Back from his African travels, DonQui Oaty now finds himself on the coast of Southern Italy. He is hoping to do a bit of work while at the same time taking in the ambiance and soaking up the sun.
He is staying just outside Amalfi, sitting on a shady terrace, tapping away on his computer as he looks out over the Mediterranean.
He likes it here.
It is not just the stunning scenery, although it is truly stunning.
It is not just the winding medieval covered alleyways, although they are most atmospheric…
… as is the fabulous Romanesque cathedral.
It is not just the fabulous food — the superb fresh fish, the locally made mozzarella, or the perfectly ripe fruit and vegetables which seem to burst with flavour — although the food is indeed fabulous…
… with the taste and scent the huge sweet local lemons permeating everything from risotto to limoncello. .
It is not even the superb wines although DonQui really enjoys them, especially the whites and rosés…
… such as the Lacryma Cristi (tears of Christ) wines from the slopes of Mt Vesuvius not too far away.
It is certainly not the hair-raising coastal road which is choked with noisy traffic and which the local bus drivers navigate with a frightening insouciance, flirting with the local girls rather than watching the road ahead. This despite the fact that there are only a few centimetres to spare between the edge of the road and certain death.
DonQui Oaty especially likes Amalfi because here donkeys are properly respected. The donkey (ciuccio) is the mascot of Amalfi and his hard work, dedication and long-suffering heroism is celebrated in art.
The Donkey Head Fountain is dedicated to this noblest of animals.
… while shops and art galleries are stocked with donkey inspired ceramics and souvenirs.
All this is right and proper thinks DonQui. After all the precipitous cliff paths around Amalfi are far more suited to donkeys than humans.