Sunday, June 6, 2010

Positano, the Amalfi Coast, and Capri

On the evening of March 26, we rented a Fiat Panda and made our way south out of Rome. We were headed to Positano, on the Amalfi Coast. Of Positano, John Steinbeck said: Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.

Because we were there in the off-season, we couldn't take the ferry from Positano to Capri. So we climbed into a bus and had an adventurous drive along a narrow and winding coastal road (atop a cliff) to Sorrento to take the ferry to Capri.

The Island of Capri is picturesque, although it is a long hike to the top (we did a lot of walking up and down stairs on this trip. We also ate a lot of gelato.) Despite my reading up on Capri before we went, and listing a few things to do, all we really did was walk around and enjoy the sites. We didn't even go into the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Cave). It was built by Emperor Tiberius in AD 30. I thought I read that it was sort of a summer bath house, or something, and while it apparently contains a nymphaeum, I can't find where I read about the bath house bit. We didn't see it anyway, so I suppose it hardly matters.

We found a lovely little restaurant overlooking the sea (although I suppose they all do on Capri), and I had a pasta with clam dish. Yum! Captain America had some sort of curry pasta dish that he said was the best dish he had eaten since arriving in Italy. That's pretty high praise, so it's a shame I don't remember the name of the restaurant!

That night, after getting decidedly lost (I blame the cat. Even Captain America said: That's the last time I listen to a cat!) on all of the stairs, we eventually made it to the Ristorante le Tre Sorelle, or the Restaurant of the Three Sisters, on the beach in Positano. Our friends ate this HUGE salt-crusted fish, and Captain America and I had more modest meals. I had a pumpkin ravioli. I don't remember what Captain America ate. The salt-crusted fish was impressive, but after my salt-tasting experience, that was just unnecessary to me. We had this wine that had tobacco in it (okay, I don't really know how that works. Is it scented? Infused? I'm not sure). At any rate it tasted peppery to me. That's all I could say about it. I couldn't decided if I disliked it, or if it was just the first time I had ever tasted a hint of anything in my wine. I finished the glass, so it must have been fine.

Okay: about the cat. As we were wandering down the stairs at Positano, more or less in the dark (the sun had set; the stairs were lit. It was still an adventure), we found this cat that looked at us, as if to say, follow me! I know the way (this was before the tobacco infused wine...what had we been drinking earlier?). As the cat was more or less leading us the way we wanted to go anyway, we somehow thought, sure, we'll see what happens. The cat continued to look back at us to see if we were still following. And then it climbed atop a wall and didn't go further, thus prompting Captain America to exclaim, that's the last time I listen to a cat! By this point I was doubled over with laughter and completely useless for any sort of navigational purposes.

On Sunday, we headed back to Rome by way of Ravello, another little scenic coastal town.

(This is Vesuvius, not Ravello.)

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