On Wednesday, we left Rome, lugging our 50 pound suitcases down the stairs (well actually Michael did the lugging), and up the street to the Metro station. We decided that the Metro would be too busy at this time of morning so instead we grabbed a taxi to take us to the train station.
As usual we were WAY early for our train so we found a couple of chairs to sit and wait. Michael got up to get a cup of coffee and a little woman asked if she could sit in the seat while he was gone. The other woman with her asked if I knew how to catch the trains and I started explaining it to her. When Michael arrived he walked her over to the necessary spot and told her exactly what to do. While they were gone, I started talking to the woman sitting with me. She told me that she and her sister were from Brooklyn and that they had been in Rome for several days and were now traveling to spend time with distant relatives. They were both a hoot and Michael and I are still laughing about some of their comments.
They were talking about trying to sell the house that their parents had lived in and that they had included a “P.S” on one of the mass requests that the house sell quickly. Our favorite comment was….and read this out loud in your best Brooklyn accent…..”straight from my lips to God’s ears”!!!!! As we said goodbye and walked away from them I heard one say…(again with the accent)….”I cant believe all of the angels that we meet while traveling”. They were such fun and a great start to our journey!!! .
The train trip was uneventful and the 70 minutes passed quickly. When trying to figure out how to get from the train station to Positano we had read about taking buses and ferries and both had nightmares about transferring our large suitcases between vehicles. SO, we decided to splurge and hire a driver to take us from point to point.
Thus, our driver met us at the platform and, of course, his name was Giovani. He was a typical Italian 20-something…..coiffed hair, shiny fabric grey suit, matching shoes, and lives with his parents!!! It is very hard for kids this age to move away from home because it is so expensive to live here so many of them live with their parents until they get married. Many also work in family businesses and it is fun to see parents and children working side by side.
Giovani was from Sorrento and knew lots of information about the area. As we drove, he would point out things that we should see. We drove around several sides of Mt. Vesuvius and it was interesting to see that people are starting to build houses on the slopes again. It erupted last in 1944 but is now considered dormant.
As we climbed into the mountains we passed many groves of Olive trees that were getting ready to be picked. Large nets are stretched under the trees and a machine is used to shake the olives out of the trees. The nets were already in place to catch any olives that might fall due to wind.
The views all along the road were magnificent and we arrived in Positano in about 1-1/2 hours.
Now let me talk about Positano……it is a small town that is built into the side of a mountain that runs right into the Mediterranean Sea. There is one road that switch-backs thru the town with traffic only allowed to move in one direction….from top to bottom. Fortunately, our hotel is directly on the road so we dont have to navigate a set of steps with our suitcases. The hotel is the Palazzo Talamo and it is quaint, clean and absolutely wonderful!!! The room is small, but opens onto a terrace that looks out over the water which is dotted with all varieties of boats.
Since we hadn’t been sleeping all that well, my first act was to lay down on the bed for a two hour nap while Michael donned his bathing suit, ordered a bottle of wine and lounged on the terrace…..we each have our own way of relaxing.
That night we walked all the way across the street to a restaurant for dinner. I had a Gnocchi dish that had sautéed zucchini
…and Michael had a fried fish platter that included Shrimp, Sardines, Calamari, Octopus and this unknown, but tasty morsel…..
Now, on to day 2…… after a wonderful sleep with the doors open to the Sea, we arose, showered and headed down to breakfast. The hotel is run by a brother and sister and their mother, and Mama is in charge of breakfast. She doesn’t speak a lot of English but her cooking (and her gracious smile) speaks volumes!!!! Everything that we had was wonderful and the fresh fruit was amazing.
After breakfast we headed down to the beach for some time in the sun. There are two ways to get to the beach….you can follow the switchbacks or you can trot down 342 stairs…..we chose the faster stairs. They follow along narrow passages and are dotted with openings to hotels and residences. I cant imagine living someplace where I had to climb 50+ stairs to get to the street!!!
This is my favorite view along the way…..
We arrived at the beach, rented our chairs and umbrella and set up camp for the morning. The beach is made up of volcanic rock that has been smoothed by years of crashing waves so it is a dark grey color and is VERY hard to walk on.
I spent my time drawing and then painting this church….
We returned to the hotel about 1:00, climbing all 342 steps to the top and spent a few hours relaxing. Dinner consisted of a magnificent Panini prepared at a local deli (it had two 1/4 inch slices of Mozzarella cheese, 2 slices of ham, 3 tomato slices, 4 or 5 basil leaves and a healthy drizzling of Olive Oil). We then waddled back down the stairs to the beach for Gelato and to see the beach later in the day…..