View from the living room of our apartment.
We had an amazingly fun time in Positano last month..meeting Paola and her family, meeting her adorable parents, exploring the city, swimming in the Mediterranean,
eating some of the best food I've ever tasted in my life, visiting Pompeii. It was such a gorgeous, otherworldly experience. Everything about the visit was magical and breath-taking. (And I'm not just talking about the food. Or, maybe I am. Partially.)
We spent a total of five nights and six days in Positano. Even on such a short stay, we really did feel as though we got to know the city. We walked along the busy streets looking in the little shops.
The kids loved swimming down at the beach every day (while their Momma did some hard-core people-watching...such fun).
I loved going to the little Mom-n-Pop grocery/deli across the street from the apartment for homemade Paninis (to DIE FOR). We ate out at Paola's cousin's restaurant which, seeeeeeriously, was the best food we've ever eaten in our lives.
We ate absolute gobs of Gelato each night after dinner. We drank local wine and bought a case of Peroni...which I single-handedly attempted to finish-off before we left (and failed). But not for lack of trying! In short, we did almost nothing but eat and drink for six days straight. The end.
Our second night in Positano was the celebration of the Madonna Assunta, which was something like the 850th year of returning the Black Madonna, via the sea, to the Catholic church in Positano.
That night the whole harbor was full of boats. We had a late home-made pasta dinner (complete with fresh eggplants, tomatoes and peppers from Paola's family gardens) out on the apartment balcony and watched the beautiful, lighted-up church procession down on the beach below. Later in the evening, we sat together in the dark watching fireworks light up the sky over the water.
It was really stunning. None of us went to bed until about 3AM.
We spent the next morning in Pompeii, with a private tour guide.
It was fascinating to see. I was really glad the kids were able to experience it. Getting there early enough helped us miss the crowds and avoid some of the heat of the day. It was well worth the effort.
Later in the week, we went over to Paola's house for an out-of-this-world five course dinner, cooked by her handsome husband. We sat out on the patio, which has a giant lemon tree shading it (with the most unbelievably monstrously large lemons you've ever seen). Hanging from the tree were paper lanterns.
The view from the patio was of the most pristine beach below and the old stone tower out on a rocky crag over the water. Add to that an endless horizon of crystal blue water as far as the eye could see. Clearly, Paola lives in heaven.
As night began to fall, we sat at the table together eating the freshest, most delicious sea food and watched shooting stars light up the sky. After dinner, Paola's husband got out his gigantic telescope and we all looked at the loveliest view of Jupiter, with its dark rings clearly visible. Without the telescope we could see the Milky Way and countless other stars.
It really was memorable.
As for Paola, she was exactly as I thought she'd be. I just really fell in love with her and her family. All of them are the most thoughtful, welcoming, friendly, kind, outgoing, personable, lovely people. Getting to know them made the whole visit perfect.
Thank you, Paola, for the vacation of a lifetime.