“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.

Simple.

“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.

A view of our favourite hotel

After many years of visiting Positano and staying at Eden Roc hotel, the only photograph I’ve shown of the hotel on this blog is a somewhat shaky view taken at night after dinner, which captures none of the magic of the establishment.

So on Tuesday after breakfast I took time to capture a couple of shots of the hotel frontage which I feel do it greater justice.

Every room in the hotel has a balcony facing the bay and at this time of year those balconies are covered in a mix of climbing plants and flowers. And from those balconies the view across the bay is spectacular.


“The boy can deliver it.”

Groceries delivered - job done. Grazie mille.

Groceries delivered – job done. Grazie mille.

One thing we needed to do early in our stay was to shop for groceries. This meant a trip to the alimentari in the village – a walk of about 1km – but importantly, the same distance home with arms weighed down with shopping bags. Not a problem until you realise the temperature is about 28 degrees and quite humid, and the walk is predominately up hill.

Thankfully the lovely staff at the store recognised us from years past – asked if we had the dogs with us – sadly not this time, and made the kind offer that “the boy” could deliver the groceries – si, graze mille.

You cannot understand how happy that made us feel – as we added another few bottles of beer and tonic and water and bread and vegetables to the order.

The delivery address was confirmed using a picture of the villa we had on our phones – yes, next to the madonna on via Marconi. What is that villa like inside? More photos and discussion about decor and layout. It’s spacious, yes, very nice.

The walk back was a delight and as promised “the boy” – looking a little hot and bothered – delivered everything an hour later. That was worth a generous tip.

 

And so Thursday comes to an end

It is Thursday evening , 27 degrees, and I’m sitting on our front verandah enjoying the sunset and watching the locals passing our front gate on their way home. In the days since our arrival, we have spent time in the sun, in the pool, visited Sorrento for a morning and shopped in the village – both for the necessities and a few luxuries.

We had dinner with Carlo and the team at Eden Roc earlier in the week. Beautiful fish with patate and pomodoro preceded by a shrimp cocktail that tasted of the sea and complimented by a Falanghina which was older and more complex than the usual. Clearly we are not the only ones to be impressed with the food because they have achieved the status of No1 hotel restaurant in Positano on TripAdvisor. This is quite an achievement given the calibre of the competition. And I feel it’s all down to that magic mix of the food, the service and the superb location looking across the bay combining for a dinner experience that is unforgettable. Read the reviews yourself if you don’t believe me.

We kept our promise to eat at Bar Bruno again – on Wednesday night – and enjoyed the meal so much we have booked again for Friday night.

The family that run the alimentari in the village remembered us from past visits and asked about the dogs – no, they are not with us this time – 2 weeks is not a long enough visit. They also made our grocery shopping a delight rather than a chore – but more of that in a later post.

The boys who run the Galli bar which we walk past on the way to the village now greet us with a cheerful Ciao in the mornings and ice cold gelati for the walk back to the villa in the afternoons.

It feels like we are slipping back into village life.

Jean has just wandered down to the local alimentari for some provisions – primarily beer for me and something for us both for tea and she will no doubt return with some tale of the local happenings or of the trip there and back.

Tonight we decided to eat in, simply because we can. And because the thought of getting ready and heading out is to much of a chore. It’s great to be back and to have reached that point – la dolce fa niente. The sweet art of doing nothing.

Good morning Positano

Early morning in PositanoThose of you who know me, know that mornings and I aren’t the best of friends. Even with the added incentive of lingering jet lag, I still manage to miss a fair bit of this magical time of the day.

Luckily the lovely Jean is an early riser and this morning, from our veranda, she captured this early morning view of the bay. A view which I have never been up early enough to witness.

That this shot exists at all is tribute to the camera in her iPhone 6 which managed to capture the image in the pre-dawn darkness.

Cliff diving on the Amalfi Coast

It’s crazy what you see online – I was just checking news from home and ran across this article and video about a young Amercian and his mates making a film about cliff diving along the Amalfi Coast.

Putting aside the health and safety issues around diving off cliffs (I never thought I’d see myself write that comment) it’s a great film and much of it was shot in and around Positano – our neighbourhood – and Capri – just a 40 minute boat ride along the coast.

But for those of you who think the divers are crazy, think again, they clearly know their limitations.

There are a number of shots of the stone bridge at Furore (first seen in the film with a red Fiat 500 crossing it) which is just along the road from our place. There are scenes of people jumping from the base of the bridge but none from the top – why is that?

Simply because the bridge is 28 metres (just under 92 feet) above the water and in July each year the true high diving experts dive from the bridge as part of the Mediterranean high diving championship cup. The jump takes 3 seconds and the divers hit the water at around 100km/h. If you want to be a spectator, the event is scheduled for July 12 next year – bring your own boat.

Images courtesy of Live Salerno, stuff.co.nz and YouTube.

The day of the cat

Villa catThe news that a pair of animal lovers have arrived in Positano has spread quickly with our first feline visitor arriving on Sunday afternoon.

Clearly a cat that knows a couple of “soft touches”, this little girl wandered into the villa and made herself at home. As I write this she’s spread out on the front verandah enjoying some late afternoon sun.

 

 

Super view

From the villa we have a view of the various super yachts that visit Positano. Some are relatively modest and some are a little over the top.

Often the yachts launch smaller craft, jet skis or motor boats for the use of those onboard, but this is the first time we’ve seen a waterslide as an accessory on a super yacht.

What will they think of next?

Journey’s end

After 3 days travelling by plane, train and automobile we have arrived in Positano. Along the way we spent 3 hours in Auckland, 4 hours in Hong Kong, 25 hours in the air and a day and a night in Rome.

New Zealand farewelled us with chilling rain on a grey day and Positano welcomed us with sun, warmth and gentle breezes. The delights of jet lag haven’t quite left us yet so currently a late night is 8pm and a “sleep in” is 5am. We know that will change as the wonderfully pedestrian pace of life in Positano takes over.

As always everyone has looked after us superbly – from the welcome sight of the hotel driver at Rome airport to our room being ready for us at 8am when we arrived at Hotel Barocco. The ability to drop our bags and freshen up was a lifesaver – and no mean feat for the hotel as they were fully booked the previous night but still they managed to get our room ready in record time.

The trip south by train was blissfully uneventful and relaxing with none of the hassles that accompany air travel – although recent events in France and Belgium may change that.

The welcome at Eden Roc was as warm as ever with time spent catching up on events of the last year – had the changes to the hotel that were talked about last been made? No, too much beaurcracy and too little time  – maybe next year. Were all the staff well, who had left and who was new? All the usual characters were still part of the team – plus some new faces – it has been a good year. Were we in for good weather or was the recent rain going to dampen our holiday? No, the weather had settled and we could expect hot, dry days.

The afternoon was spent enjoying a late lunch/early dinner on the hotel terrace looking out over Positano and the bay beyond. Let the relaxing begin.

A twitch upon the thread

Positano Panorama - small

We never intended to return to Italy for a holiday this year. After visiting last year there were too many other things that demanded our attention, so 2015 was going to be a “stay home” year.

And it remained that way until winter set in, the bleak weather started and “our place” lost  the sun for it’s enforced winter shading.

Then one evening after a long day at work we started to talk about some form of escape to the sun. Just a few days away – maybe Fiji or Rarotonga or at a push Tahiti. But each time we talked about it we came back to the place we would really like to spend some time in the sun.

So we’re off – two weeks in Positano and a few nights in Rome in late August and early September. We can’t wait.