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Report 834: There's No Such Thing as Too Much...Pasta and Ceramics

By Palma from California, Fall 2005

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Page 16 of 23: Monday, September 19:Positano

photo by Les Wolf

Il San Pietro Terrace

We left Umbria at nine and had rain again until we got close to Roma and the beautiful sun came (and stayed) out! We made two Autogrille stops for drinks/snacks/breaks and arrived in Salerno at one. We tried to stop in Vietri for lunch, but parking was impossible, so we continued on the Amalfi coast road heading to Positano. We saw a sign for a restaurant that looked nice with a great view and decided to stop at Capo d’ Orso. As we got inside, we realized the restaurant was built into the cliff on three levels. The street level was an empty formal dining room with tables set for dinner, the second level down was a beautiful terrace with stunning views, and we were led down to a third level dining room with panoramic glass walls, tuxedoed waiters and three other tables with customers. We figured this would be expensive, but we were there, tired of the car, and hungry. We had a maitre’d, a waiter and two helpers give us menus and water when we realized we might regret this stop. The menu was very limited to five or six choices (only one that was not seafood, and it was very expensive). None of us mind paying well for great food, but it was difficult for all of us to find something we wanted. Brad and Jan tried ravioli with shrimp, Les had a bowl of bean soup, and I had zucchini cannaloni. We all drank water, I had a cup of coffee, no one ordered wine, a secondi or dessert, and our bill was 108E without tip. It was then we found out there was a 7E per person coperto! It took them 20 minutes to bring Les butter. The waiter described their food as “gastronomic”, but we thought it was “astronoimical”…and definitely our worst meal of the trip.

While our husbands were paying the bill and taking turns in il bagno, I went up to the terrace level to have a cigarette. No one else was there, and I was enjoying the view. I stood for a moment to find an ashtray, walked five feet to an ashtray and a waiter pulled the seat cushion right off my chair. I told him politely in Italian that I was still sitting there, but he walked off with my chair pad. That was the frosting on the cake. Oh well, the sun was out and we get four nights at Il San Pietro, so nothing could ruin my mood.

We continued on the Amalfi coast road to one of the most beautiful spots on earth and checked in to the San Pietro. This is our third stay here, and we booked well in advance, requesting an upgraded room. All rooms have a sea view, but most face either the beautiful terrace or the Priano side. There are two rooms (besides suites) that face the Positano side, and we were shown to one of them. We finally will experience the night view from our bed and terrace! We met Jan and Les on the famous terrace with the tile benches for a glass of Prosecco. After a tour of the property and lots of photos, we took the hotel shuttle into town and walked down to the beach.

We stopped to speak with Pasquale Volpe, the beachside watercolor artist we had purchased two paintings from in the past. Jan loved one of his paintings and he thanked us for bringing him new customers. We chatted for a while, and he recommended a casual restaurant for dinner. We walked around the seawall for a while and tried his recommendation, La Guadracino. My tummy had been bothering me for a couple of hours, but I was hungry. I shared some spaghetti vongole with Brad and had a wonderful veal in a light pinot bianco sauce. I had a headache, so I didn’t drink any wine. We returned to the hotel and I felt even worse. As soon as I was ready for bed, I became violently ill, lost everything in my stomach, and then felt fine. I drank some Coke Light, went to sleep at 10 and slept for 9 hours. We decided the lunch at Capo d’Orso was to blame as our food in Positano was excellent and no one else got sick there from veal or clams.

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