Our Pilgrimage to Italy, Part III: the Amalfi Coast

by | Apr 17, 2013 | Parenting, Travel | 2 comments

When I was planning this trip, the aspect that caused me the most heartache was deciding how to get our party of ten from one place in Italy to another.

Feet and buses are great for Rome, but then we wanted to see a number of spots in Southern Italy while keeping one house as a home base.  I like the flexibility of having our own car, but I hate to split the group and they don’t rent cars big enough for all of us in Europe.  BUT, even the nine passenger vans they do have are an awfully tight squeeze through hilly, cobblestoned, medieval walled cities and you have to figure out where you’re going yourself.  I looked at buses (confusing, inconvenient), trains (not direct, expensive), and a private guide (really expensive) and decided to just stick with shoehorning ten people into a nine passenger van.

But this plan was totally contingent on having a GPS so as to make navigating from one city to another easy and low stress.  The husband picked up the van, used the GPS to get back to our Rome apartment, then the GPS chip failed.  We had no map, and quickly ended up way off the route of my backup mapquest directions before we figured out that the GPS wasn’t working.  We drove through Rome for an hour before we managed to find our way onto an expressway and out of town and finally, eventually to a truckstop that sold maps (gas stations in Italy don’t).  It is a testament to the awesomeness of my husband and my father that they managed to work together through what could easily have been a pretty miserable situation.  And I (mostly) kept my mouth shut, so yay me.

And then my dad figured out how to enable the data on his phone and we had GPS again!  Hooray!  We arrived in Sorrento, which made it all worth it:

We spent the first day wandering through the lovely little town, exploring the eight (yes EIGHT) amazing churches in Sorrento.
That afternoon, we did the famous Amafli Coast drive through its picturesque cliffside towns.  It was exciting in the big van, but tour buses do it, so we figured so could we.

In Salerno, we visited the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, home of the tomb of . . . St. Matthew the Apostle!

It dates from the 11th century,
and seems every bit that old.
How creepy is this guy?

On Thursday, we headed down to the port and took the ferry to the Island of Capri.

We took a funicular to the top of the town, then strolled down.  And that meant I had this song stuck in my head the whole day.  Just ask the kids.  And it’s possible that I don’t hit those notes quite as well as Andrea Bocelli.  But it’s hard to know for sure.
When strolling wasn’t possible, there was carrying.
We dipped our toes in the chilly Tyrrhenian Sea.

And did some shopping and had a crazy seafood lunch before heading back on the ferry to our home base of Sorrento.

In case you missed them, the first two installments of our trip can be found here and here.  I’m starting to feel like I’ve trapped you all in my living room and then hauled out the slide projector.  Tomorrow is St. Pio and Pompeii, then next week we’re back to normal.

Join Kendra on a pilgrimage to England!

“We’ll be spending time in London, visiting the sites of St. Thomas More’s imprisonment and martyrdom ON HIS FEAST DAY 🙌. We’ll have a dinner cruise on the Thames, and visit the shrines of St. Simon Stock, St. Julian of Norwich, and Our Lady of Walsingham. We’ll go to Oxford where the great St. John Henry Newman, J.R.R Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis spent much of their lives. Lastly, we’ll swing by Shakespeare’s house before we head on home.”

Read all about it in this blog post! Or go directly to sign up here!


  1. Gramma Tierney

    Dear Kendra,
    I feel like I'm right there with the family. Rick Steve's travelogues ( He's the guy from PBS) has nothing on you!

    I hope you still plan to do a Shutterfly album!

    Gramma Tierney

  2. Brienne

    Umm, we still get to see the slideshow in the living room when we come out to CA though, right?1?!? 😉 Love hearing about the trip!!

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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