Several years ago, my niece Shelley and I spent the last two days of our Italy vacation at a lovely hotel in Positano, south of Sorrento, on the Amalfi Coast. I have fond memories of reclining on a lounge chair on the hotel’s seaside deck and being served drinks by cute Italian cabana boys. (Or am I just dreaming that, Shelley?)
Positano is a charming seaside town, built in tiers on high cliffs. (If you have seen Under the Tuscan Sun, it is where Diane Lane went to find that hot Italian guy she had met.)
Back in the day when Amalfi was a kingdom, Positano was a bustling trade port, even though it has no harbor. Over the years, trading migrated to other Italian ports with harbors, and Positano was demoted to a fishing village. In more recent years, it’s developed into one of Italy’s most popular tourist towns.
I had stopped at Positano on the boat cruise I took with the Australian couple, but we were only checking to see if we could get gas for the boat. So when my New Zealand and Swiss classmates asked if I wanted to go with them to Positano, I said “You bet.” These women are savvy travelers, and like me, they don’t go on tours. We rushed to the bus station to catch the 1:00 p.m. bus, which didn’t arrive until 1:45 p.m. There was a passel of teenagers waiting for the same bus, and a few of the boys were kicking around a soccer ball. I was watching carefully to avoid being hit in the eye by a wayward ball, and I even changed my position to get out of harm’s way. But guess what, I got hit in the head with the ball anyway. A bit later, one of the boys kicked the ball over the train station—really quite impressive. I wanted to hug him.
When the bus came, the teenagers (who were admittedly there before we were) crowded the door, and every seat was taken by the time we were able to push our way onto the bus. In Italy, they will allow as many passengers as can be crammed into the bus, standing or sitting. So we stood in the aisle until we got to Positano, which was about 45 minutes of trying to keep our balance as the bus maneuvered around the hairpin curves of the coastal highway. Not one of these young kids was courteous enough to offer their seat to a senior citizen!
Then, we took a local bus to the little town of Montepertuso at the very top of the highest cliff overlooking Positano, where one of the women from New Zealand, her son, and the woman from Switzerland intended to take the steps from the top of the cliff down to Positano. The other New Zealander and I (with my injured knee) walked the road back to a little town in between. Along the way, we passed one of the world's fewest "pierced mountains", a shoulder of rock with hole punched through (said to be a miracle performed by the Virgin Mary).....
A shot of the coast line--not really clear because it was a hazy day....
After our walk midway back to Positano, my kneee was aching, so we caught the bus back to Positano to do some window shopping while we awaited the arrival of the "steppers". This is the most colorful of all the shops we saw, and there are many!
We ended our day with a lovely beachside dinner.....
On left, Isabelle from Switzerland, then Kathy and Michele from New Zealand. On my right is Luke, Michele's son.