A Little Piece of Heaven Called Positano

Somewhere in southern Italy, tucked away in an alcove along the coast, exists a little piece of heaven called Positano. Chosen as the spot to ring in 30, the hubs and I arrived in time for a late dinner at Max followed by limoncello sipping on the steps of Santa Maria Assunta.

The restaurant, set inside an art gallery and adorned with racks of wine, was without a doubt our favorite of the trip. Lasagna will never be the same.IMG_64466c7dee279fdd4cdeb887d373a4cc446cKnowing we’d be hooked on solely hanging out all day, we booked a boat trip to Capri right off the bat. By 9:30 am, the port was a sprightly scene. It felt like the tour organizers were summer camp counselors, bustling around and passing out cards assigning eager passengers to their respective boats. Excitement swirled through the air as the the crowd gradually shifted from shore to sea. 
001 003 005 006Our ride for the day finally arrived and we immediately sprawled out on the cushy deck with child-like grins on our faces. 018The further we drifted, the better the view; this truly must be one of the most beautiful places on earth.009 012 014 019027 028020We cruised along the coast towards Capri for the next two hours, popping in and out of glowing grottos, checking out natural arches and spotting stalactites.038 046 049 055 069 070 075 081Once docked at the Port of Marina Grande on Capri, we set off with an excessive list of shops, trails and pizza places to visit. With only four hours on the island, we wasted no time and hopped into a taxi heading to Anacapri, Capri town’s quieter cousin. Truth be told, I just really wanted to ride in one of these cute cabs, there’s an easily accessible local bus available.IMG_6668IMG_6562 IMG_6566It was no secret that my main goal on the island was to pay homage to the King of Capri sandals, Antonio Viva088091Shopping here was delightful. The guys were incredibly helpful, finding our sizes, desired color, and checking the fit while never making us feel pressured to purchase. But maybe that was because they knew we were doomed to walk out with more pairs than you can count on one foot.IMG_6572 IMG_6697

Beautiful views and shops prevailed; one could spend endless hours exploring all of Anacapri’s nooks and crannies. We saw a measly two of them, which was enough to have me beckoning back someday soon.094 098IMG_6578By halftime on the island, we lined up for the local bus from Anacapri to Capri town. The ride itself was an adventure! Pizza was the plan for lunch, but Mamma’s pizzeria was disappointingly closed. Next to it was a quirky establishment, La Cisterna, and the hubs muttered his certainty that it was a cover for something in the back, until I pointed out that we were in a tiny alley carved out of rock and I didn’t think there was a back… IMG_6592Despite the flattering photo of the owner on the bottle, we passed on house wine and went for beers, spritzes, frutti di mare, and pizza. It was [a little] surprisingly delicious, especially the olive oil glittered with amazing herbs. That was mopped up REALLY quickly.IMG_6594 IMG_6593They totally took advantage of us and tacked a cover charge onto the bill (afterwards we noticed outside it advertises “no cover”)- but my belly was happy and you can’t win ’em all.

Just outside, we stumbled upon a cute shop where I bought a tote bag after the Italian only speaking owner theatrically demonstrated it’s reversibility, various straps, and included matching cosmetic pouch. Post purchase, he proceeded to adoringly show us pictures of his family and home, and then motioned us to his back room (the hubs was starting to think his back room suspicions might be validated). Past an enormous set of doors was an empty space where we became a bit terrified confused, until Serg (as we fondly refer to him) opened up the shutters to a glorious view of the piazza below. I was ready to sell my soul for the unused space.IMG_6596 IMG_6612We still have no idea what most of our “conversation” was about, but it was a really sweet experience. The island locals were incredibly kind.

A scoop of gelato was a must before catching the boat back to Positano. After trying out the acclaimed Buonocore Gelateria around the corner, the hubs and I decided the spot outside our hotel would beat it in a taste test.

