As Peter and his fellow swimmers enjoy some of the most stunning conditions of recent months here in Melbourne's bayside, I too am grateful for the seemingly endless summer. Early morning beach walks with our beloved dog Bella, stolen hours sun worshiping, refreshing dips to cool down, alfresco dining, relaxed summer attire - there's a lot to love about this time of year. But as the sun goes down on yet another perfect day my thoughts go to Italy ...... more specifically the magical Amalfi Coast. Planning this year's trip is not exactly a hardship. I'm somewhat addicted to Italy and her charms - so spending evenings working on how to extract the most out of this year's time in beautiful Positano is fine by me.
I've been fortunate enough to befriend a lovely English lady who lives in Positano and she has inspired some additional inclusions in the itinerary. Her insight as a resident has helped me uncover a few secrets the average tourist just isn't privy to and consequently we have a few little treats in store. Non-swimmers will have the opportunity (should they choose) to accompany our swimmers by kayak & discover some of the coast up close and personal.... why let the swimmers have all the fun? Or perhaps exploring an artist's studio/gallery within the walls of a prominent historical landmark will capture your imagination. Suffice to say we are doing all we can to create a truly unique experience for each and every member of our group.
A few people have asked us how well special dietary requirements (ie. gluten free) are catered for in this part of the world. The good news is GF and Vegetarian options are available in most restaurants. In fact a few of the recommended places are within a very short walk of La Fenice..... one also boasts some of the best views in Positano and happens to be a favourite of ours.
The area is famous for its amazing fresh produce and much of what you'll see on the plate will have been grown nearby. The Mandara family's own seasonal harvest is the focal point of the delicious breakfast and lunch offerings at La Fenice and something they're justifiably proud of. You haven't lived until you've tried the local tomatoes....to say nothing of the buffalo mozzarella! Naturally fantastic fresh seafood is in abundance here and appears on most menus. The local cuisine style is simple and celebrates the seasonal produce. The dining options range from high-end to ultra relaxed and informal. But if you feel like a quiet night in or a simple lunch on your balcony, we have that covered too. The delicatessen is your best bet - stocked with all you could desire including some great "to go" options. So rest assured, whatever your preference you won't starve.
One thing I'm excited to explore in Positano is the Roman ruin buried beneath the duomo which opened to the public for the first time late 2016. Vesuvius buried the apparently enormous villa AD79 and it's existence was only discovered again in 2004 while renovating the duomo. Only a small portion of the villa has been excavated and I have not been able to learn much detail but stay tuned...... It's not too shabby having an ancient site to visit right there in our neighbourhood though is it?
That's it from me for now ..... your insight into a few of the things that make up my Positano dreams. I will leave you with a quote from the great writer John Steinbeck: