Travels with Tim and Lisa

"If my discoveries are other people's commonplaces I cannot help it – for me they retain a momentous freshness" (Elizabeth Bowen)

Archive for the ‘Positano 2005’ Category

Picture Postcard Positano, 30.10.05

Posted by Lisa Hill on October 1, 2006

We loved Positano!
The journey down was a bit of a trial because we couldn’t get on the early train from Arezzo and had first to detour via Rome to stash some of our luggage at our hotel. From Rome to Naples the trip was enlived by some kindly Neapolitans who warned us repeatedly to guard our belongings against their fellow countrymen, but our brief transit through the Naples railway station to the Circumvesuvia train and on down to Sorrento passed without incident, except that there was no time for lunch.
One advantage of our arrival after dark, was that we were spared the heart-stopping views along the Amalfi Coast. The bus hurtles along at breakneck speed along a very narrow road with corkscrew bends – above the sea about a thousand feet below; this is much easier to bear cocooned in the darkness than in daylight, as we were to find out on the return journey.  From the bus stop, however, one has to find one’s way down the hill to the hotel in the dark, a bit risky with my dodgy ankle – but it had to be done. There are no roads in Positano, just narrow winding paths down to the village…
By this time we were ravenous, and sorely tempted by luscious ‘cakes’ en route through the village, but mercifully the shop was closed, so we were spared the ignominy of discovering that the delicacies were in fact candles.
The Hotel Buca di Bacco was the perfect place to rest our weary selves. In no time at all we were shown to a delightful room with views over the moonlit bay, and then dinner, at last!
We began with parma ham and melon and antipasti from the buffet, and then I had ‘gilt-head fish’ (a kind of bream) in lemon sauce and Tim had a mixed fish combo. I don’t know how they source such luscious tomatoes in autumn – they have put me off Grosse Lisse forever. After that we had pasteria, a dessert recommended by our confidante on the train and finished up with cognac. We then took a short walk around the water and discovered that although their sand (volcanic) wasn’t as nice as our Aussie sand is, the beach is still spectacularly beautiful.
 Overlooking the sea at breakfast the next day was just like being in a picture postcard. From our room we have a wonderful view of the bay and the beach life below: fishermen, artists and beachcombers, and cruisers setting off across the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Sirenuse Islands, the siren islands of Homer’s Odyssey. Positano has long enticed artists and writers – Yehudi Menuhin used to stay at this hotel, and people would gather to listen on the beach below when he practised his violin. Around the corner from the Buca di Bacco is a plaque recording John Steinbeck’s visit.
Half an hour’s walk in the warmth of the October sun knocked the stuffing out of us so we recuperated at a bar with a Crodina, a Fanta and the view, and then investigated the shops. There were beautiful ceramics on sale in the shops, and it would have been nice to buy one for The Lower Belvedere, but they were heavy and fragile, so we contented ourselves with a couple of tea towels.
At the Ristorante Al Cambusa we enjoyed a leisurely lunch, where the waiter’s line is: There’s only one law here: the lady has to sit and face the view and the gentleman sits to enjoy looking at the lady. I had omelette and salad and Tim had anchovies, but the basket of breads was best of all – a scrumptious dark brown grainy bread, a spicy type of tiny brioche, and a beautiful crusty bread with a light texture. Much nicer than Tuscan breads – I wonder why?
We were so lucky with the weather! Our favourite waiter’s imminent departure for London was a reminder that we had come on the last weekend of the season, and Daylight Saving was ending. Glorious sunshine and just a light mist of the top of the mountain from time to time, to remind us that winter is on its way.
Such a beautiful, beautiful place…but next we were off to Pompeii!

Posted in Dining out, Europe 2005, Italy 2005, LitLovers pilgrimage, MusicLovers pilgrimage, Positano 2005 | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »