains, an incredible set of stairs that have been hand made over the centuries- that has been come to be know as the Sentiero degli Dei – The Path the of Gods, taking you from Agerola to Positano, where the views of the sea below are seen as you wind through vineyards, gardens and villages as you descend to Positano.
The walk of the Valle delle Ferriere – the Valley of the Fairy’s is 10 km from Agerola to Amalfi, with views spectacular views, and with diverse micro climates that bring you from dense forest with chestnut groves, mountains, ferns, wild flowers, the smell of jasmine, roses, and herbs, a rain forest with waterfalls, old Roman ruins of mills and finally the lemon groves that descend into Amalfi. In one day, you feel like you have visited 3 – 4 totally different locations. The smells and sounds of birds, animals, waterfalls, sea below, as the wind, sun and water caress your skin, bring your senses to life as you walk on narrow paths and ledges and imagine a life of long ago when these were active merchant paths of trade. The spring water you will drink and bottle along the way is said to bring you dreams of another time.
If you are still yearning for more, there are 12 more paths to explore in and around Agerola, a hikers paradise and one of the Best-Kept Secrets of Italy or I think the world.
We will walk one or two of these hikes together based on the weather.
In addition to the pleasures of Agerola, we will visit the quaint beach town of Amalfi, the musical town of Ravello walking thru the Villa Cimbrone Gardens, and the often photographed town of Positano with all its shops, cafes and restaurants.
We will tour the scenic Amalifi coast by boat, visiting the Grotto Esmeralda, the Emerald Grotto, swimming in a small cove and visiting the island of Capri. Boating on the Mediterranean sea’s clear blue -green waters, looking back at the Amalfi coast is an adventure worth adding on to top off a week of nurturing, while re-inspiring your passion and connection to nature, birth and life.
Learn more how you join Debra and her family in Agerola, and special guests for a week of visioning , movement, and celebration in an Italian Paradise.