Wait for it – a sunset shot

Painters love the light in Tuscany. It’s almost like looking at a watercolour painting in real life – with soft hues, pastel colours and gradients resembling a fine watercolour wash.

Last night as we ate dinner on the terrazzo at Il Diaccino, I grabbed a few shots after the sun went down and before the light faded. These shots have not been retouched – what you see is what we saw.


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.

Ready for festival

The August Festival is a much anticipated event in Positano. There are parades of boats and fireworks all topped off with dinners all around the town on Friday August 15th.

Sadly there had a been a fatal car accident the night we arrived which took two lives – one being a local boy, the son of a prominent Positano family. With a population of only a few thousand people, the loss was keenly felt in the village. A decision was made on Wednesday not to have the fireworks display on festival night as a mark of respect. This was the right decision but meant that for visitors the evening was much quieter than usual.

Having said that, it was still a great night with everyone getting dressed up for the occasion. Jean had purchased a dress in the UK especially for the evening.

The paparazzi caught her about to leave Villa Greta for dinner.

Jean wearing Karen Millen


We’re here – or there – depending on your point of view

First Positano BlogGentle reader, please accept my apologies but it has been almost a week without a post. Put it down to jet lag or simply the frantic activity involved in doing very little, but rest assured a stream of posts will follow.

We arrived in Positano last night and are now resident at Villa Greta.

As I write this the temperature is a warm 29 degrees, the sun is shining and I can just glimpse the Galli Islands above the Bougainvillea covered railing running around the patio.

This afternoon is planned – a late lunch at Eden Roc and an afternoon by the pool.

Enough said.


Plans are afoot

Positano from Villa Greta's roof terrace

Positano from Villa Greta’s roof terrace

Our Italian holiday is less than a month away and we are in the final planning stages. Rome, Tuscany and Sicily are all places we will visit but our base will be Positano.

Ahhh, Positano.

We have booked Villa Greta for a week in August to coincide with the Festival of Our Lady of the Assumption on August 14th and 15th, which is one of Positano’s most important festivals. To quote the Positano.com website:

The festival both honors the town’s protector and commemorates the ancient legend of how a ship carrying a Byzantine icon of the virgin Mary was beached in the bay of Positano. Not until the sailors gave the icon to the local inhabitants were they able to set sail once more.

On August 14th, the celebrations begin with the so-called “Alazata del Quadro” (“The Lifting of the Painting”) in front of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta.  In the evening, a spectacular procession of illuminated boats heads to the “Mamma e Figlio” rocks by the beach of Fornillo before returning to the Spiaggia Grande beach and the Cathedral.

On August 15th, the festivities continue late into the night and conclude with a magnificent firework display over the sea, which lights up much of the Amalfi Coast.

We will be watching from the terrazzo of Eden Roc hotel – one of the best vantage points in Positano.

A year ago today

Last year we spent November and part of December in the small coastal village of Positano on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Through November the village is winding down. The tourist season has ended and hotels and restaurants are closing up, taking a break until the next spring.

Eden Roc Hotel was our second home. The Casola family who own the hotel also own Villa Greta – our place, and extended the hospitality of the hotel to us. On hot days we could lie by the pool and evenings out often started or ended with a drink in the hotel bar looked after by the lovely Carlo.

Eden Roc hotel closed at the end of November so on the 30th it only seemed right for us and the dogs to wander the 500 metres along the road and say farewell to what had become our “mother ship”.

Everyone at the hotel seemed relaxed and the wine was flowing a little freer than usual. The family patriarch (who had been quite ill but seemed to be on the mend) was in the hotel and insisted on buying us a drink or two or three. It ended up being a big night.

Which explains the photo – taken about 3pm the next day – when all the Mowday girls were sound asleep on the bed, one of them nursing a sizeable hangover.

One year ago today


This gallery contains 4 photos.

July 12 2011 – we were staying in the lovely Villa Greta in Positano on the Amalfi Coast. It was a scorching hot day with the temperature hovering in the low 30’s (celsius) with hardly a breath of wind. The … Continue reading

Heading north for the winter

Tomorrow we leave Positano and start the drive north to the UK. As a friend pointed out this seems exactly the wrong direction to be heading as the northern hemisphere winter sets in, but it’s a drive to stay with friends for Christmas in what, for us, will be a new experience.  A winter Christmas.

We will be sorry to leave Positano which has treated us very well but it is time to move on.

This means dragging our battered suitcases out of the cupboard they’ve sat in, forgotten, for 5 weeks and packing our lives into them for the journey north. Hopefully our lives haven’t grown in size too much so we can’t get them closed.

We then need to fit the suitcases into our trusty Renault, ensuring there is enough room left for the girls and for us.

Our next deadline is Calais for a vet check for the girls next Tuesday with a channel crossing on Wednesday so we have just under a week for the trip. Two nights are going to be spent in Rome at the lovely Hotel Barocco on Piazza Barberini to allow us to throw “those coins” into “that fountain” as an insurance policy for our return to Rome in the future. The next night we will be staying in or around Cinque Terre. Beyond that, we’ll be making things up as we go.

Ciao Positano, see you again soon.

Girls on patrol

Villa Greta has a resident family of cats that live a little further along the property. Four cats and a kitten to be precise. You get the impression that they usually spend quite a bit of time at the villa entertaining the guests and generally doing what cats do best.

Poppie spots a cat

With the arrival of our girls everything has changed.

The moment a cat comes down looking for some attention, or their dinner, Poppie goes onto full alert. After 5 weeks you think there would be some kind of truce but no, one cat sitting on the steps outside the gate is still more than enough to wind Poppie up. Daisy, as you would expect, is a little more circumspect about the whole thing.

Our Gecko

We have a gecko which lives behind one of the front door shutters. He’s about 4 inches long, hides during the day but comes out at night to find dinner – bugs and the like. This suits us as the fewer bugs around the house the lower the chance of anything terrifying Jean.

He clings to the wall overlooking the street and being a gecko (or should that be Gekko) we’ve named him Gordon after the character in the movie. (Movie buff humour I’m afraid).

A funny old Friday


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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 … Continue reading

Our Madonna – updated

This morning while sitting on our terrace having that first cappuccino, Jean spotted a little lady from the village cleaning our Madonna.  Our lady got the full treatment – glass cleaned, flowers refreshed and steps swept.

Based on this Jean has put away her glass polish and stopped trying to figure out how to get our vaccum cleaner cord to reach 20 metres down the road.