Part II | Positano

"I slipped out to our terrace in the new dawn, sun warming my bare shoulders as I lounged on our terrace, slowly enjoying some of the cherries we gathered yesterday. The symphony singing up to me was the hum of mopeds mingling with strands of birdsong, Italian youth's chattering carrying the melody. JD was cleaning up for the day. Alice and Milo would be sleeping cozily at the farm still. New adventures awaited us. All was right with our world.

We readied and headed down for a marvelous breakfast of croissants with nutella, fresh fruit, cold cuts and cheeses, bruschetta toast topped with tomatoes, pineapple juice and our own pot of coffee with milk pitcher - all filling, but not too rich. Europeans sure know how to do breakfast. Our table was adorned with the most darling linen tablecloth. We thanked our host and embarked on a walk to get bus tickets for the day to Positano. We had to be bold in buying them at a rather busy coffee shop but eventually got what we were after and managed to squeeze onto a sardine-packed bus for the quick drive out. 

The cliff sides were packed with nests of terraces filled with pastel-colored abodes and climbing trees, like a cake with tiered-layers of frosting. The roads clung tightly to the mountains, affording the viewer with a clear idea of what awaited the below the precipice - azure water striking rocks. But the drivers know what they're about and so we give them out tickets and our trust, not thinking too much about the dangers of winding along such a narrow road. 

We are now enjoying a breeze and view at Pasticceria la Zagara, an iced coffee and water at our disposal. I'm catching up a bit in my journal, not wanting to forget any detail we've encountered. The owner, Mario, has befriended us and given us conversation and good wishes.

Once fueled, we wander the mezzanine of shop-lined stairs and managed to discover the sea. Sun, sand, seagulls. The shore was rocky, stones worn smooth by tumbling waves, and my feet fairly groaned with pleasure at being massaged by them. We climbed a passageway to a couple of beach chairs and found shelter from the sun under their bright blue umbrellas. The skirt came off and we reclined in ecstasy, admiring our new perch, for all of 5 minutes until a local booted us out, claiming that these seats were 10 euros apiece. Whether he was actually employed or just trying to make money off of tourists was beyond me, but we dressed resignedly and wound back through the maze in search of la Zagarra and Mario. 

We found a shady spot on the terrace and enjoyed a respite of lemon fizz (sparkling wine and lemon slush) and caprese focaccia bread. Mine had the most amazing mozzarella and herb flavors and JD's was pepperoni. Our new BFF - Mario - sat down with us for dessert; a lemon spongecake with lemon creme, a chocolate cannoli filled with whipped cream (both divine), and coffee (bitter!). We perked up hearing some Argentinians behind us (a decidedly distinct accent and music to our ears) and became fast friends, chatting and reminiscing the afternoon away with Paula and Sebastian.

Eventually we said our goodbyes and moved along to a bit of window shopping and finally sat on a ledge by the sea, soaking in the sites and smells. We bought tickets for a ferry boat bound for Sorrento and said arrivederci to this little jewel of a city. It was windy and cool, but we sat at the prow and beheld the cliffs, each more gloriously green and limestone-strewn than the next. The sky was sun-filled and blue, sailing clouds scattering rays about, the water echoing sapphire and sparkles. My skirt attempted to escape me at every opportunity while I tried to capture the landscape, hands busy on my camera, and I had to enlist The Mister's help on more than one occasion. He's always willing to wrestle my clothes ;)

Finally we docked in the Sorrento harbor and traversed the way back to our hotel. There we refreshed - & tarried - and walked down the footpath to Delfino, our restaurant for the evening. It was clean, professional and modern, out table over-looking a crystal clear view of the rocks submerged in water below us, the sky turning dusky pink, eventually fading to periwinkle. Vesuvius - the sleeping giant - became one flat hue of misty blue and the sun set as we commenced. 

Antipasti involved bruschetta (perfectly toasted!), prosciutto and mozzarella. We then shared a Gnocchi Sorrento - perfectly textured dumplings in a tomato sauce with garlic and shrimp. And then came Secondo Corso; steak, heavenly fries, and grilled sea bass. I couldn't finish my steak - a tragedy! - but we did find room for half a carafe of red wine, a chocolate torta with cream, and complimentary limoncello - the best we'd had yet. So smooth and less fire-breathing.

Stomachs satiated, we strolled back up the footpath in the dark and found some ferrero rocher, coconut and amaretto gelato at Zini's. Where were we going to put it?! Irrelevant. We managed, and we returned to a shop from the first day to buy a stuffed bunny for the kids.

The night smelled like cigar smoke and we stumbled back for a good night's rest. Another end to a perfect day."


Heather Hall