Capturing an Instant
Amantea: Photos Capturing Instants in Time
Flying to southern Italy typically routes you over the ocean. When I’m mindful enough to sit on the side of the plane facing land, I look for Amantea. This can be tricky from 30,000 feet, but I’ve gotten better at it.
I feel so much comfort and relief to have made it there each time we’ve gone. The way the sun rose in the city always strikes me particularly as the light seems to flood down the middle of the street.
Because of the mountain, there are some interesting lighting setups which is well contrasted by the sun setting in the sea. Of course, there are also capers.
The most stunning beauty, outside of the countryside, is the food. Hand made pasta in the morning with the sun sneaking in through the window illuminates my memories.
The water speaks day and night. Even the topic of the sea dominates conversation so much so that it is part of the local salutations.
Ciao! Come stai? Com’è il mare?
Hidden in the old part of town (Centro Storico), on top of the hill, is an old, musty church. Inside that church is a scale model of the town as it used to be before the ocean receded. When it did recede, everyone starting building further down, near the sea.
Centro Storico has fewer people as a result, but the area is so beautiful with many hidden pathways for such a small town.
High above on the mountain sits an even older church. It hasn’t been used in over a century after an earthquake damaged it. Above the church is a plateau where the castello or fortress of the city used to sit. It was destroyed in a war in the early 1800’s.
The view from up there is incredible. This is small town Italy, but like most towns in Italy, even small towns have the density of a larger city, so the experience is much different.
There are two ways to get to the church, which allows multiple viewpoints of the city and the ocean.
In June, there is the feast day of San Antonio. People gather, a band plays, and a priest prays.
The procession goes throughout the city for hours, and everyone has the day off to enjoy and celebrate the city’s patron saint.
Amantea is truly a place of eating. Whenever I go, we often have anchovies, which you can buy fresh everyday from an old lady with a cart walking down the street.
A sfogliatella in the morning, an affogato in the afternoon, and the celebration food at night satisfy a hunger deeper than food. These food events satisfy a hunger for culture.
Then of course there’s the oregano.
While the city has a long history, the shops have a mix between modern style and classic Italy.
Occasionally, like California, they have wild fires. Except, we get the spectacular view of watching the fire planes fly past and pick up water just past the beach.
I love the farmer’s market in California one day a week, but in Amantea, it’s six days a week. It’s truly an amazing way to shop and bargain with the vendors.
At night, the city loses none of its beauty.
We often walk by the beach at night, and in June, the days are long as are the sunsets in the distant horizon.
The surrounding countryside seems unbelievable at times with its variety of features, ancient towns on the mountain tops, and fresh air.
One day, I hope we could stay more than a few weeks at a time, and of course, during a pandemic, traveling to Amantea is further in time than distance.