Sunday, August 11, 2013

Italy - Positano

A little over a month ago I returned from my very first trip to Italy and it was epic.  I went with a girlfriend and left husband-face at home. Everybody was shocked at that but my belief is that he was OK with this girls trip because it will allow him to go on a boys heli-boarding trip to Alaska.

Since we only had 9 days there we had to focus on one area of Italy.  I had heard nothing but good things about the Amalfi Coast and we wanted to get some beach time in so that's where we decided on. We spent 4 days in Positano and it was not enough.  It was breathtakingly beautiful and there was so much more we wanted to see and do.

We rented a studio apartment about 3-4 miles outside of town. I think if we had known the area better we probably would have stayed in town at a hotel.  But we wanted a kitchenette for breakfasts and that breathtaking ocean view that we couldn't afford at the hotels in town. So I found this adorable little studio on Trip Advisor and we went for it.  If I were to visit Positano again I would definitely fork over the money for a hotel in town because the bus didn't run as frequently as we hoped and a taxi ride into town was expensive (20 Euros for 3-4 miles). However the owner of the house (Rosa) was wonderful and extremely helpful and the studio was perfect with a private terrace and an amazing view.

The road to Positano

The view north into Positano from our terrace

We managed to fit a lot into our 4 days in Positano.  The day we flew in we arrived at our rental and quickly showered and made our way down to the beach below our rental which was called Laurito.  Laurito Beach was 510 steps down from the road and the down is worse than the up.  By the time you get down there your legs are shaking.  The climb down is worth it. Laurito is a wonderful little rock beach with chairs you can rent and a great restaurant called Da Adolfo.  Our jet lagged selves quickly drank to much of the local peach wine and became friends with the awesome servers there. I also discovered my favorite local food, slabs of mozzarella grilled between 2 lemon leaves, yum. After we'd sufficiently pickled ourselves on wine (and Limoncello) we snoozed in the chairs for awhile.  We are far too cheap to pay 15 Euros to sit in a chair but luckily our favorite server also ran the beach and let us lounge in the chairs for free.

Down, down, down

Beautiful Laurito Beach

More peach wine please!  Steffano, our favorite waiter

After baking ourselves in the sun we decided it was time to get our act together and get some dinner.  Rosa recommended a restaurant about a 10 minute walk from our studio called La Taverna Del Leone.  It's kind of sketchy walking down the narrow, windy road hoping you don't get hit by a car but well worth the walk. I just wouldn't recommend walking home in the dark. When we arrived the restaurant was quiet and not very crowded. We sat outside on the patio and proceeded to gorge ourselves on delicious pizza, pasta and wine, this quickly became the theme of the trip along with the hashtag #fatkidsforlife.  We had an awesome waiter, I wish we remembered his name.  After dinner we bought a bottle of wine to go and he drove us back to our studio so we wouldn't have to walk down the windy road in the dark, now that's service.

Down the windy road in a gown

#notdating at La Taverna del Leone

Somehow we woke up without hangovers or jet lad and decided we needed another beach day but also wanted to go into town to see Positano.  We grabbed a cab into town and wandered through the alleys of shops and down to Spiaggia Grande.  Spiaggia Grande is the main beach in Positano that you see all the photos of with the picturesque town rising up behind it.  It was crowded and rocky and we honestly liked Laurito a lot better but we were there and we wanted to get a tan so we laid our towels out on the rocks and baked.  If you're staying in Positano you can take a boat from Spiaggia Grande to the myriad of beaches along the coast, they're all outlined here. It was HOT, hotter than usual for June I think.  We had to jump in the water every 15 minutes to cool down. the ocean in Italy (Adriatic Sea) is SO calm, none of the waves we have at home in California.  It's kind of more like a lake than an ocean. It is also extremely salty and it makes you very bouyant.  I don't think you could sink in this water if you tried.

Spiaggia Grande

Sweaty beasts
After cooking ourselves once again we headed to the side bar at one of the beachfront hotels, Hotel Buca di Bacco. 2 bellinis in and we started making friends, first with a Canadian named Pete and then with an Australian couple, Marty & Ana, the English speakers flock together.  Day turned into evening and we moved into the restaurant to eat.  What we didn't realize that in that time period we were drinking, the rest of Positano got dressed up and everything went from beachy to swanky in the blink of an eye. On top of that there happened to be a fashion show on the beach that night along with a performance by some famous Italian singer that we watched get brought in surrounded by security. Since we were staying outside of town we did not want to cab it back to our studio to change and make ourselves presentable.  Another reason to stay in town.

The fashion show happened, too much wine happened, limoncello shots happened.  And then the best thing of all: fireworks.  Right after the fashion show was over there was a spectacular fireworks show on the beach. It was close and loud and an amazing end to an incredibly fun day.

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