You’ve been here how long, and you still haven’t been to Positano?” After the second person said this to me I decided that Positano had to go on my Naples To-Do List, so on Sunday we rented a moped and started the 60km drive around to the Amalfi Coast. After about an hour, maybe more of swaying on the back of the bike, leaning terrifyingly into the many, many corners, finally, the inlet where Positano lay came into sight.
When we started descending down the cliff/hillside we were thrown into shadow by the mountains that loomed over us. The colour of the rocks contrasted against the brilliant blue skies, the green vegetation filled in the space until the pastel coloured houses reached down to the sparkling ocean.
We parked the moped about halfway down and then made out way down the narrow streets, overcast by a ceiling of strongly-smelling bright purple flowers. The streets were lined with unique little shops selling beautiful artwork, trinkets and souvenirs, pottery, and eateries whos smell of pastries and pizzas, mixed with that of the flowers into a unique blend. Down on the stony beach, the water was such a clear blue and filled with boats that bobbed on the sparkling waves. And people.
And this is where the beauty of Positano ended. It was absolutely filled with tourists. Crossing from one side of the street to the other was almost impossible due to the constant stream of people, all following a guide holding umbrella, in the vain hope not to lose anyone in the crowd. I sat down to eat lunch at a cafe, a little away from viewpoints and the sea (because this was one of the only places where pasta and tomato sauce wasn’t €20!!) Next to me was a group of American women, and for a good while I listened to one of them tell the others how she makes iced tea. Iced tea! In case you’re wondering, she uses eight teabags, brings it to the boil, then lets it cool. Sometimes if she’s “feeling adventurous” she’ll add lemon.
Speaking of lemon, down by the seaside was the most amazing gelato shop that sold frozen lemons filled with lemon sorbet, which I think has to be the best I’ve had so far!
I’ve spoken to some of my friends about my experience there and they said that when they went out of tourist season they were able to enjoy this quaint little town in peace. However, what I found was not quite the Italian experience I was looking for. And it was a shame because it really was a beautiful little fishing town, nestled between ancient mountains and seas.