Ms. Toody's Travel Journal: The Amalfi Coast
(This is a multi-part journal of our recent trip to the Amalfi Coast. You can read Part 1: Naples here and Part 2: Sorrento here).
Day 4 - From Sorrento to Positano
The driver who is taking us to Positano will be here in an hour. That gives me plenty of time to run out for a few more souvenirs. Mr. Goo Shoes just shakes his head. After all these years, he knows that sitting still is just not in my DNA. He is content to hang out on the terrace for an hour, taking in the view. Yeah, he's got a point, and for a second, I'm tempted to do just that. But shopping wins. Shopping ALWAYS wins.
When we were planning this vacation, I told Mr. Goo Shoes there was one condition -- we would NOT, and I mean NOT -- rent a car and drive ourselves along the Amalfi coast road, which hugs the edge of the cliffs. It's not that he's not capable -- he is the best driver I know, really. It's that I would be a wreck, and probably freak him out. I've heard all about this white-knuckle ride, so I want someone to drive us who knows the road like the back of his/her Italian hand.
I am prepared for the worst, except that I do not feel fearful at all. Our driver is taking it slow, and no buses come the other way, forcing us do some fancy maneuvering on this narrow roadway high above the sea.
The closer we get to Positano, the more beautiful the scenery becomes. Getting there really is half the fun. We arrive so quickly, I'm almost disappointed.
From what we can see from the car, Positano is gorgeous! I mean, DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS (and climbing hundreds of steps to get everywhere, yes, one just might drop dead).
I'm a little nervous to see our hotel. We booked this trip late, and room availability was slim to none. I was adamant about a room with a view, and wanted to stay right on the main road, so we didn't have to negotiate a hundred steps just to get in and out of the hotel. Hotel Reginella seemed to fit the bill. Glowing Tripadvisor reviews sold me despite its 2-star rating. OK, OK, I'll deal with it, since the other things -- location, location, location -- matter more in this case.
The hotel exterior is darling! Francesca warmly welcomes us; unfortunately, our room is not ready. Somehow, this is more tolerable when said in a charming Italian accent. No worries, we'll go out and explore, and have some lunch.
Positano is a vertical town, built into the side of a cliff. We walk uphill, ooh-ing and huffing; aah-ing and puffing.
We have a lot of time to kill, but don't want to walk too far. We walk to a bend in the road that looks like a cave. It's not, but it's a good place to rest.
I order ensalda caprese. Mr. GS orders...say what? A fruit platter? I can almost hear my sister saying, who goes to Italy and orders fruit? Sometimes, traveling with a non-foodie, is, well, mind-boggling.
Our room is ready. There is no elevator, and we are on the third floor. Thankfully, our luggage is sent up in a little freight elevator. Mr. GS forgets to put my 2-ton backpack in it, and is grunting and groaning his way up the stairs. But all is forgotten when Francesca opens the door, and straight ahead we see...
We can reach out and touch Positano. I have an urge to start singing The Hills Are Alive (in Italian, of course), because OH WOW, OH WOW, OH WOW, just doesn't cut it.
The room is simple; not luxurious, yet, it is absolutely charming. We are pleasantly surprised. But wait, Francesca says there's more, as she leads us in to a second bedroom, with another full bath, and another terrace! Hoo-Hah! It takes us a half-hour to decide which room to sleep in. The winner is ultimately the one with the better AC.
So, 2-star? True, there are no frilly amenities like pretty soaps, phone, or fridge, but in this case, we'd rather have this 5-star view than fluffy bathrobes and slippers.
Back in the lobby, Francesca and her mother (?) give us the lay of the land.
There are steps directly across the street leading down to the beach. 300 steps to be precise, but in 5 minutes, you're at sea level. Down? No problem. Up? Oy vey.
So many distractions!
Ceramics are everywhere.
Around every bend, Positano is a colorful feast for the eyes.
Head towards the Duomo, we're told. We catch a glimpse through a stairwell.
Down the steps, and onto the beach. It's a whole different world down here.
Our reward for all that walking is a small bottle of Prosecco, shared on our terrace as the sun goes down. We know even now that this will be remembered as Perfect Moment #1 in Positano. We toast the view; we toast ourselves, we toast Verizon, who makes a small fortune when my sister calls to say she landed a new job (which ironically may take her to Naples on a business trip).
Positano takes on a different look; its beauty muted as the sun goes down.
Pinch me. Is this really our view?
We're 'fame' (hungry). Ristorante Da Vincenzo is our choice, because it's blessedly close - about two minutes and no steps!
Mr. GS has the buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes, which is 1,000 times better than what I had for lunch. I am swooning over my grilled veggie appetizer, topped with the most delectable ricotta cheese I've ever had. We both order the angel hair pasta with lemon...so simple but so delicious! This meal is amazing from start to finish. (Food photos to come in another post).
Is that really a full orange moon rising over the water? I am fretting that I haven't learned enough about my camera to take a picture of Perfect Moment #2. This will have to do.
We walk back talking about how much we love Positano. But there's one more surprise in store. Somewhere around midnight, I hear fireworks. I go out to the terrace and for the next hour, I'm in my glory, watching a fireworks show over the top of the mountain. I forget I'm in my nightgown, but fortunately, the people in the next room aren't on their terrace.
Perfect Moment #3, except that Mr. Goo Shoes sleeps through the entire thing.
I go to bed, grateful for the day we've had; looking forward to tomorrow.
To be continued...(don't worry - I'm not doing individual posts for each day. No one is that interested in my trip, not even me).
Sneak Peak: Amalfi and Ravello
Ristorante Da Vincenzo
Rick Steve's Amalfi Coast (TV episode)