The next chapter of my journey begins in Camerota, a seemingly quiet and understated town in the province of Salerno. By day, at least, it fitted this description, but by night it became rife with effervescent Italian vivacity. We stopped off in the beautiful Piazza San Dominga for an Aperol spritz, a gloriously orange Italian speciality, and later dined at Il Paguro.
My outfit was sourced from my shopping spree in Panarea (A’bidikkia). The white babydoll dress was designed by the woman who owned the shop and is unfortunately sold out on her online store (see my previous post for the link to her website). However, Shopbop have some lurvely white dresses in stock of a similar style:
From top left: the sofia dress by MISA, the cream babydoll dress by For Love and Lemons, the medallion crochet dress by Ella Moss, the stardust dress by For Love and Lemons, the Ilektra mini dress by Free People and the shells dress by Ministry of Style.
For a more affordable yet effortlessly classy aesthetic – take a look at this summery number by Topshop. New Look offer a very similar style but with long sleeves which I also love. From urban chic with a pair of cowboy boots to garden party with a pair of heels or wedges the white summer dress is an absolute staple!
I styled mine with a plain neck (I didn’t want to distract from the plunging V-neck) but teamed it with a statement pair of shell and pearl earrings. Wedges from Mint Velvet.
The next day we began our sail down the Amalfi coast. But of course not before I had squeezed in a cheeky morning swim and excursion on one of the paddle boards (my new favourite form of exercise!). Sporting my bright coral-pink bikini from Triangl, I felt very retro in the saucy high-cut bottoms. As Vogue anticipated, 2017 is the summer of the 80s swimwear throwback! Read the article here.
We managed a whistle-stop tour of the beautiful Positano, browsing the beautiful linen and ceramic shops and trying our best to avoid the swathes of tourists.
The whole town is incredibly aesthetic, with bright orange and red buildings radiating in the blazing heat – and it was particularly hot that day – as they climb up the cliff-side.
Climbing up to the Piazza, we explored the town’s church and studied some of the beautiful modern mosaics that cover the floor of the square. No wonder the town is a popular haunt for artists and writers.
My outfit is mostly comprised of two staple items from ZARA: the classic black super high- waisted shorts, and a red and white striped off the shoulder crop (tube top equivalent by Brandy Melville). My tan sandals are super useful and literally go with everything… but I can’t find them online… however Birkenstocks would definitely do the same job. My hand-painted tambourine earrings are by Amlé, but I will be doing a separate blog post on this brand soon. Sunglasses by Versace.
And onwards! Our next stop was the enchanting island of Ischia.
The island has a rich and fascinating history, embodied in its Aragon Castle, which overlooks one of its coastal towns, Aenaria. The first fortress was built in 474 BC under Hiero I upon his victory in the battle against the Tyrrhenians. Since then it has been inhabited by various historical figures including members of the Spanish Aragon family and Bourbon dynasty, and their poet and writer friends. The exhausting climb up the ancient stone steps was all made worth it by the beautiful views. Our first stop on the guided route was the ruined Cathedral of the Assunta, pictured below.
Built by the people of Ischia after the volcanic eruption of Arso in 1301, the building was originally constructed in the Romanesque style, but was later redefined during the Renaissance to suit the classical architectural fashions of the fifteenth century. Further adjustments were made in the eighteenth century with the addition of splendid works of Baroque stucco.
The mid-morning sun flooded into the space and illuminated the the stripped white stone walls: it was a truly magical place. And as I leaned back on the stone altar I was greeted by this glorious view, framed beautifully by one of the Romanesque arches:
We ventured down into the Crypt dedicated to St Peter which was covered with the neutrally-coloured fourteenth-century frescoes of the Giotto school. The characterful images provide solace, calm, and a point of focus in the dark space of the crypt – it is easy to imagine the powerful effect they would have had on a contemporary audience.
Moving on from the crypt, we decided to explore the extensive gardens of the castle grounds. Now is probably a good time to discuss my super casual outfit choice of the day: grey vest and khaki linen shorts both from American Vintage (this brand is a personal favourite of mine), and sunglasses from Visionario (first mentioned in my New Year, New Blog post). The flash of yellow on my wrist was picked up in Positano, and is now my new favourite hair accessory – #bringbackthescrunchy please!
The last of our castle explorations was in the Church of the Immacolata. The bright white interior with a Greek cross plan served as an unexpectedly perfect exhibition space for the photographic work of the fantastic Pierpaolo Lista. Born in Salerno in 1977, he works mostly with paint and photography. Glass is a key theme in his work, as each picture is framed using this material, and thus it often dictates the entire meaning of the works themselves. Both the design and the colour appear more unpredictable using this technique, given its reflective capacity, so that every image – even the most elemental – acquires a thickness and materiality.
It is ironic that when he switches to photography, his artwork purposefully avoids imitating the real world. Instead he draws on themes that reflect reality and modernity and juxtapose them to create an almost theatrical space, to which with the glass frame and its reflections add further three-dimensionality.
Having soaked up the extensive rooms and ruins of the castle, we headed down the hill to work on our tans. A cheeky siesta (we’re not in Spain but it doesn’t matter!) and a spot of waterskiing later, we headed out into Aenaria for dinner.
My outfit is a mix of bargain finds from all over: white elastic/denim skirt from Topshop, khaki open-back top is from a boutique in Barcelona from last summer (similar found on asos), and my aztec print sandals by ASPIGA (handmade in India) were picked up in Positano.
And so we ended our sailing journey on the island of Procida, the most saturated and colourful island of them all.
Whilst there wasn’t as much to see/do here, the landscape of the town itself was enough to entertain us as we explored its vibrant, winding streets.
My striped, open back dress is by Missoni, which I have teamed with the same silver sliders that featured in The Aeolian Islands Part II.
And so my passage in Italy is over! And how dreamy it has been. My next post will be coming to you from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, so stay tuned…