Vintage Vespa

Vintage VespaThere is no shortage of Vespas in Italy, in fact the soundtrack of the country is the buzz of two stroke engines. In Positano, where parking is a nightmare, Vespas are all pervasive.

And every so often you see one that catches your eye.

I believe this is a Vespa Sprint VLB made between 1965 and 1974. Don’t you love the split seat with the vintage helmets resting on them.

We saw this one parked outside the Galli Bar most afternoons while it’s owners took a break and had an espresso enjoying the view across the bay.


Positano – the way it was

Positano historyA recent article in the Daily Mail included some photos of Italy in the 1950s and earlier. One was of Positano (a Getty image) when it was more fishing village than tourist centre.

But even in this photograph there are clearly recognisable landmarks – the Church of Santa Maria Assunta up from the beach, and the steps down to the beach with those iconic bronze lions sitting at each end.


The house on the cliff

Cliff top houseEvery time we walked from the villa to the village of Positano we passed a house that simply had to be photographed. It is actually three apartments that are built, quite literally, on the side of a cliff overlooking the sea and above a private beach.

The setting is stunning and the way the house is fitted into the hill seems to sum up the relationship Positano has with its surroundings. They work in harmony, like that’s the way things have always been. The Italians have a word for this – simpatico.

Si, simpatico.


Two days in Rome

At the end of our holiday we had two days in Rome. It was a chance to visit some favourite places of ours as well as some new places. We stayed at Hotel Barocco in one of their junior suites – which meant we had an outdoor patio to relax on – four floors above Piazza Barberini. It was a real luxury.

As always we were looked after superbly with nothing being too much trouble. Which made it even harder to say goodbye and start the long trip home. The good thing is that we threw a coin into the Trevi fountain (well sort of as you can see from the photo) so we’ll be back.

Cheese glorious cheese

Cheese for PoppieIn New Zealand buying Parmigiano Reggiano usually means buying small pre-packed slices, at great expense from the super market or deli. In Italy it’s different – as can be seen from the Parmigiano available at our favourite alimnetari. You give an indication of  how much you want and it’s sliced off the round – right there in the middle of the store.

These were also the rounds that Poppie and Daisy used to sit next too when they were in Positano waiting patiently for the shop keeper to cut off a wee slice as a treat.

Poppy still enjoys the taste of Parmigiano – she obediently sits and waits for a taste every time I use some in a dish at home.

Cloudy Bay meet Positano

Italy produces some great wines some of which we’ve sampled over the last few weeks, but on this trip we couldn’t resist bringing a little bit of New Zealand to Positano.

When we left the country we purchased, duty free, a couple of bottles of Jean’s favourite drop – Cloudy Bay’s iconic Chardonnay.

So evenings on the verandah have been spent with the two of us and, when we felt like it,  a friend from home.

A week on the Talitha anyone?

One of the more graceful super yachts that has visited Positano during our stay is the twin funnel Talitha. She was built in 1929 and extensively upgraded a few years ago but still harkens back to a more traditional era. She is just under 80 metres long and can accommodate up to 12 guests with a crew of 17.

If any of our gentle readers are interested in chartering her for a week, we’d love to come along. Currently a week will cost around 280,000 Euro – or around $NZ496,000 at the current exchange rate. Let’s call it a round half mill once tips are included.

Once we stopped laughing, we looked around the bay for yachts that we could afford. There was a sloop that would do us nicely which would cost about the same as a month on Tailtha – still a bit out of our price range – and then a single master caught our eye – not ideal for a long stay but more within our price range.



At the request of my editor

Apparently this blog never features a picture of me. So says my editor who insists that I include a photograph of me just to prove that I’m actually on the trip and not sitting at home making all this up.

And if you’re wondering why I’m looking so damn smug it’s because I’ve just finished that most Italian of breakfasts – bacon and eggs – at Buca di Bacco, on the beach at Positano.

“Do you ship to New Zealand?” – Part 2

Thank you to all the gentle readers who made suggestions as to which ceramic piece is, as I write this, winging its way to New Zealand.

Sadly, neither those who know Jean well nor those who have only read about her in this blog managed to pick the correct piece – and I can’t really blame anyone – it’s a bit of a wildcard choice, as you can see.

A day in the life

We’ve slid gracefully into a daily routine here in Positano helped by some warm temperatures and sunny days.

If there is no pressing urge to sightsee then our day consists of a slow start at the villa, a quick trip to the shops if anything is needed and an afternoon spent around the pool at Eden Roc. On the way back to the villa we stop at the Galli Bar for a drink and a stracciatella gelato for the walk home.

The evening means a dinner out at Chez Black or Bruno, or if we can’t be bothered going out a quick cena (dinner) at home looking out across the bay.


“Do you ship to New Zealand?”

So here’s a wee reader quiz.

Which one of the selection of ceramic pieces displayed outside this Positano shop is currently on its way to New Zealand?

As a clue, it’s one displayed outside to the left of the doorway as you look at the photo. Jean eyed this piece up when we were here last year but was put off by the price. Clearly it was so expensive it didn’t sell for an entire year – until we turned up again.

If you are reading this post on Facebook, remember to click through to WordPress to make a comment or have a guess.

Porcelain shop


Goodbye slide, hello helicopter

In a recent post looking at the array of super yachts that come and go in Positano, we decided that a slide seemed to be the latest “must have” accessory for any self respecting millionaire boat owner.

We were wrong – based on this shot of a yacht moored in the bay a few days ago it’s clearly a helicopter.

Colazione like no other

Breakfast We ventured to the hotel for breakfast last Friday. As always we were made welcome by the effervescent Tony.

He told us that Thursday was “his day off so today he was relaxed”. As a result we were spoilt – special pastries to start, four types of quiche all of which were delightful, scrambled eggs and as many cappuccinos as we could manage – all delivered to our table so we had no need to use the buffet. The meal was topped off with small slices of chocolate gateaux.

Now, gentle reader, I hear you say – gateaux for breakfast? Well why not – it complimented the coffee superbly and after a few minutes very little of it was left on the plate.

Many thanks to Tony – it was a colazione not to forget. Grazie mille.