As we move from August to September the weather in Positano shifts slightly. The temperature is still late 20s, the days can be humid and “close” but there is a bit of rain about.
Since our arrival the locals have been bemoaning the lack of rain. Too dry for too long is the general feeling. Well that has changed in the last few days.
We have seen some stunning displays of lightening and thunder in the evenings – but with no rain – until Tuesday afternoon when it rained. Not just a few spots here and there, it was a full blown tropical downpour.
It lasted about an hour and then normal transmission resumed – the sun came out, the water dried up and we went to dinner, sitting outside under the stars.
Yesterday we went to our local beach – Spiaggia Arienzo. I blogged about it before in 2011 when we last visited it. In particular, the blog mentioned the number of steps from the road down to the beach – 239. Easy on the way down, not so much climbing back up.
Although the price for a lounger, umbrella and place on the beach at the Arienzo Beach Club has gone up from 9 to 20 Euros in the last 8 years, it’s still worth it with table service to your lounger being a winning idea. Lunch at the beach club was great and it is still amazing they can produce such good food, in such quantity, so quickly for lunch from a kitchen the size of a closet.
At the end of the day the 239 steps up to the road felt a lot steeper than 8 years ago and this old man needed a couple of stops along the way. Ideal breaks to grab a glance at the luxury villas that cling to this part of the coast.
If you have ever wondered why a tripod should be part of a photographers travel kit – here’s the reason.
Last night there was a fingernail moon over the bay as the last of the evening light faded. A perfect shot – but without a tripod it was a succession of ever so slightly blurred shots. No amount of ISO pushing or aperture opening could bring the shutter speed down to avoid camera movement.
The camera was braced, I was braced, but the result was always the same.
Note to self – next time pack the damn travel tripod.
We have been in Positano for a week and life has now settled to a gentle ebb. As yet we haven’t done any Superyacht spotting – but that changes now.
Last evening what can only be described as Darth Vader’s Superyacht slid in the bay and moored up. In the twilight it was dark and slightly menacing. This morning it left but not before I grabbed some pictures.
From the sublime to the ridiculous – yesterday also saw the arrival of Roma 9902. It looked like a converted tugboat and has no listing anywhere that I can find. So maybe not a Superyacht – more a Supertug if there is such a thing.
Finally our favourite. Nameless because we haven’t been able to read the name on the side – but with its classic lines and retro feel, it would suit us to a tee.
Thursday was a day out for us. We hired a driver through the hotel and went to lunch. But this was not just any ordinary lunch. A friend (thank you Te Rina) recommended a restaurant called Relais Blu which is located just outside Termini at the tip of the Amalfi Peninsular. It has a clear view of Capri in one direction and across the Bay of Naples to Napoli and Vesuvius in the other.
It is a magical place.
The restaurant (which is in the Relais Blu hotel) boasts a Michelin star and was also the venue for one of the meals in the movie “The Trip to Italy” starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should.
We took this as an opportunity to go all in, selecting their 7 course dégustation menu with matching wines. It was a perfect way to spend 3 hours and to taste the best that the coast has to offer. We are in no way food bloggers but we attempted to document the meal for all to see – you may notice the occasional photo fail but that’s only because some courses were just too tempting.
We also had the restaurant to ourselves which made the whole thing surreal as the entire waiting staff fussed over – well, just us.
After lunch we went to Sorrento – just a few minutes drive down the road from Relais Blu – to do some shopping. We always shop best after 7 “glasses” of wine each.
For us Sorrento is special. We’ve been there in summer and winter. We’ve seen it grow and change as more and more people visit – the blessing and curse of tourism. Last year the town turned it’s main street – Via Corso – into a pedestrian zone which, contrasted with the smaller streets and alleyways either side has made a huge improvement to the town.
We spent two hours there visiting some favourite shops we know and some new ones we didn’t. When our driver collected us and was storing the shopping bags in the boot, he thanked us personally for our contribution to the local economy.
Who is this arriving at Relais Blu for lunch?
A seat with a spectacular view of Capri
Same view, different person
Jean waiting to be seated in the restaurant
Some bloke waiting to be seated in the restaurant
Pre-lunch drink – blue of course
Sea Bass two ways – carpaccio with tomato tartare and crusted with buffalo mozzarella foam
Flying Squid with black bread with orange and cheese
Whoops – looked so good, forgot to photograph it first
Fig Ravioli with courgette chips and cheese foam
Sea Bream with savoury and sweet vegetables
Lamb three ways – and we forgot to photograph it first.
Tiramisu with fennel ice cream
Delicious nibbley things with dessert
Limoncello to finish, of course
Dinner that night – a far more humble affair
The Relais Blu website is worth a visit. Having seen a little of the hotel we will definitely stay there for a couple of nights next visit.