Sunday, September 07, 2008


Day 6 - the best day

Still in Positano, we decided to hike up into the hills to visit a couple small towns and eat at a restaurant I had read about rather than spend $50 to go lay on a crowded beach. Our hotel owner pointed across the street and said "take those stairs there and just keep following them up the hill till you reach Montepertuso."

So we did. Up and up, past gardens, houses, olive groves, chickens. The views just kept getting better and better which made us forget how completely dripping wet in sweat we were.
The path was amazing, it was obviously an old path that linked the villages and it just wound around through the town and then out into the middle of nowhere. It was exactly what I had dreamed of doing in Italy - wandering through the countryside, away from tourist shops, just enjoying being someplace beautiful & different.

In the upper right hand corner is the biggest sailboat I have ever seen. Notice how it dwarfs the yachts near it. We spent all day watching it from the hills.
As we reached Montepertuso after an hour or so, we stopped & sat in some shade to try & dry our sweat a little so we'd be presentable at the restaurant.
Il Ritrovo was actually open, had a gorgeous view, friendly staff and great food. We settled in for a nice long lunch, well earned. We weren't starving, so we ordered ONE serving of the chefs fixed menu - 30 euros ($50 aprox). Here is what we had: First a plate for each of us with tomato bruschetta & a scoop of some sort of mixed meat risotto. Then the antipasto platter. I had specifically asked if the had any zucchini blossoms because I really wanted to try some. Apparently their season was passed, but the waiter (owner?) said he would see if his dad brought any from the farm that morning. Sure enough, two on our plate, stuffed with ricotta. They were delicious.

Next up was our pasta course. Linguine with porcini mushrooms, Tubes with walnut provolone sauce & pasta with tomato, porcini, sausage & mozzarella. At this point, I was stuffed.
Mixed grilled meats course. Sausage, chicken, lamb & pork, with roasted potatoes.

We also got a dessert, coffee & limoncello liquor. Plenty to stuff us both and the best value of the entire trip. (pasta is usually 10 euro, then meat about 15 -25 euro. We spent 30 and it was plenty for both of us and included the antipasto & dessert, etc)
After leaving the restaurant a couple hours later, we wandered across the hillside to Nocelle. It wasn't much of a climb this time (thankfully) and was a cute little town that was dead quiet. Just more stairs, no roads really (pedestrian only), signs for a couple B&Bs, cats and deserted piazzas.
Positano is in the lower right corner.

We decided to walk back down instead of taking a bus and were home by 6pm. Back at the hotel, we met our hotel neighbors who were from Boston and spent an hour chatting with them. The woman was a private chef, so we had a lot of fun talking about food & where to eat in Rome & Positano. Then Kyle & I went to the store to scrounge up some dinner.
We ate fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, olives & marinated veggies & dessert on our terrace.
Day 7
In the morning we went to a store and rented a scooter to explore the coast. I hadn't been on a motorcycle (or scooter) for years, but used to ride all over the place with kyle when we first married. By "ride all over the place" I mean that I sat behind him and held on for dear life.
It had been a long time and we were driving on ridiculous roads - steep drop offs, hairpin turns and buses that were passing cars on blind corners. I was terrified for at least the first oh...four hours. We scooted down to Amalfi and I did really enjoy seeing all the coastal towns & villages. Amalfi didn't really look any more exciting than positano, so we kept going, up into the hills to visit somewhat famous Ravello.
Frankly, I think Nocelle from the day before was much nicer. But Ravello had stars like Greta Garbo and Gore Vidal who lived there and a couple of sites. So after getting completely ripped off at lunch (a $7 TINY glass (.33 ml) of coke and horrible food), we went to see Villa Cimbrone, whose gardens were supposed to be pretty cool. This view was great:

The rest didn't excite us a ton but was pleasant. Oh well. back on the scooter to pick up our swimsuits in Positano and then we rode all the way down to the peninsula to go swimming & explore that area a little. Swam in the "free" section that had boats pulling in & out of it, but had a nice refreshing time. Rode back and I was finally relaxed enough to really enjoy the ride and watch the sunset light up the scenery.

Dinner: Back to Il Ritrovo where we had a dinner very similar to the night before. This time we requested Scamorza on our antipasto platter - smoked cheese that is grilled in lemon leaves and once again they accommodated us. (it wasn't even on their menu at all) Then we had fish for the main course instead of meat and we both ordered our own dessert. mmmmm....... We also rode the restaurant's free shuttle van up there, which we didn't know existed until that night. Everything was wonderful, we looooove that restaurant.

sorry, I'm exhausted. the end for now.

Only 2 more days to go! Stay tuned for Youngs getting caught in a soccer riot! sort of.


Scintilla said...

Great review on Positano. I have never walked up to Montepertuso always down.
Try Fornillo beach rather than the main one. Mostly locals there and it's less crowded

Jenny said...

more, more, more...