Friday is shopping day. The day we head into Positano with the single-minded purpose of refilling the cupboards for another week. Although the village is only a 10 minute walk, on Friday we take the car. The thought of walking home carrying a plethora of heavy shopping bags is not attractive, so we drive. The trip is an adventure in it’s own right as the road is barely more than one car wide and, for part of the trip, is one way with switchback turns that are so close together they confuse our trusty GPS.
In the heart of the village there is a carpark we use. In the high season the carpark is always full but in November any car wanting to park is made most welcome. It costs €3.50 an hour but to avoid walking up the hill home it is worth every Euro.
Yesterday, for some reason, it was closed so we had to find an alternative spot – which meant another trip around the one way system to an alternate park. Then we found our macelleria (butcher) had closed early for siesta – a closure that could last anywhere from an hour to three hours depending on – well, who knows.
The day was not working out as planned. So we did what you do in Positano when things start to go “pear shaped” – you have lunch on the beach.
It was a glorious autumn day so Chez Black was chosen for lunch. This restaurant is right on the beach and has been part of Positano since 1949. It is also the only one still open on the beach which made it a good choice. Over the years Chez Black has hosted many famous people including Denzel Washington when we were there in 2007 (click to see the photo). In the middle of summer it is incredibly busy and can, like any of the Positano eateries, fall into the habit of treating customers like walking wallets – get them in, empty them and get them out, next!
At this time of year everyone has that most valuable commodity – time. So there’s no rush to order, the drinks arrive quickly and the food less so. The quality of the food is superb because there is time to do things properly. And if you spend two hours having pizza and lasagne and a few drinks, no worries – simpatico as they say.
When the sun left the beach at 3:30 an autumn chill arrived. It was time to do what we were there to do – shop. The macelleria had re-opened so we bought what you always buy at a macelleria - wine, eggs, and yes, meat. It was a short walk to the negozio di alimentari (alimentari for short – the grocers) for all the other things we needed. The store is small, a rabbit warren with produce stacked to the ceiling. What you can’t find you have to ask for. No matter what it is they seem to stock it and its not unusual for the “boy” to be sent up, down or behind to find some obscure item.
We are now on chatting terms with staff in both the macelleria and the alimentari. Their english and our italian make for lively conversations with them correcting our pronunciation and providing vocabluary tips to help us. Being regular customers has it’s benefits – our pork chops, which are cut straight off the rack, seem to get fatter every time we buy them, and the alimentari has offered us their free delivery service to our door – by the “boy” on his scooter of course.
So that was Friday – shopping woes that turned into a long lunch that turned into a leisurely wander around the village.