Two years ago in Genoa, or more precisely in a neighbouring village of Boccadasse, I was surprised by how many people were jogging along the seashore in the middle of the day. It was contrary to my stereotypical expectation of Italian lifestyle of everybody taking long siestas in the afternoon. If I squinted hard and blocked out the views of hilltop villas and “Genova rosso”-coloured houses, I could imagine that I was in California.
Things are completely different in Maiori. Maybe, it has to do with the Southern Italian mentality. Maybe, I am seeing things differently in vacation mode. But during our first two days here, I din’t see a single person jogging on the street. There are also not many model-like bodies in the latest-season swimsuits. The general impression is not of an effortless visual perfection that people in Milan project. Instead, the tourists here (majority of them Italians) seem to be very relaxed about their physical conditioning, healthy eating and fitness.
Still, I was determined not to drop my running routine, which took me a good portion of the past year to establish. So in the morning two days ago, I woke up early and set to explore the town. I ran East long the Amalfi Drive and in no time found myself outside the town limits. The road was narrow and winding, and I thought that it was good that we didn’t rent a car during this trip. Even at the early hour there was some traffic, and even being on foot, I had to watch out for the oncoming cars and hug the cliffs to let them through. My average pace on that run was quite poor, because I stopped at every corner to snap a photo with my phone – another thing that would have been impossible if I was driving. The “scenic point” parking spots are few, far between and tiny.