Back on the boat, strawberries, champagne and an unbeatable view kept us captivated for the return trip.IMG_6684 107 114 140 142 145

Donning new shoes, which the tripod setup sadly couldn’t capture, we dressed up for another inevitably delicious dinner. 174

We had a really kooky experience at Da Vincenzo. The couple next to us was the same pair that sat practically attached to our table the evening before, and were also on the boat nearly bumping buoys with ours earlier that afternoon. We ended up chatting, sharing wine and spending the last few hours of the day with a couple of new friends over another awesome dinner.IMG_6728The next day, my last of 29, was one of the best ever. Lazy, a cue we took from the resident lab, and with the most luxurious view, it went simply like this:

179 186 188 192 196The pool at our hotel, Covo de Saraceni, is reason enough to take a trip to the town.IMG_6751 IMG_6754 IMG_6762 IMG_6767 IMG_6769By late afternoon we were hungry from a tough day at the pool, so we snacked on tasty treats from the nearby Italian market and soaked up the view before sunset. Basically you can fully entertain yourself for days on end simply staring out at Positano’s panoramic views.IMG_6790Early evening was the best time to shop once a good portion of the town ferried away around 4 pm. We took advantage of the quieter boutiques and surveyed the goods. THERE WERE SO MANY! I could have furnished our flat in one fell swoop. While the shops don’t allow photos, the hubs [not so] discretely snapped away while I embarrassingly pretended to be dissociated from him. Might as well make use of them so you can see the countless cute things crammed in every corner of the town.

IMG_6795 IMG_6798 IMG_6801Finally void of colorful distractions, we made our way back up the hill to Saraceno d’Oro. Casual and local, it hit the spot. We took the short cut down, eager to get to the gelato stand outside our hotel and snooze. IMG_6824Sunday morning, I woke up to room service and a birthday cake on the balcony. 30 wasn’t feeling so bad.IMG_6828It being our last day, we planned to spend the morning ceramic shopping at Ceramiche Casola. Since I was now officially an adult, it was time to start thinking about buying furniture. At least that’s what I told the hubs.

We’d visited the shop’s small showroom in town the day before, but the real magical kingdom exists a few kilometers down the road at the factory. Like many of the nearby, just outside of town restaurants, there’s a driver who will pick you up and bring you back, compliments of you simply visiting their establishment. We arrived at the showroom around 9:30 am and were escorted up the hill where the owner was waiting to take us by car to his factory. On the way, he told us about his business. He is the family’s third generation owner and incredibly soft spoken, not what you’d expect from a furniture salesmen in a town filled with tourists eager to take home treasures.

Upon arrival, a very sweet woman showed us around the factory, explaining the process of making the tables from lava followed by individually hand painting each piece according the the customer’s wishes. After mulling over so many options, we picked a round table that will look something like this:IMG_6836 IMG_6842We added a few personal touches, like an inscription with our wedding date and the names of the three cities in which we’ve lived together weaved into the design. Built to last for decades and withstand all weather conditions (just in case we end up in snowy Chicago), the table will surely be in our family for generations to come.

I wasn’t done, though. The fish collection was too cute to pass up, so the hubs and I designed a serving platter like the one below with our favorite sea creatures. I see lots of BBQs in our future!IMG_6833IMG_6834

This was, again, such a nice experience. The sales people while helpful, were never pushy. We’ll be back, someday.IMG_6845Happy as the clam on our new serving platter, we headed to the pool for the rest of the day.IMG_6853Late afternoon called for a lemon vodka granita on the beach. IMG_6860205 209 237I’ve never taken such short showers, but I did not want to waste a single second away from this view. 245 261This guy seriously made my birthday special.270 277Back up the hill for one last dinner at the elegant Next2, the hubs ordered another winner- a mouthwatering spaghetti with sweet green peppers and local fish. But, I took the [birthday] cake!IMG_6903The hubs had to drag me home, kicking and screaming. Positano with it’s friendly people, unsurpassed scenery and spirited atmosphere had to have a little extra help from the man up above.

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