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Steps in time

Features |

Laura Gascoigne believes Atrani is the most beautiful town on this legendary coastline

‘I am concerned at the increasing number of applications by officers or other ranks to marry Italian civilians. COs must realise that everything possible will be done to discourage such marriages, few of which turn out happily or even survive more than a short period.’  So reads the entry for 20th October in Norman Lewis’s war diary Naples ’44. As the product of one such marriage that did survive, I decided to celebrate by visiting Ravello, where my British Army officer father and Italian mother honeymooned in ’44 at the Hotel Palumbo.  mezza pensione types, we asked the hotelier if there was anywhere to eat nearby. He pointed us left around a blind corner on the twisting coast road, and that’s how – after hugging the cliff face for a heart-stopping ten minutes as cars whizzed by in both directions – we discovered Atrani. Other towns on this legendary coastline...

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