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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 18 of 23: Wednesday, September 21: Vietri/Positano

photo by Palma Hansen

A Rose in Positano

Another ceramics day. Have I said what a saint my husband is? Les is shopped out, but Brad has agreed to keep the rental car an extra day in order to drive us over an hour each way back to Vietri. Our plan was to go yesterday afternoon, but we spent so long in Ravello, that didn’t happen. We had an early breakfast at seven, and Jan was ready to leave at 8:30. We were having coffee in Vietri at 9:40 as the shops were opening. We decided to “scout” first, and buy later. I am a laser shopper, and usually know just what I am looking for or “I’ll know it when I see it.” Today, I had twi missions: a large tile scene for our courtyard, and a “lantern” for the patio. By noon, we had been in every shop in town, and each had a tile scene ordered. Jan’s is for her kitchen, above her stove. It is a food scene of wine, proscuitto, cheese, grapes, etc. that will say “Cucina di Jan”. Our artist took a digital picture of a similar scene above the door of the Alimentari in town to use as the idea. My purchase was a large scene of three rows of six tiles with a scene of Amalfi one one side and Positano on the other connected by water. He promised an October delivery. I also bought three fruit patterned cake stands in graduated sizes, and my favorite find, a ceramic “lantern” (It can sit on a patio table with a candle in it, or hang as a light fixture over a bulb) that looks like an Italian house with a tile roof, “windows” with shutters (where the light comes through) with lemon trees “growing” in the outside pockets. It is so cute. The shipping was as much as the lantern, so I bought two and will give one to Jan for Christmas to make the shipping price worthwhile!

We drove back, got gas, and returned the van by four for the pick up from Sorrento our hotel has arranged. We had a soda with Les and told him about our purchases. Brad and I took a short nap. I ordered a pot of coffee from room service to revive. What could be better than sitting on this terrace with this view drinking good coffee and eating these tiny, delicious cookies while I write in my journal?

At 8, we headed to town in the shuttle, and walked to Café Positano for dinner. Their entertainer, Pepe, was singing out in front with his keyboard. We drank our complementary spumanti while waiting for a table, and I sang along with every song he sang. We were finally seated front and center at 9 o’clock. There was an almost full moon, the stunning view, wine and Italian music. I continued to sing along almost every song he sang, as he did both American pop favorites and some well-know Italian tunes. We got our primi piatti at 10. Brad had wonderful grilled mozzarella with lemon and grilled lemon leaves on top (gonna have to try to duplicate that on our grill…) and I had a light spaghetti with zucchini and olive oil.

The music went on without a break, but the funniest part was that the main street of Positano separates the restaurant building where Pepe was sitting, from the outdoor tables across the street along the hillside wall on a sidewalk area overlooking the sea. Every five minutes, a bus would come by, making bus noise and spreading diesel fumes. Pepe would stop playing and singing, mid-phrase, until the bus left, then finish that line of the song wherever he left off. It was really amusing, and every time a bus came, he would do it again and everyone would laugh. The two buses were continuously circling the one-way city loop until at least midnight, so this went on all evening. Our second course of calamari came at 11, so the service was really rather slow, but we were having such a good time singing and laughing, no one cared. Pepe then announced he was going to do a song for me to dance with my husband. He played Elvis’ “I Can’t Help Falling in Love” and Brad and I danced in the street in front of the whole restaurant. Shortly after 12:30, we took a taxi back to the San Pietro. This was one of my favorite nights ever in Positano.

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